July 13, 2007

Nintendo's DS Opera browser doesn't quite rock

The Nintendo DS Lite is pretty cool, but the new Opera browser is rather limited. We were hoping to use it to be able to play ClubPenguin, but alas, this browser doesn't read Flash, so no CP. Webkinz might work, but it's rather slow. Essentially the Opera browser is good for checking email, playing very basic games and other minimal things. It's as limited as a lot of web browsers are for cell phones.

Also, it took awhile to figure out how to co
nnect the wifi on the DS to our Airport Express. After checking a few DS boards, I realized that I needed to type in a a rather long number WEP password, and not our regular password, which I changed a couple times in the process, too. Nintendo isn't really helpful on this score, suggesting to call the 800-number. But I hate calling 800-numbers for help. After one night's sleep and another hour or so of fiddling and research, I got it to go and now at least the wifi to the web works fine.

The Opera browser for the DS has been in Europe for at least a year. The Sony PSP has had a browser as part of it fr
om the start. So it seems odd that Nintendo has been slow in the U.S. to get a decent browser going. The ads I read beforehand made me think that it was a full operating browser, but that doesn't mean Flash, or some other things. Several obnoxious posters have noted that around the web; Flash is an add-on they keep saying. But Flash has become an integral part of most of our web experiences. In fact, so many web sites now require us to have Flash just to experience even the basics. So we have come to expect Flash has part of the basic operating experience, like it or not. Unfortunately, the word seems to be that Nintendo was reluctant to pay for Adobe's licensing of Flash.

My quick review is that the Opera browser is probably better for adults using the DS, than for kids.

We recently saw the DVD for Alex Rider: Stormbreaker which featured the DS as a cool spy gadget. We really liked the film and didn't understand the negative reviews in the U.S. It was a fast-paced, intriguing James Bond style film for tweens, teens and their families. Kids as young as 7 would probably like it. But it's not the laugh-fest like Agent Cody Banks. It's a little more like the Spy Kids series, but it has the cool, detached British style and high gloss European editing and cinematography. Some reviewers complained that it wasn't violent enough and there wasn't enough blood and gore. But maybe not all of us want to see that, and maybe it's ok to not have as much in a kids-oriented film. Did reviewers complain about that with the Men in Black series? Sometimes I think reviewers get too jaded. Definitely worth checking out, especially if you like the idea of James Bond for teen-agers.

No comments: