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New DS features: voice chat and downloads

New DS features: voice chat and downloads

Nintendo has just announced two long-hoped-for features for the Nintendo DS. At the DICE tech conference in Las Vegas, Nintendo of America's senior vice president, Reggie Fils-Aime, announced that the Nintendo DS will receive downloadable game demos and voice-chat capabilities.

Next month, Nintendo will start offering its DS Download Service, a system by which DS owners can download game demos from special kiosks. These kiosks, planned for retail outlets, will offer downloads through the DS's Download Play ability. Once a game is downloaded to the DS, it can be played until the system is turned off, even if the user walks away from the kiosk. The first game demos Nintendo plans to make available through its download service include Brain Age, Pokemon Troizi, Mario Kart DS, Meteos, and True Swing Golf.

Metroid Prime Hunters, Nintendo's upcoming and much-hyped adventure shooter for the DS, will include voice-enabled Metroid Chat. Players who use the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection will be able to talk to people on their Friends list before and after games, although not during them. Voice chat has long been speculated by DS users, and currently Metroid Prime Hunters is the only DS game planned to use the feature.