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Joystiq presents

Accessorize with Nintendo

You know, we aren't above wanting to wear clothes bearing the Nintendo logo or building our own NES-shaped beds (with fully-functioning cartridge flap). We're fanboys, it's kind of what we do. We've seen the NES belt buckle and countless different T-shirts featuring Mario and size mattering.

So, it was during our daily stalking browsing of the flickr databases that we came across this helpful diagram of a trendy way that you female (or long-haired male) readers could get some more Mario in your life while neglecting to succumb to the masses. We imagine there are other hair styles one could achieve with said stylus, but we're into video games, not so much hair.

In what ways do you like to accessorize with Nintendo? Post some pictures or send us your story!

Kiosk Hunting: Here and there, but mostly there

When you ask DS Fanboy readers to do something for you, they don't waste much time. This is a valuable lesson I've now learned after putting out a call to you guys to let us know where and when you stumble across one of the many Wi-Fi tendrils of Nintendo's download station network currently spreading across the world. My online persona was buried beneath an avalanche of tips, comments and the usual death threats, but it has now surfaced and is ready to start compiling the information in an epic list that's sure to inspire a major motion picture. This is just the second part of our ongoing quest and I hope to keep adding new locations on a weekly basis.

A big, slightly overzealous "thank you" to everyone that contributed to this round. If you don't see your highlighted area in the list, be sure to check back later in the month. A few brave souls have also added some new locations to the Frappr map--quite a feat given that working with that application is about as pleasant as a sturdy kick in the head. The format of this list is probably far from optimal, so please let me know how you'd like me to change it in the future.

Also, the information from readers isn't always exact, but if you see that one Best Buy (or another store) has a download station in your region, chances are decent that others will have too. You'll know you're close to one by either recognizing a small banner and a DS set in wireless mode behind some plastic or experiencing a lightheaded sensation as Wi-Fi beams scramble your brains.

Keep the details (we want street names!), pictures and experiences coming! The full list is but a click away.

Continue reading Kiosk Hunting: Here and there, but mostly there

Overclocking the Nintendo DS

Here we have a video of a guy passing his DS through an external circuit board and adjusting the system's internal clock speed. Assuming that this isn't an elaborate fake, it's interesting to see how Mario Kart DS behaves at different clock speeds. At the overclocked rate, it practically transforms into F-Zero. Anyone that's tried to run old DOS games on a newer PC may have encountered similar speedy results. All this begs the question:

Where the heck is F-Zero DS?

Friend code complications ahead [Update 1]

Blogger Mike Zornek has hit the nail on the head when it comes to friend codes and upgrading to the DS Lite once it hits a local retailer near you. Since your Wi-Fi ID is dependant upon the combination of hardware and cartridge, popping in Mario Kart or Animal Crossing: Wild World for some WiFi action won't will only allow you to connect to your existing list of friends after some tweaking and transferral between your original DS and the new one.

Thankfully we all have wonderful sites like DS-Play to help make the transition easier.

[Thanks Mike!]

[Update 1: Oops! We totally forgot that you can transfer your Wi-Fi ID to your new DS via the Wi-Fi settings menu. Just don't sell your old DS before doing so! Thanks to our invaluable readers for rightly reprimanding us!]

Nintendo Wi-Fi hits one million users

And they're all playing Mario Kart DS. Shortly after a dramatic website countdown hit six digits, Nintendo has officially announced that their Wi-Fi service has managed to ensnare over 1 million hapless users. According to Reggie Fils-Aime, all those users represent more than 27 million game sessions. That's certainly an impressive number, but we expect it to grow even further once Metroid Prime: Hunters finds its way into the hands of eager online gamers. The total number of hours that will be lost to Nintendo's Wi-Fi nexus in the next few months is nigh incalculable.

Are you one of those 1,000,000 online players?

[Via British Gaming Blog. Thanks JonathanEx!]

