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Nintendo Businesses Portables (Games) Entertainment Games

Opera on the Nintendo DS 283

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-that's-a-wierd-one dept.
dxprog writes "Opera has announced that they and Nintendo are going in together to create a web browser for the DS. The browser, based on Opera's core engine, will take advantage of the system's two screens and the touchscreen to provide on-the-go portable internet access. From the article: 'Within just five seconds of turning on the system, the Nintendo DS is already fully operational. This makes it the ideal device to enable people to swiftly obtain the latest information from the internet, wherever they are.'" Update: 02/15 15:50 GMT by Z : More information about the browser and game announcements available from Gamasutra, and Iwata's aim that they'll hit 10 Million DS units sold is reported on the Next Generation site.
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Opera on the Nintendo DS

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  • by CyricZ (887944) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @10:17AM (#14723923)
    Doing something like this truly shows the versatility of Opera. They sure have come up with a fantastic products. Not only does it work perfectly on desktop systems, rivalling Firefox, Internet Explorer, Konqueror and Safari, but it is also a gem on far less powerful systems.

    With all the talk about the flexibility of Firefox, I just can't imagine seeing it run on similar hardware. Enough people complain about Firefox leaking memory that it seems almost impossible for it to remotely support such devices.

  • It's about time! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Diablerie (195323)
    I was wondering how long it would take for someone to make a web browser for the DS. I think it's much better suited for it than the PSP.

    With Opera working on it, I'm hoping for some good results.
  • headline fails (Score:5, Informative)

    by cycledance (812080) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @10:18AM (#14723931)
    there is no such thing as a gameboy ds. its nintendo ds. the gameboy advance sp and gameboy micro are the current gameboy.
  • Keyboard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rlp (11898) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @10:18AM (#14723933)
    Using a soft keyboard is feasible but fairly slow and tedious (I've got a WiFi enabled PDA with both a soft and a chiclet keyboard). Also a lot of sites don't scale well to a low-res screen. I enjoyed the novelty of WiFi browsing on a PDA, but don't use it that much any more.

    It could be handy for quick (read) access to Web mail, sports, weather, etc. Not a Blackberry replacement though. :-)
    • Re:Keyboard (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gurutc (613652)
      I use the Opera WAP Browser on my tiny cellphone. I have to say it's a vast improvement over the built-in browser. And it's usable on my cellphone which is hugely more ergonomically and visually challenged than the DS.
    • The Blackberry would be better anyway because it is connected anywhere there is a compatible cellular network. The DS needs to have an open (or have a key for) WiFi hotspot nearby, those tend to be far spottier than the cell network.
    • Re:Keyboard (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ILikeRed (141848) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @10:42AM (#14724111) Journal
      I really wish Nintendo would come out with a pda that could run their game carts. My Palm is getting a bit old, and I am not sure I trust them long term - and I still really dislike those WinCE devices. Simple, fun, WiFi, and a long battery life - maybe I am dreaming.
      • DS PDA (Score:5, Interesting)

        by metamatic (202216) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @11:29AM (#14724509) Homepage Journal
        Summitsoft were working on a PDA cartridge for the DS called Organizer Plus. If they had that for sale and it supported iSync, I'd likely ditch my Palm.

        However, I haven't seen anything more than press coverage about the alleged product, so I'm not sure if it actually exists any more. Their web site doesn't even mention it.

        There are also rumors that Nintendo is going to license Palm applications and sell them as V-Pocket, and Miyamoto mentioned in an interview that he sees PDA software as a way to expand the system's appeal. No official product announcements yet, though.

        So, I'm sticking with my Palm until there's actual shipping product, or Sharp USA decides to start shipping the SL-C series, or someone else ships a decent Linux PDA, or Nokia fixes the handwriting recognition and speed of the 770.
      • Ah, you are right on 'palmOS is nicer than CE' bit. I've been a loyal palm user for years (III, V, Vx, m505) but in the end I switched to CE because Palm kept dragging their feet on the wireless, CE devices typically have higher processor speeds, and because it seemed most software developers were switching to CE as well. So I've resigned myself to CE hell, which mostly seems to consists of resetting the device on a regular basis, and doing a hard reset once in a while.

