This isn't the first time that Nintendo's handhelds, or even commercial brands, have entered the classroom as learning tools.
The Board of Education in Osaka, Japan have distributed Nintendo DS systems to ten elementary and junior high schools in the region.
The systems have been subsidised by the government and are rented to the schools rather than sold. Every student in the selected schools has been issued a DS handheld and will be required to use a variety of educational software in lessons.
There was some concern that the schools were in essence collaborating with video game manufacturers in accepting the handheld consoles into the classroom, but the Board of Education has decided that there are no conflicts of interest. The control of what software students use is clearly in the hands of each individual school.
This isn't close to being the first time the Nintendo DS has made it into the classroom for educational reasons. Last year, NWR reported on Tokyo's Joshi Gakuen all-girls junior high school involvement in a test involving using the DS to teach English.
In Japan, there are scores more educational and non-game titles than in other regions. Many have been top 10 sellers, like Nintendo's own Kanji training.
In fact, using commercial products in classrooms is not actually a new idea, character themed school books have been used before. Pingu, Doraemon and Pokemon branded educational material are among some of the most popular.