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Smattering Of New Nintendo DS Details Revealed

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the we-said-smattering dept.

Portables (Games) 70

Thanks to 1UP for its article revealing several new technical details regarding Nintendo's just-announced DS dual-screen portable. In particular, Nintendo of Japan noted the DS will "...have two different processors, an ARM9 main CPU and an ARM7 subprocessor. Both of these are used in many cellular phones, PDAs, and other mobile devices - an ARM9 CPU is the heart of Tapwave's new Zodiac handheld, while the Game Boy Advance employs an ARM7." It's also confirmed that the screens will "...both be equipped with a backlight... with a light source behind each LCD. The Game Boy Advance SP, by comparison, uses a frontlight." Game Informer has an interview with a Nintendo of America spokesperson which reveals a little more, including confirmation that the screens "will be in the vertical position", not "side-to-side." The piece also features the spokesperson stopping short of a denial about GameBoy/GameBoy Advance backwards compatibility ("We haven't announced anything about that, yet.")

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oh great........ (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8051772)

Another great idea brought forth by Nintendo. I wonder how long it will take this one to bomb?

DUPE!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8051828)

NOPE!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8051850)

No it's not. This is more details. Notice the link to the exact same story in this article?

Re:NOPE!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8051856)

Sorry, I didn't RTFA.

ARM also.. (1, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8051831)

Runs Linux. Unless I dont know what I'm talking about*
The Zaurus uses ARM, thas all I know. It would be great to have a GBA with Linux on it instead of Linux with a GBA on it. I'd buy that :)

*this is true.

Re:ARM also.. (2, Interesting)

Bagels (676159) | more than 10 years ago | (#8051917)

Yes, it will run Linux... on their site [arm.com] , they list the supported OSes, which include Linux, as well as Palm OS, Windows CE, and Symbian OS.

On an aside, a point I wanted to make about the 128MB of memory announced for this device - I'm guessing that this may be for storing downloaded games, much like the iQue that Nintendo's released in China... 128MB is definitely overkill for handheld games as RAM (the PSP is only set to have 32MB), but as flash or similar it could store several GBA-sized or N64-sized games on it.

Re:ARM also.. (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8053500)

On an aside, a point I wanted to make about the 128MB of memory announced for this device

They more or less confirmed in one of the articles in this story that it's the cartridge for the system, not anything internal.

Re:ARM also.. (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#8056967)

Not so sure about that, one of them mentioned anti-skip.

That's a really wierd thing to say about a Cart based handheld...

Re:ARM also.. (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8058466)

Beth: We're talking about a new type of semiconductor memory that will hold up to one gigabit of memory. This is the software storage method. We will use a new type of semiconductor memory that will be able to hold up to 1 gigabit of memory which is roughly 8 times the storage capacity of the current GBA semiconductor memory. With an increased amount of storage in a small package, we think this semiconductor memory will allow us to maintain our stellar anti-shock protection while keeping the size and weight of the portable device to a minimum. It's not going to be optical discs.

No anti-skip mentioned, though I'm sure the possibility of skipping with optical discs is what was being referred to (or that last sentence wouldn't have been there). It's pretty pointless if taken alone, but if you see it as a forward-looking statement aimed at the PSP, it makes a bit more sense. "See, our system doesn't skip in a moving car, even off-road", yeah, because it uses a cartridge, gee, that must've taken some real work to manage.

Re:ARM also.. (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052380)

Linux wouldn't run well on a GBA. There's no MMU, so you couldn't do swapping or read-only memory. And there's only 256k of RAM (plus 32k of faster ram), so you couldn't do a whole lot with it.

Re:ARM also.. (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052532)

Your post seems to be in direct contradiction to the other post currently in this thread (by Bagels)
I suggest the two of you fight to the death, gladiator-style.

Re:ARM also.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8053413)

Not so - edwdig is saying Linux won't run on a GBA, Bagels is saying Linux will run on a DS. I see no contradiction.

Wooohooo! (5, Insightful)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 10 years ago | (#8051896)

I have to say, as somebody who has always preferred to use dual head systems, I've always wondered what game developers might come up with in a dual-head environment. RTS games with a full map and a zoomed-in view simultaneously. A FPS with front and rear views. Even without thinking hard, it's really easy to come up with novel and potentially fun uses for two screens.

Now... (And, I hope I don't get modded too far down for this...) Imagine a beowulf cluster of these things! he he.

Personally, I'm still waiting for the end form of what Virtual Boy wanted to be. A pair of small, light wight glasses that are no bulkier than a convenient pair of sunglasses, with enough CPU to make some interesting 3D scenes. Add in an accelerometer, and a bearing sensor, and you have a kick ass augmented reality platform. I'd love to see what guys like Miyamoto could do with that sort of gear!

