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Can Nintendo Really Be Planning Another DS Variant?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the this-one-comes-with-a-shamwow dept.

Nintendo 187

itwbennett writes "'There was a lot of talk yesterday about an article in the Japanese publication Nikkei which claimed that Nintendo was readying a new iteration of its DS line of handheld gaming systems,' writes blogger Peter Smith. 'The report claims the new unit will have 4" screens (the current unit has 3.25" screens) and is designed for older gamers who have trouble seeing the small screens of the current DSi. This new model is otherwise identical to the existing DSi and will ship by end of year in Japan.' As an 'older gamer' himself, Smith calls on Nintendo to stop this annual upgrade madness and do something truly innovative for a change, and he calls on gamers to put some pressure on Nintendo and not buy the new DS."

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Finally ! (4, Interesting)

assemblerex (1275164) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893803)

I have asked nintendo in their surveys for such an improvement. Nice to see they listen.

Re:Finally ! (2, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893871)

They have keep up with the PSP Go...

Re:Finally ! (4, Insightful)

Artraze (600366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893905)

Indeed. This is actually a very good idea, especially because it costs Nintendo very little but could (further) open up a largely untapped market segment.

I'm honestly rather surprised the blogger is upset by this; it's really just a different option, rather than "upgrade". It's like he's saying that a publisher should be out finding new books instead of making a large print version of an existing best seller.

Re:Finally ! (1)

UnrealisticWhample (972663) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894345)

Seriously. If Nintendo decides that it wants to improve upon its current device in a manner that will not change Peter Smith's current DSi in any way that isn't psychological, I have a hard time seeing a problem. I have a friend who still uses the original DS. Playing with his DS convinced me to go out and buy my own which, by that time, was a DS lite and I don't plan on buying another one unless I break this one. Trumping all that, it's a bit silly to get huffy about something that's only speculation anyways.

Re:Finally ! (3, Insightful)

macshit (157376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894557)

If Nintendo decides that it wants to improve upon its current device in a manner that will not change Peter Smith's current DSi in any way that isn't psychological, I have a hard time seeing a problem.

I've noticed that many gamers seem to feel "cheated" if they buy something and the manufacturer subsequently releases an improved product -- even if it's only slightly improved, and even if it's a fair bit later. I think it's silly, but as far as I can tell, they feel that the manufacturer "owes" it to them to preserve their pride in owning the latest and greatest. Or something.

Slashdot should have omitted the silly moaning by the blogger though, and just posted the interesting info.

Re:Finally ! (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894671)

He's saying Nintendo should do what Sony did. Strip out a bunch of features, and make it incompatible with existing games, while giving it a big hardware boost.

So... I totally agree that Nintendo has the right idea! Nintendo shouldn't put out anything next-gen until they get downloadable games and a patchable/upgradeable OS sorted out.

Re:Finally ! (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895087)

I completely agree, this is a needed option. The screen size is a major factor in my decision to indefinitely delay purchase of any Nintendo portable. If they can also get me past the hand cramping, they may have finally sold me.

Re:Finally ! (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 4 years ago | (#29896267)

It's just another self-professed "gamer" complaining that a game company is focusing its products and marketing at people other than him. Nintendo started making strong plays towards the casual market years ago, and yet there are still nerds out there who refuse to accept that their beloved video game company doesn't exist for the sole purpose of serving them specifically.

Good Idea (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894409)

While I personally have no problems seen the DSi's Screen, I know a lot of 40+ gamers who love the idea of playing interesting DS games like Scribblenauts, but can't play them because they can't see the small screens clearly enough. This would definitely be a great idea, I think, and since it would not be meant as a replacement for the current DSi, I don't really see any problem with it for existing DSi owners either.

Re:Good Idea (2, Interesting)

that IT girl (864406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895469)

I agree with this post... but I have to ask, is 4 inches really that big of an improvement from 3.25?

Re:Good Idea (2, Funny)

liquidsin (398151) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895533)

i was all prepared with a "your wife seems to think so" smartass retort, then i saw your username...

Re:Good Idea (4, Funny)

Bai jie (653604) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895801)

You're in luck /.ers! A girl out there is satisfied by only 3.25 inches!

I read that as "4 screens" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29895615)

For a minute, I read that as 4 screens, rather than 4" screens, and thought we were going to see some razor blade type "innovation" here (i.e. the next one will have *5* screens, so you can have always-on pictochat!)

Re:Finally ! (1)

Vigile (99919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29896341)

Don't forget about the possibility that NVIDIA's Tesla is involved: http://www.pcper.com/comments.php?nid=7876 [pcper.com]

It was posted on Slashdot last month.

Is there any competition? (5, Insightful)

SlothDead (1251206) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893813)

As long as there is no competing hand held on the horizon, Nintendo has no reason to compete with itself by creating a completely new hand held. Also keep in mind that Nintendo is one (the only?) vendor that actually makes money with their hardware, while others sell their's at a loss to make money with games. As long as people keep buying the new NDS deluxe pro 9000 GT Nintendo will keep producing them. Which makes perfect sense, so why bother?

Re:Is there any competition? (2, Interesting)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893835)

There is nothing wrong with the DS as is, I just wish there was a way to hook it to my TV.

