Rumors have been floating around for awhile now that Nintendo was working on a new game system to be unveiled during this year’s E3. Now the folks at GameSpyDaily have spilled the beans on the Nintendo DS. This is apparently a new duel-screen portable they’re working on.
From information made available today, players can look forward to being able to simultaneously manage their game progress from two different perspectives, enhancing both the speed and strategy of the challenge. For example, players will no longer be forced to interrupt game play to shift perspective, such as moving from a wide shot to a close up, or alternating between a character’s ongoing battle and a map of their environment. Nintendo DS makes it possible to perform the tasks in real time by simply glancing from one screen to the other. Today’s announcement is but a glimpse of the additional features and benefits that will be shown in full at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles in May. Once fully revealed, players will see innovative advances in game interaction.
“We have developed Nintendo DS based upon a completely different concept from existing game devices in order to provide players with a unique entertainment experience for the 21st century,” explains Satoru Iwata, Nintendo president.
Nintendo DS features two separate 3” TFT LCD display panels, separate processors, and semiconductor memory of up to 1 Gigabit. It’s scheduled to launch worldwide before the end of 2004.
Not sure I see the point in this new system. As many folks have pointed out Nintendo needs something that’s going to capture a bigger chunk of the mainstream gaming audience or they risk going the way of Sega (not entirely a bad thing). While this new system is certainly novel it’s not likely to appeal to many folks beyond the die-hard Nintendo fans and it only fragments the rather small market niche Nintendo holds that much more. Past attempts from Nintendo to innovate in the portable hardware arena didn’t fare all that well (Virtual Boy anyone?) and this has the same gimmicky feel to it. Still, it’ll be interesting to see how it performs come E3.