Also, the ideo of a video- iPod suddenly stops sucking so badly when the display is a pair of glasses instead of a cheezy box you have to hold in front of yoru face.

Re:Wooohooo! (4, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052141)

I've always wondered what game developers might come up with in a dual-head environment. RTS games with a full map and a zoomed-in view simultaneously. A FPS with front and rear views.

If this was so awesome, we'd probably have seen it by now. Nothing stopping current games from taking their head-to-head 2-player mode and providing the user with two views, even in one-player mode. Nothing preventing RTSs from dedicating half the screen to a map.

The reality is, if you have X viewing space, at the resolutions we have right now, you want about 4X or 5X space dedicated to your main task. The only thing that this might help with is a form-factor that is not conducive to RTS or FPS (depending on if the screens are arranged vertically or horizontally)... but that's a weakness, not a strength.

It looks damn cool, but if you really seriously try to think clearly about holding one of these in your hands, seriously playing an RTS, see if you don't start wanting the two screens to become just a bigger integrated view onto the playing field.

Splitting the screen is only useful when the value of the two views is such that BOTH of the following are true: You want to see both screens immediately at all times, AND both screens are so close to equally valuable as to make no difference. Again, if those conditions were true, we'd already be playing games that dedicated half their screen to maps or something.

The console may make it, but after a first generation of games, we will not see "one entire screen dedicated entirely to a map" anymore. Instead, it will be a bigger screen onto the relevant playing field, and while you may be able to pull up a map onto just that screen, you'll have to invoke it, it won't be there full time, and you'll begrudge that extra space, not be thankful the second screen is there for the map. First generation games always fall prey to hype and learn the hard way what really works about the system.

It's a variation on the standard money fallacy: "If I just had twice as much money, I'd be happy." The reality is, your expectations will rise with the extra income and on average it will not make you happier. (The key is to manage expectations, not make tons of money necessarily, though you do need a certain amount of raw material to work with.) "If I just had a second screen..." turns into "I miss the days when you looked at a map and the game was actually paused" pretty fast.

Someday we'll have so much resolution we really can piss it away on things like a usable "rear view mirror" in a racing game that can be used just like the real thing. We're not there on desktops yet, we're a long way from being there on handhelds.

Fanboys, before you flame away, try to really seriously imagine being in the situations I talk about here, and try to remember how rarely hype=reality in earlier ideas. (Everyone who sent a video e-mail today, raise your hand. One... Two... anybody else? Guess that aspect of the broadband internet didn't turn out like the hype said, huh?) If you're not already routinely actually using your windowing system (vs. always maximizing the current window, which Windows ends up encouraging)... on handheld-sized screens... then you're not going to want a dedicated screen split from your main task. (I use split windows... but just barely at 1024x768, they only get really useful at 1280x1024, and become mandatory at 1600x1200.)

Re:Wooohooo! (2, Interesting)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8053676)

If this was so awesome, we'd probably have seen it by now. Nothing stopping current games from taking their head-to-head 2-player mode and providing the user with two views, even in one-player mode. Nothing preventing RTSs from dedicating half the screen to a map.

It's not about dedicating half the screen, though, it's about supporting dual-monitor setups. This means setting up your software to talk to 2 video cards (or a dual-head video card which should appear more or less like 2 video cards to the programmer) concurrently, and deciding on what to offer the player for the second view without short-changing the users that don't have a second monitor. On the other hand, with the platform being standardized with 2 monitors which can be used as 1, you simply have to decide whether what you want to present to the user is worth using part (or all) of that second monitor for.

The reality is, if you have X viewing space, at the resolutions we have right now, you want about 4X or 5X space dedicated to your main task. The only thing that this might help with is a form-factor that is not conducive to RTS or FPS (depending on if the screens are arranged vertically or horizontally)... but that's a weakness, not a strength.

With games that typically support multiple monitors, you generally end up with either peripheral views in the second (and third) monitor, or with support views (ie maps and other info). The idea is that the information on the secondary monitor is secondary information. Just because you've extended the view in an FPS to >90 doesn't mean you're always focusing on the second monitor, because you generally will not (unless you have a pair of really small monitors on your computer).

It looks damn cool, but if you really seriously try to think clearly about holding one of these in your hands, seriously playing an RTS, see if you don't start wanting the two screens to become just a bigger integrated view onto the playing field.

Splitting the screen is only useful when the value of the two views is such that BOTH of the following are true: You want to see both screens immediately at all times, AND both screens are so close to equally valuable as to make no difference.


And the developers have the option of using both screens as one or splitting the view. This should encourage developers to use the second screen for valuable information rather than useless things. That being said, your eyes will focus on the area containing the most valuable information, and can still take in the remaining information peripherally, allowing you to shift focus when needed.