Re:Is there any competition? (2, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893925)

I think the sound capabilities leaves a lot to wish for.

I think game songs do to (guess they use sampled music but don't have much space so it gets very repetive.)

Better speakers and higher quality sound output would be good to.

Resolution is decent but could be better.

3D capability leaves a lot to wish for.

Old ones (pre-DSi) didn't even do WPA.

The DS lite (which plenty of us have bought ..) don't do diagonal upper-right movements very well.

Of course lots could be improved.

Personally I would from the beginning had preferred one screen with the total resolution of the current two there the developers themselves could had decided how they wanted to use it. And of course better 3D capabilities.

Also in the case of the DSi I guess one could argue that at least the loss of the GBA slot is something "wrong" with it. That and the very high price, the DS has been around for like 5 years but still kinda cost as much since each new version starts off at a slightly higher price the the current one.

Re:Is there any competition? (2, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893945)

... oh, and the freaking "friend codes" system should had never been implemented. What fun is Internet enabled games if you have no-one to play with?

And since it has support for a microphone higher specs helping it handle the additional processing for VoIP while playing would had been nice to.

Friend codes keep out the pedos (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895387)

oh, and the freaking "friend codes" system should had never been implemented. What fun is Internet enabled games if you have no-one to play with?

Without friend codes, what fun is Internet enabled games if your kids have sexual predators to play with?

Re:Friend codes keep out the pedos (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895879)

I don't have any kids.

Also what protects them in all other areas?

Silly. Not every non-friend is a pedophile.

Re:Is there any competition? (4, Interesting)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894035)

I think the sound capabilities leaves a lot to wish for.

The DSi has a much improved DAC, allows 16 simultaneous mono voices in hardware (I think, it could be 8 mono)

3D capability leaves a lot to wish for.

True, but it was done this way due to battery reasons. When someone writes a software renderer for DSi, we'll likely see a pretty big jump in graphics (for DSi only)

The DS lite (which plenty of us have bought ..) don't do diagonal upper-right movements very well.

What?

Personally I would from the beginning had preferred one screen with the total resolution of the current two there the developers themselves could had decided how they wanted to use it. And of course better 3D capabilities.

Then you would have a PSP. The second screen is an artifact of the design of the system. I think Nintendo really wanted a clamshell, because it makes the system far more portable. You don't need a case, and can slip one into your pocket without ruining the screen. I own a DS, DSi, and PSP. The PSP remains at home, while the DSi comes with me wherever I go. Reason being that it doesn't require a case, and is a good deal smaller.

Also in the case of the DSi I guess one could argue that at least the loss of the GBA slot is something "wrong" with it. That and the very high price, the DS has been around for like 5 years but still kinda cost as much since each new version starts off at a slightly higher price the the current one.

DSi is Nintendo's new handheld. It has 4x the power of the DS, and is a significantly better system in every way. It's a fair price to pay for the new system. The problem is the lack of DSi exclusive games, because Nintendo is currently selling it as a new DS. This is really not the case. Next year, we will likely see the rise of the DSi, after there's an established market. I think Nintendo is just rolling it out slowly because they don't need to rush, and they don't want people to feel cheated.

Re:Is there any competition? (3, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894423)

3D capability leaves a lot to wish for.

I actually feel ambivalent about this. While it is true that the DS is essentially incapable of doing many genres of 3D games, I personally am not unhappy about this. As a result of this hardware limitation, the DS has become the main console for people who like 2D sprite-based games. I love those games; there are few of them on "larger" consoles, but on the DS, new 2D games like Mario & Luigi, Advance Wars, New Super Mario or Professor Layton are even more common than 3D games.

Re:Is there any competition? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895015)

I like 2D sprites to.

But then the PSP does 2D sprites better to with more details in both the environments and characters. No-one force people to use higher res or 3D capabilities just because it's there.

I'm playing Lunar knights now but take New super mario bros for instance, looks great on the DS but would you argue it (the new one) looks worse on the Wii? Or take Mario & Luigi on the DS vs Paper mario on the Gamecube.

Mario & Luigi looks worse than Paper mario imho.

Advance wars looks worse than say C&C, WC2, WC3, SC, ... arguable I guess but of course it could look better! Battalion wars on the Gamecube looks awesome! "3D" don't have to look boring or realistic, one can use imagination in 3D to. Or use it to render things which looks 2D but without having pre-drawn stuff. (Or one can draw stuff in higher res on more capable hardware.)

Super mario world and yoshis island on the SNES may look better than some DS games to I guess?

New super mario already use some 3D though looks 2D, capabilities for more details would always be good imho aslong as the artists know what they are doing.

Haven't played the Layton games.

I assume things like the Namco game... asteroids? Wtf is it called? looks better on the PSP to. Like if you wanted to make something like Galaga on the DS or the PSP of course it would look better on the PSP. Same for RPGs and such.

I wouldn't mind more details in Lunar knights, the final fantasy games, the zelda, so on so on.

Sony's historical 2D bans (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895427)

No-one force people to use higher res or 3D capabilities just because it's there.

At various points during the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 eras, Sony Computer Entertainment America all but banned games with 2-dimensional sprite graphics [livejournal.com] .

