Updated Nintendo DS to have TV tuner


Just when I was pretty sure I didn’t need a TV anymore, Nintendo decides to integrate a TV tuner into their next Nintendo DS.

I’m not sure how interested I am in the TV tuner–especially since broadcast TV has become so weak–but I have to give props to Nintendo for continuing to innovate in the handheld space.

According to this ABC News article some other new DS features will be:

* Dual displays (one has an integrated touch panel)
* TV tuner (plus the existing WiFi)
* Opera web browser
* Users can handwrite search terms
* Additional software that turns a DS into a multi-language dictionary

IGN has more details here on how the browser will work and the TV service. It’s really clever–especially how DS will leverage the two displays while browsing.

I imagine that as long as Nintendo can keep the price down, they can continue to grow the market. Although DS was originally a game platform, it’s interesting to see how it’s moving up the form-factor food chain and encroaching into the handheld market. Is there a convergence approaching or is it more that companies are filling in market gaps left by previous generations of devices or are the technological and manufacturing costs now at the point where these devices are simply practical? I vote on the later.

Especially as Intel enters the handheld market with fast and capable low-watt chipsets–as they suggested at last year’s IDF Conference–this could get very interesting indeed.

What will this mean for Tablets? I’m guessing that Tablet features will continue to expand into new form factors. I’m hoping that as the availability of these features expands, maybe standards will mature around sharing ink and posting inked documents on the web. The more, the merrier.