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Nintendo DS Full Specs Allegedly Leaked

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the pinch-of-salt dept.

Portables (Games) 84

sarcastodon writes "Various sources such as GI.Biz are suggesting that detailed specifications of the upcoming Nintendo DS have been leaked. Surprising capabilities contained in the allegedly leaked Japanese-language document for the dual-screen handheld include 3D hardware acceleration, 802.11 wireless support, and the inclusion of a touch screen." However, GI.Biz notes: "Of course, a single leaked screenshot of a Japanese document doesn't constitute hard proof of any description, and this document should be taken with a pinch of salt - but if it is a forgery, it's a rather good one."

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That is a bitching line up. (4, Insightful)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8532959)

Why don't I just throw out my palm? ... network, touchscreen, hi-res screen, it's got it all! They'd better make a PIM/PDA cart for it with web/email capabilities, or bundle it in the ROM. It'd be a shame not to.

Re:That is a bitching line up. (3, Insightful)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533008)

I dunno. It kinda worries me. Sounds like they're shoving too much into it, which is what killed the appeal of the N-Gage for me. I'd just like a nice, small, cheap portable gaming system that I don't have to worry about dropping.

There's just so many non-gaming features included, it sounds fishy to me. Nintendo's historically been about making gaming hardware, not all-in-one, everything-but-sheep-shears media stations.

On the other hand.... (3, Insightful)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533041)

(yeah, yeah, I know, replying to myself) All those non-gaming features could actually do things for games, unlike the stuff they put in the N-Gage for filler. I've never really thought much of multiplayer on gameboy systems, but now that I think of it, it wouldn't be half as bad as it is now if it were wireless. Of course, this goes against another thing about Nintendo's history: They usually make you buy the add-ons, and if it has wireless, they can't sell you the $15 link cable.

Re:On the other hand.... (1)

Zangief (461457) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534935)

Yeah multiplayer in GBs has never been an issue, except for this little and unknown game called POKEMON, you know.

Add ons don't sell well enough (1)

metroid composite (710698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8539742)

I've heard a statistic somewhere that add ons tend to sell 10% the amount of the system itself. Stuff that's not built-in generally isn't worth it for a company to support because not enough customers will buy the game (not having the hardware).

Re:That is a bitching line up. (2, Interesting)

BlanketLord (753729) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533130)

well, looks like I was slow with my comment :) I'm personally hoping that it is a primary gaming machine, with the extra functionality unlocked for use but not marketed. People should be buying it because they know it is a gaming machine, and be happy when they see "well, it can play mp3s, thats kind of nice"

Re:That is a bitching line up. (0)

Plake (568139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534324)

I wonder with it having 802.11 if it will have web support... :) As well as support for any applications like Palms, PocketPC's, Blackberry's, etc.. that would make it more then a gaming unit but I may be getting ahead of myself here.

Also, this opens up a huge chance of having GB games to be multiplayable over the internet! I'm really impressed by the sounds of this being the next gen for the GB.

GORILLA PENIS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8532963)

How big is a gorilla penis?

9"?

10"?

A gorilla's willy is just 1.5" long!!!!! Shocking huh?

just one word: (-1, Troll)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533001)

"HAH!"

-

Please elaborate (1)

_Sexy_Pants_ (703751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533073)

Hah N-Gage? or Hah I just won a million dollars?

Re:Please elaborate (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533148)

'hah' specs pulled out of somebodys dreams.

you know those specs don't currently connect to reality all that well, nor to making any sense except if you could just make those specs up(or call a dedicated moto 68k a 3d accelator or something fishy like that, also 802.11 doesn't really make any sense in a nintendo style portable - except for multiplayer which for full 802.11 doesn't make that much sense).

too much press without product (4, Insightful)

BlanketLord (753729) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533088)

It seems that there is quite a bit of negative views surrounding the DS from readers. In my opinion, the N-Gage's failure can be attributed to all the negative reviews it recieved. It was flamed in Penny Arcade, and other review sites rated it poorly. If it recieved opposite reviews, would it have been a success? Now we are getting a lot of press about the DS, but no product and some are already making judgements, mostly based on the fact that none of us have any idea on what exactly this device will do.
I still have high faith in Nintendo; the Gameboy's proven success gives them a stronger foot that this potentially revolutionary product will succeed. I really am looking forward to seeing what this product really does though, as it has peaked my curiosity.

Re:too much press without product (1, Insightful)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533115)

Other systems have gotten bad reviews and still suceeded in the long run. IIRC, the Xbox got mildly flamed on PA, and there was a lot of negative publicity around it before it came out. But look where it is now: It's beating Nintendo, which is a feat that should never be underestimated in the console market.

Re:too much press without product (1)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533166)

According to what estimates? World-wide the Gamecube is only trailing behind the PS2.