Re:Sony's historical 2D bans (3, Informative)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29896379)

you say that like it's a fact (much like the douchebag who wrote the blog you link to) but neither one of you has a shred of evidence, and the list of 2D games for PS2 would seem to directly contradict this ridiculous statement (see http://www.racketboy.com/retro/sony/ps2/2007/10/best-2d-ps2-games-playstation-2.html [racketboy.com] for a list).

Re:Is there any competition? (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893851)

And more specifically, why should we be outraged that people are engaging in such rampant consumerism. A fool and his money, and all of that.

Re:Is there any competition? (2, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893901)

There was a post earlier here on Slashdot about the rumored follow up using Tegra. [slashdot.org]

In the case of this "news" item I don't see why we are supposed to give a shit about this bloggers opinion. It's not like they are forcing someone to buy it and not everyone buy each new iteration of the DS. I think it's rather good that they fix issues and improve it as much as they can. The DSi added more features which somewhat hurt the old DS but except that to just improve it is just fine. The old ones don't get worse because there exist better versions. Sure it's not much but that's kinda the thing, they don't WANT it to break compatibility so he should stop whining.

Sooner or later of course they will release a new system to, but if they made that every year there wouldn't be so many games and people would complain how they had to buy a new one all the time and how Nintendo abandoned their old system and users.

And there ARE competition. The PSP is succesful, the phones have gained the touchscreen capabilities of the DS and probably even come with more powerful hardware and of course if Nintendo slack off to much they will lose.

It's not competing with themselves, the DS was kinda weak hardware wise when it arrived, heck it was even considered a third line of consoles beside the Gameboy and the stationary consoles. Most likely more of "I wonder if this would work on the market, but well, better save the Gameboy brand just in case .."
Sure it seem to have replaced the Gameboy line by now but anyway. Maybe it was so weak because it was more of a test rather than supposed to be the next Gameboy from the beginning?

The DS _IS_ limited, and would serve well being more powerful (yes I do have one ..)

And I think Microsoft made money on the Xbox since some time to, don't remember when I read it.

At some time people WON'T keep buying it which is freaking obvious so that's why they should bother with it. Haven't they already sold to like 1/5 of the people in Japan? Maybe the rest don't care much for it? So how are they supposed to sell more? If they released a new one of course more people would start buying that one.

Re:Is there any competition? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894161)

> In the case of this "news" item I don't see why we are supposed to give a shit about this bloggers opinion.

I've seen this sort of thing in newspapers recently - there'll be a story about rail fare increases, and half way through it'll say something like "not everyone sees the need for the increase. For example, sadboy1082 says "rail prices are already high enough". Excuse me? Who the hell is sadboy1082 and why should I give a shit about his opinion on the current affairs of the day? Unbelievable.

Re:Is there any competition? (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895187)

As long as there is no competing hand held on the horizon [...]

No competition? Think again, buddy. The iPod Touch is a strong competitor for the Nintendo DS and the PSP. Not for all gamers, sure, but there is lots of talk for instance by Joystiq [joystiq.com] and C|Net [cnet.com] comparing the two.

The big thing is that the games for the iPod Touch are very, very cheap compared to the prices for the DS and the PSP. The price difference for professional games like Madden 10 [laptopmag.com] are astounding. Tetris is between zero and two bucks on the iPod Touch, while it grosses more than $30 on the DS. Studio GameLoft produces professional games for the iPod Touch, always around $10.

If I was Nintendo, I'd piss my pants.

Re:Is there any competition? (1)

ericlondaits (32714) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895483)

GameLoft produces games which look and sound good, but are utter and absolute pieces of [poop]. Comparing cell phone games to console games is like pretending that internet fan fiction competes with normal books.

Re:Is there any competition? (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29896161)

Comparing cell phone games to console games is like pretending that internet fan fiction competes with normal books.

The quality of games on the iPhone/iPod Touch wildly varies, but NFL 2010 from Gameloft is an NFL-licensed game, and a full-3D game with playbooks and complete league-accurate rosters.

That's not comparable to poop or internet fan fiction.

Re:Is there any competition? (1)

ericlondaits (32714) | more than 4 years ago | (#29896369)

Every game I've ever seen from Gameloft had absolutely no concept of gameplay... some actually as far as not being games at all, just something that resembles a game. Granted, I didn't see the NFL game... ... but just having 3D, playbooks and accurate rosters says nothing of the quality of the game as a game.

What about the resolution? (-1, Redundant)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893823)

I hope it is not just pixels stretched.

Re:What about the resolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29893891)

2d games are designed and developed for a certain resolution. It wouldn't be a Nintendo DS if the resolution changed. Higher resolution would require more oomph from the hardware as well.

Re:What about the resolution? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894069)

While correct and it wouldn't work well with a higher resolution I guess one COULD do 2D games using vector graphics or simple 3D-models kinda looking like if they was 2D (not fitting for the DS though.)

Regarding the hardware the DSi already got a bump on processor speed from 66 to 133 MHz and also have more RAM.

So technically possible but still retarded. Don't ask me how the grandparent thought.

Re:What about the resolution? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893927)

I hope it is; otherwise, it really WOULD be a new model.