Japanese software sales: Self-improvement is key

Since it wouldn't be right to discuss the weekly Japanese hardware sales without also mentioning the accompanying software sales, we've decided to dredge up the numbers for the week ranging from 13 February to 19 February. Though DS games take up half of the chart, the top spot was claimed quite comfortably by Capcom's Monster Hunter 2.

The ranking, according to number of units sold, is as follows:

  • Monster Hunter 2 (PS2): 362,173
  • Brain Training 2 (DS): 64,856
  • English Training (DS): 52,481
  • Animal Crossing: Wild World (DS): 50,808
  • Bleach - Hanatareshi Yabou (PS2): 41,480
  • Brain Training (DS): 33,194
  • Monster Hunter Portable (PSP): 27,823
  • Mario Kart DS (DS): 15,832
  • Siren 2 (PS2): 12,911
  • World Soccer Winning Eleven 9: Bonus Pack (PS2): 12,087
It seems that when they're not busy hunting monsters, Japanese gamers are constantly seeking to improve themselves by training their brains and learning new languages. There's a lesson in that. Somewhere...

[Thanks Khurrum for reminding us!]

DS Meet introduces online tournament system

Shiny!A while back we asked you to tell us how good you really were at Mario Kart DS. Now we might ask you to prove it. You see, the guys over at DS Meet, one of a few sites that allows users to share their friend codes and meet new players online, have implemented a cool new online tournament system. It allows you to join up with existing tournaments or create your own, all via a reasonably easy to use interface.

Once you've created a tournament, the site will automatically take care of rostering (though you can manually alter this as well) and keeping track of the friend codes of those competing. You also have the option of having a forum to discuss and coordinate matches with your fellow DS players. The onus is on the tournament operator to keep track of everybody's scores though, so a level of honesty may be required if you're going to take charge of a tournament. Being the best Mario Kart DS players in the known universe, we're all about the honesty.

Mind you, it's not all about the snaking. With support for Animal Crossing's various competitive activities and the upcoming Metroid Prime: Hunters, it's about fishing and shooting too. It's also about competing with people from all over the world. How about a DS Fanboy reader Mario Kart tournament? Can we have a show of hands from those who would be interested?

[Thanks echelon! Keep up the good work.]

DS gets demo downloads, online voice chat

In an announcement that undoubtedly involved a lot of determined strutting, intimidating glances and overt hand pyramids, Reggie Fils-Aime revealed that there are some interesting things in store for DS owners this year. Speaking at the D.I.C.E. conference in Las Vegas, the name-taking, ass-kicking Nintendo marketing machine revealed that the ridiculously popular handheld would soon be privy to features more often associated with a Microsoft console--downloadable demos and online voice chat.

As of next month, Nintendo will be placing Wi-Fi kiosks in retail locations all across the United States for the sole purpose of wirelessly providing gamers with demos and other content. When you're within range of these kiosks, all you have to do is open up your DS, hit "DS Download Play" and start downloading the goodness. Unfortunately, due to the lack of any permanent personal storage, you can only test out one game at a time. The data will also disappear as soon as you switch the system off. It would probably be a good idea to make use of the DS' sleep mode if you want to take something home with you and amaze your parents / siblings / pets / captors. The initial batch of demos include Mario Kart DS, Meteos, True Swing Golf, Pokemon Trozei, Tetris DS and Brain Age.

The Reggie also discussed the upcoming and highly anticipated Metroid Prime: Hunters. The game's online mode will support voice chat, allowing players to discuss matches, arrange settings and offer advice, all in a completely curteous manner. Or not. Brace yourself for a glut of trash-talking, n00bzor.

[Thanks to everyone that sent this in!]

Just how good are you at Mario Kart?

Wait, don't answer that. An answer from you will obviously be biased, completely influenced by that sad devotion to your ego and utterly worthless in a court of law. No, to get an accurate answer, we must turn to the more objective nature of this Mario Kart DS Skill Calculator. Just enter your number of wins and losses, time trial results and the number of stars you have for each GP, and it'll spit out a cold and calculated set of numbers that signify your skill. Or l33t skillz, if you preferz0rz.