        But once you have Super Mario World ru
        • What are the controls like on your PDA with those emulators? I've been using emulators on various iPaqs since the first one and the buttons are just useless for gaming (which isn't surprising I suppose given that's not what it's designed for), so I'm always on the lookout for a device with a more Gameboy-esque set of d-pad and buttons.
    • It could be handy for quick (read) access to Web mail, sports, weather, etc. Not a Blackberry replacement though. :-)

      True, it can't really replace a Blackberry. There are a ton of features missing and web browsing won't replace them. But as far as only reading web mail, ... why? The touchscreen keyboard on the DS works very well in Animal Crossing, and I'm sure that handwriting recognition could be implemented (despite the Simpsons, handwriting recognition worked fairly well on the Newton, and that h

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @10:19AM (#14723940) Homepage Journal
    Obviously this will not be a replacement for pdas for serious mobile internet users, but I wonder just how readable it will be. I have done a bit of web browsing on the psp, and while my eyes aren't perfect, I considered the psp's screen to be the "bare minimum" one really needs to be able to read web pages. The whole 2 screen thing to me would just seem jutting...I love the DS for games, but I don't see it being a great web browser.
    Also, will the Opera cartridge contain a firmware update that will finally allow DS units to use WPA instead of the pitiful WEP? Would seem like a minimum for web browsing to me...
    • What do you think WPA or WEP gets you in your web browsing?!? Neither is worth a damn for security, if you want encrypted traffic you should be using ssh, sftp, scp, https - namely not http or ftp. You realize that once it leaves the immediate wireless router WEP and WPA traffic for http and ftp goes to clear text that can be snooped once again, don't you? (No end to end encryption - unlike say ssh.)
      • You're totally missing the point. The issue is not protecting your http traffic - rather, it's to protect your LAN. Without a good wireless security protocol, your internal network is _wide open_ for anyone to attack. WEP is NOT a good security protocol, and if DS doesn't support WPA, you can't use the thing at home for wireless browsing.

        -Erwos
    • by Viewsonic (584922) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @10:43AM (#14724114)
      The upper screen is a zoomed in view, while the lower is a zoomed out view that you can scroll around the zoom view with the stylus. It may not be the best way to browse if you have other means, but I think this is going to be more than excellent for people stuck at airports and hotels who dont want to lug around all these crazy 17" widescreen 20 pound desktops...I mean laptops that seem to be all the rage these days.

      It looks like a nice step up from cell phone browsers in both the fact that you gain more screen area, an actually decent input device, and the fact that you're not getting charged for every byte sent over the line (Depending, usually airport wifi access is free).

      I'm looking forward to it. Especially now that Google Chat is integrated into their gmail, I can have full IM access with my DS on the go as well. Slick.

      • GTalk in GMail doesn't work in Opera Desktop, FWIW.

        I've tried.

        (It works in IE, I haven't tried in Firefox.)
      • It remains to be seen if Google's AJAX interface will run well on a DS, which its chat interface relies on, even with Opera powering it. Even if it doesn't, you should still be able to use Gmail with their plain HTML interface -- just no chat.
    • Along those lines, it would be nice if it would allow you to log in and use WEP at places that aren't completely open.
      An example being Panera, where you have to view and accept some terms of service page in your web browser before it'll let you do anything.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Considering that the minimum resolution you can get on a PDA is 160x160, the DS screen size of 256x192 seems like a nice upgrade. Mid-range PDAs have a resolution of 320x320, while higher-end ones are 480x320.

      I have a Zire 31 which I use to view web pages offline, among other things. My eyesight is far from perfect, but I don't find reading the 160x160 screen a big strain. The only thing that sucks is that the screen doesn't hold much information (13 lines of text in my current setup).

      I don't think this
    • According to the pictures, there's a zoomed mode. The bottom screen displays the web page (shrunken down of course), and you can use the stylus to get a full-sized view of page in the top window (like in Electroplankton). Also, if they implement cleartype methods for downscaling stuff, they can get much more legibility out of it. They just have to be careful to note that while the top screen is RGB order, the bottom is BGR.
    • I have done a bit of web browsing on the psp, and while my eyes aren't perfect, I considered the psp's screen to be the "bare minimum" one really needs to be able to read web pages.

      To be able to read web pages using the layout that the designers originally created from, that being a 1024x768 computer screen, perhaps. If you just want access to the contents of a page and don't care if the layout is compromised, screens the size and resolution of the DS's ought to be fine for anybody.

