Posted by: Dalibor Dimovski | October 21, 2008

Ten Possibilities with the Nintendo DSi

With the recent announcement of the DSi from Nintendo, along with several new Wii announcements, I was left wondering about the possibilities of the DSi.  Why?  Well, Nintendo stated that the DSi will not have its own software (apart from downloads); it will rely on the DS software for the cartridge format.  To them (at least, in their marketing) the DSi is the next evolution of the handheld, but still a DS at heart.

So I thought: “What if?”  What if the DSi, with all of this new and possibly underappreciated technology, were utilized in a new, creative way?  With improved wifi, two cameras, on board and card-based storage mediums available the DSi can be used in innovative ways possibly beyond what Nintendo or third-parties might be thinking.

And so, I’ve put together this list of concepts that allow different aspects of the DSi to be used for better gaming experiences… Hopefully.

Read on for the list.

#10 Miis on the DSi

Kind of an obvious one.  With built-in storage (albeit an unknown number) the natural thing to do on the DSi is to add Miis.  In fact, making these Miis cross-platform with the Wii would be ideal.  Much like the Mii storage in the WiiMote, the DSi could act similarly.  Transferred to the DSi, a Mii can act in games that support it.

#9 Virtual Console Portable

Yet another no-brainer, and something that fans have been asking for since Day 1: a Virtual Console for handheld games.  The can should include Gameboy, GBC, GBA, GameGear… heck, even Lynx.  The system’s graphics chips are well-prepared to support this.  And while not directly announced yet, this is going to happen.

#8 iPhone-style Apps

Nintendo revealed several of the new features of the DSi, including its decidedly Wii channel-style interface.  Nintendo will continue to support the DSi in the same way.  With the Wii channels already functioning very much like iPhone/iPod Touch apps, we can imagine that the DSi’s store will reveal more than just new versions of Brain Age 2.  By allowing developers to create varied apps for the system, its lifespan will be incredibly increased.  If Nintendo doesn’t implement this, you’d better believe that the community of modders will jump at the chance to do so.

#7 Skype Phone / Video Chat

With the user-facing camera added to the DSi, it may be possible to add video chat functionality.  Couple that with a Skype-like service, and the DSi becomes a nice portable wifi video phone.  I wouldn’t doubt that the mod community is already salivating at the chance to try this.

#6 DSi as a Wii Camera

The DSi has a camera.  (Two, actually).  Guess what doesn’t?  The Wii.  With the PS3 and XBox 360 releasing camera peripherals, Nintendo is left out in the dark.  Well, with the wireless capabilities of the DSi it may be possible to sync the system to the Wii and utilize its camera as a web cam (much like the recent/upcoming sound channel that syncs with the DS to allow certain games to stream sound through the Wii).  Mount the DSi near the Wii, sync, and you can import your actual face on your Mii.

#5 Info Hub

Nintendo mentioned that they were working on better utilization of the DSi with public networks such as in baseball stadiums and subway systems to deliver information.  This, while already in development at the big N, needs to be fully realized… whatever that means.  Example: with Nintendo’s past relationship with McDonald’s, browsing an interactive menu from your table and placing an order can be an incredibly easy implementation.  Or perhaps spread this over to the business sector.  The improved wifi could (theoretically) be able to log in to business networks for increased sharing of information during meetings, allowing the user to take notes and quickly add to the presentation with technologies such as WebX or Go2Meeting.  Essentially, the DSi can be a versatile presentation PDA.

#4 DSi as a Portable HDD

It was revealed recently that Nintendo was going to somewhat allow the Wii to utilize the SD card slot as a more viable storage possibility.  With the DSi also incorporating an SD slot as well as on board storage it would be feasible to use the DSi as a sort of portable wireless hard drive.

DRM issues would be killer, but the idea is certainly there.

#3 Play Wii games on your DSi

The FF:CC:EoT announcement (that the game can be played both on the DS and the Wii) is a harbinger of things to come.  The link between the two will grow even deeper as the DSi’s onboard storage can allow for download of a game (or some portion of) from the Wii.  The user can then play the game whenever they want, regardless of having turned the DSi off or on as many times as they’d wish, something that is a limitation with the storage-less DS Phat and Lite.  Going on a trip and don’t want to put down No More Heroes 2?  Simply transfer some version of the game to your DSi for the trip, continue to play, and then transfer back when you return home.

#2 SD Cards Unite!

The fact that both systems utilize SD cards should allow for sharing of information between the two.  If a file is too big to transfer wirelessly from the Wii to the DSi, it can be transferred via memory card.  Simple, but effective (DRM’ed) file transfers.

#1 Nintendo moving to pure downloaded games on Dsi and Wii

The thought of going game tape-less is like a bludgeoning from a sledge hammer to each of our nostalgic gamer hearts.  However, it’s a future we can’t avoid.  By removing the GBA slot and focusing on the DS store for DSi-specific games, Nintendo is finally showing somewhat of an understanding of digital downloads.  Perhaps the next Nintendo handheld will be lacking a slot all-together.

So there you have it… a few ideas for what could be possible for the DSi.

Feel free to leave your comments and let me know if you agree/disagree.

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Responses

  1. Cool list

    top10 is the absolute best way to get viewers


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