Nintendo DS: New Features Galore
Free wireless demos, voice chat, and more
Well, just when you thought you've heard enough about the DS lately, whether it be new versions, new bundles, new games, or new features, here it is; more. The much renowned Nintendo of America Executive President of Sales & Marketing, Reggie Fils-Aime, has announced a variety of new DS features during his keynote address yesterday at the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences' D.I.C.E. conference in Las Vegas.
Free Downloadable Demos-
And quite a few features there is! Good times for Nintendo handheld owners. Starting just next month, for one thing, free downloadable DS demos can be obtained from participating retailers across the U.S., with in-store kiosks beaming the demos wirelessly to a user's Nintendo DS.
Sweet deal, huh? And all you have to do is stop by the store, click "DS Download Play" on your system and you're good to go. The demo will download automatically, and once you receive it you can play all you want, even outside the store, until you turn your system off.
A wide selection of games is being planned for the first round of free demos, and users can try out as many as they want. Tetris DS, Brain Age: Train You Brain in Minutes a Day, Mario Kart DS, Meteos, True Swing Golf, and Pokemon Trozei will all be available when the service starts up next month, and the DS Download Service kiosks are set to refresh quarterly with new content.
So now you're probably saying, "Hey Reggie, free stuff is all well and good, but how about you give me the ability to yell at people online with my DS?" Well, Reggie is indeed a man who listens to the cries of his people, and so here we have it; online DS voice chat!
Starting with the forthcoming Metroid Prime Hunters game, DS owners will have the option to chat directly with one another before and after matches via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Just click the chat icon on your system, and begin speaking through the built-in microphone. The communication will be heard by all of those currently in your friend list, allowing everyone to agree on settings before a battle, or comment on victories afterwards.
And hey, guess what? Metroid Prime Hunters is finally coming out! No seriously, March 20 is when you'll see it in stores, the same day as Tetris DS, and it'll be rated "T" for Teen.
So, with more than 14.4 million units sold worldwide as of December, an online connection service boasting more than 860,000 unique users around the globe, and a number of popular video game titles on the way, how can Nintendo possibly top the success of their handheld system?
On sale in Japan next month, citizens of North America, Europe, and other places can look forward to a release date announcement coming soon.
It should also be noted that the DS Lite's smaller size, stylish exterior, and different-ish design are not the only things the new system will have compared to its older brother. It is being reported that the battery life of Lite will be greater, providing 15-19 hours of play on the lowest brightness level, and 5-8 hours on the highest, with a full charge time of 3 hours. Compare it with the original DS's 6-10 hours on low and 4 hour recharge, and that's a pretty sizeable improvement!
There is, however, some rather grisly news pertaining to the new system. Yes, it's not all smiles and sunshine around Nintendo headquarters, and we'd like to advice any children reading this news article to close the window and not read on any further. The following picture may disturb some, viewer discretion, and so on...
Oh the humanity!