DS goes beyond gaming

One of the reasons I like the DS is that aside from arcade, many of the games are either simulations or role-playing games. For instance, you don’t see games like “Professor Layton” being developed for the Xbox because console players want the action-it’s like if you have a hot convertible, you’re probably more likely to whisk about with the top down whereas if you’re riding a horse-driven buggy, you’d probably take a more leisurely ride even if you could go faster. Today, I was surprised to see Syberia added to the DS game list. The game was released for the PC several years ago (I started it but could not finish it after I upgraded my new computer because the game was not Vista compatible.

But now that smartphones such as the iPhone support a similar touch-screen interface, how could a DS differentiate itself? If more and more games are available on the iPhone, would it threaten the DS? After all, why would you carry around a phone, a media player, and a portable game device all separately?

Nintendo has obviously been thinking about this. Its tactics for the DS and Wii echo that of the general industry trend in converging applications to one device only Nintendo is more subtle than Microsoft is with its Xbox 360.  I say subtle because they’re not adding new applications yet, just expanding what they could work with. The new Personal Trainer: Cooking isn’t a game at all, it’s a guide with lots of recipes. Using Nintendo’s speech recognition software, one can place the DS in the kitchen and not have to touch it while it tells you how to prepare a meal. What a great idea! So many times I’ve seen my sister work in the kitchen with her iMac open on the counter. It’s also great that you can download more recipes. Another net-friendly “game” for DS is Club Penguin, in which

Kids can earn coins while playing on the Disney Club Penguin Nintendo DS, which will seamlessly transfer into their online accounts via a wireless connection.

How cool is that?

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