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Band Brothers DX Speaker Channel in action

When we heard about the Speaker Channel that would allow Band Brothers DX players to share tracks with one another, we were immediately smitten with the title, even if we knew in the back of our mind that we'd probably never get to play it. Regardless of the end product's quality, strives such as this set precedents for others to utilize the DS and Wii together in interesting fashions.

Now, we can view the Channel in action, courtesy of the video uploaded over at the Touch DS site. We'd like to embed it, but, alas, we cannot. So, head on over and give it a look.

Visteon looking into multi-use DS and Wii devices

Those of you who like all-in-one devices might be familiar with Visteon's Dockable Entertainment system. Even though we see this as more of a "we like the idea but wouldn't actually buy one" item, this portable player supports Game Boy Advance games, as well as DVDs and music. Therefore, it's the perfect device for people who were looking for a GBA-meets-music-player-meets-DVD-player to keep them (or their children) busy on long drives.

This is all old news and exposition, though. The interesting part is that Visteon told GamerTell in an interview that they hope to come out with two new Dockable Entertainment systems, one featuring the Wii and the other the DS. These plans are nowhere near definite, but the fact that Visteon is looking into them is enough to get us excited. Granted, a portable Wii device that can also play DVDs and CDs is the more appealing of the two, but a DS version isn't too shabby of an idea, either. Of course, the potential pricing on these devices has us nervous, considering that the GBA version cost a cool $1,200 with installation when it came out.

May NPD: Buoyant



"Safe and steady" was the theme of May's NPD figures, with no console either enjoying a majestic surge or suffering a crushing collapse -- the DS simply registered a decent if unspectacular 9% rise in hardware sales. As it turns out, that bump was timely, because it meant the console reached 20 million units sold in North America, a landmark that has now been passed in all major regions.

Of course, we could snicker at how the PSP only clinched 29% of the handheld market, and so we will.
  • Wii: 714.2K 39.1K (5.5%)
  • DS: 414.8K 37.8K (9.1%)
  • PSP: 192.7K 10.4K (5.4%)
  • Xbox 360: 188K 1.4K (0.8%)
  • PS3: 187.1K 21.6K (11.5%)
  • PS2: 124.4K 8.3K (6.7%)
Software sales are waiting past the break.

Continue reading May NPD: Buoyant

PAL Nintendo Channel DS demos are training-tastic



Training, training, training. That's all us Europeans and Aussies want, right? Day in, day out, there we are, blurting "blue" into our handhelds like obedient farmyard animals, and being told that we're doing it wrong and that we're thuddingly simple. We know this happens, because the sales charts tell us so, and now the first DS demos on the local Nintendo Channel (released on all PAL consoles today) reflect the self-improvement obsession that has swept many PAL countries.

So, instead of getting demos of totally rad, new games such as Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword (which is what the U.S. got), we get four training games (only one of which came out this year) from the seven titles available, and adverts for Nintendogs and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. The only bright spot? A couple of tracks from Mario Kart DS, and a Picross demo, but those are hardly fresh titles.

We're not usually the types to look a gift horse in the mouth, but there's a stunning lack of variety on display here, Nintendo. Hit the break for the infuriatingly vanilla list.

Continue reading PAL Nintendo Channel DS demos are training-tastic

DS Daily: Feature invention

We couldn't stop telling ourselves all day yesterday how cool the newest feature in Band Brothers DX is. That got us to thinking about our lovely little chat topics we have every day and what some of you wonderful readers might have knocking around your noggins.

So, in line with what Band Brothers DX is doing, what upcoming game would you like to see have something like this? In fact, what ideas do you have period? Whether it's just as simple as in-game currency exchanging between a Wii and DS game or for a special Channel on the Wii (we envision something like hosting a Pokémon tournament and having live stats tracking through the Wii), we want to hear it. Hit us with your best ideas!

Band Brothers DX allows players to share tracks

When the Wii and DS come together, it's better than Voltron. First, we start getting DS demos sort of regularly from the Wii, now this. Of course, as with all incredibly awesome game news, it comes from Japan.

