Wednesday, January 26, 2005

First Nintendo DS Homebrew Demos

The Nintendo DS scene is definitely a lot slower to start than the GBA scene was. Unlike the GBA, the DS has some quite hefty protection though. Despite this, we're seeing the first homebrew demos here and here. Nothing startling, but as they say, it's a start.

Darkfader was the first to run some homebrew code on the DS, and he was also the first (and as far as I know, only) one to dump a DS ROM -- in this case the Metroid demo that ships with US DS consoles.

Last but not least, the DSLinux communitry are working on bringing the (in)famous GPL'd unix-a-like kernel to the DS -- which, with its touchscreen capability, could make a nifty Linux-based PDA, if that's what rings your bell. Although it's a rather slow one when compared to the PocketPC systems out there.


mmChronic said...

I can highly recommend the Pern Project site (the 1st demo you linked) - I read all their tutorials when learning to code on the GBA.

No doubt I'll be back there soon for their DS tutorials.

Merg said...

The second site's well worth a look if only for his pics of the setup he used to get code onto the DS -- my understanding is that they use an FPGA circuit wired into the DS cart slot and a regular GBA flash card.

The FPGA transfers control of the console in "DS" mode to the GBA slot -- if it boots from the GBA slot, I believe the DS improvements are "invisible" a la GBA in GBC mode.

On a totally different note, I discovered that gaming site 1up is a complete, utter and total waste of web-space.

From its DS reviews (which constantly harp on about the PSP -- okay, we get it, the PSP is better... but how about a review of the damn' DS game? ... and then there's the guy who reviews games yet appears to consider the touch-screen unusuable and thus complains about games that use it....) to its Top 50 most influential list that is highly revisionist of video games history (I know, I've *lived* video games for the past 25 years -- as an example they cite GTA3 as the first of the "open-ended" type games when Elite did it almost 20 years earlier -- and the original GTA had it, too! ... and then totally miss out the "radio stations" concept pioneered by the GTA series) ... it's beyond me why one might read it. So I won't. Rant over.

Gamespot these days is rather similar...

mmChronic said...

I hadn't seen that 1up before your rant - I read the GTA:VC thing and they've definitely glossed over (or just didn't know - inexcusable for a game 'journalist') about many things.

Most of the big gaming sites are pretty much indistinguishable from each other these days - same old sychophantic reviews with little regard for facts that the traditional paper mags give to garner advertising revenue. Whores.

Merg said...


It's just sickening though... and as you say, not knowing stuff about gaming is utterly inexusable when games are, at least in theory, their raisin d'etre.

I read several of the other bits about how certain games "changed the world" and there was definite "spin" at times... and one of their writers, a "David Smith" (I went to school with a David Smith... but who didn't? Probably), seems to not actually like games very much in the first place.

I guess he just couldn't get a proper job or something... ffs!