The news that classic Nintendo Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games would be available as downloadable titles for the new Nintendo DSi has sent little shockwaves around the Internet as various websites and forums picked up the story that I kick-started on Sunday here at PTB and on Monday at Kombo, and those shockwaves have been met with plenty of skepticism. That's certainly understandable. Now Nintendo of America has issued a comment regarding the information I was given by a regional Nintendo representative. Here is that comment via Kombo:
Nintendo called Kombo up today and requested that it be known that some of the above information is not officially announced for North America and as a result, may not be completely accurate.
Specifically, they told us that you will not be able to play GB and GBA games directly from your SD memory card. Also, downloadable GB and GBA games have not officially been announced for North America (only Japan, so far).
Did the Nintendo representative at the DSi preview event jump the gun on this news? It would seem irresponsible to announce this kind of thing at the preview event if it were not accurate, so I'm going to stand by the core of my original report. The SD card restriction mentioned in Nintendo's comment is not so much of a surprise considering the company's iron-lock on similar capabilities for the Wii and it did come to a shock to all of us in the room at the event that Nintendo was loosening the chains on their classic content, but when a Nintendo representative at an official Nintendo event states information and even reiterates it when asked for a clarification, I tend to trust what I am told until better information comes along.
I would expect that we will hear about downloadable Game Boy games for the DSi in North America sooner rather than later, particularly with Nintendo's Satoru Iwata scheduled to give the keynote address at GDC this week. I hate to step on Nintendo's toes and steal some of their thunder, but if the company doesn't want its representatives spilling the beans about this sort of thing, then perhaps they should take better care to explain to their employees which new information is supposed to remain secret. Not that I'm complaining, of course. Who doesn't like to hear new information about upcoming products?