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Nintendo considering 'always on' 3G connectivity for DS

With connection and data costs bundled into price of device

Product: DS news | Manufacturer: Nintendo
DS news DS, thumbnail 1
Sony seemed to make a concerted effort to puts its weight back behind its handheld brand a few months back in response to the iPhone's popularity, and now Nintendo appears to be following suit.

We heard about the previously slimmed down DS Lite and DSi going phat again last week, in the shape of the large-screen DSi XL, and some more intriguing hardware news is now filtering out of Nintendo.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata spoke of his interest in adding an 'always on' 3G data connection to the DS, similar in vein to Amazon's Kindle device (which, interestingly enough, Fraser predicted in this week's Pocket Gamer Report over on The Escapist).

Nintendo has remained resolute in its refusal to go down the mobile phone route, which is perfectly understandable, but connected devices are becoming something of a prerequisite in the games industry and by bundling the costs of the 3G data into the price of the device (as the Kindle does) this could be a very exciting way for Nintendo to close the technology gap with the iPhone.

"Only people who can pay thousands of yen a month [in mobile phone subscriptions] can be iPhone customers," Iwata explained. "That doesn't fit Nintendo customers because we make amusement products. In reality, if we did this it would increase the cost of the hardware, and customers would complain about Nintendo putting prices up, but it is one option for the future."

As always, it'll come down to convenience over cost, but the notion of a 3G connected DS with no subscription fees is undeniably intriguing. Give us your thoughts below.

Reviewer photo
Spanner Spencer 2 November 2009
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Anonymous | 22:00 - 6 November 2009
Yeah nintendo are dumb like that because with the psp you can re-download stuff you have already paid for.