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DS gets WWW

Opera web browser to go on sale as DS cartridge

DS gets WWW
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DS

Following the success of Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection for multiplayer gaming over the Internet, the next logical step is to let us check out websites with the DS. And that’s what been announced, with a deal that will seen the Opera browser made available for DS.

It won’t be free though. You’ll have to buy a DS cart containing the software and, of course, you’ll also have to be in range of a wireless hotspot to get onto the Internet.

Still, it seems like a good idea, but at the moment there are plenty of important things we don’t know. The European cost of the Opera cart hasn’t been announced (it will be about £18 in Japan), nor its release date. Perhaps more importantly, however, is the lack of information about how the tiny DS screens (each a mere 192 by 256 pixels) will cope with websites that are mainly designed for big monitor screen resolutions of at least 1024 x 768 pixels.

Nintendo suggests both DS screens will be used, and a mocked up image from Opera has the bottom screen showing a whole webpage while the top has a magnified view. At least the touchscreen will make it easy to enter URLs, which one of the main failings in the browser available for Sony’s PSP handheld.

Perhaps the only way the technology will really work is if Nintendo invents a system which selects only some websites and then resizes them especially for the DS. This sort of move (called a ‘walled garden’) would also make sense from the point of view of making sure children couldn’t access the more lurid adult websites – something Nintendo, with its kid-friendly image, is sure to be worried about.