Re:too much press without product (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533234)

World wide, yes, but in the US, which is by far the Xbox's main market, it's got Nintendo beat. I think the last numbers I saw were 10 million to 5 million, but that's a few months old.

More Recent numbers.... (2, Informative)

Ian_Bailey (469273) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533593)

I found some end-of-2003 numbers here:
http://print.pcvsconsole.com/?hank=549

Which unfortunately do not come with a source. The numbers seem to be roughly in line with expectations, though.

Re:too much press without product (4, Informative)

Rallion (711805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533604)

Uh...no. You misread those numbers. GameCube recently caught up to XBox in the US, and XBox has been pretty much a complete failure in Japan, selling under a million units IIRC.

Re:too much press without product (1)

clu76 (620823) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533675)

I usually don't like jumping into these converstations. But here I am, defending Nintendo like a typical fanboy. Anyways, here is my point...

Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are international companies. To only take a slice of the global market is nothing short of framing your data to put a positive spin on your position. The world wide numbers are the numbers that count.

Re:too much press without product (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534455)

The Gamecube lags the Xbox by 900k units in the US - that's not much. Worldwide it's outselling the Xbox - and yet a LOT (yes, a LOT) of Xboxes are only sold because they can be modified - something not possible on the Gamecube.

(Don't start with the PSO hack, it's not really usable, and it's a long way from being as simple as an Xbox with a modchip where you can copy a rental game to the harddrive in minutes .. )

All in all, the Xbox as a _games system_ is a failure. As a piracy system, it's doing quite well. As a mediaplayer it rocks - and as an emulator-host it's absolutely superb.

(Note: I own Xbox, Gamecube and PS2. Fanboyism stems from the GC having better games ... )

Re:too much press without product (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534828)

Saying that the Xbox is a failure as a gaming system is just your unsubstantiated opinion.

If they have sold fewer than Nintendo, that is okay. This is their first foray into consoles. My personal opinion, and that of many other Xbox owners I have talked to, is that it is a fantastic gaming system. The games are great, the graphics are great, and Live kicks a lot of ass.

5 years ago if anyone had tried to predict that another maker would jump into the console business, and be neck-and-neck with Nintendo, on their first try- they would have been laughed at. Yet, Microsoft is neck-and-neck. Now, they may have subsidized the Xbox- and that's cool by me. If it made the Xbox better for a lower price, I'm fine with that.

BUT- Microsofts subsidy does not make it a failure of a gaming system. Maybe a bad business decision (so far) but not bad for gaming.

Now of course- when I say 'the games are great' that is just my opinion. But an opinion shared by a LOT of people. We may not have games with young Japanese girls with short skirts, but I'm not really into that sort of thing. Are you?

Re:too much press without product (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 10 years ago | (#8535486)

No, I'm the one who got IGN to rethink their sexistic remarks in that area [troed.se] [last comment]. I dislike a lot of anime/manga since I consider them quite "pedophilic".

Anyway. Would you consider "Gamestation Q" to be a great success if Matsushita (a lot richer than Microsoft) took a portable computer, branded it "games console" and sold it at a loss so we could afford it? (It would thus sell quite well - why not - lots of bang for the buck).

I'm not impressed by things that are given away :) The Xbox isn't more impressive than the Gamecube, and the Gamecube is both cheaper and sold with a profit until lately - now it's sold at a "marginal loss".

That's impressive.

Re:too much press without product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8535571)

"We may not have games with young Japanese girls with short skirts"

Yes, You tend to just skip the skirts. DOA beach vollyball anyone? How about the "She kicks high" commercial? Anyway, from a buisness standpoint the Xbox is a horrible failure. It has yet to ever make a profit and has burnd through hundreds of millions of dollars. The only reason it is still in the market is Microsoft is willing to shovel $100 bills into a furnace if it will let them control everything you see and hear. Make no mistake, that is thier goal. Just goes to show you that with enough money you can do almost anything. MS should quit with the charade and just give Xboxes away with the purchase of a game. It would get them where they want sooner and whats a few extra billion when you can prop yourself up with a monopoly?

Re:too much press without product (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#8536024)

From a business perspective, if you are taking a quarterly loss on something greater than the GDP of entire nations, it is a failure. Plain and simple.

Re:too much press without product (1)

ronfar (52216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8536240)

Now of course- when I say 'the games are great' that is just my opinion. But an opinion shared by a LOT of people. We may not have games with young Japanese girls with short skirts, but I'm not really into that sort of thing. Are you?
I could swear that the Dead or Alive series (including Extreme Beach Volleyball) were very big on the X-Box....

Re:too much press without product (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8536276)

Go read Troed's website...the comment was aimed at him, and his efforts to get rid of sexist comments from IGN gaming magazine.