      Also, will the Opera car
  • Wow (Score:2, Funny)

    You will know this deal is over when the fat lady sings....
    (Rimshot, because it requires a couple connections, and some knowledge of Opera as a cultural event and certain sereotypes about female Opera singers, to be funny)
  • "Anywhere" now apparently means "anywhere where you already have a wifi network you can access." Woo?
  • by dalmiroy2k (768278) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @10:29AM (#14724022)
    I would pay up to $35 (like a game) but not more. Let's hope the browser is not crippled and support secure pages and some kind of web based IM.
  • Operational (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Within just five seconds of turning on the system, the Nintendo DS is already fully operational. This makes it the ideal device to enable people to swiftly obtain the latest information from the internet, wherever they are.

    nice potentially unintentional pun
    • Oddly enough, that just makes me think "I hope it supports RSS feeds." Think about it... turn on, go to your RSS feeds, see what's changed since you were last using it. Or maybe I should just sign up for Google Reader instead. :P
  • Oslo, Norway - February 15, 2006: Opera Software today announced that it will deliver the World Wide Web to Nintendo DS users in Japan.

    i'm wondering if that's ONLY in japan....

    on a side note, how cool would it be to include skype on that opera cart? or an IM client?

    • by mwvdlee (775178)
      I'm announcing a browser for the Chinese market!

      Well, actually it's more like a flash animation showing a "this page is censorred" all the time, but who can tell the difference?
    • Re:only in japan? (Score:3, Informative)

      by mausmalone (594185)
      The DS is not locked for regions (i.e. You can play Japanese games on American-released systems with no modification). And it will definitely require some sort of English (or at least Latin) text input and display in order for it to be useful on this English-dominated web of ours. So as long as you're willing to learn the menus through trial and error, buying the Japanese version should be just as good as waiting for a NA or EU release.
  • This makes it the ideal device to enable people to swiftly obtain the latest information from the internet, wherever they are.

    Does everyone walk around thinking they are head of CTU - Los Angeles, and need constant data dumps on developing situations?

    • I'm using my qtek9100's internet capabilities to check on the public transportation schedule. And yes, it's quite handy if you have this information as soon as possible, because while i wait for the page to load i might miss a connection. I'm sure there are other (better?) examples, but this is why i would love to have the information available fast.
  • This is great news! I'm currently working on integrating my Denon AVR-2805 [denon.com] stereo receiver into my home computer network and am interested in using the Nintendo DS as a control device. Being able to use a full-featured browser will really help in this pursuit.

    The AVR-2805 supports an RS-232 interface [denon.com] which is currently connected to the serial port on a FreeBSD server in my living room; my audio and video cards are also connected to the receiver. I've copied almost all of my music CDs and am in the proc

    • Wouldn't a WiFi-enabled PDA be better suited to something like this?

      Using a DS for this purpose seems like it would be cumbersome and rather unelegant. i.e. You have to flip it open, wait for it to boot, swap the batteries or hookup an AC adapter every so often.

      And heaven forbid someone want to change the channel while you're playing MarioKart.

      With a PDA you could setup the cradle in the living room (or wherever your setup is) and leave it charging when you're not using it and it would be an "always-on" ty
      • With a PDA you could setup the cradle in the living room (or wherever your setup is) and leave it charging when you're not using it and it would be an "always-on" type solution.

        I've already got a DS and an Audiotron with a web interface and the grandparent has a cool idea.

        However, I don't have PDA. Nor do I want to go out and buy one just for that. Besides, with the DS I can play Mario Kart. Can't with the PDA.

    • Nice. For working with a music library, you might enjoy Music Player Daemon [musicpd.org]. There are a bunch of control clients for several platforms, including web-based clients, and command line clients (great for scriptability). The current CVS version also supports streaming, which is fun.
  • It would be cool if it had a way to listen to MP3s from my server the way my Palm TX can.
  • by rayde (738949) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @10:49AM (#14724153) Homepage
    for more pictures, check this article with pictures of the Opera browser [advancedmn.com] and also the newly announced Nintendo DS TV Tuner. Other announcements are a new Super Mario Brothers being released in May in Japan, and a budget priced Tetris DS.
  • by J_Meller (667240) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @11:07AM (#14724306)
    I'm assuming that they are going to distribute this browser in the traditional cart form but what about future DS versions such as the DS Lite? Do they plan to integrate it with the built in UI? Also since the cartridges are read/write, will it be possible to upgrade the browser through the net if they discover any potentially harmful security risks (buffer overflows) or new features? I wonder if they plan to market this in traditional gaming stores, personally I would love to see this, but I'm afraid that many consumers that buy the DS for it's simplicity and pick-up and play style may shy away from the technology.
    • what about future DS versions such as the DS Lite? Do they plan to integrate it with the built in UI?

