Death of the DS

In the wake of Apple’s keynote address yesterday (and slightly before as I understand) there has been speculation that the adjustments and upgrades to the iPhone and the iPod touch will spell the end of the beloved Nintendo DS.

Basically, Apple have launched their ‘App Store’ which allows iPhone and Touch owners to download content to their device, the most hyped of which is a version of Super Monkey Ball. Apparently this development will mean the death of DS as no longer will gaming consumers, the implicit suggestion goes, be happy with ‘inferior’ technology.

Follow after the break for the rest of my thoughts on this.

Now, a group of us discussed this at some length whilst enjoying the sunshine yesterday, and whereas the obvious benefits of iPod based gaming (the accelerometer allowing motion control) were brought up, I’m leaning towards the opinion that this could in fact be a positive thing for Nintendo and the DS. Bare with me.

Hand-held gaming in recent years, regardless of what PSP owners may say, has been undeniably dominated by the DS with very little competition. Competition always breeds creativity, and I think that Apple’s (as a powerful and cutting edge company) experimentation in this area could do some wonderful things for the quality of DS games that are produced. Up until this point the DS has been relatively unchallenged by other hand held systems, and whereas many of the games released have dominated my life for far too much time, of late I’m beginning to feel disappointed with the lazy creation and uninspiring release schedule. Doctor Who top trumps is a case in point.

Sometimes I wonder whether Nintendo have forgotten all about the cute and dinky DS, in favour of developing Wii games- not that I’m complaining about the wonderful Wii games that have arrived in the last year- and wish that the focus would even out again. Yes, I’m demanding and greedy but I want more DS games of the standard of Phantom Hourglass and innovative as Nintendogs, but far less games designed to test my eyes or brain, leaving me feeling blind and stupid.

I can only see good things ahead for the DS with a bit of stiff competition. If Nintendo percieve it to be a concern to them, they’ll get on with a even smaller, sexier, touchy screeny on both sides DS/2. Could it be like one of these?

DS 2