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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Nintendo set to offer full DS games for download via Wii

Download DS games on Wii

US Nintendo DS owners will soon be able to download DS games through their Wii, Nintendo US boss Reggie Fils-Amie has told the New York Times.

The service will offer both complete games and demos, which will be directly downloaded to Wii via broadband, then wirelessly transmitted to DS.

Additional content for newer titles will also be a possibility, with new puzzles already confirmed for the upcoming Professor Layton.

Nintendo looks to be widening the range of services it provides as its user base also grows. At a baseball game last year in Seattle, fans could watch the game, order food and view statistics, all using their handheld console.

Whether this is just whimsical experimenting on the part of Nintendo's research team is a matter for debate, but it sounds interesting to us.

Currently there is no confirmation that the service will arrive in the UK, but given there's little reason for it not to, we speculatively expect to hear more later this year.

Nintendo DS to Begin Full Game Downloads
We've long known the NIntendo DS to be a capable of downloading content like demos from kiosks, but "complete games" will soon be downloadable through the Wii, and then Wi-Fi transferable to the DS, according to Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime's interview with the NYT. But for the moment, only one game has been announced—Professor Layton. So we're left with more questions than answers. Will Nintendo open up their retro gaming Virtual Console to older Gamboy titles? But even more importantly, will Nintendo really let you download games without a catch?

For instance, how will the games be stored on the DS? Or will they be stored at all? In DS retail kiosks, demo content is only shared with the DS in a temporary buffer—nothing is actually written to the system's hard drive because the unit has no such storage. So once you turn off the DS, you lose your demo forever.

Nintendo could deal with such an issue in two ways. First, they could use a system like the DSVision or R4, essentially a writable DS cartridge, to store these downloadable titles. Or, as the company is facing incredible amounts of piracy already (before putting the emulation technology into the hands of all consumers), Nintendo could limit the system just as they do DS kiosks. It's feasible that consumers will only have access to the downloaded games between the time they're synced and the time that the DS is turned off.

Saving games could become problematic in this scenario, but one has to wonder why Nintendo would put the Wii in the equation at all, otherwise.

But at the moment, downloadable DS titles seem like a good idea. We'll be interested to see how this unfolds

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