It appears that Nintendo has some hitherto unmentioned functionality in the DS that they are revealing in an I Love Bees style marketing campaign. If you look at the freaky picture, you can see a stylised Nintendo DS in the face of the marionette, and the faint ‘s’ in Find me (making it more like Find DS Me…). Sources are saying that the DS acts not only as a wireless gameplay device, but also as a wireless repeater, meaning that your network of possible gamers is much wider than your immediate vicinity.
Nintendo have already revealed some of the power of the DS’s wireless connectivity:
..And a Nintendo DS in sleep mode will spring to life if it senses another DS in transmitting range, alerting users to each other?s presence and setting the stage for an impromptu conversation or game session.
…but the potential hinted at by these new revelations totally trancends your basic “sit around in a group and play wirelessly” functionality. If this (the repeater functionality) is in any way true, then it will make the touch-screen part of the DS look about as groundbreaking as MP3 support on a Sony player, and it makes the PSP’s infra-red wireless gaming look like a silly kids’ toy.
Seriously, wide-area gaming would be the killer app for handheld consoles. Imagine some sort of asynchronous MMPORG-style game whereby when a fellow player’s DS is detected, some form of battle can take place. Some sort of modern take on the old style Campus ‘Assassin’ games.
Not to mention the facilitation of true munchkin-style ubiquitous networking.