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Portables (Games) Businesses Nintendo

Nintendo Dismisses DS Redesign Rumours 67

Posted by Zonk
from the untrue dept.
GamesIndustry.biz reports that despite rumours to the contrary there are no immediate plans to redesign the Nintendo DS. From the article: "Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed late last year that a redesign was in the pipeline, and it's thought that there are low levels of DS stock remaining - the handheld has proved a huge hit in Japan, the US and Europe and more than 13 million units have been sold worldwide." IE: There will be a redesign for the handheld console, but not any time real soon.
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Nintendo Dismisses DS Redesign Rumours

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  • I was hoping there would be a redesign. The buttons on the DS are pretty uncomfortable to use. I'm still using the original Gameboy Advance to play GBA games on. The only games that I like on the DS are ones that don't need the buttons, like Trauma Center.
  • Well... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by trogdor8667 (817114)
    The DS could definately benefit from a redesign: it needs more than just the traditional directional pad, and could be much easier to hold. The current design causes my hand to hurt after a short amount of time.

    I'm honestly disappointed that Nintendo isn't considering this, as it could definately provide some marked improvement in the length of play per game session (I normally only play for fiteen minutes. If the design were better, I could play for 30 minutes at a time, for example).
    • Re:Well... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They _are_ considering a redesign, and have been since the DS has been released. My guess is that the redesigned model will be announced/released in March, right around the time Tetris DS hits the streets. It will conincide the one year anniversary of the PSP launch, when Sony will release their "sold" units (ie shipped to retailers) figures. Nintendo will take a double-barrel approach by using Tetris and the redesigned DS to counter the hype Sony will try to generate for the PSP.
    • The DS could definately benefit from a redesign: it needs more than just the traditional directional pad, and could be much easier to hold. The current design causes my hand to hurt after a short amount of time.

      Doesn't cause me any problem and i play for hours at a time, but we're all built different i guess.

      I suppose an analog stick might be a good thing, presuming they could make it work right. I'm really not sure how to stick an analog stick on a handheld without messing something up. The PSP has one

      • I don't think they can easily change the functionality of the device that much in an update, adding an analogue control would effectivley split the platform (I'm guessing the next Gameboy / DS will have one though), and it's not like you can just buy a new controller for the old system.

        As for backlight and clock, I don't think the DS "OS" has much say during gameplay, I'd guess it's up to the game to provide that sort of stuff (some games like Mario 64 and Polarium do have backlight controls for example), r
        • The DS OS sets the defaults though. Though I do agree with the GP, a button for the light would be incredibly useful. As it is, I just leave it on, even when I don't need it. This of course, coming from a guy that never bothered to install the on/off button for his Afterburner in his GBA :D
      • "I'm really not sure how to stick an analog stick on a handheld without messing something up. The PSP has one doesn't it? How well does that work?"
        On a scale of 1-10, I'd rate it about a 6. Comfortable and responsive enough to get the job done but nothing to write home about.
    • I would like to see it thinner, and with the top screen flipping out much like a Sidekick. Though the rcessed screen may cause problems.

    • The DS could definately benefit from a redesign: it needs more than just the traditional directional pad, and could be much easier to hold. The current design causes my hand to hurt after a short amount of time. And how do you propose they do that? They can't very well add one in addition to what's there now; that would lead to games that are incompatible with older DS systems. I can't imagine that replacing the d-pad with one would work either; wouldn't that cause compatibility or playability issues wit
    • Re:Well... (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The DS could definately benefit from a redesign: it needs more than just the traditional directional pad

      Yeah, if there's one thing Nintendo forgot to include with the DS, it's an analog input method that you can operate with your left thumb.

      ...

      • I have only played the demo a few times, but doesn't the Metroid Prime Hunters demo allow you to customize the controls however you want? I know you can use the touch screen as an analog control device with your right thumb to aim, so if it is as customizable as I remember, I don't see why you couldn't use it. Also, Mario 64 DS (and possibly other games, though I don't know of any offhand) also allow you to use the touch screen as analog input.
    • "The DS could definately benefit from a redesign: it needs more than just the traditional directional pad,"

      Hey, I know what they could do! They could make one of the screens touch-sensitive!
    • The d pad is just fine. The only thing that could replace it is an analog stick, which is not as good an input device for 2D (the vast majority of games). It would also cause some DS games to only be playable on the new DS- anything which requires the analog stick.