According to the latest issue of Famitsu, owners of Band Brothers DX, the rhythm-based DS title from Nintendo, will be able to share tracks by using the Speaker Channel. It's a new Channel for the Wii that will allow you to stream music created in the DS game to your TV, as well as upload tracks online for others users to download.

What other games do you think could benefit from stuff like this? How would you like to see the Wii's capabilities incorporated in other DS games in the future?

[Via Game | Life]

New DS demos are the old DS demos


When we turned on our Wii earlier to check and see if the recent habit of providing us with new DS demos every week would continue, we stumbled upon something very odd. You see, this week's new DS demos are, in fact, the first set of DS demos that released alongside the Nintendo Channel. Just now, they don't have an expiration date attached to them.

For those of you with a bad memory (or no desire to click links), the list of demos available has been placed past the break.

Continue reading New DS demos are the old DS demos

Wii's Nintendo Channel DS Demos now available

Got a Wii? Then boot up the Wii Shop and download the just-released Nintendo Channel so you can get your DS demos! The new channel also features several videos, including game trailers. We watched the Professor Layton information video, which did an excellent job of showing off the puzzling adventure. From that video, users can navigate to a screen with more information, just as game rating -- and a "purchase" button, which redirects to a page in the Internet Channel with links to Amazon, Circuit City, and Best Buy, so that you can order the game from the comfort of your own sofa. Not a bad idea!

Of course, what we're really interested in are the DS demos. It's about time we got some useful Wii-DS connectivity. The list of currently-available demos is short, packed with already-released games, and not particularly exciting, but we hope that will change with time. There's a lot of variety, if nothing else. DS demos from the Wii are just like any other: once downloaded, the demo stays until you turn off your handheld. Closing the DS without turning it off will not affect your demo.

Skip past the break to see the full list of available demos, including the very excellent Ninja Gaiden.

Continue reading Wii's Nintendo Channel DS Demos now available

Student-made DS games can be downloaded from Japanese Wiis

Student-created DS games are nothing new in Japan, thanks to Nintendo's game seminars. When the students finish their games, Nintendo usually makes them available at DS Download Stations so that other people throughout Japan can play and enjoy them.

The company has just one-upped itself, though, by allowing DS owners to download these games from their Wiis. From now until April 22nd, Wakeari no Heya Tsuzuki (a horror game that is played book style) will be available for download on the Minna no Nintendo Channel (Everybody's Nintendo Channel), with more student-made games likely to follow.

While anyone outside of Japan (unless you've imported a Japanese Wii) can't do anything but look on jealously, we have to admit that this is a great move by Nintendo. Nintendo of Japan, that is. From what we hear, the students' games are actually pretty good, and offering them to millions of people benefits both the students who've created them and DS owners who want to play them. Even though the game seminar titles were made available to the public before via DS Download Stations, using DS/Wii connectivity to host them will only make them more accessible than ever.

Still, seeing all the potential of the Everybody's Nintendo Channel with the DS and not actually having it is pure torture.

Big in Japan: DS coasts to fiscal 2007 victory



Been keeping up with sales figures from Japan recently? If so, you'll have noticed something unusual: for the first time in years, the DS isn't absolutely creaming the competition. Whether the PSP's resurgence will last is another debate for another post, but it hasn't been able to prevent Nintendo's handheld from taking top spot in fiscal year 2007.

The DS won in style as well, selling 6.34 million units (that's one DS sold every five seconds, FYI) and comfortably beating the Wii (3.74m sales) into second place. In case you're wondering, that sound you can hear is Iwata, Reggie, and Shiggy clinking champagne glasses on board their yacht of solid gold.

The gap between the Wii and PSP is considerably smaller, while the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 occupy fourth and fifth place respectively (mystifyingly, the PlayStation 2 wasn't counted). And it wasn't only hardware sales that Nintendo dominated -- the five best-selling games were all from the Nintendo stable, with Wii Fit, Mario Party DS, Wii Sports, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon doing the business. Make like Godzilla and stomp past the break for the charts.

Continue reading Big in Japan: DS coasts to fiscal 2007 victory

Miyamoto: 'DS was designed with mothers and school in mind'



For its 1,000th issue, lucky old Famitsu got quite the gift: a chance to sit down with Nintendo design guru Shigeru Miyamoto and chew the fat about Nintendo's past, present, and future.

