Nintendo to start DS Lite movie downloads

Although it beats the pants of the competition on the sales front, Nintendo's DS Lite has never been anything more than a games machine, leading anyone interested in mobile media to opt for the PSP. Come March, however, that's set to change with the launch of an official movie download service for the DS.

DSvision, as it's called, will launch in Japan next spring and is an official venture backed by Nintendo, printing firm DNP and media distributor am3 with both online and hardware elements.

No wireless downloads

Users will need to buy a ¥3,890 (£17) kit that consists of a USB dongle with a microSD card slot, a 512MB card and an adapter that fits into the DS Lite cartridge slot.

The slightly cumbersome process doesn't include using the handheld's Wi-Fi to download movies. Instead, they need to be purchased from the DSvision website on a PC and transferred to the microSD card with the supplied hardware.

Comics and e-books too

Am3 says there will be around 300 films, TV shows, comics and e-books available at launch time, with the number scheduled to grow to 10,000 within two years.

As it claims 16 movies will fit on a 2GB card, that suggests that they're compressed to just 128MB in size, which is the amount of data that can fit on standard DS Lite cartridges. There's no word on quality from the DSvision at this time, but we'll be sure to let you know when we get our hands on one next year.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.