New Nintendo DS: games developers respond

DS developers ponder the future of DS gaming following news of new handheld
DS developers ponder the future of DS gaming following news of new handheld

TechRadar polled a number of leading Nintendo DS developers on the news that a new iteration of the hardware is due for release in Japan this side of Christmas, featuring an in-built camera and music playback features.

"We've had no confirmation from Nintendo on the European release of such a handheld, nor its exact specifications," said Oxygen Interactive MD, Kevin Hassall.

"But from a development perspective, our first question for Nintendo will be how the camera and, in particular, the music playback can be used within games."

Competition for iPhone

"I think this is just rumour at the moment, it remains to be seen if it will compete directly with devices such as iPhone (rather than PSP, given the rumoured feature-set)," Team 17 Software's head of development, Martyn Brown told TechRadar.

"Whatever they do has to maintain compatibility with the current DS, so I'm not sure too many games would really have the camera as a core gaming feature."

Camera gaming on DS

Oxygen's Kevin Hassall is a little more excited about the possibilities that the new DS's in-built camera and music playback features could offer games developers.

"Nintendo have done a phenomenal job over the last few years breaking down the barriers between the player and the game. The DS touchscreen, the Wii's controller, all of that is fantastic, and the accessibility of the hardware has clearly been a major factor in their recent success," Hassall told us.

"So with the reports of the new hardware we'd be looking at whether we could use these in the same way. Can we use the camera as an input method? Can the user import sound or music files from other sources into DS titles?" he ponders.

Interesting challenge for devs

"If new features can be used to extend the accessibility of the handheld then that's extremely interesting for developers."

The millions of DS gamers out there are of course keen to hear how the camera and music playback features will be utilised by developers on the new Nintendo device.

TechRadar has polled a number of other major DS developers on this matter, so stay tuned for more updates on this exciting Nintendo news throughout the coming days.

While we await the official confirmation on the news from Nintendo you can check out our news from Japan on the new DS for all the details.

Adam Hartley