The Speculators Guide to The Nintendo DSI

The new Nintendo DS, so far dubbed the DSI adds some cool new features.  It is improving it's wireless capabilities, adding 2 cameras, has music play back functionality, and allowing users to insert sd cards.  These all seem like great features, however not terribly logical.  Expanding a game machine to do more than just games has never worked that well, unless coming from hackers.  Let's take a look at what we can really get out of these new features.

Better Wireless

Better wireless seems obvious enough, however if could really make a big a difference you could see some big changes.  Imagine you are sitting at the library with your DS and you want to find some one to game with.  Your DS can only find other gamers in a radius of 50 feet, in the library there is only one other person with a DS.  Fail, you are gaming alone.  If your DS can now reach a 500 foot radius or 1000 foot radius you may have found 2 to 10 times more people to game with.  Now if the capabilities are actually going to allow you  to log on to any wireless and game over the internet, you could now be talking MMO DS games.  This feature evolution could be a big deal for a whole lot of gamers.  Lets hope that wireless in the DSI will become more like any other wireless device, and open up a new world for mobile gamers.

Two New Cameras

Adding cameras really moves in the direction of innovative game play, as far as Nintendo is concerned.  I think the Playstation has answered the question of , "is a ubiquitous camera in game play useful ? ".  The answer was clearly no.  I see this being an even more useless feature on a handheld device.  The only uses I can find are to import your face into the game,use your finger to pop bubbles, or your could grab things.  Nothing terribly exciting.  The ability to take decent pictures with the DSI is much more valuable.  In fact, I would have preferred that Nintendo include only one camera and make that one camera much better.  The camera on the DSI will be the same as any camera phone, use  the same ideas, but with editing capabilities.  I think it will allow a new generation of LOL photography and some interesting law suits.  We will all win in this situation.

Music Playback

The DSI  featuring music playback could be a really big deal or could be a good laugh.  I have no idea how Nintendo expects to implement great sound and a killer GUI, while keeping prices low. They will have to compete with the iPod.  If their functionality is anything less they will be ridiculed for moving away from their base, and doing a crappy job of it.  The old swiss army knife argument will come out of the bag.  I think it's actually a great idea regardless of the gui.  If I can easily load some songs and some podcasts on my DSI, then I think I will be satisfied.  There are so many times that I take my DS with me, play it for while, and end up needing my hands and eyes for walking places etc.  If I could just flip on some music or a good podcast, I would be in heaven.  The only requirement I would have for this, is ease of use. I don't want to spend ten minutes starting my music, it should two button pushes at the most to start a song, and two button pushes at most to start an entire playlist.

SD Card

This may be the least hyped feature of all, however I think it will be the most important.  The SD card slot for finally home brewers and hackers to access the console easily and cheaply.  This will lead to internet browsers and applications out the wazoo.  I think it will take a long time for the hackers to make it throught the security Nintendo puts in place, but it will definetly happen.  I expect to see opera ported to the DSI within a year or two of it's release, and then apps to download music and podcasts following shortly.  The DSI could also become a formidabble E-book reader if the battery life remains good.  Mark my words, the SD card slot will be the killer feature of the DSI.

The DSI is going to be a really solid platform gaming, and will eventually sell as good as the original DS.  This will take atleast a year probably more, but when ever the home brew scene gets kicking this console will start selling like hot cakes.  Look for the DSI sometime in 2009 ( in the states), and look for lawsuits sometime in 2010.

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November 7, 2008 at 8:16 PM

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