Nintendo DS now has satellite navigation program

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Nintendo DS game console

There's a cartridge that can turn a Bluetooth-equipped Nintendo DS into a sat nav unit, though only in certain Toyota vehicles. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Parents the world over have bestowed the Nintendo DS, a handheld game console, upon their children. However, there may be a reason to confiscate the portable game system on road trips, partially because they are noisy and because the Nintendo DS can be used as a satellite navigation system.

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Satellite navigation is perhaps one of the most useful accessories one can get for a car. Aside from the bespoke units available as an optional extras, there are also a number of aftermarket units one can purchase that can be mounted to the dashboard or the windscreen. Sat nav apps can even be downloaded onto a smartphone if the native version of Google Maps that comes with most Android phones isn’t good enough.

The Nintendo DS, Nintendo’s dual-screen folding hand-held game console that has been on sale for almost a decade is officially on the list of devices that can double as a sat nav unit, according to AutoGuide. A game cartridge loaded with the program, called “Kuruma de DS,” or literally “use the DS in the car,” according to TG Daily, is simply loaded into the DS and away the driver goes.

The catch

There are, of course, some catches. The DS unit has to be able to connect to Bluetooth, which requires purchasing a Bluetooth connector, which is usually not that expensive. For instance, a Britelink Bluetooth adapter is available through Amazon.com for $26.99, which connects with a standard 3.5 millimeter headphone jack.

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The other catch is that the Kuruma de DS is only for Toyota vehicles, as the Kuruma de DS cartridge has to be purchased through a Toyota dealership, for $92. The program only interacts with Toyota’s SmartNavi system, which is an optional extra for most Toyota vehicles. Satellite navigation is itself only available on models that can be equipped with a touchscreen console, which isn’t available on certain models. The touchscreen package, which includes satellite radio and SmartNavi, costs an extra $2,586, according to TG Daily.

Maybe better off with a Garmin

The DS isn’t the first handheld game console that can be employed for satellite navigation. In 2007, according to GizMag, Sony released the “Go!Explore” accessory for the PSP, a GPS receiver/transmitter that plugged into the PSP and allowed it to be used for satellite navigation. The recently released Sony PlayStation Vita, the successor to the PSP, has GPS built-in, according to Sony, but doesn’t have a satellite navigation program.

However, if one really needs a sat nav system, one can simply get a Garmin Nuvi 30 for $110.

Sources

AutoGuide

TG Daily

GizMag

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Britelink-Bluetooth-Audio-Receiver-Portable/dp/B0059M4G9K/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1337359042&sr=8-13

Sony: http://us.playstation.com/psvita/

Garmin: https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=401


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