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The way this works in a game varies enormously, with first person shooter Metroid Prime: Hunters using the touch screen and D-pad to create a control system thats just as responsive as a PC keyboard and mouse. Other games, like Yoshis Touch & Go, have you actually drawing on the touch pad to create platforms, while other games use the extra screen to display inventory or map info.
But theres more to the DS than even that. It also has a built-in microphone (one new medical game has you operating on patients with the touch screen and reassuring them everythings going to be okay via the microphone) and it can be connected wirelessly to sixteen or more other consoles. Not only that but some games and utilities even allow it to connect online via Wi-Fi.
Although the DS is far more powerful than the GBA it can display 3D graphics somewhere between a Nintendo 64 and the GameCube--it is still backwards compatible, so you can play all your old GBA games in single player mode on the same console.
With a battery life of between 6 and 10 hours the Nintendo DS gets pretty much everything right. With a range of games that seem to offer far more originality and imagination than any other home or portable console this is could well be the most exciting new console of 2005. --David Jenkins