Nintendo Announces Dual-Screened Portable System

By: Chella Ramanan

Nintendo is bringing gamers a new handheld, scheduled to launch worldwide before the end of 2004. The shock announcement reveals that the new portable game system, tentatively called Nintendo DS, will have two separate game screens.

Details are thin on the ground at the moment, but all will be revealed at E3 in LA, this May. Featuring two TFT LCD screens, the mysterious new product will allow players to see their progress from two different perspectives without having to interrupt gameplay. This could be good news for RPG fans. Wave goodbye to alternating between the map screen whilst playing or access items screen during battle. Apparently, it will have a wireless function and third party titles, but Nintendo are keeping their cards close to their chest until E3.

Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata had this to say, "We have developed Nintendo DS based upon a completely different concept from existing game devices in order to provide players with a unique entertainment experience for the 21st century."

Amongst the third party developers sniffing around is Konami, who has announced it will support the Nintendo dual-screen portable. Nintendo fans will be pleased to hear that Shigeru Miyamoto will also reveal new titles for the system at E3.

This could be a knee-jerk reaction to Sony’s entry into the handheld market. Anticipation is high for the PSP and nobody could blame Nintendo for feeling the pressure. The Nintendo DS is unique all right, but is there a very good reason why it hasn’t been done before and is that reason that it’s ludicrous? Only time will tell.

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