Re:What about the resolution? (5, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893953)

Of course it is since it's just a new revision and not a new console. I doubt anyone would complain about having bigger screens rather than smaller even if the resolution is the same.

Good enough reason to upgrade? Most likely not.

Still an improved console for those who haven't bought one already? Yes.

Hair trigger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29893827)

Let's not call for a full boycott of a product we know next to nothing about, people...

Re:Hair trigger (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893845)

Seriously, particularly when its merely a minor diversification. Are they complaining that they have to upgrade to have the latest and greatest and be trendy? Sounds like its no different from offering different colors.

Re:Hair trigger (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893959)

Some people probably went nuts then the US didn't got the black one at the same time as Europe and then it was released they "had to" sell their old one and get a new one at a loss ..

Here in Sweden more people seemed to buy the white one anyway, don't ask me why :D

Or well, I remember the "omg finger prints!"... kids.

Re:Hair trigger (1)

spintriae (958955) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894113)

Are they complaining that they have to upgrade to have the latest and greatest and be trendy?

That seems to be the case. Nobody cares that car manufactures roll out new versions of their old models every year because nobody feels obligated to keep up with them. The opposite is true for gadgets. I'm sure that most people here know someone who has picked up each iphone that Apple has put out, and I'm sure that Apple knows it can exploit their fanbois like that. I bet they have a prototype somewhere that runs multiple apps plus some other "killer feature" that they won't release until they've exhausted the patience and buying power of their loyalists, and then must finally begin appealing to new users. In the meantime, they'll just add another megapixel to the camera every year or so.

Nintendo sells hardware, but their focus is its software. They may have a new console in the works but they have several games in the works for current console. This is called commitment to the customers who paid good money for the current console. As time passes, technology advances and hardware cheapens, they update the old console, but they're not trying to shove it down their loyal customers throats with keynote speeches and multimillion dollar ad campaigns.

For a Change? (1, Insightful)

ArcadeNut (85398) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893833)

Nintendo has been the only one who HAS innovated. Sony sure hasn't!

Re:For a Change? (5, Funny)

A12m0v (1315511) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893857)

True, PSP brings nothing new in terms of gameplay or fun, and this is reflected on its sparse library and low sales.

Re:For a Change? (5, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893957)

This comment made me laugh, no insult intended, because I really can't tell if you are being straightforward or being terribly sarcastic.

I've seen so many console wars in various forums that I just can't tell anymore.

Re:For a Change? (0, Flamebait)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894115)

True, PSP brings nothing new in terms of gameplay or fun, and this is reflected on its sparse library and low sales.

Haven't you spread enough fanboyism [slashdot.org] already?

Yeah, only 52 millions sold until September this year. What a poor performance! That will for sure show Sony not to try compete with Nintendo on portables! Utter failure for sure!

Re:For a Change? (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894351)

Haven't you spread enough fanboyism already?

In the comment you linked to, he had written one line: "There is nothing wrong with the DS as is, I just wish there was a way to hook it to my TV."

You consider that spreading fanboyism? I think you need to reign yourself in a little bit. Otherwise, I agree with you about the PSP; it certainly wasn't a failure (although I suspect the PSPgo may end up being one). It wasn't near the massive success the DS was, but on the other hand, it may be the first serious competitor Nintendo's ever had in the handheld realm.

Re:For a Change? (1)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894597)

52 million, that's still less than half nintendos sales in the same time period, which in what is essentially a two horse race, isn't that good.

Re:For a Change? (1, Flamebait)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894955)

It's not a Sony vs Nintendo race.

Sony can sell 52 million PSPs.
Or they can decide to not sell 52 million PSPs.

I think they prefer to sell 52 million PSPs.

Simple as that, it would be very retarded not to. It's a huge fucking success for Sony, doesn't matter that the DS is an even bigger success for Nintendo.

Re:For a Change? (2, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894213)

As a NeoGeo Pocket Color owner, I can say this.

You're full of fucking shit on sales.

The PSP is still on *sale*. Do you realize how revolutionary *that* is? The PSP outlived any other portable machine that competed against the Big N, and continues to sell. Except *maybe* the Game Gear, but I predict the psp is going to outlive that.

Re:For a Change? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895467)

The PSP outlived any other portable machine that competed against the Big N

That's only because the iPod Touch hasn't been out long enough.

Re:For a Change? (4, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893969)

Relax it's slashvertisment for some guys blog and his ads.

Re:For a Change? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29896413)

What do you mean... Microsoft has innovated! I saw bill Gates on TV talking about playing virtual golf or virtual tennis at home by swinging your hands and holding a controller!

This is pure innovation! Microsoft will do something that Nintendo cant do!

Don't Pull a Sega. (3, Interesting)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893883)

Dear Nintendo,

I would really like if you didn't do this, but as long as its still compatible you should be ok. You were there when Sega pulled the constant hardware change and killed their own hardware sector. I kinda like you Nintendo so keep it compatible and the bitching will be a minimum.

Your Fan,

bertoelcon

Re:Don't Pull a Sega. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29893935)

As far as they mentioned it's not a new DSi or anything like that. It's just a model that will have a larger screen. So pick what you want.

It's not even close to "Pulling a Sega." Sega would toss out new hardware every couple of years - incompatible hardware. That's the big difference.