Again, if those conditions were true, we'd already be playing games that dedicated half their screen to maps or something.

Except, again, that most people don't have dual-screen/monitor setups, so they'd be adding the feature for minimal use. As it stands, we have context shifts in almost every type of game we play, whether it's for menus, full-screen maps, or whatever. Perhaps RTS games could even have more useful maps if the developers knew that end-users had 2 monitors and they could move the map to full screen on the 2nd monitor.

The console may make it, but after a first generation of games, we will not see "one entire screen dedicated entirely to a map" anymore. Instead, it will be a bigger screen onto the relevant playing field, and while you may be able to pull up a map onto just that screen, you'll have to invoke it, it won't be there full time, and you'll begrudge that extra space, not be thankful the second screen is there for the map. First generation games always fall prey to hype and learn the hard way what really works about the system.

I think we'll see most of the first generation 3rd party games using the 2 screens just as you say, for one big playing field. This will most likely be the easiest way for them to port existing games, even though they have to split the rendering between two processing paths. The second generation games are when you'll see some innovation from 3rd parties, and a lot of people following whatever Nintendo did with their successful games for this platform. The development cycle for the first generation just doesn't appear to be long enough on this one to expect much else.

It's a variation on the standard money fallacy: "If I just had twice as much money, I'd be happy." The reality is, your expectations will rise with the extra income and on average it will not make you happier. (The key is to manage expectations, not make tons of money necessarily, though you do need a certain amount of raw material to work with.) "If I just had a second screen..." turns into "I miss the days when you looked at a map and the game was actually paused" pretty fast.

And in the latter case, everyone stands up and shouts "hit the pause button".

Someday we'll have so much resolution we really can piss it away on things like a usable "rear view mirror" in a racing game that can be used just like the real thing. We're not there on desktops yet, we're a long way from being there on handhelds.

The problem with racing games on the desktop is your viewing angle. In order to get the same view you can have while driving a real car you need at least 2 (possibly 3) more monitors at the right angles with the correct views displayed in each, all with data that's rarely meant to be viewed directly. A rear-view mirror is simply a matter of properly rendering a reflection of what's behind the car, but then the standard viewing angle means that you should probably only be able to see about half the rear-view mirror on one monitor.

Resolution doesn't change how much you can see in a game the way it does on your desktop, it simply changes the level of detail in which you see it.

Fanboys, before you flame away, try to really seriously imagine being in the situations I talk about here, and try to remember how rarely hype=reality in earlier ideas. (Everyone who sent a video e-mail today, raise your hand. One... Two... anybody else? Guess that aspect of the broadband internet didn't turn out like the hype said, huh?)

Interesting choice, since it's one I've done on occasion (though not email, what's the point? real-time bi-directional video is just as easy as sending someone an email of a video you recorded on your webcam). The problem with sending people videos is obviously a question of whether or not the other person has broadband. You're coming up with problems with a unit that we don't even have a picture of, let alone announcements along the lines of games and how the second screen will be used. I admit to speculating on what it can do as much as anyone, but what's the point of bashing something you haven't seen? It's at least as bad as going around stating "this is the best thing ever".

If you're not already routinely actually using your windowing system (vs. always maximizing the current window, which Windows ends up encouraging)... on handheld-sized screens... then you're not going to want a dedicated screen split from your main task. (I use split windows... but just barely at 1024x768, they only get really useful at 1280x1024, and become mandatory at 1600x1200.)

I only use 1280x1024 and 1600x1200 on my computers, so I guess my answer should be obvious: the only program I use full-screen divides the screen into 4 views (or more, I just have it configured for 4) of different information about the same task (Visual Studio for those that might ask), and sometimes I will again split the code window to compare two sections of code or when I'm modifying a program to use a component instead of internal code. Generally, though, when using a second monitor I have something completely different, or some reference material, open on the second monitor. The whole point of the setup is not to focus on everything at once, not to try to span the same content across a larger area, but instead to quickly move between different content, to keep things in your peripheral awareness. Of course handhelds have smaller screens, and people can and will use this as one screen, but the capability is there to do both, and it should be at least as easy to put something completely different on that second screen given that it's got it's own processor.

Re:Wooohooo! (1)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 10 years ago | (#8055000)

Well there is still the "gimmick factor": people are used to one small screen for handhelds. Two screens of the same size are dual monitor AND twice the space to them. There's a lotta kids that will want it for just that reason.

I'm sure this device will also fold to save space, it's a portable unit. I welcome more screen real estate. It would be cool if some games could have a screen spanning map mode too. A playlist/control interface for a video/music player? How about video conferencing and a whiteboard too? OK, maybe that's going too far.

