Nintendo’s New DSi Has Voice-over Feature

The New York Times has a review of the DSi, Nintendo’s latest update on the hand-held gaming platform which launched this week in the U.S. Here’s an excerpt with details on the DSi’s interactive voice-over feature:

[The] music and sound functions are…impressive.

They start with the ability to record audio clips with the built-in microphone. Then you can start changing the pitch and tempo independently (for example, just making something faster doesn’t necessarily make it higher). Then you can play it backward.

That’s fun, but you have even more powers. You play your own voice-overs on top of real digital audio tracks. You add congas or cymbals or drums or hand claps or shoe taps to the beat of your favorite songs. While you’re playing along, maybe you’re also controlling a mini Mario game, in which the coins Mario needs to collect represent the wavelengths of the music itself.

These are all experiences you can enjoy with friends because the DSi has built-in speakers, unlike most music players. Or you can just plug in headphones, close the DSi’s lid and make it your full-time personal music player. (It can access songs copied from an iTunes folder to a digital media card.)

Another review by Tech Jackal offers a little more detail: “The stylus features a microphone, which you can use to record audio files and voice-overs; it can record up to 18 ten-minute sound bites.”

Voice-activated commands for gameplay have been a standard with the Nintendo DS since it was released, but this new feature paves the way for a better interactive element involving the use of the human voice.

Nintendo’s DSi has already sold 2 million units since it debuted in Japan November 2008.


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