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DS Browser Box

NDS Browser box.

The Nintendo DS Browser is a version of the Opera web browser for use on the Nintendo DS, developed by Opera Software and Nintendo. The Nintendo DS Browser comes in separate versions for the Nintendo DS and the Nintendo DS Lite; this is due to differing physical size requirements for the memory expansion cartridge included with the browser. The Nintendo DSi is incompatible with the Nintendo DS Browser, though a DSi compatible version of Opera 9.5, Nintendo DSi Browser, is available free from the DSi Shop.

Launch

On February 15, 2006, the Opera Software company announced plans to develop a web browser for the Nintendo DS.

The Nintendo DS Browser was first released in Japan on July 23, 2006 and it was released later in Europe on October 6, 2006 for £30 (the same as an ordinary DS game). The Australian release date was on January 18, 2007 and retailed for AU$69.95 (~US$60). However, in Australia, only the DS Lite version was released in stores; a limited stock of the DS Original version was only available directly through Nintendo Australia.

The North American release date was on June 4, 2007 for $29.99. Like the Australian release, only the Lite version was available in stores, and the DS Original version was only available online in the US.

Features

Nintendo DS Browser makes use of the Nintendo DS's touchscreen for input, with an on-screen keyboard as well as handwriting recognition and a stock of pre-set text (the .com and .org top-level domains).

The browser can render pages in two modes, Small Screen Rendering (SSR) or Overview. In Small Screen Rendering mode, the contents of the page are displayed in a single column fitting the width of the screen - for example, a page featuring two columns of text side-by-side would be displayed as a single column, one after the other. In Overview mode, a scaled-down version of the page is displayed on the touchscreen with a small selection box which can be moved around using the stylus. The contents of the selection box are displayed on the top screen at their full size. This selection can be brought into the touchscreen to perform such actions as click on links or entering text in boxes.

The browser connects to the network through IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi access points or hotspots using the built-in wireless capability of the Nintendo DS. While WEP encryption is supported, WPA encryption is not.

Nintendo has partnered with Internet security company Astaro to integrate web filtering technology into the Nintendo DS Browser. Called Astaro Parental Control, the technology acts as a proxy filter, providing the option of blocking inappropriate content. This is provided free of charge and can be activated through a simple menu option.

The Nintendo DS browser supports JavaScript and SSL in web pages, but does not support plugins like Adobe Flash, or bold text. Due to limited system resources, most other dynamic media, such as videos or sound, will not work in the browser.

Nintendo DSi Browser

An Opera browser was released as a free downloadable application for the DSi. It was available since the DSi launched and preloaded on the Nintendo DSi XL. This version uses the Opera Presto 2.1 engine, which is more advanced and standards-compliant. It supports the HTML5 <canvas> element only if those objects are stored in cached memory, though the results may be unpredictable.


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