I'd say Sony pulled more of a Sega with the PSP Go than Nintendo will be with this larger screen DS. (All it really teaches you is "don't buy the new model ASAP - wait a little while to see if Nintendo will pull an extra variant that's better." -- not exactly the message Nintendo wants to send to their loyal customers, but it's the one they're sending with this kind of stuff.)

Absolutely. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29893887)

All progress should stop, because a blogger said so.

Re:Absolutely. (1, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894239)

Couldn't we just call slashdot "slashblog", and call the commentors "co-bloggers"? That way all our opinions would become newsworthy too.

Nothing wrong with this (5, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893903)

If the description is right, it's simply a variant with a larger screen. Not much more different than a new color. It's not an 'upgrade', and if you feel obligated to buy this to keep current, you are the one with the problem, not Nintendo.

Does Apple know this? (2, Funny)

iCantSpell (1162581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893915)

Tell it to the iPhone community. It seems like there's a better cheaper iPhone every six months.

Re:Does Apple know this? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29894125)

Tell it to the iPhone community. It seems like there's a better cheaper iPhone every six months.

You do realise that in its lifetime since 2007 the iPhone has had three iterations only? Each adding significant hardware/software changes?

iPhone 2G -> 3G .. obviously 3G added + 3.0 software
iPhone 3G -> 3GS .. capture video/voice commands/hardware updated (faster)

ALL of these changes were at least 1 year apart before hitting the consumer. So no, your comment fails in all possible ways.

Re:Does Apple know this? (2, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894167)

It's once per year. In the summer.

So like, why dont you check the features first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29893917)

If it offers nothing new, why are you people wasting money on something that is going to be and do the same exact same as something you already have? To me the OP's article just sounds like "I'm stupid and wasted money on two extra DSes that I didnt need or want, now we should boycott nintendo because I'm too stupid to read about something before I buy it". Nintendo has notoriously been at the back of the system upgrade cycle, get used to it. I realized that sometime around 1996

Re:So like, why dont you check the features first? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894131)

Yeah, it's interesting how he's retarded enough to believe that he HAVE TO buy a DS lite just because it has brighter screens and better battery life or this new version of DSi just because the screens get somewhat bigger, but still think he deserves to have his voice and ideas spread and people to give a shit.

As long as it didn't made a Slashdot news item it would be all fine though.. But well, as it is now?

I agree with the no innovation part. (4, Funny)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893921)

I mean try something new. Two screens? Touchscreen? My Microvision had that back in '83 after I took a hit of acid. Get with the times, Nintendo!

the reason they do this (1)

keiofh (1223410) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893923)

two words: Christmas Shopping

Why what!? (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893933)

This is business as usual. Seriously what is wrong with an upgrade? Sony cuts their PS sizes in half every couple of years, and Nintendo has always been about selling hardware anyway. If you don't want it, don't buy it. Just, plenty of people want it, so it will go on sale.

Re:Why what!? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29896477)

Yup and everyone I see with a PSP2000 drools over my old PSP1000 because I get 3X the battery life (5200Mah battery in the stock location) Sound is better and louder, the UMD slot is far better built instead of the plastic foil door. I dont have some of the failures of the power switch.... etc....

Sony makes them smaller to make their profit margin higher. the PSP1000 is the best built of the line... I have not touched a PSP go yet, but I'm betting the sliding part has a major failure point waiting to happen.

Read before you buy? (2, Interesting)

Golbez81 (1582163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29893973)

To me it just sounds like the OP's article is nothing but "Wah, I'm too stupid to read about something before I buy it" I realized Nintendo was at the bottom of the system upgrade cycle in around 1998. If he's a true "Old school gamer" I find it hard to believe he is bitching about something that has been more than obvious now about Nintendo for more than a decade. I'm still mad about them taking blood out of Mortal Kombat...

Re:Read before you buy? (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894601)

"I'm still mad about them taking blood out of Mortal Kombat..."

Just thought I'd add this

Me too!

Needs to compete against iTouch/iPhone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29894009)

I have 2 DS and 1 DSi. The DSi really didn't offer anything extra. It was like they threw in the extra bits because they had to, rather then showing them off.

Since getting the iTouch (and then iPhone) I have not once picked up the DS/i. As a gaming platform it is much better. The main winning points.
- Proper wifi and net interaction automatically built in (eg. mail, web, etc).
- Can buy games online, store them on the device (no cartridge hunting)
- Fully touch screen, motion sensitive.
- Smaller in your hand.
- Battery life is ok (on newer devices).

Some of my friends made fun of the device when I mainly use an "mp3 player" (their words) as a game console. But after they see some of the games they stopped that, and two of them bought an iTouch because of this. Like.
- Monkey Island
- Rolando 1+2
- Geodefense +GD Swarm
- Sway
- iBlast Moki
- Monkey Ball, Sonic, Pacman remix
- Peggle

and so on.

Re:Needs to compete against iTouch/iPhone (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894241)

ARE YOU SMOKING CRACK

even WITH the less than optimal screen for Sonic, i'd rather play it on the DS/DSi, and I'm a bonafide apple fanboy!

Also, DSi can purchase games over the air via wifi

iPhone DOES trump this because instead of using magic nintendo points, you can use *MONEY*.