      I do think it needs to be a bit more ergonomic though- I've had my hands hurt trying to hit those buttons as well.
      • When the Saturn introduced the analog controller, it caused the same thing: some games required the newer controller. I believe the same thing happened with the PS1 when they released the Dual Shock controller. Obviously, not every game would need it, but some, like Super Mario 64 DS, would greatly benefit from something other than using the touch screen as a controller, which, at least for me, is not a pleasant task. The DPad, there, is just not a good fit.
        • You miss the point. I own a DS now. I bought it assuming I would be able to buy and play any DS game I wished. If a new DS is made with new hardware features, causing there to be games I can't play on my DS, I would be seriously pissed. So would most owners. This isn't like a controller where I can pay $20 and get a new one- I'd have to buy a whole new DS. I garuntee it would make me buy the PSP2 instead of the DS2 next generation.

          Also notice that the Saturn, which was one of your examples, was a hor
          • I'd like to see an adapter(using the DS port) that lets you plugin a gamecube controller to the DS

            2 of my 3 games would benefit from it.

            Mario 64 needs the analog control.
            Mario Kart DS hurts my hands, because I have to keep my index fingers on the shoulder buttons, and move my left thumb back and forth a lot.
            Kirby is just fine with DS controls, though :-)
  • by binaryspiral (784263) on Monday January 16, 2006 @11:57AM (#14482716)
    Big N has sold 13 million DS's... and until sales start to slow down, they won't bother.

    I can play it fine, but my daughter's hands are 1/2 the size and can't hit all the buttons without really giving it a stretch.

    She's not playing with the DS anymore... so it travels with me! :)
  • A shame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BenjyD (316700) on Monday January 16, 2006 @12:01PM (#14482753)
    The DS design could use some tweaking. Make it lighter and thinner, round the edges off, make it less wide so it's easier to use the screen with your thumb without stretching, make the shoulder buttons larger and label the buttons properly.
    • Re:A shame (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Endymion (12816)
      ...and a place to store a couple games, please!

      The games for the DS are so incredibly tiny, it would have been easy to make a slot somewhere on it to hold 2-3 extra DS games, kindof like the stylus holder. I'd love to be able to bring just the DS and have the current 2-3 games I'm playing be avaliable.

      I've tried to bring them seperatly, but they get lost easily. Right now I have a box for them, but it's bulky.

      This has never been possible before, as the games were too big. I believe we finally hit a point, t
      • Re:A shame (Score:3, Informative)

        by BenjyD (316700)
        I have one of those soft DS cases - it stops the DS getting scratched in my bag, and it has a little zip compartment that fits maybe five DS games.
      • Buy a small ziplock bag with a slider. Boom! You gotcher DS games on you for under $3 (and only that much because they won't sell them to you one at a time).

        I actually have a pencil case that also fits all my GBA games in it.
        • yah, I've done that... the ziplock solution, a small plastic case...

          it's all extra annoyance, though. I'd love to be able to just toss the DS in my jacket pocket on my way out somewhere, and not have to worry about an extra bag.

          I'm probably just burned on "always on" networking - having to deal with removable media seems so... archaic.

          meh
          • True. It'd be cool if some made a portable game unit with iPodesque hard drive space that games could copy themselves into automatically. To get around the borrowing issue, maybe after the first copy the game sets itself to "no more copying" mode, and needs to be inserted to be played. One step further-- when HD space is low, you can insert the game, then delete it from the HD, and then your game unlocks itself, so you can copy it again later!
      • It would be nice if they either put the label on the "cartridges" on the other side, or flipped internally the socket, so you can click out the game to see what's in it. Minor step, yes. And, yes, I could open it up and turn it on, too.

        I'd almost argue that the chips are too small.
    • While I agree that it's hard to use a thumb on the screen in the current design it's also far too small to hold the thing comfortably as it is. If anything making it a bit larger would really go a long way to making it easier to hold and play.

      All of the buttons need to be larger, not just the shoulder buttons. At present though it's a literal pain (in my hands) to try to keep my fingers on the shoulder buttons.

      The volume slider is terrible. It makes it very hard to make adjustments to the volume and making
      • You're just holding it wrong. What you need to do is rest the bottom two corners on your palms so that your hands are sticking out to the sides a little, and then you should be able to reach the shoulder buttons just fine from an angle.
        I'm not sure how this would work with smaller hands, though.
        • Maybe you're right - I do find the lower corners quite uncomfortable against my palm after a while, though. It would be nice to see the other buttons made larger, to reduce that A-button shaped callus on my thumb from Mario Kart.

