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New Details on DS Browser

by Karl Castaneda - February 16, 2006, 1:39 pm EST
Total comments: 21 Source: Armchair Empire

An interview with Opera's Scott Hedrick clears up some of the mystery behind the DS's web capabilities.

With recent news that Opera is developing a DS-based web browser, many have been wondering the specifics of the deal, specifically how advanced it was going to be. Luckily, Armchair Empire recently interviewed Scott Hedrick and found out a few new details.

When asked about the browser's safety, Hedrick responded that "On the specialized OS in the DS, Opera should be even more protected from malicious code intended for desktop browsers." Unfortunately, he wasn't able to comment on whether or not it would be hitting North American shores, saying that it would be up to Nintendo but "Opera would like to see this browser solution for DS available to people everywhere." One of the last question dealt with the browser's actual power, to which Hedrick said the following:

The version of Opera we have been working with Nintendo on for the DS can surf the full Internet, but the initial version does not include Flash support.

Read the whole interview at Armchair Empire.


KirbySStarFebruary 16, 2006

Aw vague answer. Initial version means they plan to make a second version that supports flash or that you can download a patch from them in the future to enable flash. I'd really like to know which it is.

Tuxedo.BondFebruary 16, 2006

Man this is going to be sweet. I'm thrilled Nintendo picked Opera. I use the Opera browser and it is excellent. It has an enormous amount of features and according to a browser speed test site, is the fastest overall. F FireFox. face-icon-small-happy.gif

joshnickersonFebruary 16, 2006

I'll wait for a Flash version if it means portable Homestar Runner.

Ian SaneFebruary 16, 2006

Maybe Nintendo intentionally doesn't want Flash supported. Think about it. Tons of Flash games are available for free online. This even includes flash versions of Tetris or classic arcade games - games that COULD be sold on the DS as standalone games. By including Flash support Nintendo is essentially providing free competition to their own titles.

Mario323February 16, 2006

That's a good point. Either that, or the browser can't support it.

AgesFebruary 16, 2006

That's got to be the most logical thing Ian's ever said

cmoneyFebruary 16, 2006

I suppose I'd agree with that. Although, I try and stay loyal to fellow Canadians. Ian always has good points but he can be a pretty pessimistic fellow (long-time reader, 4th or 5th time poster?)

I take it back. I must have had this account longer than I originally thought. An overbearing 47 posts now. I've got to cut back.

mantidorFebruary 16, 2006

We all secretly love Ian face-icon-small-wink.gif

This is good and all, but personally I'll probably never need to use it.

SheckyFebruary 16, 2006

From the Macromedia EULA:

License Restrictions

1. You may not use the Software on any non-PC product or any embedded or device versions of the above operating systems, including, but not limited to, (A) mobile devices, set top boxes (STB), handhelds, phones, web pads, tablets and Tablet PCs that are not running Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, game consoles, TVs, DVD players, media centers (including Windows XP Media Center Edition and its successors), electronic billboards or other digital signage, internet appliances or other internet-connected devices, PDAs, medical devices, ATMs, telematic devices, gaming machines, home automation systems, kiosks, remote control devices, or any other consumer electronics device, (B) operator-based mobile, cable, satellite, or television systems, (C) other closed system devices, or (D) any operating system that is not an Authorized Operating System.

Interestingly this means that people with the new media center PC can't grab flash (well not officially any ways)?

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorFebruary 16, 2006

While the current EULA says that, there's nothing stopping anyone from giving 'em money hats to change that and/or make a special version of it that runs on the DS.

And, again, if it doesn't support Flash, Nintendo is going to have to remake pretty much every single one of their websites... how's it going to look if you can't visit Nintendo websites on Nintendo systems.

SheckyFebruary 16, 2006

I'm sure they'll have a intercept on the browser type for the Nintendo DS. Giving you "Nintendo.com Pocket" or something to that effect. The current Nintendo Page would be unreadable on the DS even if it did support flash.

RennyFebruary 16, 2006

I hate Flash and Java. Maybe the popularization of mobile browsing will finally bring an end to navigation via plugins. Afterall, why would web designers and/or coders do something to alienate part of their clients' audiences? (Ha!)

BranDonk KongFebruary 16, 2006

Hexic for Xbox 360 is a Flash-based game. I think that EULA refers only to the PC version. I think even the Dreamcast supported old versions of Flash.

KDR_11kFebruary 16, 2006

Are you sure they didn't make a binary version of Hexic for the 360 as opposed to writing a Flash emulator (Flash runs like ass at those resolutions anyway)?

vuduFebruary 17, 2006

How the heck are you going to play a flash game on your DS anyway? Do we know how the DS handles the equivilent of a left button mouse click? How about a right button? What about games that require you to move with arrow keys or shoot with the space bar or something like that? I doubt the DS will be able to play a flash game unless it is specifically written for the console.

KDR_11kFebruary 17, 2006

I hope it can play Noiz2. I'm sure if it had a chance of doing that Kenta Cho would make an adjusted version for the DS.

Ian SaneFebruary 17, 2006

"How the heck are you going to play a flash game on your DS anyway? Do we know how the DS handles the equivilent of a left button mouse click? How about a right button? What about games that require you to move with arrow keys or shoot with the space bar or something like that? I doubt the DS will be able to play a flash game unless it is specifically written for the console."

I figure touching the stylus against the screen will be interpreted as a left button mouse click in the area it points to. Logically it should work like that for clicking on links and such. Other than that though I don't know if anything else would be mapped. It might just be that Flash games recognize the left button mouse click and nothing else. They'll probably have some sort of keyboard interface. You pretty much can't go anywhere online without entering text. The right button click would be near impossible to do right though. The best idea I can think of is holding one of the shoulder buttons while using the stylus makes it a right click.

KDR_11kFebruary 17, 2006

Can Flash even detect a rightclick? Doesn't that usually trigger the context menu for the Flash object?

vuduFebruary 17, 2006

Shhh ... don't point out my mistakes.

Still, what about the keyboard?

mkeyesFebruary 17, 2006

If Opera really wanted to put flash in and not pay Adobe for it they could use Gnash an open source GPL licensed version of Flash only catch being they'd have to release the DS source code but it would be worth it depending on how much they want.

KDR_11kFebruary 17, 2006

You mean the sourcecode of the Gnash DS port. Not sure if you can use a GPL program on a cart together with a closed source program and I have my doubts that Nintendo would approve of releasing code their SDK can compile.

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