Nintendo's top designer wants the DS to be used for more than collecting coins and saving princesses.
Shigeru Miyamoto's devotions, ranging from gardening to taking care of puppies in the past, have tended to turn into the big products coming out of Nintendo. Now he's focusing on education, Miyamoto told the Associated Press.
While in London to accept a BAFTA Fellowship award, Miyamoto said: "[Education] is maybe the area where I am devoting myself the most." He wants the Nintendo DS to become a learning tool right alongside textbooks and protractors.
With the DS already being used in places like museums, galleries, and aquariums, Miyamoto told reporters about Nintendo's plan to roll the system out "in junior high and elementary schools in Japan starting in the new school year." Putting the DS into schools is not much of a stretch either, with many educational math, language, and reading programs currently available for the device worldwide. The increase in size of the DSi XL could even tie into wanting the system to be used in the educational system, as it makes the handheld easier to use for reading and writing.
Miyamoto impressed that this will be a new strategy by Nintendo to broaden the audience for gaming consoles. The DS is incredibly popular and still breaking sales records, with 613,000 units sold in February 2010 alone. Putting a Nintendo DS in every child's hand as they learn to read and write could increase its popularity even more.
The DS is suited to becoming a learning tool, with a broad range of functionality possible using its touchscreen, microphone, and internet and wireless capabilities. Plus, it's not all that expensive either. Someday, our kids might all be learning with the help of Nintendo.