E3 2004: Nintendo DS Tech Demos

Nintendo serves up some prime samples of DS capabilities. Five Demos revealed inside.

Update: Video coverage added.

In addition to the range of recognisable demos more closely resembling actual games at E3 last week, including Metroid Prime: Hunters, Super Mario 64x4 and Wario Ware DS, Nintendo also showcased some smaller demos to show off the potential of the Nintendo DS. Here's our summary.

Table Hockey
This demo showcased the DS' ability to use both screens for simultaneous gameplay, in this case to show the entire length of a hockey board. The demo allowed just enough lag for the space between screens, and was controlled using the touch pad to move an on-screen paddle. A demo that was easy to get lost in.

The Carving demo removed any doubts I had about DS' touch screen sensitivity. The demo started by making your selection of a log, a steel cylinder, a watermelon, or a Mario wood sculpture. Whichever item you select is sent to the top of the screen and laid horizontally, then spun. At this point your touch pen becomes a razor sharp carving knife. Touching the object on the very edge only makes a skin deep incision, while moving in deeper cuts away an increasing amount of meat. Most impressive was the surgical precision of the carving on the DS touch screen. I was instantly sold.

NOA's Reggie Fils-Aime reveals Nintendo DS last week

Sonic's brief appearance on the DS showed little innovation, but simply the ability to move objects on the upper screen by touching the bottom screen. By running the pen as fast as you can left and right on the touch screen, Sonic's speed increases accordingly. Yuji Naka announced that Sonic DS is in development on the first day of the show, along with a secret project known as Project Rub - presumably having something to do with the ability to 'rub' the screen with the stylus.

Mario's Face
The face-stretching demo from the opening of Super Mario 64, but with added features. This time around you could choose from four different characters to stretch however you so chose by using the touch screen. Very straight forward, but showed how an existing idea was improved using the touch screen technology.

These demos barely scratched the surface of what actual DS games could be like, thanks to features such as the built-in microphone and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Special Effects
Touch the bottom screen and various DS effects occur on the top screen. That pretty much sums of this demo's display of the pretty things the DS is capable of. Not exactly PSP impressive, but definitely a step beyond GBA.

Everyone wants one.

The various demos shown stress Nintendo's claim that Nintendo DS is a "developer's system," and that the gameplay possibilities are pretty much endless when you combine two screens, a touch pad, and wireless multiplayer. The demos were all very impressive in their own way, and each could be developed into its own game with a little clever development.

Carl Johnson
Staff Writer, Kikizo.com

Video Coverage
(See Latest Videos & Video FAQ Here)
Super Mario 64x4
E3 2004: Direct feed gameplay (640x480, 1Mbps)
0.34m 4.28 MB WMV
Super Mario 64x4
E3 2004: Showfloor gameplay (640x480, 1Mbps)
2.18m 17.51 MB WMV
Metroid Prime Hunters
E3 2004: Direct feed gameplay (640x480, 1Mbps)
0.33m 4.23 MB WMV
NEW Super Mario Bros.
E3 2004: Direct feed gameplay (640x480, 1Mbps)
0.34m 4.27 MB WMV
Mario Kart DS
E3 2004: Direct feed gameplay (640x480, 1Mbps)
0.34m 4.26 MB WMV
Animal Crossing DS
E3 2004: Direct feed gameplay (640x480, 1Mbps)
0.34m 4.28 MB WMV
Wario Ware Inc DS
E3 2004: Direct feed gameplay (640x480, 1Mbps)
0.33m 4.21 MB WMV
E3 2004: Direct feed gameplay (640x480, 1Mbps)
0.34m 4.25 MB WMV
More Nintendo DS Tech Demos
E3 2004: Showfloor gameplay including Pokemin, pinball, and other stuff. (640x480, 1Mbps)
1.23m 10.52 MB WMV

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