Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Brief Thoughts on The Nintendo DS

I went to Circuit City on Monday to get some blank CDs (and I picked up Snoop Dogg's new album in the process), but I got a chance to play with a demo version of the Nintendo DS. The first thing I noticed is that it's not nearly as big as the pictures make it out to be. It is bigger than the Game Boy Advance SP, but only in width. The touch screen is pretty cool. I played a demo of Metroid Hunters, a First Person Shooter. The controls were interesting. Since I'm right-handed, I used the D-Pad to move (similar to what you'd do with a keyboard on a PC) and the stylus on the touch screen to change where I was looking (similar to moving the mouse on a PC). The shoulder buttons on the top of the lower half of the unit shot the weapon (similar to clicking the mouse on a PC). I noticed that both shoulder buttons shot the weapon and the buttons also acted the same way the D-Pad did, making it easy for left or right-handed people to play. It took a few seconds to get used to the controls, but once I did, they worked well.

I've wanted a GBA for a while, but when I heard about the DS, I wondered if I should get that since it also plays GBA games. I'll say this...it's a toss-up really. In the end, the GBA SP is much cheaper and I'd probably go for that. However, if I had the money (and the inevitable shortages weren't in place), I might get a DS. I wonder how the landscape will change once the PSP (PlayStation Portable) comes out next year. It will be more powerful than the DS and speculation is that it will not be substantially more expensive. Hmm...maybe I should wait for the PSP to come out instead...

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