The real problem... (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894025)

I'll admit that I'd like a bigger screen, but that's just eyecandy, what it needs is controls that weren't made for undersized adolescent hobbits.
Let's face it, the shoulder buttons are virtually useless, and all four of the diamond buttons (ABXY) just disappear under my thumb.
Try making a model for adult size hands. Better yet, adult sized Western or European/American hands...

Re:The real problem... (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894141)

Try making a model for adult size hands. Better yet, adult sized Western or European/American hands...

They did.. the original model. while the DS lite had a much better screen, the controls became horrid.

Re:The real problem... (2, Interesting)

_merlin (160982) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894247)

You're doing it wrong. I have big hands, and thick thumbs (Dutch/Indian), and I have no trouble using the DS Lite. In fact, if the A/B/X/Y buttons were further apart, I would find it hard to play games that require you to hold one button while tapping another, or rolling between buttons (e.g. Yoshi's Island). I thing the key is that you have use the buttons in the same way as you use the D-pad: by rolling your thumb from the central position.

Re:The real problem... (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894547)

I've never met anyone who had a problem with it.....

Wait a minute........Andre the Giant, is that you?!

Re:The real problem... (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895623)

Inconceivable!

Err, why? (5, Insightful)

NoNeeeed (157503) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894101)

"Smith calls on Nintendo to stop this annual upgrade madness"

Why? It's not as if Nintendo are making it incompatible, they are just providing a better product that plays the same games. It's like shouting at Apple to stop with the "annual upgrade madness and do something truly innovative" because they release a new MacBook every year.

It's not as if someone is making you upgrade (or did I miss something). In the case of the DS variants, they have (as with the Gameboy) been largely compatible between minor version changes.

And this cretin seems to be under the impression that designers just sit down and say "right, this morning we need something truly innovative" and it just happens.

Truly innovative ideas come along once in a decade, and both the DS and the Wii are examples of that (whether you personally like them or not).

Both the DS and Wii are also fantastically popular still, why should Nintendo muck around too much with the winning formula? If they did he would probably be complaining because he couldn't play his existing DS games in the new "innovative" system

Re:Err, why? (5, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894867)

It's a fairly complex issue among Nintendo fans, but I'll try to break it down.

When it was launched, the DS was an experimental console, Nintendo's so-called "3rd leg". Nintendo had no significant faith in it, but threw it out there anyhow as an experiment while working on a proper Game Boy.

One consequence of this is that the components of the DS weren't necessarily picked as they would have been for a handheld designed to match the long life of a Game Boy. Nintendo made the DS underpowered, with a 66MHz ARM9, 4MB of RAM, and a 3D rasterizer that was hard-capped at 2048 polygons per frame with only nearest-neighbor texture filtering. Granted this sounded more impressive in 2004 than it does now, but they could have (and would have) used more powerful components if they expected the console to last.

As it stands, the hardware isn't as powerful as a Nintendo 64 or a PS1, and most attempts at full-3D games are downright pitiful because of this limit (the good ones, like Mario Kart, use a lot of sprites to hide this, but that strategy only works for certain kinds of games). So you're left largely with 2D games. And I like 2D games, but a certain degree of monotony sets in after a while as no one is pushing any boundries, not to mention the sheer amount of shovelware the platform generates.

Compounding this issue is the fact that Nintendo did finally do something about the hardware this year with the DSi, ramping up the clock speed of the ARM9 to 133MHz, and quadrupling the RAM to 16MB. Performance-wise, this is a token change, especially since the 3D rasierizer is still capped at 2048 polygons per frame. The additions were mainly to give the console enough extra umph that it can play with its camera.

But at the same time, it creates a clear difference in hardware classes, one Nintendo is going to exploit. There will be (and in fact may already be released) DSi-only games, which pisses off the DS Lite owners to no end, because they are now faced with being unable to play all new games for the thinnest of reasons. These people aren't going to buy the DSi, both because unlike the DS Fat to DS Lite transition the new console isn't clearly better for their needs (the Lite's screens were much better, and it was actually pocketable), and because they resent the upgrade treadmill.

Meanwhile in Sony-land, manufacturing technology has finally caught up with the ridiculously overbuilt PSP, which was an absolute brick when launched. The Go has some pricing/design issues, but fundamentally it finally gets Sony's near-PS2 hardware down to a size and battery life on-par with the DS. So DS owners are looking across the field at a handheld that's nearly a next-gen part, and they want that - they want some solid 3D games in their handheld gaming diet. Of course the grass isn't really greener on the other side since North American PSP game development has slowed to a crawl (and so few of the games are gems in the first place), but the hardware potential is clearly there.

This brings us to TFA. A new DS variant signals that Nintendo is remaining committed to the DS for at least another year, as they don't want to commission a new design and have it languish on the shelves. So this means that any hope of a "DS2" just got pushed back to at least 2011, which is pushing the frustration level over the top. The enthusiasts see what the PSP, the iPhone, etc are doing, and they want a DS with proper 3D capabilities, while Nintendo is signaling that they don't intend to deliver it any time soon. They don't want to abandon the platform, so they do the only thing they can do given their situation: they complain. And thus you have TFA.