Re:too much press without product (1)

ronfar (52216) | more than 10 years ago | (#8536431)

Oh, sorry, I thought you were pointing out a deficiency in the X-Box line up. I don't think very many games can beat DOA in that regard.... I'm thinking about getting an X-box for DOA Online, [gamespy.com] actually. (Well, that and the SNK games that are coming to the platform SNK's Xbox Plans [gamerseurope.com] (which will also, natch, have teenage Japanese girls in shorts skirts.... ) SNK Forever!

I still have to think about it though...

Re:too much press without product (1)

AndyRobinson (633286) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534789)

World wide, yes, but in the US, which is by far the Xbox's main market, it's got Nintendo beat. I think the last numbers I saw were 10 million to 5 million, but that's a few months old.

Yeah, but if you can pick and choose what you define as your main market pretty much anything can be market leader.

I mean, for all I know the N-Gage might be the device of choice among 25 to 35 year old, college-educated, one legged, hump-back dwarfs. It's still getting it's ass-kicked in every other market.

Lies, damn lies, statistics, blah, blah, blah...

Re:too much press without product (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534062)

What killed the N-gage is the look.

I can't have a phone that looks like that and take myself seriously. How can others be expected to do the same.

If they had a fairly good gaming setup and it looked like a proffessional phone. I would have baught one. But I am not holding a red taco up to my ear while wearing a suit. No way in hell.

Or ... it could have been a terrible product (3, Insightful)

*weasel (174362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8535429)

Or... the NGage was just a bad product. It got flamed because it deserved to get flamed. It failed, because it deserved to fail.

As a gaming system:
. you have to remove the battery to change the game. wtf?

. it cost more than 2x what a GBA SP did, even if you include the price of a seperate 3G phone.

. it had very little developer support. (likely due lame SDK, bad design, pricing)

As a phone:

. it looked absurd. (taco-phone is a deserved critique)
. it's friggin huge.
. the button layout and centrally located screen made it awkward to hold and manipulate effectively one handed (common use for a phone).
. battery life is unacceptably short, unless you never, or rarely, use it for gaming - which obviates its dual functionality and makes the added cost unjustifiable.

The press around the DS revolves around legitimate concerns.

. lack of perceived purpose for a second screen
. effect of 2 backlit screens on battery life
. resultant unit pricing from added screen, necessitated battery
. lack of certainty on backwards compat.

Any handheld that Nintendo announces, but won't confirm backwards compatibility for, is going to be met with heavy skepticism imo. If the DS truly isn't meant to be a successor to the GBA SP -- then what market could they possibly be aiming at? Why have 2 incompatible handheld products? Particularly when facing Sony's PSP, which will be its first legitimate challenge in the mobile arena in years.

The sketchy details, the possibility of no backwards compat and the lack of consumer demand for its key feature (the second screen) are valid concerns.

The notable failure of the pseudo-portable Virtual Boy is still rightly fresh in the minds of consumers and investors when they see a 'potentially revolutionary' functionality that no-one has really been asking for. Nintendo's strength and first party developers/licenses cannot make a success out of a bad product.

Re:Or ... it could have been a terrible product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8541360)

*** it looked absurd. (taco-phone is a deserved critique)****

what is taco exactly? Isn't it food? Why do you hold a food beside your cheek, instead of eating it?

Back in the day nokia made a phone that was nicknamed banana, because it was curvy like a banana. but taco?

henri

Re:Or ... it could have been a terrible product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8542294)

It's shaped like a taco. It looks like you're holding a taco against your head.

c'mon - it ain't rocket science.

Re:too much press without product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8535601)

In my opinion, the N-Gage's failure can be attributed to all the negative reviews it recieved. It was flamed in Penny Arcade, and other review sites rated it poorly. If it recieved opposite reviews, would it have been a success?

It earned those bad reviews by being horribly designed. People didn't just bash it because it sounded like an idea they wanted to see fail, but because the thing fell flat on its face. The vertical screen, games installing under the battery, the sidetalkin' [sidetalkin.com] . That's not even mentioning the stupid and insulting advertising, or that those hardware problems were brought up repeatedly and ignored every time by Nokia well before its launch. I don't doubt that Nintendo will give the DS a better design job than the N-Gage got. We just have to wait until the time after it's finally unveiled but before the release to see whether people give it an honest chance. People are desperate right now to get any real info on the DS and form a real opinion.

Re:too much press without product (1)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 10 years ago | (#8538159)

you are an idiot.

"If it received [positive] reviews, would [the N-Gage] be a success"

?!?!?! even as a rhetorical question that is stupid. if it received positive reviews, IT WOULD BE A GOOD PRODUCT, AND IT *SHOULD* BE A SUCCESS.

the N-Gage is NOT a good product, THUS it got poor reviews AND failed. the only implication here is quality of product.

TOO BAD NINTENDO IS FOR FAGGOTS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8533091)

I would buy one if that was not the case

But what's the thing going to look like? (3, Interesting)

meanfriend (704312) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533094)

The most intriguing thing to me is how the two screens will be arranged and utilized.