As you'd expect, numerous topics were broached, with the DS talked about at length. Miyamoto explained how Nintendo approached designing the handheld, revealing that the company aimed for "something Mom won't hate," as well as a system that could help out at school.

As for what the future holds for the dual-screened wonder, Miyamoto said Nintendo was focused on making games that people would want to play at both home and, well, everywhere else: "When you take your DS out on the town, you'll be able to do all kinds of fun things with it in public spaces. This year we plan to challenge ourselves with that kind of system."

Elsewhere in the article, Shiggy discusses how his dismay with the GameCube controller directly influenced the development of the Wii Remote (the reporter apparently tried to defend the controller, but Miyamoto was having none of it), and reassured fans that Mario and Zelda still had big roles to play in Nintendo's future.

Nintendo shifting focus to Wii development

While this might be cause for alarm, as nobody likes a young upstart to come in thinking they own the place, smaller dev teams for DS titles isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's not like Nintendo's new allocation of development resources is going to cut down on the great games available for the handheld, as third parties are doing a great job of bringing worthwhile experiences to the platform.

For all of you DS enthusiasts out there who think Nintendo's new sole focus will be projects for the Wii, don't fret. Just make sure you buy one whenever Nintendo gets around to making sure they're available on store shelves. You're going to want to download some demos for your DS anyway.

[Via Wii Fanboy]

DS sells twenty million in Europe

One of the biggest challenges of being a Nintendo blogger is finding new ways of telling your readers that the DS is popular in various regions of the world. We could take the easy route here and resort to writing about hot cakes and/or printing money, but no, we're just going to give it to you straight: in Europe, the DS is really, really popular.

We're not quite talking Japan levels of popularity here -- that would be insane. But it's doing jolly well, regardless. According to a swaggering Nintendo of Europe, the little handheld that could has sold through more than 20 million units in the region, as of the beginning of January.

And that's not all, folks: the games are also shifting in healthy numbers. Throughout the continent, Nintendogs is at the front, pulling furiously on its leash with 8 million sales. Everybody's favorite polygonal professor takes second, having sold 5 million copies of the bonce-honing Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain?, while New Super Mario Bros. grabs bronze with 3 million sales.

Get that conga line formed, people. You know the drill by now.

[Via press release]

Full DS downloads not coming to DS, Reggie misinterpreted?


When Reggie sat down with the NY Times recently, many might have misinterpreted what Reggie said in regards to future plans regarding DS downloads and the Everyone's Nintendo Channel. Gamasutra states that a nameless Nintendo representative issued a statement regarding the rumor of downloads directly to the DS as "incorrect."

An anonymous Nintendo representative apparently said that the real functionality will reside in the Wii being able to download DS titles to be played on Wii. "Users can download games to play on Wii," the nameless NIntendo rep said. This rep also supposedly went on to say "and, in the future, the Nintendo DS will be able to receive demo versions of some DS games from Wii, but not the entire game. The demo will be erased once the Nintendo DS is turned off."

We're wondering at the possible alterations our DS games would need to go through in order to be played on Wii. How about you?

DS Fanswag: The ultimate Geometry Wars: Galaxies package [update]


DS Fanboy is offering one lucky reader the chance for the ultimate Nintendo Geometry Wars: Galaxies experience. In order to unlock a special galaxy (in both versions of the title), gamers are required to have both the DS and Wii versions of the game -- so we're giving away that very pair! To pick up both the Wii and DS (valued at $39.99 and $29.99, respectively) versions in one ultimate package, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post between now and Monday, December 10th. The contest closes that evening at 11:59 pm EST, and we'll announce the winner on Tuesday morning.

As per usual, the contest is only open to U.S. citizen legal U.S. residents over the age of 18, and you can only enter once per day. Beyond that, all you have to do is leave a comment -- so get on it! And don't forget to check out the official rules if you have any questions.

Update: The contest is open to legal U.S. residents, not U.S. citizens. You have to be living in the U.S. to be elligible to win. Sorry about the confusion. Thanks for the heads up, Pixelantes Anonymous!

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