          It was clearly a difficult task for Nintendo to layout the two screens comfortably. I tried to play Mario 64 with the touch screen, but I couldn't comfortably reach enough of the screen with my thumb and hold the DS at the same time, so I just used the d-pad instead.
      • by fwitness (195565)
        Yeah, the DS, although I love it, has some very small design flaws.

        My biggest is using the touch screen as an analog pad, it's not possible for me to stretch my thumb comfortably. Luckily, few games use this feature.

        My second biggest is volume control. You're right, it's impossible to get something that you can hear, but is not too loud. Or any tiny change for that matter. The same thing was true of my GBA SP though really. What ever happened to notched-dial wheels? They worked just fine.

        Lastly, is th
  • by kraiger (704911) on Monday January 16, 2006 @12:07PM (#14482813)
    Anyone else love how the quoted section of the article was more in favor of the redesign, not actually supporting the title of the article?
  • Bad summary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VickiM (920888) on Monday January 16, 2006 @12:26PM (#14482970)
    Reading the article, I understood that Nintendo is saying that they are not announcing a redesign this week.
    Given how they keep redesigning the GameBoy, I think a DS redesign is pretty likely, personally. But Nintendo likes to keep us all guessing, so we probably won't find out 'til they're almost done with it.
  • Is it too much to ask for Nintendo to add WPA capabilities? I mean, seriously, WEP is as secure as Windows Me.
    • God forbid sombody can sniff your packets and see how much you suck at Mario Kart.

      All your important traffic is probably encrypted at the application layer anyway, right? So why bother with WPA? Especially on a gaming device.
      • by Jerf (17166)
        That's not the point. Your wireless network can't be both WEP and WPA, so one non-WPA device means you have to drop the entire network down to WEP... or below. At the moment, my stickler is actually my Linux laptop, where I can't quite get all the kernel patches I want in at once, and WPA working with my wireless lost out.
        • My point was that you shouldn't need WPA at all, ever, if you already have application layer encryption. All it does is lower the compatability of your network with available devices. Why encrypt traffic that is already encrypted? Mildly informed pseudo-geeks seem to get their jollys off of feeling like they have things "secured", even if it means that they're spending a ton of CPU time re-encrypting already encrypted data.
          • by Jerf (17166)
            My point was that you shouldn't need WPA at all, ever, if you already have application layer encryption.

            Ah, yes, the "hypothetical that proves my point is true if my point is true". True, you don't need encryption if you already have encryption. However, since a lot of traffic is not encrypted, especially over the web, what's your point again?

            There are people with a valid desire for WPA, and suggesting that they should just wait for all web traffic to go over SSL and all their other applications to start us
            • Ah, yes, the "hypothetical that proves my point is true if my point is true".

              What?

              [...]especially over the web[...]

              You're sending the data out into a series of unencrypted networks that you have no control over, and you're worried that your access point doesn't have WPA? You have some interesting priorities. If the data you're transporting is sensitive you should be encrypting it at the application layer so it stays encrypted when it leaves your network. If it's not, then why should you care that it isn't e
              • With WEP or unsecured. wireless, anybody can just jack onto my wireless network. I'd still like to prevent people from connecting to my router, thank you very much. Sure a secure data stream is fine, but I'm not too concerned with people sniffing my data in all honesty. Unsecured doesn't give me a secured router. WEP tries but fails after about three minutes. WPA may not be the best, but it sure as hell beats the shit out of WEP. Now Nintendo is wanting me to bring down my computers AND reboot my router jus
                • Yea, and they can jack in to your wireless network regardless of whether you use WPA or WEP. It's not like WPA is unbreakable, or takes much longer to break. All wireless gets torn apart like tissue paper, it's the nature of the freakin' beast. You encrypt at the application layer and for the most part go, eh, fuck it and leave your wireless ap pretty much open apart from maybe some MAC filtering. And you don't do that to secure it from people who know what they're doing(because you can't!), you do that
          • I like getting hit with untracable man in the middle attacks too.

            For the fun that can be had on an open/WEP network see the defcon story about all pictures turned into Goatse's for example. I doubt it happens often, but still not something I want to invite on myself.
      • Perhaps so that he doesn't have to run WEP on his wireless access point and provide free internet to anyone who cares to crack it? (not to mention potential access to his network...) Yea WPA isn't perfect, but if there's easier networks around, it's less likely to be the target of choice. ... that being said, I wound up putting wireless on a seperate segment of my network for my PSP, since I couldn't get WPA to cooperate with me there. I just turn off the antenna on the router that handles that segment if I
    • WPA encryption was added to the PSP in Firmware v2.0. Why doesn't Nintendo offer downloadable firmware upgrades? I searched around for an answer, but this is all I found:

      We have no plans for WPA at this time.