According to the second article, it has two screens of 256x192 pixels each (which is slightly higher resolution than the GBA screen)

So will it two equal sized screens? Will they go with a clamshell device like the GBA with a smaller screen in the base (between the controls) and a larger screen in the flip-top part?

And I'm also wondering what compromises they'll have to make on the physical dimensions and battery life in implementing dual screens in a portable.

I've never owned a handheld gaming system before (blackjack on my cell phone doesnt count), but if the dual screens leads to be a real gameplay innovation and not just a novelty that many games fail to take full advantage of, then I could be convinced to buy one of these...

Re:But what's the thing going to look like? (4, Insightful)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533167)

I personally hope they go with the different sized screens like you mentioned. It'll probably be underused by games, but I can think of one major use for the second screen: Menus in RPGs. The text boxes in most console-style RPGs get in the way, and scrolling through the box for a spell usually blocks the action on-screen (which really sucks for those RPGs where the enemy keeps attacking while you're in the menu. FF:CC uses the GBA screen for each character's menu in multiplayer, which aside from being a potentially prohibitive barrier to multiplayer, is a very good thing, since with some practice, you can move through the menus while still keeping track of the action on screen.

Re:But what's the thing going to look like? (2, Interesting)

Yorrike (322502) | more than 10 years ago | (#8539618)

It was confirmed around the time it was originally announced, that the screens would be stacked one above the other.

Going on that, and nothing much else, I sketched up a design: http://www.yorrike.com/graphics/nds-sketch.jpg [yorrike.com] .

If the spec sheet is to be believed, I've put too many buttons on my design. Please excuse that and my inability to draw.

The question I have... (2, Interesting)

BruceTheBruce (671080) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533165)

Has there been any information on how many of the screens will be lit? I would hope Nintendo has learned its lesson and would now consider this such an indispensable feature that it's a given thing on any future handheld. Or maybe lit screens will just be left for the "Nitro SP" released in 2006?

Re:The question I have... (2, Informative)

Mekabyte (678689) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533590)

Their initial announcement stated that they would be backlit (as opposed to the GBA SP's frontlit screens).

Translation Corrections (5, Interesting)

mowph (642278) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533335)

Here are a few things that I noticed have been left off or missed by the translation on the article [cube-europe.com] .

Processor:

  • There are unreadably small words between "Cache:" and "8Kb", as well as "TCM:" and "32Kb" which have been ignored by the translation. They probably refer to two separate types of cache under each category.

Memory:

  • Main memory: 8MB on debugging version (developer model?)

LCD:

  • Colour: R:G:B = 6:6:6 (referring perhaps to 6 bits of information for each color channel per pixel?)

Sound:

  • Up to 8 channels may be assigned for PSG. (I don't know what that is. Anyone?)

Input Device:

  • "Cross", a translation of "juu-ji kii", refers to what is commonly known as a direction-pad (similar to the four-way controller on most Nintendo gamepads)

Electric Power Control:

  • Wake-up can also be timed.
  • The "uknown" engine is the geometry engine.

Re:Translation Corrections (2, Insightful)

yRabbit (625397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533646)

I think PSG stands for "programmable sound generator", the Sega Genesis had one, as well as FM.

Re:Translation Corrections (1)

AltaMannen (568693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534504)

I think you're right about the meaning of the acronym 'PSG' but I don't think it is the same as the one in the Genesis, it is probably just a generic term for their sound chip. Playing digital samples on the Genesis PSG was a pain.

Re:Translation Corrections (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534812)

Why the hell would you feed samples to the PSG, when the 2612 has a perfectly decent DAC built in?

Re:Translation Corrections (1)

Electric Keet (67880) | more than 10 years ago | (#8535600)

Maybe up to eight of the channels can be used for some simple FM-synth-like procedural waves, instead of just sample playback. That could be good, allowing for complex texture-enhancing stuff like pulse sweeps and other things that are a pain in the butt if using only raw samples. Of course, that would be a pain to program for, but it could be so worth it....

Just speculation.

Re:Translation Corrections (1)

AltaMannen (568693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8538205)

Ah, but I am talking about the Genesis PSG which you had to read a timer (not interrupt) in the Z80 to know when to put the next sample byte into the digital sound channel. Ever done a multiplication function with a timer check in it?

Re:Translation Corrections (1)

LocalH (28506) | more than 10 years ago | (#8542483)

My point is, the DAC has nothing to do with the PSG. The DAC is on the FM part, the Yamaha YM2612. I know that the DAC timing is soft, and must be handled by the code.

Re:Translation Corrections (4, Informative)

moronga (323123) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533740)

There are unreadably small words between "Cache:" and "8Kb", as well as "TCM:" and "32Kb" which have been ignored by the translation. They probably refer to two separate types of cache under each category.

