Nintendo DS Going to Become More Useful

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Nintendo has announced plans to bring more useful features to its portable gaming console.

Since the introduction of the Nintendo DS, some people have hoped that this device — with its dual displays, one of them a touchscreen, and Wi-Fi — would fulfill its potential to be more than just a mobile game console. A version of the Opera web browser released in the last year has been a step in this direction, and now Nintendo intends to go even further.

In his announcement, company president Satoru Iwata didn’t give any specifics, but according to the Wall Street Journal, "the features will be useful in places like train stations, amusement parks, or museums and could be accessed wirelessly." One possibility that fits this description in an application for exchanging email and/or instant messages.

Nintendo is clearly hoping to capitalize on the growing interest in the DS among non-traditional gamers, who are buying the device for applications like Brain Age, a collection of small games that are supposed to help keep the user mentally nimble.

Iwata didn’t say exactly when the first of the new, more practical applications for the DS will be released, other than that will be on the market some time next year.

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