      I doubt it. For one, it would push the price of the DS Lite back up above $150. For another, it doesn't seem to fit Nintendo's marketing strategy to give every 8-year-old customer unfettered access to the entirely of the world wide web.

      Also since the cartridges are read/write, will it be possible to upgrade the browser through the net if they discover any potentially harmful security risks (buffer overflow
    • your "security risks" would be what i would call "homebrew oppurtunities" browse to a specific page and automagically be running SMB3
    • "...I'm afraid that many consumers that buy the DS for it's simplicity and pick-up and play style may shy away from the technology."

      But that is the beauty of putting it into a cart instead of loading it on the hardware itself. The DS starts, and is always at its root, a gaming machine. Putting these sort of things on carts let those who want more get more, while those who don't care for this sort of stuff easily ignore it.
  • Give me productivity (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shoptroll (544006) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @11:07AM (#14724307)
    If they could provide a limited productivity suite (Calendar, Contacts, maybe a lightweight e-mail IMAP client) this could be a good alternative to a Palm, especially for a younger generation who doesn't need to have full synchronization with a pc. Although, I wonder if the PC Lan connection for non-WiFi enabled lans could be jerry-rigged to allow synchronization of a productivity suite with a PC... But I don't think Nintendo has interest in programming apps for a PC.
    • Didnt the original Gameboy have some form of keyboard and software package out. If i remember correctly the productivity software was a cartridge, and the keyboard pluggged into the serial port on the side.
    • Heck even for this older generation- I can live with hand copying my 2 appointments for the day. I'd love to be able to just boot my DS as a PDA.
  • by _Pablo (126574) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @11:09AM (#14724328)
    With the lower touch sensitive screen showing the scaled page and the top showing the page at 100% it would be quite comfortable to scroll around using the pen. Use the shoulder buttons to swap screens when you want to use forms or click links it could be pretty usable. I guess it's not going to be that powerful however considering the memory limitations (4MB RAM although I guess code and resources can be run inplace from the cart). I just hope I can put the browser on the M3 (with Passkey2) for convenience.

    I've got to admit that I am a convert to the DS after intially being sceptical (but simply being unable to resist the allure of Mario Kart DS). Since then the DS has done nothing but impress, from the limited but flexible hardware to some of the most innovative games I have played in a long time (Trauma Center, Pac Pix, Nintendogs etc all make excellent use of the touch screen).
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel@jo[ ]ummel.net ['hnh' in gap]> on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @11:11AM (#14724349) Homepage
    Well, other than "Chrono Trigger" on the GBA? A Palm card. The Nintendo DS uses the same kind of chips found in Palm Pilots, and it would be interesting to see Palm OS 5 running on the sucker - if for no other reason than I could have my ebooks on it.
  • browsing the web and watching video (there's also a TV tuner coming for the DS) on freakishly small screens is how I like to spend my geeking days. NOT.

    Seriously, what is up with manufacturers? I don't want TV on my mobile. I don't want to watch video on an iPod. I do not want to surf the web on my DS (yes, I have a DS, and its GREAT... for games)

    Does anyone think this is really cool, and something they'll use every day? Is this what you have been waiting for all these years? Especially in this time of smal
    • I thought the same about video on a mobile, until as a trial I transcoded a load of Futurama episodes onto a memory card and watched them on my Treo 650 while on a train journey across the featureless plains of Norfolk. It was great: the screen is easily big enough for simple video like cartoons or sitcoms, the battery life is decent (used ~10% in an hour) and it's really enjoyable.
      • I dunno about the Treo's screen size (read: too lazy to google) but usually I have my Dell X300 with me; a subnotebook with 12" or 13" screen (can't remember) and all the trimmings of a fullsize notebook (pentium M, 1 Gb RAM, 80 Gb HD) at a lousy 1.17 Kg.

        MAYBE if I didn't have that I'd be interested.

        OTOH, everything you can watch futurama on is a good thing ;)
        *sigh* I still miss that show. What a sap I am.
    • I do. I don't have a PDA, I don't really need one. But being able to surf the web on my DS would be awesome. As for the TV, right now I use my PSP more for watching movies on airplanes more than anything else. Just because you don't like it dosn't mean there isn't a market for it.
    • Seriously, what is up with manufacturers? I don't want TV on my mobile. I don't want to watch video on an iPod. I do not want to surf the web on my DS (yes, I have a DS, and its GREAT... for games)