The word there is "meirei," which means "command" or "order." Does that make sense in that context? I'm not a hardware person. :P

Re:Translation Corrections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8533795)

Separate caches for code and data maybe?

Instruction cache. (1)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533915)

...which if it is shared between both ARM cores is a very good idea.

Re:Translation Corrections (1)

Merlin42 (148225) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534235)

Many CPUs have a split cache design (usually just for L1). One cache would be for instructions (command?) and the other for data.

delusions of grandeur (1, Flamebait)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533400)

Nintendo needs to stop deluding itself. Saying "it's not a competitor to the GBA" a million times doesn't make it any less of a competitor to the GBA. You're talking about a standalone system with good specs and built-in screens. What are you supposed to do with the thing... leave it on a table? Strap it to your face? We all know it's competing with the GBA and the PSP, and on that note alone its release is questionable.

Sadly, it looks like this too won't be an adequate GameTessaract controller, as it lacks analog joysticks... which is really too bad, a touchscreen on a game controller would be quite convenient for inventory management. 802.11b would be a good networking standard for getting consoles to communicate, or for that matter just using the controllers wirelessly.

But the most important spec still hasn't leaked... The price. If this handheld is to compete with the PSP, it has to hit the target price sweet spot. If the PSP ships at it's current target of $250, it will be quite vulnerable to a $100 Nintendo portable. If the Nitro ships at anything approaching the PSP's cost, it will be eaten alive in the market, touchscreen or no.

Overall, this has Virtual Boy written all over it, though not necessarily. While I wish Nintendo the best of luck, I'm also looking forward to picking up one of these things for 15 bucks in 2006.

Re:delusions of grandeur (1)

ncmusic (31531) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533615)

I was under the impression that the PSP was going to be over $300. I've read from reasonable sources maybe even as much as $400. But yeah If had to guess on the DS price i'd say between 125-175. Or about twice as much as a GBA.

Re:delusions of grandeur (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534482)

My guess is that sony are leaving the pre-launch estimations high, so as to ship at 250-300 to acclaim rather than derision. At the next available holiday break, it will drop by 50, and stay there for a good chunk of its life.

I think they can hit that mark. While people have estimated that it can roughly play PS2 games, remember that it is doing so on a display device with a much lower resolution. And unlike Nintendo or Microsoft, Sony owns most of what goes into their systems from the design to the fab plant. Of the major players, they're in the best position to take a working system, shave off some space, and put it all on one die.

I hope they're not seriously planning on shipping a $400 portable. At that price they might as well make it play lazer disks. I give Sony more credit than that.

The GBA is currently overvalued a bit, as it hasn't seen a price drop in its lifetime, so I would put a dual screen model at a bit less than double. I'd look to the low end range of your estimate, as Nintendo is probably aiming for about the same market as the GBA. After all, what portion of the gaming population needs something portable, but isn't already serviced by a laptop or PDA?

Re:delusions of grandeur (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8535948)

Actually the GBA has dropped in price. It launched at $100, and immediately dropped to $90 from stores' competition. It's now down around $70, though some of that is because of the SP.

Re:delusions of grandeur (1)

n0wak (631202) | more than 10 years ago | (#8542638)

I believe that the Sony Europe president (or some high-up) said that the PSP will be "closer to 200 than 300" -- which, obviously, means 249.99.

However, that's 250 Pounds. And 250.00 GBP = 449.221 USD so... yeah. I don't think a $400 price point is out of the question. When you consider, also, that Sony wants to make this into an all-in-one platform rather than a game system, the price isn't so far-fetched.

Re:delusions of grandeur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8533896)

if the price of the DS approaches that of the PSP it will be eaten alive? yeah, right.

this is the same forum that predicted that the iPod Mini, with it's $250 price would fail miserably.

Re:delusions of grandeur (3, Funny)

FeetOfStinky (669511) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534306)

What are you supposed to do with the thing... Strap it to your face?

Well, of course. That kind of goes without saying.

Re:delusions of grandeur (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8536147)

Nintendo needs to stop deluding itself. Saying "it's not a competitor to the GBA" a million times doesn't make it any less of a competitor to the GBA.

I think you're wrong. With a touch screen, 3D graphics, larger or two screen version, wireless capability, etc, this could be GBAs older more refined PDA cousin. With the possibility of PDA characteristics with a simple drop in cartridge (or built in), plus possible backwards compatability with the GBA games, you have a more expensive machine that may have everything that kids and adults like (a wealth of good games that appeal to a large group) plus what adults want (a machine that does more while not losing functionality or features). I would love to have a PDA with all my GBA games on them and a well designed PDA interface. If Nintendo can sell that at a reasonable price, then I'm sold whether it has two screens or twelve.

Flamebait? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#8539341)

Ok, when did the moderators find the stash and is there any left?