Re:Wooohooo! (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8059826)

I agree, specially if you consider the screens will be VERTICAL if they were horizontal then we will be talking about multimonitors, but on horizontal it means you will have a split screen no more no less. Wishing you had the whole screen instead, and probably (in a turn of fate) some developer will do this and stay like this in most games.
Worst of cases most developers wont know what to do with the second screen and display a menu a map or a splash screen. (none of them useful actually) Best of case someone will realize they dont need the other screen and use the 2 cpus for something interesting instead (like polygon calculations or advanced AI). Heres your screen +------------+ *

Re:Wooohooo! (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8053403)

A FPS with front and rear views.

It's been done - System Shock featured a rear-view gizmo. It wasn't very useful. (And it wasn't dual-head, of course.)

Re:Wooohooo! (1)

Squidgee (565373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8078013)

As far as the rear view goes, check out Steel Battalion. The inside of your mech has a monitor which can be set to a number of views (zoomed, following the targeting reticle, etc), one of which is a rear view.

Re:Wooohooo! (1)

Squidgee (565373) | more than 10 years ago | (#8078031)

Err...should be clickable.

Steel Battalion [capcom.com]

Interpretation... (5, Interesting)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8051923)

Well here's what I think:

- The hint of backlighting (as opposed to front lighting) and their suggestion of it being in-between portable and console tells me that it'll be handheld, but still require AC.

- They intend for new media to go into it, but could potentially play GBA games, as evidenced by their choice of processors. However, it stands to reason that they will do what they can to encourage new games to be delivered to it.

- The two screens may not exactly be 'seperate', but rather two individual screens with maybe a thin line between them.

- We'll see it at E3, but probably won't be able to buy it until fall 05.

- It'll be a 3rd system in the market, with continuing games being developed on the other two systems. My guess is this is a 'test the waters' system, but not a full fledged effort.

Eh I think that's it for my assumptions here. Go ahead, discuss away.

Re:Interpretation... (1)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 10 years ago | (#8053346)

The hint of backlighting (as opposed to front lighting) and their suggestion of it being in-between portable and console tells me that it'll be handheld, but still require AC.

That doesn't necessarily mean anything...remember the Game Gear? It could run on batteries...

Admittedly, it only got three or four hours of playtime per battery set. That's beside the point, though...

Re:Interpretation... (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8054292)

GBA-SP has backlighting.

I'm betting the two screens will be for versatility of controls - the bottom screen will be a touchscreen, allowing for reconfigurable controls. They're probably basing this on the success of the GBA+GC combination games - designers have gotten to like the two screens thing.

Look at it this way - want traditional game? Draw traditional control pad on the touchscreen. Want an RPG? draw a menu on the touchscreen. Want an analogue control for a racing game? Make a bar for an analogue throttle, and leave the rest of the space open for steering. And so on. The display screen remains free for use.

Woulnd't be so good for RTS games though - the RTS games would require that both screens be touched - one for pointer and one for menu. I'm sure the 2-screen approach is so you don't get your grubby fingerprints all over the pretty display screen, only the little control screen. RTS or other pointing-device based games coudl ruin that. Alternately, they could just make a laptop style "pointing pad" for the pointing device on the touchscreen.

Anyhow, I'd put money that this is why there are two screen.

GBA SP has -frontlighting-. (1)

Slynkie (18861) | more than 10 years ago | (#8055305)

GBA-SP has backlighting.

No it doesn't. [ign.com]

Re:Interpretation... (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8055394)

GBA-SP has backlighting.

No, it has frontlighting, and this is specifically mentioned in one of the articles to differentiate between the lighting on this system and the SP. There are some lighting conditions that cause problems with frontlighting that don't with backlighting (though both look best in the dark). I have 2 SPs myself, and think they're great, but would still prefer to have the bright backlit screen I had with the Atari Lynx (too bad it ate batteries, but then AC and cigarette lighter adapters got me through most of my uses for it at that age).

As for the rest of your comments, I hope it's not a touch screen, and if it requires use of a touch screen I will not be buying one. I have this strange thing about wanting to feel the controls I use, and a touch screen that allows pressure sensitivity would just be an extra expense (well, I can hope that they would allow pressure variation in a standard buttons and an analog stick configuration). Additionally, I've never seen a touch screen that works well sensing multiple objects at once (not to say it doesn't exist, I've simply never seen it), meaning that you'd be back to doing 1 thing at a time.

Re:Interpretation... (1)

dogbowl (75870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8055490)

GBA-SP has side lighting.

The old gameboy pocket had backlighting and is supposedly a better solution (for lighting the LCD).

Re:Interpretation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8064790)

There were only a small number of Gameboy Pocket units with that feature. AFAIK they came out shortly before Gameboy Color (again without backlight) and only in Japan.

I've got a theory.... (2, Interesting)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 10 years ago | (#8060490)

- They intend for new media to go into it, but could potentially play GBA games, as evidenced by their choice of processors. However, it stands to reason that they will do what they can to encourage new games to be delivered to it.

