John Carmack reckons the DS would make a great proving ground for upstart programmers if only platform holders didn't stifle homebrew development.
"It is a shame that homebrew development can't be officially sanctioned and supported, because it would be a wonderful platform for a modern generation of programmers to be able to get a real feel for low level design work," Carmack told IGN in an interview about Orcs & Elves, "to be contrasted with the high level web and application work that so many entry level people start with."
Carmack of course took a similar route to building up Orcs & Elves, id Software's upcoming Nintendo DS game - created as a collaboration between Carmack and Fountainhead Software. As he explained at QuakeCon 2007, he got the 3D code that underpins the game up and running in four days during one of his "working retreats" - where he locks himself in a hotel room for two weeks with no internet connection "for completely focused work".
Unofficial homebrew solutions do exist for DS, using flash cards for storage, but they're distinctly not supported by Nintendo what with all the inherent piracy potential. The platform holder does like to get people involved with its platforms these days though - having set up a "Wii Software" initiative for downloadable, low-budget Wii games, while the DS itself is a much less demanding system than other more graphically intensive platforms for aspiring developers with a bit of cash to get started.