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Whirlwind

Is the Nintendo DS using BREW?

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I don't know if this is type casting or not, but does anyone know if the DS is BREW based? I am just guessing at this since the DS is using an ARM9 and ARM7 based processor. I probably am way off, but it is all I have to go on at the moment as I can't find any info on the DS developers kit.

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Seems extremely unlikely. First of all, BREW is processor-independent. Of course, individual implementations are written for a particular processor, but the standard does not specify it. Secondly, it seems very VERY doubtful that the sort of environment that BREW is designed for (cellphones) would map onto the DS well. Finally, there's no reason for Nintendo to license QUALCOMM intellectual property if it doesn't have to. Since cellphone developers are unlikely to port games to the DS, there's nothing to be gained by a standard API.

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Quote:
Original post by Whirlwind
I am just guessing at this since the DS is using an ARM9 and ARM7 based processor.

The GBA uses an ARM processor, which may be the reason why they stayed with them for the DS. It sounds like a fairly tenuous jump to assume they're using BREW from just that.

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ARM processors and compatibles are the defacto-standard for low power usage embedded systems these days. Even Palms and PPCs use them.

Chances are that the DS hardware will be exposed (except the WiFi stuff), just like the GBA, with some common procs onboard a BIOS.

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Thanks for the replies. I have been hitting a lot of walls when it comes to specs to target for a DS game. I have a few ideas, and it seems to be only "established" developers who will get a shot for makeing DS games. A good and bad decision for Nintendo as it does ensure a product will ship, but bad in regards to there are a lot of innovative and untapped sources of new ideas for a new handheld.

I figured BREW was just as good a shot in the dark as any other. All I can figure is that the game needs to fit in less that 128mb of space, limited to 260,000 colors and be designed for a 256x192 screen (I need to look up the first number again), and use save space on the card. I sure wish Nintendo would launch an IGN type contest for the DS just to encourage innovation and find new talent.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
No, the Nintendo DS does not use BREW or anything javaish. Just like the GBA it is programmed in C/C++/ASM and has its hardware exposed. Just bash the memory mapped hardware registers to control it (including the 3D hardware), there is no real operating system except a few functions in the BIOS ROM. The DS 3D API is just a regular library with functions that write directly to the hardware.

Your options, unless you have a commercial NDS developer licence:

1: Use the tons of available free tools for GBA development and write your game as a GBA game and burn it to flash carts (available everywhere, try google) to try on real hardware and if you want to show it off to people. (www.gbadev.org is a good place to start)

2: Wait for a way to homebrew program the DS, and wait for people to reverse engineer the thing so all important hardware registers are known. I'd estimate that a way will be found to run custom code on it before the end of the year, but you never know, it might be better protected than the GBA.

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Thanks for the good sources. I guess I will just prototype the game using 3DGS using low poly models, etc. Maybe some pub will take an interest in the game.

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