Devs go bonkers for DSi storage

Not so keen on the media bits.

The most significant feature of the new DSi will be the additional storage of the SD memory cards, opening the handheld up to online content.

That's according to developers Doublesix and Team17, which picked apart the new DS model for the dark side of our moon, GamesIndustry.biz.

"The most appealing aspect for Doublesix is the downloading of games direct to the platform using Nintendo Points," said James Brooksby, boss of the company. "Our focus is on digital distribution so this gives us another great platform to put some really innovative and fun games on."

"Adding an SD slot makes a bunch of sense for downloadable content given the way things are going," added Team17 chief Martyn Brown, although he hopes the DSi is "a better experience than the Wii's online store and system".

But he also urged caution: "I just hope they've done something to counter the mass piracy that exists via the R4 on the Lite. It scares me that with an SD card input, that might leave it even wider open that it was on the original device."

The DSi, unveiled yesterday, features 17 per cent bigger screens, a 0.3-megapixel camera, a built-in web browser and better audio playback. The GBA slot is being done away with.

Brooksby believes this added media functionality will not detract from the handheld as a games device, and also points to some "very interesting crossover opportunities that this could bring".

Brown, on the other hand, is less keen on the DS becoming a media Swiss Army Knife.

"I'm sure that the photo option will be good fun for kids, but I think that's straying into phone territory and since it's 0.3 megapixels, it's hardly setting the world on fire," said Brown.

"I'm sure the device will have a wider appeal, but most people I know who have a DS Lite tend to already have a phone and MP3 player with similar functions." However, Brown says the DS has come a long way since launch.

The DSi is due to launch in Europe next spring.

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