The Nintendo DS is no ordinary console. What on the face of it appears to be merely an upgraded Game Boy Advance is packed with a suite of never-before-seen features which make it unique within the gaming world.
The most obvious new feature is the two screens (DS stands for dual screen), the bottom of which is a touch screen. This makes an enormous difference to the way you play and interact with the game, as you use a stylus or the handy thumb strap to control the action.
The way this works in a game varies enormously, with first person shooter Metroid Prime: Hunters using the touch screen and D-pad to create a control system that’s just as responsive as a PC keyboard and mouse. Other games, like Yoshi’s Touch & Go, have you actually drawing on the touch pad to create platforms, while other games use the extra screen to display inventory or map info.
But there’s more to the DS than even that. It also has a built-in microphone (one new medical game has you operating on patients with the touch screen and reassuring them everything’s going to be okay via the microphone) and it can be connected wirelessly to sixteen or more other consoles. Not only that but some games and utilities even allow it to connect online via Wi-Fi.
Although the DS is far more powerful than the GBA – it can display 3D graphics somewhere between a Nintendo 64 and the GameCube–it is still backwards compatible, so you can play all your old GBA games in single player mode on the same console.
With a battery life of between 6 and 10 hours the Nintendo DS gets pretty much everything right. With a range of games that seem to offer far more originality and imagination than any other home or portable console this is could well be the most exciting new console of 2005. –David Jenkins
Find More Products