UPDATE: This game has vanished since Katamari's creator left Namco. Its future is currently unknown.
rumor circulating confirmed report that the new issue of Nintendo Power magazine confirms that a Nintendo DS version of last year's sleeper hit Katamari Damacy is in the works. Katamari (released by Namco for PlayStation 2 and pictured to the right) casts players as the Prince who must roll a katamari (ball) to collect objects in order to rebuild the stars. Or something like that. For those who haven't experienced Katamari, it's one of the strangest games you'll ever encounter, but that's part of its charm. A Nintendo DS rendition of the game would be a big help in boosting the DS's sales, as the system's touchscreen and WiFi abilities offer loads of potential for a game like this.
PS2's Katamari involves using the dual analog control sticks to roll the katamari around the land, but using the DS's thumbpad on the touchscreen to maneuver it instead makes much more sense to me. It would be a very intuitive experience (there's that old "Touching Is Good" marketing line again) allowing players to exert greater control over the game. The DS's Wi-Fi capabilities introduce the possibility of multiplayer action for more than just two people: imagine eight players simultaneously competing to form the largest katamari before time runs out.
Namco and Nintendo already have a close relationship (the two did team up for last month's Star Fox Assault, after all) so it's not too farfetched that a DS version of the game is in the works. The DS needs a killer app very badly right now; Super Mario 64 DS is growing stale and while Wario Ware Touched!! and Yoshi's Touch and Go are good fun, they aren't exactly lighting the world on fire. Bringing Katamari to the portable world courtesy of the Nintendo DS would fire a nice warning shot across the PlayStation Portable's bow. I know I'd love to take Katamari on the road with me and I can't be the only one eager to do so.