"A good unique system, with a poor launch, however it looks promising."

The Nintendo DS was released on November 21, 2004. It contained a demo of Metroid Prime: The First Hunt, as well as having Pictochat embedded into the hardware. The system involves wireless multiplayer, with Wi-Fi soon to be instated (according to Nintendo). It has many advanced features including a stylus, and of course Dual Screens, the lower one being a touch screen. This system has lots of potential. With a poor launch lineup it still seems to be sold out all over the Nation.

System Design-

The Nintendo DS has a gray tint to the casing, and is very sleek. It has the following buttons: L, R, D-Pad, Touch Screen, A, B, X, Y, Start, Select, and Power. This system is well designed the screens are a very nice size, and they both are well placed. The system is very light, and is very compact actually. It is a very unique handheld, having most of it's potential in gaming, yet it shares some similar things such as the menu with a Palm Based PDA. The Game Slots are easy enough to figure out, and the buttons are well placed. The only thing I do not care for is that the X, Y, A, and B buttons are very tiny, almost too small to use easily. However this does not affect the quality of the system. The touch screen is durable, and this handheld seems to be quite scratch resistant.

Features-

The Nintendo DS incorporates Nintendo's Proprietary LAN signal, while at the same time it has Wi-Fi connectivity. This has potential for online gaming. Since the system was only released a few weeks ago, it is hard to see the potential in the Wireless multiplayer. Upcoming games seem to possibly incorporate it. Animal Crossing DS, Mario Kart DS, and Advance Wars DS seem to have plenty of possibility in allowing Wi-Fi support. However time will tell. The Nintendo DS also has a microphone as well as a headset port for voice communication that may be used in the future. It also has stylus support so a touch screen may be used. This creates infinite possibility. This could allow RTS games such as Starcraft or Age of Empires to be put onto the Nintendo DS. This is the most unique feature of the DS.

Games-

Games come on Flash Memory and are able to hold up to 1 Gb of information (~128 MB). These cards can be read, and also can be written to. This allows very fast gameplay with next to no loading times. The games currently out right now are Super Mario 64 DS, Feel the Magic, Urbz: Sims in the City, Urban Asphalt, Madden 2005, and Mr. Driller. The launch lineup so far has not been to impressive, but many games in the future make this system even for special.

Mario Kart DS
Animal Crossing DS
Advance Wars DS
Ridge Racer DS

Plus many others.

Graphics-

The graphics are near N-64 level, but some of the games have yet to reach that level. The frame rate however is better than N-64's. N-64 could do 30 FPS well, where as Nintendo DS can easily do 60 FPS. The system's graphics have lots of potential, it is just at the developer's choice when the games will become better looking.

Potential-

The Nintendo DS looks promising in many categories. This system has potential to revolutionize online gaming, as well as maybe eventually allowing backwards compatibility with GB/GBC games. This system shows many promising signs that Nintendo is getting back into the video game race with many interesting games coming soon.

Overall-

This system is very unique first of it's kind. It has good graphics, yet not the best, but graphics AREN'T what makes a game. I rate this system 8/10 because it has High Potential, yet as of right now due to a poor launch, it is below standards. If you are looking for a innovative system with Palm Capabilities and Nintendo First Party Games, this is your system. If you are more concerned about graphics and not so much innovation, then maybe Sony's PSP is a better choice. This system looks promising, and I hope it lives up to it's potential.

Score: 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/05/04


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