PSP Competition (1)

BigDork1001 (683341) | more than 10 years ago | (#8540753)

If this handheld is to compete with the PSP, it has to hit the target price sweet spot.

The DS isn't being made to compete with the PSP. Nintendo is working on a "Next Gen" handhold that will be competing with the PSP. There's no way the DS would be able to compete with PSP and Nintendo knows this. DS is more of a quirky little handheld that probably won't do great but could be a neat little toy for the more hardcore gamers out there. The GBA2 or whatever it'll be called will be Nintendo's answer to the PSP.

Touchscreen's are a poor deciscion (4, Insightful)

Sangloth (664575) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533407)

I used to work with touchscreen videogames at my old job. While touchscreens do have some advantages for an arcade machine...

1. Simple to understand
2. Difficult to vandalize.

those advantages don't mean anything for portable machines, and they have some fairly severe disadvantages...

1. While using a touchscreen, your fingers will obscure what you are seeing on the screen, especially for the small portable screen.
2. Touchscreen's are weaker then a macintosh mouse. You can only click, it's difficult to drag an object, or anything other then just click on the screen. Your hands could accomplish more on the controller. That way you could hit multiple buttons, instead of just clicking.

Besides, imagine playing an action game, and moving your hand from the buttons to the screen, and back to the buttons. It wouldn't work in an action game, and you can do menu selection faster using the buttons. I'm all for innovation, but this is going to be a gimmick.

Sangloth
I appreciate any comment with a logical basis...it doesn't even have to agree with me.

Re:Touchscreen's are a poor deciscion (1)

sehryan (412731) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534135)

I am wondering if the touchscreen is replacing the controller. What if the second screen were where the buttons and d-pad are, and each game could customize not just the reaction to certain buttons pressed, but number and placement of those buttons?

It would probably suck, but it is still an interesting thought.

Re:Touchscreen's are a poor deciscion (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534209)

If these specs are to be believed, you have nothing to worry about. Nintendo isn't going to replace the standard cross pad and buttons with the touchscreen- rather, it'll augment it. I don't think there are many places that a touch screen would make sense in the kind of games I play- but there are some that would benefit from a touch screen.

Also, it opens the way to input. Perhaps this thing will be a PDA + gaming machine... The specs sure point to something like that.

Re:Touchscreen's are a poor deciscion (1)

AltaMannen (568693) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534587)

I think the use for the touchscreen will be for picking things in an inventory or getting information about an area of a map, for example in a zelda like game you could choose your action item by touching it instead of cycling through your choices, or in a strategy game you could get stats for a building by touching it on the map. It will most probably not have anything to do with arcade games for the less gifted or more violent.

Re:Touchscreen's are a poor deciscion (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8536300)

Besides, imagine playing an action game, and moving your hand from the buttons to the screen, and back to the buttons. It wouldn't work in an action game, and you can do menu selection faster using the buttons. I'm all for innovation, but this is going to be a gimmick.

I agreee. An 3d action game wouldn't work... But imagine have the RTS Warcraft II on the Nitro. You can now drag and select multiple units and direct them to a specific area on the map that you can see on the other screen. Buttons can be used as quick keys much like the keyboard was used in Warcraft. The mouse was the primary tool, remember? If you have a stylus then you don't have to worry as much about obsuring the screen with your hand. With touch dual screens, RTS becomes very possible and useful. Imagine Diable II where you have all your spells lined up on the second screen read at your command. Yes, it's thinking differently, or maybe just using an old game and placing it in a new system with new ideas. It wouldn't be that hard.

For all the bad press that Nitro gets, you would think that some of them would have given thought about RTS style games and what could happen with two screens. I thought the sport title example that I first heard (close up view and map view) was okay, but the RTS example just sets my imagination on fire with possibilities that are much better than any turn based fighting game was(Advance wars).

Re:Touchscreen's are a poor deciscion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8536480)

While using a touchscreen, your fingers will obscure what you are seeing on
the screen, especially for the small portable screen.
um... there are two screens.... so you would only be blocking the control screen.

Re:Touchscreen's are a poor deciscion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8537539)

With a touchscreen, you could add many "virtual buttons".

Or a few virtual buttons and some information

Or some buttons and some graphics

Or a lot of graphics.

Touchscreen allows for alternative control interfaces. You could add slider controls, or a scroll wheel. Virtual throttle for aircraft or gearshift for racing. Gesture control, and drawing would be possible, Jet Set Radio anyone?

It also allows for new dimensions in games. You could have a "Simon" like game where you actually press the location of the flash. Many Nintendo games have mini-games built-in that would be compatible with this if translated.

