DSi(a)Ware(ness)

Launching DSiWare was a no-brainer for Nintendo, but it has had its fair share of jewels and mis-steps.

By Robert Thompson. Posted 02/25/2011 14:30 1 Comment     ShareThis

DSiWare on DSi

DSiWare Menu on DSiDSi is not without unique features when compared to previous iterations of the dual-screened handheld, and of these features none defines the system more than DSiWare. Finally bringing downloadable games and content to a Nintendo handheld, it only seemed destined to forge a new path of glory for a system that began as a “third pillar.” However, there is no heavier burden than great potential, and while it may not have lived up to the expectations many had of the service, it did provide a path to a great future.

WiiWare may have been Nintendo’s first foray into the world of downloadable content, but DSiWare marked the first endorsement on the handheld front. The move towards the digital frontier seemed only natural for the successful handheld and brought with it a previously-untapped goldmine for the Big N. Not only that, but by being a service for a portable device there were even more ventures for the company to explore, to cover all aspects of one’s lifestyle that could allow for a personal electronic device.

The service has seen its share of excellent titles. Photo Dojo let you take pictures of loved ones and beat the crap out of each other. The Art Style series saw more excellent entries in the form of Pictobits, Base 10, Aquia, Boxlife, Digidrive, Precipice, and Zengage. And, for even the slightest platformer fan, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge can compete with the best of them.

However, for every Flipnote Studio there is a Mario Clock; for Alphabounce, another Petz title. Perhaps opening the door to “snack apps” also let in a few rotten titles. While any successful system has seen its share of shovelware– just look at Wii and PlayStation for prime examples– with digital distribution lowering production costs significantly, it’s as if a dump truck delivered the content. Not only that, but while Nintendo at least kinda-sorta acknowledged the console back-library with Virtual Console on Wii, for reasons unknown the Game Boy catalog was completely ignored.

Luckily, Nintendo is looking to right this wrong with 3DS and finally utilizing the older classics that were seen on their previous handhelds. Furthermore, several other classics from the home console side are looking to get eye-popping updates on 3DS’s VC. Whether out of necessity or simply out of interest of what gamers would enjoy most, Nintendo looks to have a solid trajectory for a more successful digital platform with the 3DS. However, lest we forget, it all began with an admirable attempt via DSiWare.

One Response to “DSi(a)Ware(ness)”

  • 432 points
    dmgice says...

    Kind of a light article; but I would have to say that the DSi Ware doesn’t suffer nearly as badly as the App Store. For every Broken Sword or Secret of Monkey Island, there are about 300 Vuvuzela or Fart Sound Apps. But when you look at the amount of “app” titles there are on the system.. it’s really quite low. I maintain a list of the DSi Ware titles on the DSi Ware service and update each week with their ESRB ratings and Block Sizes. So, I’ll just use that to list the entire catalog of the DSi Ware “App” titles on the DSi Ware service. As for the My Petz series? That has it’s fans. I’m not a fan of it; but I’m not going to consider them to not be games. That said, forgetting to mention games like Cave Story and Mighty Flip Champs is kind of an oversight. But yeah, here are the APP titles on the DSi Ware service.

    Following is all the APPS on the DSi Ware service. We’re not counting Music Generation titles like Rytmik or Electroplankton. The Nintendo Metronome and Tuner both contain mini games like a clap version of Donkey Kong. Also, the FLIPS series of interactive books are not included in this figure. They listed by price and where they are in the service.

    The DSi Ware Apps.

    FREE
    Flipnote Studios
    Nintendo DSi Browser
    200 POINTS
    Animal Crossing Calculator
    Animal Crossing Clock
    Discolight
    Flashlight
    Mario Calculator
    Mario Clock
    MySims Camera
    Nintendo Countdown Calender
    Photo Clock
    myDiary
    myNotebook: Blue
    myNotebook: Green
    myNotebook: Red
    myPostcards
    500 POINTS
    myNotebook: Carbon
    myNotebook: Pearl
    myNotebook: Tan

    We have 19 pure Apps out of (as of this writing) 332 DSi Ware applications. That’s not a bad ratio of “useless” Apps to actual games, interactive books, and audio widgets.

    So, I would say that DSi Ware has been pretty good. There are an unhealthy amount of iPhone refugees on it like Soul of Darkness, Zenonia, Flight Control, and Field Runners though. However, those are across the board of App Store, Android Store, PS Minis, and DSi Ware. So, I guess we can forgive Nintendo if we end up with a port of Crystal Defenders or Angry Birds in the future.

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