...

- It'll be a 3rd system in the market, with continuing games being developed on the other two systems. My guess is this is a 'test the waters' system, but not a full fledged effort.

Here's what i think. I have no insider knowledge, so this is just a guess, but it relates to something i've been thinking they need to do for awhile.

The PSP is going to use mini-disks, it's going to be 3d, it's basically going to be a mini PSX, er PS1 (damn Sony and their naming schemes!)

Nintendo has the perfect counter to this, a mini-GameCube since the GameCube already uses mini-disks. However the technology to package a GameCube in a handheld format at a reasonable price isn't available yet.

Unfortunatly by the time it will be afordable the PSP will already have a foothold in the market, and making the Nth generation of the GameBoy play GameCube disks but still be backwards compatible with the older cartridges will be akward and possibly expensive (making space to put two readers in there, plus the cost of both readers, etc.)

Giving up the backwards compatibility would be a real problem, but if the PSP does well they'll eventually need to match that capability or be doomed, and the longer they wait the worse it will be.

So my theory for this new device. The two screens are mainly a gimick. Sure, Nintendo may have some cool ideas for what to do with them, and they'll encourage developers to take advantage of them. However the main point of the system will be that it uses mini-disks, the same size as GameCube disks. This is why Nintendo is efectively denying the backwards compatibility.

I don't know if the first generation of games will be 2D or PSX/N64 level 3d (tie in to iQue perhaps?) but the point will be to establish a third line of products, to make this device destinct fromt he GameBoy so that DS sales won't be canabalizing from the GameBoy.

So at first it would be a kind of competition with the PSP. If you're going to buy a second handheld, are you going to get a DS or a PSP? However the big thrust will occcur in the next generation. They'll release the 2nd (or maybe 3rd) generation DS with the capability to play GameCube games, and backwards compatibility with earlier DS games. The second screen for this edition will either be able to be folded back when you're playing GameCube games, or it will be detachable. Or perhaps they'll have a larger than normal screen (good for GameCube games) that will emulate the double screens for older games.

So i think this is a long term attempt to compete with the PSP without damaging the GameBoy market directly.

FP!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8051929)

YAY!!! Eat it bitches!!!

Badger Badger Badger Badger... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8051995)

Mushroom!
Mushroom!

Re:Badger Badger Badger Badger... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8052906)

You fail it. It's
"Badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger mushroom mushroom!"

Two LCD's? (0, Funny)

OutRigged (573843) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052001)

This thing reaks of Virtual Boy..

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8052156)

not funny. cant spell.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8052444)

Oh noes.. I missplet a werd! Mod meh down, baby!

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8059640)

The misspelling was but a part of the BAD joke.. which made it even worse.

Cool, but probably a flop (2, Interesting)

rhetoric (735114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052018)

Like Sexy Pants said here [slashdot.org] "...though this looks like an obvious bomb, I want to support them all the way."

Nintendo has always seemed to me to have the most innovative (not necessarily original) products of any console company and I've been a supporter since I picked up the first issue of Nintendo Power [nintendo.com] magazine (which IMHO sucks now). I had a Virtual Boy. It was fun, but there weren't many games available, and of course only some of the games were fun. I remember loving Mario Tennis. Maybe I'll buy one of these, but I doubt it. I've done my part in this lot by talking my parents into buying me a Virtual Boy. For me to consider purchasing a DS, I'll at least have to see some good games released, and some sort of acceptance from the gaming public in the form of them buying the damned thing.
>
We've already been discussing all of this in the thread linked above, but the technical specs released give me a little hope. The fact that it's backlit is a huge plus, every frontlit device reminds me of the 3rd party clip on light I had for my original Game Boy... such crap. I also like the idea of the screens being in a vertical positio. I was having trouble imagining cool possibilities horizontally: with this being a handheld device, and presumably folding in some way as it's meant to be small, I was imagining a screen folding out horizontally and it was obviously a very awkward idea. I'm dissapointed that Nintendo didn't mention, as the article points out, "...the clock speed of either CPU, however, which would provide a clearer picture of the system's processing power and battery consumption." That would be nice to know :D

This MAY turn out to be a fun system and/or commercial success, most likely it will flop, but it's certainly a cool idea, and my hat goes off to Nintendo for another innovation. Actually I lost my hat- proves my worthlessness, mod appropriately.

Re:Cool, but probably a flop (1)

m0rphin3 (461197) | more than 10 years ago | (#8067684)

I never understood what all the hype was about the Game Boy series.. When every 3rd kid lugged around a thingy with a b/w screen and tinny sound, I had an Atari Lynx [roarvgm.com] with four-channel stereo sound, 16-bit graphics with 3-d instructions and up to 6 players via network. 12 years ago. So don't talk about nintendo being 'innovative'.