Layout predictions (3, Interesting)

nukem1999 (142700) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533655)

I believe that Nintendo has previously confirmed that the two screens will be next to each other, and can be used as one. This pretty much means that it's going to be layed out GB/GBC/GBASP style, with the controls below the screens, and not GBA classic style, with the screen between the controls, which would give it a really funky form factor that nobody would want to hold. Assuming this has been confirmed, there is almost no way that one of the screens will be touch sensitive, since you'd have to move one hand to reach a screen. However, with the two screens side by side, to make a rectangular clamshell form factor, there would be space in between the standard button sets, perfect for a standard touchpad.

Now let's think about this. Nintendo only really started doing 3d with the N64, when they introduced an analog stick to the controller. It's quite difficult to play a true 3d game with only a digital pad. However, you can't throw a stick on a handheld unit, it'll break off leaving many-a-user pissed. So the touchpad is probably going to be a replacement for the analog stick.

Basically I got all this from the premise that both screens are going to be next to each other, so in any case I'm almost definitely wrong, but speculation is fun!

You're wrong (2, Informative)

M3wThr33 (310489) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533738)

Nope, Nintendo has already stated they are VERTICALLY stacked.

Re:You're wrong (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534065)

So, it's probably going to be styled like a normal GBA with an SP style clamshell above the center screen(possibly more in the top half, seems like that would thicken the unit too much...). And, if these specs are correct then that bottom/middle screen would be the touchscreen.

Lots of potential, let's see if they can do anything with it. :-P

Best layout = danger hiptop (4, Informative)

RedCard (302122) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534146)

No, I believe Nintendo said that they're going to be vertically stacked... ...if that is the case, I'd like to see a layout like the Danger hiptop [google.com] where the touchscreen is on top, for palm-pilot like use, or for games that only require one screen.

The second screen could be hidden under the first, with the top screen swivelling up and 180 degrees for two-screened games. This also means that the second screen could be used as an option, not all games would have to incorporate it, and it would be hidden and protected when not in use.

I don't see a touchpad as a replacement for an analog stick, though. Touchpads/screens STINK when used as controllers. I think it's more likely that an analog controller will take the form of a standard crosskey that responds to how hard you press. It's also possible to make a (recessed) analog control ball, instead of a stick. The old sega saturn analog controllers had these, and they were almost impossible to break.

Re:Layout predictions (1)

mr_jrt (676485) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534286)

The Neo Geo Pocket had a thumbstick. It rocked. And Clicked, but thats another matter...

Re:Layout predictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8535993)

I believe that Nintendo has previously confirmed that the two screens will be next to each other, and can be used as one. This pretty much means that it's going to be layed out GB/GBC/GBASP style, with the controls below the screens, and not GBA classic style,

Ummmm... When have they said that? Really, the only two things they've said about the N-DS is it'll have two screens, and be used in new ways. Really, you're just adding to the rest of the speculation. There really hasn't been anything but that and their statement that it's a third tier to their company (not a competitor for the PSP, but not the heir to the GBA throne). For all we know this system is more in competition of the Zodiac Palm based system, but again it would just be speculation. There's really no use in throwing out, "Gee, I think I heard this or this," because they've made about two short statements about the whole thing. Even this article isn't solid fact so stop saying that you hate the N-DS already and it's crappy layout until you've seen it!!!

Re:Layout predictions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8536153)

They did make a couple more definite statements. In an interview [gameinformer.com] right after the announcement, they mentioned that the screens were stacked vertically. Plus the games will be up to 128MB. That's not a lot of info, but they have mentioned a bit more than "2 screens" and "interesting ways to use it".

Of course, that completely ruins the good ideas the original poster had for the side-by-side setup. Oh well.

IEEE802.11?? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8533807)

Does this mean that it has to be on a WAN to play against anyone else? I would think that for a portable, Bluetooth or something similar would be the way to go. Does this mean that the DS will include long-distance (via the Interweb) portable gaming? Kinda seems dumb to me.

Re:IEEE802.11?? (3, Informative)

Grant29 (701796) | more than 10 years ago | (#8533993)

I bet it's just in ad-hoc mode (peer-to-peer) and not infrastructure mode.

Oops, small mistake. (2, Interesting)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534088)

EDIT:
We just realized, the guys who got the "leaked" document, didn't read japanese very well at all. The documents are not entitled "DS design specs" but "N-Gage design specs" their Comment: "Seriously, that first Kanji kind of looked like "DS" if you look at it from this angle." Moderator note:"there's no such thing as a "DS" kanji you moron!"

--Seriously. Nintendo has stated like a 1000 times their best card against the PSP wont be technology but price, how could anyone with a realistic mind believe the freaking DS will have bluetooth and a 3d card? that will price it around $200-$300 bucks!