Depending in which skill bracket you fall, you'll also be assigned a rank, ranging from the lowly banana peel ("Try playing the game more") to the much more fearsome Bullet Bill ("You're a true expert. People are right to fear you."). Which ranking are you? And don't even think about lying, because we'll know.

[Thanks Nushio!]

Real life MKDS snaking!!!

Mario Kart DS snaking is a love/hate relationship. It sucks to get out-snaked, but it would suck even more to run into the fellow on the streets.

[via 4cr]

DS comedies in full effect

A couple of humorous DS videos are hitting cyberspace faster than a whip crack! Well, one video is kind of old, but it still is whipping strong. Follow the links for videos in question and have a great weekend.

Battlefield Double Dash (pictured)
Resident Evil: Inappropriate Touching

[Thanks, Hachi_Roku]

USA Today sweet-talks the DS

USA Today speaks kind words about the DS and its "solid" lineup of games. The newspaper says Nintendo's newest portable format "succeeds in its innovative video games that take advantage of the machine's two LCD screens (one of which is touch-sensitive), built-in microphone for voice commands and free Wi-Fi for wireless multiplayer gaming over the Net."

The publication also rates the following games accordingly:
  • Electroplankton - 4.0 stars out of 5
  • Lost in Blue - 3.5 stars out of 5
  • Mario Kart DS - 4.5 stars out of 5
Is it just us, or is the number of DS press sightings at an all-time high?

Europeans obsessed with DS

Nintendo DSIt's true. People in Europe simply can't restrain themselves from buying Nintendo's portable wonder. More than 3.5 million units have been sold, almost all of them to people with exceedingly cool accents. The top-selling game since October has been the infinitely lovable Nintendogs, followed closely by the shell-spinning Mario Kart DS which saw release in November. The games have sold 1.6 million and 800,000 copies respectively and respectfully.

Of course, it's also noted that Animal Crossing: Wild World has yet to release over there, so one should expect another rise in sales and a fall in productivity to occur very soon indeed.

Mario Kart DS beta courses

In addition to the online track hacks and other unlockables for Mario Kart DS that we've previously reported on, you can know uncover beta courses that were never released by Nintendo. A forum member writes: "There are several courses in Mario Kart DS that are unfinished and completely unavailable (beta). They can be played with a little bit of hacking, but not at all perfectly. The textures are missing, so the courses are displayed almost pure white."

Could lack of time be the reason for not including these tracks? Only Nintendo has the real answer, but it would have been nice to get some extra tracks on the game. Maybe some future solution will allow DS owners to do so though.

Download Video

[Thanks, Sean; via Nintendo Forums]

Five top trends in 2005

Pink DSAn excellent article over at Game Girl Advance  (which was, in fact, written by a man) points out the 5 trends that were felt the most throughout the gaming world in 2005. Naturally, certain warm caffeinated beverages are touched upon, but we were more interested in how the DS made its entirely uncontroversial mark.

One of the big things this year was portable wireless gaming, spurred on partly by Nintendo's capable platform and free wireless service, but mostly just by the immensely popular Mario Kart DS. "I can go to Central Park and play Mario Kart against someone in Japan in a matter of minutes. I can do it at a Starbucks. Maybe a quick game before going to bed. Or maybe while I'm at my girlfriend's place. I can take my portables with me wherever I go."

The article further mentions the benefits of having a market where two systems don't necessarily compete against each other directly. The difference in approaches between the PSP, which favors sleek technology and media playback, and the DS which focuses on unique experiences ultimately caters to two different groups of people and so it's feasible for the systems to peacefully coexist. Perhaps a bit utopian (after all, they are still both portable gaming systems vying for your attention), but certainly a possibility that will bring more variety and choice to gamers.

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