Re:Cool, but probably a flop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8072669)

I bet you loved all 3 crappy games that were out for it too.

By your logic, the 32-x and the Jaguar were good ideas too right?

I could make a portable system with a 10 inch screen, a 3 Ghz Intel processor, 1 gig of RAM and any other bells and whistles you might like, but guess what? There is more to designing a system than just mashing together the most "powerful" hardware and throwing it out to market. The Lynx was a failure, just as the Jaguar was a failure because while they had the muscle, there was no intelligence to the design. If you have a board and I design a board with a nail in it, I have not innovated, nor is it innovation if I get a bigger board. The trick is making a board that is better than your board and that takes innovation.

Nice but... (0, Redundant)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052095)

What about info regarding the games? All we know so far is that it has two screens, we know it has two processors and what they are, and it has a front-lit screen. Thats all we know, what I want to know, however, is information that regards to the games.

How are the two screens going to work?
How much battery life does it have?
Is it going to stick with the standard D-pad or use a joystick?
Will it be backward capable with the older Gameboy games?
Will it be something that will work on the Gamecube2 or will it become an expensive paperweight?
What colors are going to be available?

Re:Nice but... (3, Interesting)

DarthWufei (686942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052128)

You must understand that this was just announced, and also we have just as much information, maybe slightly more, about the PSP which will also be releasing very soon. I wouldn't expect any such information to be released until E3. That's given way too much. Nintendo likes working around speculation, though as of late I don't think it's worked in their favor as everyone seems to get disappointed. They're just generating hype which is a good thing, it could get them quite the crowd at E3, not like they, or any other console, draws one. :p I just wouldn't expect much for a while.

Re:Nice but... (1)

VashSpaceCowboy (742062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8063584)

Well, I assume the games will be something on the GBA level. Nintendo is just sending out dev kits to their 3rd party developers. They expect to release before christmas 2004 world wide. That leaves developers roughly 9-10 months of development time. They could have been developing on partial specs before, but if that were the case, I'd be surprised that the Big N was able to keep it a secret this long. So the question becomes, what type of game can you develop in a 10 month time span. A GBA game. I predict a few innovative titles coming out at launch, a few more so-so titles from third party developers, and then nothing for a while until developers can get their heads wrapped around how to develop for this system. By that time public interests wanes, and the system dies. This doesn't seem to be a smart move for Nintendo. Vash the Space Cowboy

Original copy? Or fake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8052191)

http://www.advance-power.de/detail.php?id=10746667 30

Sorry about not making its a clicking link but I don't know how so you'll just have to copy and paste it into your address bar. I'm wondering if someone could confirm or deny the authenticity of the report. If its real, it'll give us an idea of the release date. However, theres reason for doubt since this info doesn't seem to have been reported else where (at least not in this form.)

Re:Original copy? Or fake? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8059733)

use the keys that are shift , and . in place of the double quotes and "a href=www.link"

2 arms (1)

dave1212 (652688) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052401)

So ARM7 is not as good as ARM9?

Re:2 arms (1)

VRisaMetaphor (87720) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052612)

Oh, it's just as good. It's just not quite as long. Which seems to make sense until you realize that ARMs 1 through 5 are actually bigger than ARM9, ARM6 is really tiny, ARM8 is a leg, and ARM10 looks like an outie belly button.

Re:2 arms (1)

chrisbtoo (41029) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052993)

ARM7 is older than ARM9, and lacks a few of its features, the most interesting of which are separate I- and D- caches, and pipelined execution.

ARM9 also clocks higher than ARM7, so you're looking at up to ~300MIPS as opposed to ~130MIPS.

Far out, man, far out (0, Informative)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052415)

Are we NA gamers missing something here? Is this truly a unique and incredibly interesting concept in Japan, or are we *all* not getting Nintendo here?

The *only* good thing I can think of is the fact that these two screens might be side by side, therefore allowing "widescreen" games - imagine Metroid Fusion with an extra-long playing field, or Final Fantasy Tactics with more playing room. Interesting, yes, but until some actual specs come out I'm not sure that the big N is going to pull this one off.

Maybe they're trying to cross the Virtual Boy with a Game Boy... the DS starter package includes headgear which allows you to mount each of the screens in front of one of each eye :) Whoa, weird. That's all I got.

Re:Far out, man, far out (1)

Rallion (711805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052673)

In this article, actually, in the summary, it says the screens will be configured vertically. Pay attention.

Not front lit? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052488)

Wasn't the great thing about frontlighting is that you could still see it in the sun?

I thought the front lit screen was much better then most backlit screens I have used.

Also backlighting sucks battery life. Unless it is OLED.

and if it uses a GBA chip but doesn't support compatability I would feel frowny.

