Nintendo DSi … more reports

November 12, 2008 at 7:19 am / by / commercial / 2 comments

It looks like there are more reports on the DSi and it’s camera.  There is the potential for AR games here, but the big worry is that the device is too slow.  There are some details/rumors on the hardware floating around, but it’s not looking as promising as I’d like:  doing computer vision for any sort of tracking is expensive, and you still need to actually run the game!

That said, being able to do ANY AR on a commodity device will be awesome, as it will create an outlet for AR and drive people’s imagination.  And focusing on a kids device is key:  iPhone games are great when targeted at the > 20 year old set, but so many interesting AR games and “magic books” and so forth are targeted to much younger kids.  The iPhone isn’t going to be bouncing around in middle-school backpacks any time soon!



  1. twDarkflame says:

    I think its likely it will do very limited AR.
    It has already shown in videos functions such as replacing a colour on a live video stream. (or making everything black and white save for one colour).
    So, while not 3D overlaying, it can alter a viewpoint of reality in realtime. So thats technicaly AR at least.

    Given the current DS’s specs, and assuming the DS is the same (which I think is basicaly the case), I think it should be also just about possible to display a basic 3D object on a well-markered card.
    But I dought there be much processing left to do anything with it.
    Maybe their will be supprise’s when the homebrewers get hold of it.

    Still, I think this is basicaly a bit expirement for Nintendo.
    They are probably considering options right now for what their real next portable will be….what will be its main “hock”.
    And with any luck that will be AR games.

  2. blair says:

    Yes, I agree; I think that it is promising and will hopefully point to the future of handhelds as AR gaming platforms. I am still sad that the PSP camera never amounted to much, but since we can’t actually program the PSP that’s not such a big deal (I like the PSP camera, btw, the image quality is great!)

    That said, while you could classify the image processing hacks in that video as “AR”, I think it’s stretching it to do so. Doing such a mod to a video stream is a HUGE step away from doing any more “interesting”. It’s AR in the same sense as the PS2/PS3 Eyetoy games (that use the video of you from motion control) are AR … they are changing reality, but not in any particularly interesting way.

    Heck, if that’s AR, then most current video chat programs are AR since they allow you to apply image effects to the video on the way out. :)

    I will be interested to see what the homebrew folks do, but I’m much more interested in the next gen platform hardware at this point (e.g., things based on TI OMAP3 or NVidia Tegra).

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