      If your concerned about WEP, turn your computers are OFF after you've switch to WEP for the DS. I don't care if The Lone Gunmen are parked outside your door with a van full of equipment trying to bust in your computer files, they can't do it if your computers are off. And, yes, your wireles

      • They probably didn't want to say "The DS can't handle WPA encryption AND gaming".
      • "Why doesn't Nintendo offer downloadable firmware upgrades?"

        I was under the impression the games did this, not the firmware. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I have never touched a WEP setting until I ran Mario Kart, and that was done in the game. The game even remembers my settings. I should remember to clear those if I ever sell the game.

        Alternatively, what about the USB device they sell? Is it a simple WiFi router, or is it a Nintendo only connection? If it's the latter, then you could get it, plug it into yo
      • I think the more glaring problem is that this NOA_Greg guy, who is supposedly up on these types of things, can't wrap his brain around the idea that you can support both WEP and WPA.
    • I got the USB adapter [nintendo.com]. It was easy to setup and works well. It doesn't leave a hole in the network because only an authorized DS works.
    • If you seriously care about security you shouldn't be using wireless. Period.

  • GBA2? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrgreen4242 (759594) on Monday January 16, 2006 @12:48PM (#14483178)
    So whatever happened to the GBA2? Nintendo always said the the DS WASN'T the new GameBoy and that they were working on one... so where is it? Any rumours even? Perhaps the GBA2 will be the DS redesign? Make a new handheld that is backwards compatible with the DS and GBA?

    As far as design goes, I was somehting that is like a T Mobile Sidekick [t-mobile.com]. The "basic" buttons (d-pad, 4 face and should buttons) on the outside with a screen in the middle. The screen would be a pivoting/rotating/flipping deal so that the touchscreen below it could be exposed for DS play, or covered for other games that don't need it. You could alos rotate it out and then flip it down so the LCDs were facing each other, potecting them from damage. I think it would be a cool design at least.

    • The new GBA they where talking about was probably the GBA Micro, which is probably the last GBA. The DS is mostly backward compatible with the GBA, so personaly I don't see much point in having a GBA and I suspect a lot of consumers will agree.

      As for a DS re-design it would be nice if the added an extra OS button. To the game it would look like you closed the lid, but it brings up the clock and pictochat. No more annoying rebooting!

      • by Jerf (17166)
        No, they were quite clearly talking about another full generation of Gameboy, not just another GBA model.

        My guess is that it was simply a hedge against people not liking the DS, so if it was a flop, they could say "Oh, well, that wasn't a GameBoy. Here's what you were looking for!" Whereas if it was a success, as it now is, those statements can be quietly thrown into the Memory Hole, which is where they seem to be now.

        (On a side note, I wish people in general were better about following up on things. We now
        • I think you're probably right, Nintendo was partially making sure they left a path out as they possibly painted themselves into a corner. But I also think they didn't want to declare the GBA a dead platform, so they positioned the DS as a non-replacement. Then the updated screen and the micro sort of reasserts that Nintendo is still pushing the GBA, and that developers should continue to make games for it. It seems to be working pretty well, they're apparently moving SP's at a good rate.
    • They were lying to you. The DS supersedes and replaces the GBA. Their protests that it did not were always kind of unbelievable.
  • Yeah, sure... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ivan256 (17499) * on Monday January 16, 2006 @01:34PM (#14483668)
    IE: There will be a redesign for the handheld console, but not any time real soon.

    More like: "Even if there was a redesign coming, we would lie and say there wasn't until the last second so that people don't stop buying the current version."
  • While I am up for seeing an improvement of the design myself.

    As someone who already has a DS, I have to ask those of you out there that have one too, would you actually rebuy your DS if a better one came out?

    I, personally, can't justify buying another one based on ergonomics. I stuck with my 1st gen GBA until the price of the DS dropped. I was tempted from time to time to get one of the GBA SPs because of the lit screen to avert those headaches recieved by my old GBA. But I couldn't justify the cost w
    • Not knowing what the improvements will be, I'd still probably buy one. I've been looking for a reason to justify buying a second one. For some strange reason I've never even met another person who owns a DS. So pushing a second DS in someone's hands and threaten to kill him unless he plays against me sounds rather appealing.
    • I'd buy a redesigned DS if I thought it was an improvement, only so my girlfriend can have the old one to play Nintendogs! Buying that might have been a mistake! If I don't like the new one I'll buy the old design one, since they'll be sold off cheaply.

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