Re:Not front lit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8054419)

I would feel frowny

Is that a Star Control 2 quote?... From the Orz, I believe?

Man, I love that game

Re:Not front lit? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8060528)

sure, I dont't just talk like that.

I am showing off my geek cred.

right... thats the ticket.

I liked the game, but only played duel mode with my friend, so i don't know.

Re:Not front lit? (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8055541)

Wasn't the great thing about frontlighting is that you could still see it in the sun?

I thought the front lit screen was much better then most backlit screens I have used.


I've generally found the reverse to be true. Frontlighting works just as well as backlighting in the dark, but frontlighting has more problems with sunlight (probably because the sun and the light come from similar directions).

Also backlighting sucks battery life. Unless it is OLED.

Given Nintendo's history with battery life, I'd imagine they would try to use a similar proportion of battery for lighting as they do in the GBA SP, though obviously they have more screen area to light now (and the screens themselves use the battery, too).

and if it uses a GBA chip but doesn't support compatability I would feel frowny.


I would like it to support backwards compatability, especially if it's got good controls (after all, it's backlit and has 2 screens, but we dont know much more about it), but it's not really crucial to me, as I probably won't get rid of my GBAs anyway.

Game & Watch (2, Interesting)

sofakingl (690140) | more than 10 years ago | (#8052521)

The old Game & Watch games sometimes had this kind of display. I wouldn't be surprised to see a new G&W game on this system.

Karma whoring... (0)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 10 years ago | (#8060426)

There are some pics at Game & Watch [gameandwatch.com] . Screens are in vertical as well as horizontal alignment.

Its all about the games... (1)

dacman (700273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8053713)

... like any new console this will succeed or fail on its software, it will be interesting to see what the internal Nintendo development studios come up with for this. The fact that Nintendo have farmed several franchises out to 2nd/3rd parties since the start of the Gamecube may suggest that the in-house teams have been working on sotware for the new device for some time. Anyway - I'll wait until I see some games before I make any decisions on whether this is worth buying or not. Knowing Nintendo though they'll probably have a couple of things that use the dual display in an innovative way.

Price of GB DS (1)

cdneng2 (695646) | more than 10 years ago | (#8053714)

Gamesindustry.biz [gamesindustry.biz] has the rumour that the new Gameboy DS will be sub 100 or under $180 US dollars.

Game & Watch lives? (4, Informative)

shoptroll (544006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8054194)

What cracks me up about the earlier announcement about two screens being used in a hand-held is calling it innovative, revolutionary, etc.

If anyone knows the history of nintendo, you might wanna check out something called the Game & Watch series... There are a couple of games in there that used two screens. I know at least Mario Bros. (Not the same game everyone is familiar with) and Donkey Kong used this display method.

Re:Game & Watch lives? (0)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 10 years ago | (#8060465)

I've already posted a link to the site with all the pics and stuff. check it out here: my comment [slashdot.org] Yes, Donkey Kong, Mario Bros and many more games like Zelda, Pinball, Donkey Kong Jr, etc.

anti-shock protection?! (3, Interesting)

MagicM (85041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8054321)

From the GameInformer article:
With an increased amount of storage in a small package, we think this semiconductor memory will allow us to maintain our stellar anti-shock protection while keeping the size and weight of the portable device to a minimum. Its not going to be optical discs.

What kind of a device needs anti-shock protection, but does not use optical disks? Will this thing include a tiny hard drive?

Re:anti-shock protection?! (1)

avageek (537035) | more than 10 years ago | (#8054873)

It doesn't say that it needs anti-shock, but that the semiconductor media will maintain the anti-shock properties of the gameboy.

Re:anti-shock protection?! (1)

MagicM (85041) | more than 10 years ago | (#8054968)

Maybe I'm missing the obvious but, why does the gameboy need anti-shock properties?

Re:anti-shock protection?! (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8055596)

why does the gameboy need anti-shock properties?

It means one of two things:
1) The gameboy doesn't need anti-shock properties, it just naturally has them simply because it doesn't use anything that's especially sensitive to shock (in the sense of vibration, not electrical shock)

2) They're talking about the ability to drop the gameboy and have no problems, though I wouldn't test this myself and imagine the screen would have more problems than anything else, with or without protection.

GB vs PSP (1)

sbszine (633428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8060704)

why does the gameboy need anti-shock properties?

I think he's probably just hyping the anti-shock benefits of GB cartridges vs the discs that will be used in the Playstation portable. Good question, though -- the GB is pretty much shockproof by default (excepting perhaps the screen).

Im the only one who is upset about this? (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8056522)

Nintendo announced their next device: "wouldnt be a new console or a handheld".. then they announced a new handheld, since when is ok to blatantly lie in an official announcement?
Look! theres nintendo credibilty going all the way down the drain.

