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Nintendo DS: Readers Speak Out

Nintendo's DS: Reader Reaction We had our turn -- now we turn it over to you guys to see what you think of Nintendo's big announcement.

"What is Nintendo thinking? The DS is quite obviously a simple gimmick created as an attempt to draw people's attention away from the superior technological capabilities of the PSP. By creating a machine with two screens, two processors, etc., Nintendo just blew their only advantages over Sony: price point, and portability. With two screens and two processors its likely to be much more expensive, meaning the only market which Nintendo had a chance of holding on to -- the "kiddie" market -- is most likely not going to be able to afford it.

"Also the thing's going to have a big battery drain having to power two backlit screens, reducing portability. And it'll most likely be very large, meaning slipping it easily in a pocket is out also. Nintendo has shown in the past that they have trouble keeping up with competitor's technology (N64), so they should've focused on the kiddie market and made a small, portable device that kids could afford." -- Alan Fluck

"The fact that Nintendo is trying to do something to liven up the stagnant state of innovation in the video game industry is good news to me. While it's true this thing could flop based on its gimmickiness, I think it at least deserves a chance until some games are actually shown." -- "Jamessan"

"I think that portable screens have always been Nintendo's Achilles' heel. The GBA sports small size and a resolution lower than the SNES had (which always makes SNES-to-GBA ports seem baffling to me). Also, they blew it on the backlight last time, so who knows what they'll overlook this time?

"What I WANT to see from Nintendo is something that ACTUALLY IS a portable SNES or better. I want four face buttons. I want respectable resolutions. I want a screen that impresses me rather than one that makes me remember why I stopped playing handhelds. I also still hold a grudge against Iwata for saying that children are the best judges of a game's quality. I remember some of the games I loved as a kid, and they weren't all so saucy." -- George Moffitt

"I think that the DS could be a way to do 3D on a handheld that actually works, pushing status bars to the other screen to make the game field less cluttered or even offering a full 3D view on one screen and a simplified view on the other. The possibilities are endless, but I don't know how many are probable." -- Adam McDonald

"Did it occur to anyone that it could be used for two-player cooperative gaming? I don't see as much potential for one-player outside of simulations and RPG's, but two-player Pikmin Advanced or Duke Nukem fragfest could be killer." -- John Rice

"I've just finished reading all the comments on your site about the DS from various gaming pundits. Do you know what makes me laugh? The fact that not a single one of them even saw this product coming at all. And now, with the little information they do have, they seem to be able to predict the future of the product. Everyone's an analyst these days. I wish many of these people would stick to reviewing games rather than constantly sniffing around for any opportunity to type "WTF" and "Nintendo" in the same sentence." -- Shawn Peters

"This system is definitely going to be a source of Virtual Boy jokes. the dual screens could be cool in some genres such as RPGs and sports. Only RPGs that have real time fighting systems will truly benefit for having two screens if the other is used for viewing your the party members and enemies on the field. Other than that I don't care. I still can't make my character fight while I'm going through my items menu so there is no point in putting it on the other screen. In most sports games you can only see the player you are controlling and it would be cool to be able to see what everyone else is doing.

"Nothing that you can control should be put on the second screen because you can only operate one screen at a time and you would most likely will have to hit a button to switch screens if they do put playable stuff on it. I mess myself up enough by pressing the wrong button with one screen never mind hitting the wrong button and loosing control of my character further -- the second screen would useless in most other genres. The only thing you could put on it for any other type of game is a map and nothing in games that don't offer a map.

"Unless Nintendo can show some cool way of using the second screen to control what's on both screens at the same time then it won't do well." -- "Freeza"

"I still have faith. Nintendo has always come out with innovative, cool products. I think it might even be similar to the special screen that you could put in the Dreamcast's controllers. Remember that. That was cool. And so what if it's stupid and unruly, people used to think the Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker would be gosh awful with it's "too cute"-ness. But it's many of the Top 10 list all over the market. Just have faith." -- Murray Christopherson

"Nintendo's problem for me has always, always, always been that they're always trying to get me to buy new hardware for their great software, and then not let me use my old great software on my new hardware of dubious quality. In other words, if the DS does not support every old GB game, I won't buy it. If I even SMELL that this system is going to go belly up years before Nintendo replaces it (N64) I won't buy it.

"I'm not interested in sitting for two years with crappy hardware and maybe one good game a year while the big N insists this is still a good platform. NO, sorry. I like my Gamecube, I really do, but when they replace it with the next hardware, until the new Zelda game comes out, I won't even consider buying it unless it has backward compatiblity. This is the one feature that is most attractive about Sony's products that Nintendo just refuses to get on the ball with. At least the screens will be backlit." -- Nick Krohn

"I have to agree with 99.9% (a rough estimate) of the world when I say that this gimmicky thing will never get off Virtual Boy ground. Heck, the VB never even had good games, god knows what use two screens will be when only Nintendo supports it with Pac-Man and Pokemon. Nintendo needs an N-Boy and not an N-Gage for there to be success. I thought financial success was the reason they weren't going online, where even SEGA tried to push them to (PSO on GC, I might add, has sold fairly well across the world). These crooks just aren't listening. No one believed SEGA was gonna go outta the console field, after years of hardware and software manufacturing, but even the few who were lucky enough to own Dreamcasts and SEGA's die-hard fans couldn't support it. Nintendo doing wrong? That's umpossible! Or is it?..." -- "Cochino"

"First off, you game magazine editors are so quick to judge and discredit. All we know about this system is that it has two backlit screens, two processors, and it uses semiconductor media of up to one Gigabit. That's it! Most of you dorks are already saying things like, "I smell Virtual Boy 2," when Nintendo stated that it will divulge THE BULK of information about this machine at E3. We know nothing about how it will connect to the Cube, GBA or their successors, or other DS systems. So you dweebs shouldn't be so quick to judge.

"Ok, now for my thoughts:

"1.) This is a huge risk for the big N. They have to divide their internal development resources across 5 systems (Cube, GBA, their successors, and the DS). Also, how are third parties going to react to the DS? Are third party developers going to embrace developing for this dual processor, dual screen system? Seems pretty complicated to me.

"2.) This machine is good for the industry even if it fails. It is forcing developers to be more creative when designing games and can add fresh content to all of the stagnant genres of games. I'm sure Nintendo/Miyamoto already has some novel game idea in development utilizing this thing.

"3.) Now for the fun part!!!! You game mag editors should do this too! Think of neat game ideas that utilize two processors and two screens, and post them on your web site or in your magazine. Here is one of my ideas:

"An idea for an Animal Crossing game -- one screen could be a hidden camera you can place anywhere (for example, in your house). The other screen focuses on you. As you travel your town returning comic books, you can also see if someone is robbing your house stealing the regal furniture you worked so hard to collect. You can also take the camera and place it around town, in other people's houses, even discretely attach it to other animal's clothing. Place it where you want without the other animals knowing.

"Go ahead! You try! It's more fun thinking of how to utilize the DS from the little we know about it then having the "dorky gamer attitude problem" most of you editors seem to possess." -- Guido DiSalvo

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in 1UP.

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