£30 for DS Opera Browser in the UK
Long-awaited Nintendo DS web browser out in two months
Alright, so we've already got a good idea from the Japanese version of the DS Opera browser and an accompanying video as to how we'll soon be stylus-surfing on Nintendo's handheld. But we don't mind admitting we're counting the days, especially as Nintendo today confirmed a 6th October arrival and £30 pricepoint for the Nintendo DS Browser in Europe.
Revealing that some 1.7 million unique users have used the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection service since its launch last November, Nintendo also explained a bit more about how the browser will work, for those who haven't the time or inclination to translate Japanese.
As you'd expect, the fully-featured web browser should enable you to do everything a normal browser would. It features bookmarking functions and a fast start-up time - both vital for handheld web access, whether using a public Wi-Fi hotspot or one of Nintendo's free Wi-Fi hotspots.
The interface is designed to replicate the experience of using a keyboard and mouse. You use the stylus to activate hyperlinks and click around pages, while for typing in URLs and filling in complicated information, you can employ an onscreen graphical keyboard or take (your chances with) the console's handwriting recognition system.
There are two main viewing modes. Overview Mode shows the complete web site on one screen, with highlighted areas enlarged on the other screen. Alternatively, you can browse via a Fit-to-Width Mode, where web sites are adjusted to fit inside the two Nintendo DS screens, eliminating the need for horizontal scrolling.
The Nintendo DS Browser will be sold as a standard DS cartridge, and bundled with a Memory Expansion Pack to enable image-heavy sites to load quickly. The memory pack fits into the DS's Game Boy Advance socket and comes in two flavours: original DS and DS Lite.
It all sounds spiffing, although there's bad news for kids - parents can set passwords to activate the browser, and activate blocking via a proxy filter.
All in all, for just £30 the browser really does seem a cheap way to both exploit and increase the capabilities of the dual-screen handheld, provided you've got decent Internet access on hand of course