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DS voice chat and demo kiosks

Shout in Metroid Prime, woo!

Following the announcement that North American Nintendo DS users will soon be able to communicate via voice chat, Nintendo has told our sister site, GamesIndustry.biz that it also hopes to offer the feature to European gamers.

News that forthcoming DS game Metroid Prime Hunters will have a voice over IP connection option was announced by NoA's Reggie Fils-Aime in at D.I.C.E. He said that VOIP was designed to facilitate "chatting" before and after battles in a lobby area, for example to decide on game settings, rather than "trash-talking" during play. Players can only use VOIP to talk to people on their Friends list.

A Nintendo of Europe spokesperson told GamesIndustry.biz: "We are hoping that the VOIP feature will also be included in the European version of Metroid Prime Hunters for Nintendo DS but various regulatory and contractual issues need to be cleared first." The game set for a March 20th release date in North America, and will launch in Europe on May 5th.

Fils-Aime also revealed that Nintendo plans to roll out a series of DS demo kiosks across North America at "thousands of retail locations," including branches of GameStop, EB Games and Game Crazy. DS owners who visit the kiosks will be able to wirelessly download demos, game videos, mini-games and additional game content, and the downloads will be accessible until the handheld is switched off.

The first kiosks will offer free demos of Tetris DS, Brain Training, Mario Kart DS, Meteos, True Swing Golf and Pokémon Trozei, along with a video of Metroid Prime Hunters. Kiosks will get new content every quarter.

When asked if Europe will also get DS demo kiosks, Nintendo simply stated: "We haven't announced our plans in the UK yet." However, a retail source told GamesIndustry.biz that there are indeed plans to bring demo kiosks here, and that they will roll out in the next few months.

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.

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