December 14, 2004

Nintendo DS

     Well I recently played the Nintendo DS, and as I'm sure many of you guessed (and many of you may have heard), the Nintendo DS is really awkward. Where shall I begin...
     My first complaint about the DS is that it's enormous. I know that to fit in the 2 monitors, touch screen sensing equipment, and the wireless card takes a lot of space, it doesn't really seem like it's very managable. The other thing that's weird about it is the two screen system itself. With the two screens you're often left glancing back and forth. Sure it's innovative, but still difficult to manage unless you can really devote all your concentration to playing. Besides that, most games couldn't even think of a way to combine the touch screen with the gameplay, so it's just left wasting battery power displaying stats or a map. And even the games that do implement the touch screen have problems with either: A) Too hard to use styles at the same time as pay attention to the top or B) There's an odd device they include which allows you to use your thumb in place of the stylus, but it doesn't stay on your finger very well and it's hard to control it.
     And one thing that doesn't bother a lot of people but gives me pause, is that use of the DS on an Airplane will be 100% restricted. Though this is also true with the PSP, the PSP's design is a lot different, which I'll describe after it's been released. Back to the DS, so if you think you'll be able to use the DS on an airplane to releive your boredom, think again. The built in wirless feature would pose a risk to the navigational equipment. Now, I'm sure many of you are thinking that: "Well if wireless devices are banned, why aren't laptops with built in wireless banned?" Well the reason behind this is that the wireless on laptops does not project signals that interfere with plane equip unless you connect to a network (which, I'd hope, would be impossible on an airplane), or if your comp hosts wireless connections. Now this actually happen on airplanes, and normally it doesn't cause any more than nominal interference, but the only reason that they restrict the use of wireless devices at all is just that there is the possibility that something could interfere big time, and it only takes one big malfunction to cause a deadly crash.
      My last complaint about the DS is the rechargable battery. The rechargable battery is very useful a lot of the time because you save on batteries and it also means that you can plug your GB directly into the wall. But what it also means is that if your batteries ever went dead while being out, you'd have to wait until you get to a socket, and leave it plugged in until it's fully charged. One thing that very people realize about rechargeable batteries is that you have to fully discharge them and recharge them to retain their power. So many of you "top off" your batteries or will charge them for a couple of hours and then just keep using it. This actually reduces battery life and makes it so that no matter how much you charge the batteries again, it will be limited and dies faster and faster until you're forced to replace them. It just bothers me when I know I'm being forced to buy extra products from Nintendo to keep my gaming system working the way I want it to.
     Anyway, all in all, I think that the DS is a very cool system (I never thought I'd play Super Mario 64 on a handheld!), but it has some major design flaws which I think should have been rectified before release. In fact, I think that it was released so hastily that we'll have another "GBA SP" situation where in a few months, they'll fix many (if not all of the issues) and re-release the system under another very similar name. This will be another blow to Nintendo's already failing reliability to be a good video gaming company.

Posted by Kickmyassman at December 14, 2004 08:53 PM

Well kit, I must say I don't like the DS that much either. The idea of a touchscreen for gameplay doesn't sound good, specially when you have such a small screen. The PSP seems to be the way to go right now on portable systems (widescreen, multimedia support, memory stick slot, remote control, better graphics + better games, etc), and I dare to day it might kill the DS.
BTW, recharable batteries are the only thing you find these days. The technology has improved, so the whole thing about reducing battery life is not nearly as aparent as it did 2 or 3 years ago. I must say that I haven't lost much total battery time recharing my InfoLithium batteries lately.
About the plane thing: Many people say that wifi does not interfere with airplane communtications, and the DS will do the same that a regular winXP machine with wifi does: send out probes until it finds another peer or access point.

Well, thats my opinion, now start the flame war!!!

Posted by: Cavalkaf at December 14, 2004 10:13 PM
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