Re:Oops, small mistake. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8536637)

you post incessantly in the games section. nothing you ever post is moderated up or down. no one cares what you think.

if they make is backwords compatable (3, Insightful)

cyrax777 (633996) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534539)

with the GB series then Ninento will slaughter Sony just like how they slaughtered every other handheld thats come out. Same with Sony and ps3 if ps3 is compatible with the early PS series they will continue to dominate the market. Both Companys have shown supirer tech doesnt = owning the market Compare Phantasy star 1 for master system to Final Fantasy 1 for NES. The Master system was a supieor system tech wise but nintendo slaughtered genesis. also I think if Sony hadnt made ps2 backwords compatable with ps1 therefore giving them a huge advantage in number of games avalible to there system Nintendo might have had a chance of retaking over the console market oncd agien.

Cleaned up a bit by a Helpful AC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8537548)

If they make it backwards compatable

with the GB series, then Nintendo will slaughter Sony just like how they slaughtered every other handheld that has come out. Same with Sony and the PS3; if the PS3 is compatable with the earlier PS series they will continue to dominate the market. Both companies have shown that superior tech doesn't = owning the market.

Compare Phantasy Star 1 for the Sega Master System to Final Fantasy 1 for the NES. The Master System was a superior system tech wise but Nintendo slaughtered Genesis. [Ed note: Perhaps he meant Master System here?]

Also I think if Sony hadn't made the PS2 backwards compatable with the PS1, therefore giving them a huge advantage in the number of games available on their system, Nintendo might have had a chance of retaking the console market once again.

Ok, Im taking out my stop watch (1)

AzraelKans (697974) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534614)

Let me see how much time it takes for nintendo to denny this specs are real. Any bets?

Re:Ok, Im taking out my stop watch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8535834)

Nintendo has said it before... They don't comment on rumors, or speculation. They pretty much say nothing which is probably the smartest thing to do on their part.

third party development? (1)

sknja (196640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8534707)

This seems to be a nice chunk of hardware to develop applications on. The 802.11 provides for easier connectivity, and the two ARM processors could provide quite some power for a handheld. Just look back at the original psone, and N64 specs. It looks good when comparing them on paper. Even though this is just speculation at this point.

psone
CPU 32-bit
CPU Speed 33.8688... MHz
RAM 2 MB
Video RAM 1 MB

n64
Processors:
CPU: 64 bit Risc
CPU Speed, (R4300I series) 93.75 MHz
Graphics CPU 64-bit MIPS Risc Co-processor 62.5 MHz
Memory:
4.5 MB Rambus DRAM
Custom 9-bit Rambus Bus (to the DRAM)

I'm reposting this from my journal here (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#8538890)

By posting this, I must waive my right to EVER again make fun of Apple users. Oh well....

Sharp a while back developed a way to display stereo 3D images by placing a "switching" LCD (which acts as a parralax barrier) on top of a conventional LCD. They used this tech to make a 3D notebook(very good for government and corporate R&D, the flaws inherant in this system would actually be a good thing).

Flaws in the system: you have to be looking straight at it, the optimal viewing range is 40cm[1.3 feet](otherwise things go out of sync a little), and you'll see a "dimmer" image because it will have little vertical lines through it(do an erase every other row operation on something in the Gimp/Photoshop).

However, none of these problems are really problems in handhelds (In fact that pretty much describes how I personally use a laptop or a handheld product[if you could tweak the distance a little to suit your needs it would be perfect]).

Biggest pro: by turning the "switching" LCD off you can revert the image to a normal 2D as displayed on a conventional LCD.

Now, as some of you may know, Sharp provides Nintendo with the screens for the GBA. Nintendo(as well as Sony[Sony is one of the big contributors]) are both members of the so called 3D consortium with Sharp. Nintendo has experimented with stereo imaging before(the VirtualBoy). The DS is supposed to be "revolutionary". No one is leaking anything.

Well, not quite. We know the basic specs of the DS(per Nintendo), but we don't know much about the screens(apart from that it will have two). There is a supposedly leaked spec sheet out(see article) there that claims that ONE of the screens is a touchscreen(oh and 802.11g wireless for multiplayer, 3D acceleration, etc.).

Remember, Nintendo has claimed that this is their "laptop" product. (The Gameboy series would be a Palm Pilot esque product, and the Gamecube/Dolphin/SNES/NES/N64 would be the desktop)

So I think I have some idea about the layout. Take a GBA, now attach a folding LCD(clamshell, SP style) above the center LCD. To the left of the center LCD you have your D-Pad, below it you have the start/select buttons, on the right of it you have the a and b buttons(and possibly X/Y[please add X/Y])) on the top edge you have the L/R buttons. The center screen is a backlit touchscreen, the one above it is a backlit Sharp 3D LCD. The top screen folds down to protect the center one(or it might be wider, with more guts stored in the top clamshell). That's how I would design it anyway. (Nintendo has confirmed a vertical layout)

The things you could do with such a setup(oh and up to 128MB of cart space), well, they really set off my geek factor. If I'm right, even if no games are released for it, if you can homebrew stuff like you can for the GBA, I'm definately getting one. This is mindless speculating, of course, but it definately excites me.
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