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I Can Haz Video Playing Too?

The Nintendo DSi comes equipped with an SD card slot and pre-installed software for playing sounds and music from said memory card. This makes the handheld perfectly capable of operating as a rudimentary portable MP3 player and a possible alternative to an iPod. Many MP3 players these days also happen to play video files, including the hard drive based Microsoft Zune and certain selections from the Sandisk Sansa series. The hardware requirements seem to be relatively simple and inexpensive, especially when you look at the cheap generic MP4 players that populate eBay. I’m pretty sure the DSi can handle it.


In fact, I know it can. On my DS Lite, I was able to find a homebrew application that could run on one of those flash cartridges. As a completely unsanctioned and unauthorized piece of software, it worked quite well at playing video files on the DS Lite. If there is an endorsed video player app that hits the DSi Shop, I’m sure that its performance would be even better.

The screen resolution on the Nintendo DSi may not be particularly impressive, but this inclusion (as well as the MP3 player, Opera web browser, dual cameras, etc.) make the handheld much more competitive against the iPods and PSPs of the world. A sanctioned DSi video player would also open the doors for downloadable videos (both paid and free) for the DSi. Going further, this may also open the possibility of video recording (or even live video casting) using one of the DSi cameras. Record a video clip and not just a still snapshot.

World of Goo and Other Surprises

The fifth title on my wishlist of DSiWare offerings for the Nintendo DSi remains to be determined. This is, by no means, meant to be a cheap cop-out. This is more a strong belief that the best is yet to come, assuming that Nintendo is able to market the DSi Shop properly. The Wii Shop and the Wii Virtual Console have not received enough marketing attention and, as such, have become more of a place for existing enthusiasts and die hard fans. Further still, the WiiWare titles themselves aren’t getting enough attention and some real gems can easily fly under the radar.


One such game, which I only really learned about from a recent video game podcast, is World of Goo. This imaginative, addictive, and progressive puzzle game is a real diamond in the rough. Its simple yet effective use of the Wii Remote as a pointing device is great, and it could easily be ported to the touchscreen of the DSi. Those who have played World of Goo love it, but most of us haven’t tried it. Nintendo needs to tell us about these games.

Looking ahead to what has yet to come to the DSi Shop, it’s really hard to say which title will wow us next. When we were first introduced to Xbox Live, we didn’t know how much we’d love Castle Crashers. In like manner, we don’t know how much we’ll love XYZ title as DSiWare either. But I expect to be surprisingly impressed at some point by some little known independent developer.

The Future of the Nintendo DSi and DSiWare


Downloadable content and micro transactions appear to be the wave of the future. This concept of quick and easy DLC is only beginning to pick up steam now, but based on the roaring popularity of impulse buys on the iTunes App Store for the iPhone, Nintendo has some real potential with DSiWare.

In many ways, the DSi is only a mild upgrade over the DS Lite. I don’t see too much immediate value to the dual cameras, for example, but creative utilizations through new games and DSiWare could make for a richly rewarding experience. The ball’s in your court, Nintendo. Wow me again.

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