On a side note, some of the complaining in this case is a product of just how silly this change is. The DS screen is only 256x192 pixels, which even at the original 3" size was pretty coarse (dot pitch: 0.24mm, and your head maybe a foot away). At 4" diagonal, this only gets worse. You end up with a screen with a dot pitch of 0.3175mm, and with your head at the same distance it will make things very pixelated. This also results in a screen that's very low resolution compared to similarly sized screens - the PSP Go is 480x272 @ 3.8" (dot pitch: 0.1749mm), and the iPod Touch is 320x480 @ 3.5" (dot pitch: 0.1541mm). So such a DS would have a ridiculously awful screen, and at the same time it's very likely that Nintendo will discontinue the original DSi to keep confusion down, so if you were to buy a new DSi you'd be stuck with that screen. I don't think anyone is amused by that.

Last gasp upgrade (1)

AlpineR (32307) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895609)

Nice analysis, but I wonder about one point:

this means that any hope of a "DS2" just got pushed back to at least 2011

This is a really minor upgrade. It's almost like a "speed bump" on a Macbook. I wouldn't see that as a sign that Apple wasn't going to release a new device in the next year.

Doesn't Nintendo keep selling the old console for a while after a new console is released? After all, that old console has an enormous library so there might still be some buyers left, or some fans needing to replace/duplicate/upgrade their old unit. So maybe this is the model that will remain in production for a couple years after the Nintendo TS is released in 201X.

Re:Err, why? (1)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895381)

The question is not "why?" but it's "why not?". If Nintendo thinks there are few people left on the planet who have not yet bought a DS (like me for instance), then why shouldn't try to make a product that fills that niche? Why not?
If they really want to get the attention of older gamers they should make a "Classic NES" edition like they did with the GBA. That's the only handheld system I own.

DS Improvements a good thing (3, Interesting)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894155)

Last night I spent the better half of the evening replacing the busted shell of my daughter's Nintendo DS Lite which took a hard fall and the hinges busted leaving the screen dangling by the wires. For the $12 for a new shell, it is well worth it to repair the unit.

The DS is an excellent piece of equipment. It's small, but not too small. It's light, but heavy enough to be comfortable. It has great battery life and even my original Nintendo DS (pre-lite) still functions for hours on a single charge.

If I were to make any improvements to the DS, I would make the charger USB based and make it so that save games and such could be backed up similar to the iPhone.

There is a fantastic software library for the DS with hundreds if not thousands of titles. The unit still plays Gameboy Advance games and was even quite entertaining to play guitar hero on.

In fact, game play on the DS is wonderful. I've never stopped enjoying playing on the unit. From Mario to Final Fantasy it's an awesome unit. What I'm most surprised about is that no one has developed a gyro/motion sensor that would fit into the advance cartridge slot to make games more Wii like.

The only thing that a "Revolutionary New Design" would bring would be the need to buy higher resolution versions of the same titles. Fact is, for the screen size, the games are more than good enough already. Using classic address hacking methods (similar to the original 8086 LIM/EMS extensions) it's possible to make games bigger and bigger.

I haven't felt an urge to buy a DSi since it doesn't appear to offer anything over what I already have. It might be different if the game store were more like Apple's so that I could install the same game on both of my kids' devices, but for now, switching game cards between devices is good enough.

The Playstation Portable is a much more advanced device and still to this day, I've yet to see any games for it that make me say "Wow I need that". I'm sure that Nintendo could probably build a market for new games on a new device, but really, what's the point? Nintendo makes far more money off of licensing than off of the console. The more games that get sold, the more they make. The console can actually be sold at a loss (like they would actually need to hehe) and they'd still get rich.

I hope that if they ever do come out with a successor to the DS, they make it so that DS games play without any problems. I think if it came down to choosing a new Nintendo device which couldn't play the old games, I'd just get the kids iPod Touches instead.

Now all we need is Pokemon or Bakugan for iPhone.

Re:DS Improvements a good thing (2, Informative)

dark42 (1085797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894187)

What I'm most surprised about is that no one has developed a gyro/motion sensor that would fit into the advance cartridge slot to make games more Wii like.

Oh but they have...
http://nintendo.joystiq.com/2006/12/06/third-party-card-brings-motion-sensing-to-the-ds/ [joystiq.com]
This was a third-party accessory, and because of this only homebrew could take advantage of it. It's not mentioned in the article, but there were versions for both Slot1 and Slot2. There were several homebrew games written that took advantage of this. It seems like the company that made this went out of business unfortunately.

Re:DS Improvements a good thing (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894437)

>> There is a fantastic software library for the DS with hundreds if not thousands of titles.

Each one similar to the last!

Re:DS Improvements a good thing (1)

Shawn Parr (712602) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895199)

If I were to make any improvements to the DS, I would make the charger USB based and make it so that save games and such could be backed up similar to the iPhone.

Having had to replace the case on my son's DS for exactly the same reason, hinge failure, I think you missed an important potential upgrade. Metal hinges. Or at least significantly beefed up ones. The DS takes a lot of abuse, and the only place it seems to really fail is those hinges that deform almost like they are made of butter rather than plastic.