Anyway Im I the only one who sees this as a step back for portable gaming? the GBA is basically an portable SNES (not a bad thing) the GBA2(DS) is an SNES with 2 screens... what the? wasnt the next thing a portable n64 or similar? the Double screen is basically a mimick not an advancement. I dont think that even counts as a new handheld

Not GBA compatible ? I hope Nintendo is lying about that too, otherwise I dont see why should I switch from my non expensive GBA to a more expensive GBA because it has 2 screens it just doesnt make sense. Oh yeah, I Know how they are going to convince us, they will force us to since the new processor is slightly faster new games wont run in GBA, so all people who just bought their GBAs and SPs this xmas (like me) are royally screwed, just great Nintendo! thanks!

Screw this! Im selling my GBA and getting a PSP is twice as expensive but At least sony cares about backwards compability and not killing their consoles each 2 years.

Re:backwards compatibility (1)

Psykechan (255694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8058506)

FYI, the PSP will not be backwards compatible. It will not have a DC/DVD drive to read current Playstation media. Sorry.

Nintendo has also said that this will not be a successor for the Gameboy. Hence, it will probably also not be compatible with existing GB(A) games. I would refrain from calling the DS the GBA2.

I would count on it being able to interface with the Gamecube and possibly the GBA. I expect the DS to use a similar control layout as the Gamecube with dual analog sticks, but that's just being speculative, if this is the case, it could be used more as a perepheral to the GC which happens to play it's own games much like Sega's VMU.

I'm starting to warm up to this DS idea personally. Can you imagine a tank simulation where one screen shows a driver's view and the other screen shows the gunner's? How about an adventure game where the map is displayed on screen at all times? Consider the uses for any sports game.

It could also be seen as a major tactical step in thwarting Sony's PSP before it gets off the ground. I think that Nintendo has a pretty good shot if they play it right.

Re:backwards compatibility (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8059698)

Ok the PSP wont be backwards compatible I give you that.

But heres a pop quiz: how is nintendo who survives mostly thanks to their 1st party titles is going to handle 2 handhelds in the market at the same time? (specially in the middle of a war with the PSP) You want to know the answer? they wont. sooner or later N will stop delivering games for the GBA in order to have exclusive titles for the DS.

If they kept them both then the GBA and the DS will have to compete with each other and the PSP (since no one has 2 handhelds) and to be honest with a small initial library of games extra batery usage plus extra price, the DS doesnt stand a chance against the GBA the only way for the DS to success is by Nintendo killing the GBA sending their new games to the DS only!.

Of course they already have a bunch of us buying GBAs and titles, so they will do it in the most quiet and slow way as possible Thats why they are calling it not a "succesor" but an "extra" product but you have to be very naive to believe that.

This is getting dumber and dumber (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 10 years ago | (#8056882)

The screens are vertically aligned. Who the hell came up with that idea? Doesn't Nintendo realize that the field of human vision is much wider than it is tall, and that's why people tend to use screens that are wider than they are tall?

Rob (At least someone got a clue and put a backlight into it)

Re:This is getting dumber and dumber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8058136)

Until we see it, and the implementation of games on it, who the fuck - other than those who make way too many assumptions - is qualified to judge it?

We don't even know what the thing looks like. And even if we did, without placing our hands on one, there's simply no way to say with absolution that this will not be a fun way to play games. One would think that even armchair analysts would reserve their opinions until more data was revealed, for simple logic's sake.

Re:This is getting dumber and dumber (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 10 years ago | (#8062803)

One would think that even armchair analysts would reserve their opinions until more data was revealed, for simple logic's sake.

You just pointed out the reason why I made my post. Without more data, it's impossible to reliably discuss anything more than what's already been presented. Since the vertical alignment of the screens seems like the most boneheaded idea that has thus far been presented, I decided to comment on it. It's certainly possible that games will utilize it in a good way, but how the heck can we reliably discuss something that doesn't even exist on the drawing board yet?

If we aren't allowed to even make comments on the stuff that has been presented to us, then the only other option is not to comment at all. That wouldn't be very entertaining or informative.

Rob

Inherantly Restrictive (1)

Thedalek (473015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8061304)

While I suspect the device will ooze "cool," I'm more and more perplexed by the dual screen thingy. Really, there's nothing you can do with two screens that you couldn't do just as good (if not better) with a bigger screen.

On the other hand, the sheer geek factor of hacking this thing and creating homebrew programs which run on individual screens seems keen. Could be the first multitasking handheld gaming device. I imagine a SNES emulator in one window and a Genesis emulator in the other. Do a side-by-side comparison of titles released on both systems! Play a movie while you play a game! Do something while you do something else!

Or you could just walk and chew gum.
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