This weekend while playing with my oldest son, we saw spotted a note online about connecting our Nintendo Wii with his Ninendo DS for a game he already has. He’s really into Pokemon, so I figured I would try to learn about it and see if we could get the connection to work. In less than 5 minutes and a few keystrokes, we had connected the DS, a small, handheld gaming system with Wifi capabilities, to the Wii, and “deposited” all of the creatures he had captured in the handheld game into a “Pokemon Ranch.” At the ranch you can interact with the creatures, take pictures of them (even putting them on an SD card for saving/viewing/sharing later) and give them toys to play with. Each day “Hayley,” the Ranch helper, gives you another creature to play with. So what if the Wii game isn’t the most exciting in the world – to a seven year old budding Pokemon addict, it was heaven.
I was, quite frankly, blown away. I grew up with (and still love) the Mattel Electronic Football II, with it’s red dashes, and here was my 7 year old son connecting his handheld wirelessly to a gaming console to enhance his gaming experience. Nintendo kept the technology so simple a 2nd grader could figure it out and use it to feed his Pokemon obsession.
Keeping it simple is an essential element for new technology to be successful. I’m not surprised at the continual demand for the Wii and for the DS – and it may be a long time before either platform reaches an ‘end of life’ phase. What are some other examples where technology made things simpler for you or your family? Gaming is one thing, but what are some products or technology that have made things simple and improved your life?
Photo credit: dcjohn via flickr