Your Nintendo DSi is going to do more than just play games out of the box. Built-in apps for photos and music will provide minutes, if not hours of fun. Expect the same of DSiWare.
Already available in Japan, the online DSiWare shop lets Nintendo DSi owners download bite-sized games at bite-sized prices. That includes micro session games like the Korogashi Puzzle Katamari Damacy from Namco and Phantasy Star 0 Mini from Sega, alongside Art Style series puzzle games Hacolife and Decode from Nintendo.
But it also includes non-game applications like Moving Notepad and the Nintendo DSi Calculator. According to a report from Develop, Nintendo is pushing third parties to create not just games, but useful apps too.
Develop writes today that attendees of the Nintendo Developer Conference in London this past week have been encouraged by Nintendo to dedicate some of their focus on shorter session non-game applications, few of which have made it to the DSiWare shop.
In Japan, only Namco Bandai has stepped up to the app plate, shipping Mojipittan Shiritori Clock, which is, well, a clock.
"Given the advanced functions in the DSi, such as the microphone and camera," an unnamed developer tells Develop, "the company told us that there are a variety of opportunities for a variety of apps, both in a games sense and a non-games sense, that we could offer."
Nintendo may be looking at the success—and massive content offerings—of Apple's iTunes App Store as an indicator that there's a opportunity for profit and experimentation on the Nintendo DSi. We understand that Nintendo recently had similar meetings with developers in Southern California to promote Wii and DSi development, but we've heard few details about what was discussed.
We'd expect that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata will spend a considerable amount of time discussing the possibilities of DSiWare during his keynote at GDC next week.