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DS can go "beyond games" says Iwata

Nintendo president talks 2008 and beyond

In an interview with Japanese National Newspaper Asahi, Nintendo's Satoru Iwata has stated that he sees the role of the DS moving beyond gaming and into areas explored previously by PDAs.

"With over 20 million units sold domestically, we can go beyond games", Iwata said. "Uses like getting off a train and downloading a map of the surrounding area, with descriptions of stores. The expanding of WiFi access throughout train stations, underground plazas, and restaurants allows the DS to get online from many more places".

As we mentioned last week, Nintendo has already been experimenting with expanding the functionality of the DS, but this is the boldest claim yet that Nintendo's ambitions lie away from just games.

You have to admire its resolve, given its online support is traditionally seen as one of Nintendo's weakest areas.

Otherwise, it was business as usual for Iwata, again citing the need to appeal to a broad audience and his desire to bring families together using Wii.

"There's the 20th-century image of the family gathered in the living room before the TV. When the Famicom appeared in that image, everyone gathered around, wanting a turn on the controller. Games of that age were so fun. But somehow, the controller became complex, the father and mother backed off."

As much as we loved the NES era, we can't help but think Iwata's stretching it a little. Our Famicom memories mainly consist of our rich mate cramming as many of us into his room and fighting for a go, while mam stayed as far away as possible.

Did your family used to crowd around your NES, laughing and cheering like the Nintendo equivalent of a Christmas Hallmark card when you were little? Or are you now a parent who knows exactly what the buttons on a pad does? Let us know in the forums.