Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Palm OS and the Nintendo DS-a demiperferct pair

Recently, Nintendo is said to have licenced the Palm OS for use on its Nintendo DS machine. Of course, freaks went all bonkers about this announcement and crazy discussions started! At the first look, everything is set-the Nintendo DS has a touchscreen, so maybe we will have a new PDA soon.But is this true?

While Nintendo always had very good quality control, they also have an infamous history of attacking end users, programmers, etc-they even built a copy protection scheme into the hardware of the original Gameboy series that prevented independant programmers to create applications for the machine. This can be clearly understood when you grasp the idea that almost all consoles get profitable only by the sale of software-some sources claim that M$ makes a loss with every XBOX sold... . And now think about a Palm OS card for their DS. It could run literally any program available for the PalmOS-no control for Nintendo here anymore. Not something they would want.....
Also, look at the Zodiac. Many business users dislike it because it looks so similar to a gameboy and cannot be used in a meeting. While I personally cannot understand this, unpacking a real Gameboy will get you booted out of the meeting for sure. So, business users won't swap to the DS!
And then, we also have the abysmal hardware of the DS. Do not get me wrong, the DS has the power to be a very nice PIM machine(Licencees can create all-ARM apps) with its 66MhZ ARM core and 4MB of RAM-but real PalmOS apps won't be satisfied with the hardware. So, no danger for the Zodiac either.
If Nintendo actually releases a Palm OS card or sth else, it will operate as a PIM enhanement. Insert it into your DS, and do your appointment planning(think homework), mobile phone number storing-remove it and that is it. The only benefit that Palm OS users will see is the slight probability that a teen eventually upgrades to a real PalmOS handheld-but Nintendo will for sure do something to prevent this....
What do you think?


Anonymous Jon said...

Nintendo is not licensing PalmOS, they are *probably* licensing a PalmOS based software which might be the PIM application which could be HotSynced to a PC.

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Maven said...

Something else to consider... the DS actually has (2) CPU's.

Still, I see no evidence from either company of an agreement right now. We'll see.

12:16 AM  

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