      Yeah! Because you're the only potential customer out there! Nobody else could possibly want those things. That must be why the video iPod, cell phones with digital cameras, and other multi-purpose gadgets are such huge flops.
    • Seriously, why bother posting a long rant of why you dont want to browse the web and whatnot. So just dont buy it. It's like saying "Why are they releasing a new mario game, I DONT WANT A NEW MARIO GAME!". Dumb.
    • Seriously, what is up with manufacturers? I don't want TV on my mobile. I don't want to watch video on an iPod. I do not want to surf the web on my DS (yes, I have a DS, and its GREAT... for games)

      I dont want any of those things either, but that is what is great about the DS in this regard: you dont get all that crap unless you want it.
      What is there to complain about when you arent paying for and not getting all these features you dont want?
  • by Lawmune (260527) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @11:31AM (#14724522) Homepage
    According to brianj [opera.com] (Opera employee) on the Opera forums:

    "Opera will have two modes: fit-to-width mode (similar to what mobile users are already familiar with their mobile phones using the Opera Mobile browser). This mode will use Small Screen Rendering to fit the page across both screens. Alternatively, there is a DS mode which displays an overall page view on the lower screen (where you may use the touch screen to navigate around a sort of "mini map") and read the text on the top screen in full-sized view."

    Don't know about small screen rendering? See here: http://www.opera.com/products/mobile/smallscreen/ [opera.com]

    Still not convinced? See what your website looks like on a small screen using the Opera Mini Simulator [opera.com] (which probably isn't exactly how it will look on the DS, but it's an approximation. The DS certainly has more screen real estate than my pathetic cell phone, anyway.)

    Also, according to DS Advanced [advancedmn.com]:

    "The Opera software is currently slated to release in Japan during the month of June at the price of 3800 yen, roughly $30, and will include ATOK Kanji conversion software."
  • by lxs (131946) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @11:43AM (#14724624)
    Reading that headline, I seriously expected a platform game based on La Nozze di Figaro or Don Giovanni That would actually be fitting, considering 2006 is Mozart year.
  • Perhaps I'm missing something here, but doesn't the DS use a Wifi protocol that is incompatible with regular access points? Where are you actually going to be able to use this new functionality? Am I missing some key news here? If the only place I can use it at is a Nintendo wireless-enabled McDonalds, I don't see this as being very useful. However, if they make it talk to regular wifi points, it might be worth a shot.
    • Re:Where to us it? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      yes you are missing it. I use my DS all the time with regular access points. it has ALWAYS worked well with regular accesspoints.

      That was a bit of FUD running around from PSP fanboys trying to diss the system that outsells it 2 to 1 and you can buy games for it for far less than the cheap PSP games. (plus it has games for it that people want to play unlike the PSP.
    • Re:Where to us it? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lehk228 (705449)
      the DS does not have a built-in TCP/IP stack, it must be provided by the game.
    • Re:Where to us it? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Leeesher (831509)
      Yep, you're missing something. Here is a list of currently supported routers: http://www.nintendowifi.com/customersupport/suppor tedRouters.do [nintendowifi.com] So far in my travels I've only encountered one wireless router that wouldn't connect. I love NintendoWiFi. It's so bad.
  • ...Until we see a virus targetting the DS? You just know that someone, somewhere is just rubbing their hands together while arching an eyebrow with this announcement.
  • Nintendo = Opera (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Spug (886818)
    Nintendo and Opera have many similarities. They're both underdogs in respective markets, and they're both innovators in their markets and create features that the competitors copy. And probably other similarities as well, I dunno.
  • by goldcd (587052) on Wednesday February 15, 2006 @01:20PM (#14725445) Homepage
    but it's their back-end squashing that makes their 'reduced-platform' offering so nice. For example if you're viewing on your phone having the jpgs squashed by the Opera proxy server cuts your bandwidth cost, dramatically speeds up the browser and reduces the amount of memory required on the client.

    My main complaint with the PSP is the damn thing keeps on running out of memory if you load up a single bulky page.

    I think it should be very nice on the DS - prefer using it on my SE phone than IE on my PocketPC and I can only see it being nicer with the better screen(s) and a touchscreen.

    Seems a bit cheaky charging users for it though - maybe the cart will have some local cache on it..
  • Like many with a DS, I thought it would make an awesome little web browser that I could fit into my pocket, but with the time it took them to get something like this even announced, I have already purchased a Nokia 770 Internet Tablet and it fills that hole.

    A great idea, but it was too obvious to have taken this long. I dont think I would be able to surf the net on the DS after experiencing the huge screen of the 770. I'll just stick to games, it still works perfectly for that =]
  • But that is 10 million DSs in Japan by year's end.

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