But thank goodness for 3rd party resellers that have those replacement parts. We had ours for maybe 2 weeks when his hinges failed the first time. They are starting to fail again, but this time a bit more slowly rather than in one traumatic experience.

Re:DS Improvements a good thing (1)

Bazar (778572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895369)

What I'm most surprised about is that no one has developed a gyro/motion sensor that would fit into the advance cartridge slot to make games more Wii like.

They did, at least for the GBA:
WarioWare [wikipedia.org]

It used a built-in gyro sensor to detect movement. Althought it was a GBA game, it still worked on the DS.
Pitty they didn't build it into the DSi. I'd MUCH rather have a gyrosensor then yet another camera to carry around. (cellphone/netbook both provide for that non-existant need)

Re:DS Improvements a good thing (1)

Arctic Dragon (647151) | more than 4 years ago | (#29896023)

Agreed. I own a DS Lite as well as a 'slim' PSP, but despite it's inferior specs, I enjoy the DS more. The problem is, many people think the DS has nothing more than My Little Pony and Dora the Explorer games, but if you dig past the kiddy games and shovelware, the system has a fantastic library. You have the excellent 2D games (Mega Man ZX, New Super Mario Bros, the 3 Castlevanias and Contra 4), old-school RPGs (Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Dark Spire, Ys, Black Sigil, the upcoming new Golden Sun), puzzlers (Professor Layton), and so on.

Also a new Wii for older gamers (1)

phonewebcam (446772) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894171)

Comes with Super Mario Incontinence Bathroom Run

do something innovative? (5, Insightful)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894179)

What the fuck, they just came out with the Wii--a console significantly underpowered compared to their competitors, and proceeded to kick their asses in a number of interesting ways.

I don't think it's Nintendo who needs to prove their capacity for innovation, buddy.

of course they are (1)

saiha (665337) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894297)

If you could print money legitimately, wouldn't you do it?

BFD. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894325)

A bigger screen? BFD. It's not like old games suddenly break on this thing. It's a feature enhancement, not a completely new platform. Calm the fuck down please.

Nintendo is dead. They just dont know it yet. (-1, Flamebait)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894453)

Nintendo really is dead as company. They have so little to offer. The Wii is a disaster hardware and software wise. The DS variants are silly.

Nintendo lost its gamer fan base this gen.

They could make it as a software company if they only developed more of their titles in house. Currently they've been using outside devs for their a lot of their main properties.

The gamecube 2 (Wii) is pathetic. Nintendo doesnt care at all about online play or communities. They dont care about hardware... They care about cheap budget hardware, which is evidence of their soon to be demise.

It seems they're happy looking terrible against the competition. That kind of thinking has hurt them badly.

Re:Nintendo is dead. They just dont know it yet. (2, Insightful)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894471)

Nintendo really is dead as company. They have so little to offer. The Wii is a disaster hardware and software wise.

I'd love to have a few disasters like that....

Hey Peter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29894515)

You just don't get it.

Buy what you want when you want it, and don't whine when the next model comes along -- especially when the release of the upgrade model doesn't render the one you have obsolete or shorten its usable life in any way. You're only stifling advancement for potential in-market buyers of the upgrade model.

If anything, a big monumental upgrade would accelerate the market "death" of the existing DS platform. And given your own stated consumer behavior, you'd whine about the inevitable incremental upgrades on that, too.

Quit being such an irresponsible spender. You can't handle it. At the very least don't be a loudmouth about it.

Innovation. (2, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894533)

TFA: "As an 'older gamer' himself, Smith calls on Nintendo to stop this annual upgrade madness and do something truly innovative for a change"

Smith, if you can't "see" that this is in fact offering something to appease an entirely new group of older gamers as you claim to be, then it is very well likely you are in fact NOT one of them.

I don't see the difference between a pair of hearing aides that cost $2000 vs. $8000, but chances are those in need do.

How many?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29894549)

I initially read the article summary as "...new unit will have 4 screens". Pity. Here was i thinking we were finally getting somewhere.

Another rumored version as well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29894733)

There is also a rumor of a new version that prints money [theage.com.au] .

Nothing wrong with 'Annual Upgrade madness' (2, Insightful)

Aphrika (756248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29894997)

Other companies are releasing yearly iterations of hardware with bigger screens [apple.com] .

Are people going to realistically complain about Sony releasing a 50" LCD TV because they already produce a 40" one? No.

DS EYE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29895149)

Makes sense....

The market (1)

al3 (1285708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29895397)

If Nintendo thinks it'll sell and make them money, they'll made a DSi with the bigger screen. If Smith is truly satisfied with his 3.25" DSi screens then he should enjoy using it as he presumably does now, and get over the fact that he doesn't have "the latest" that Nintendo has to offer. Sheesh.

dadfaddg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29895627)

Well, i held off upgrading from my DS fat, mostly because of money, but I may need to jump on this bandwagon. Either get the DSi before it's discontinued or get this new large screen DS thing. Guess I'll wait till nearer the launch and see if I can find comparisons between the two.

History repeats itself (1)

LtGordon (1421725) | more than 4 years ago | (#29896253)

Game Boy > Game Boy Pocket > Game Boy Color

Game Boy Advance > Game Boy Advance SP > Game Boy Micro

DS > DS Lite > DSi

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