Nintendo DS

Nintendo DS - stylus at the ready

Nintendo really thought about this one... Sony were clearly ready to release their "PSP", and the technical specs were very high. So Nintendo decided to release a handheld console that still "pushed the envelope", but had several features that would ultimately make it by far more appealing and just downright fun.

First of all, there had to be a technical advance from the GBA, so they decided that it was going to be a "Handheld Nintendo 64". For some reason, Nintendo decided it was going to have two screens (DS = Dual Screen. Do you see?). This, to me, sounded like a gimmick, but when I heard the news that the bottom screen was going to be touch-sensitive, I started to get interested...

Finally, there was going to be Wi-Fi connectivity (Hurrah! No expensive link cables!), and a microphone... This, for me was going to be the ultimate gimmick, but... well, maybe you should read my review of Warioware Touched! (when I get round to writing it).

The Wi-Fi connectivity has proved to be nothing short of AMAZING. You can actually play multiplayer games with ONE game card, downloading the game from your opponent, and with no wires to accidentally knock out, handheld multiplayer gaming finally became "good".

Compared to the GBA SP, the Nintendo DS felt slightly large in the pocket. However, Nintendo attempted to rectify this with the release of the DS Lite. With improved screens, it actually is several times better from the word go. More recently there has also been the DSi, which incorporates cameras and even a shop channel you can connect to by Wi-Fi, and now the 3DS, which uses the latest 3D technology to give you 3D gaming without the need for glasses. Not played in depth yet, but I'd like to...