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When two giant Japanese companies come together, you know you can expect something ingenious to develop. Such is the case of the tie-up between electronics company Nintendo and automaker Toyota which have teamed up to turn the popular Nintendo DS handheld video game system into an in-car GPS remote controlled system.
Toyota is one of the largest automobile manufacturers, selling more units per year than any other maker for the past few years. Nintendo, meanwhile, is one of the most influential corporations, particularly in the video gaming sector. Considering the popularity of both companies, it’s not surprising that they decided to partner up with a concept that’s wholly different from many of the other smartphone-dependent apps and facilities in the market today.
So, what exactly does the DS do? It has been integrated into Toyota’s Smart Navi system that allows users to key in directions even from the backseat. This means that drivers needn’t be the only ones in control of the navigation system. The cartridge, which has been turned into a remote, also features hand-drawn map notes, tourist information and fun trivia to keep passengers entertained while on the go. You can also save the joints you’ve been to on the DS.
Since it is Bluetooth-enabled, the Nintendo DS can be easily hooked up to the car. There’s also a small DS speedometer as well as a user friendly interface that features Mii characters. In addition, users can complete quizzes and other fun stuff while listening to the DS’s sounds on the car’s speakers.
What could be a bit of a downer with the new DS-cum-GPS system is the price. The Smart Navi system sells for $2,586 while the DS cartridge retails for $92 apiece. But we figure that’s a decent price to pay if you’re looking for something that isn’t dependent on a smartphone to have some fun.