Monday, April 6, 2009

The two-slot DSi and the Dragon Quest IX delay: Related?

A little while back we heard that Dragon Quest IX was being delayed, and then we also heard that the DSi originally had two game card slots. Two completely unrelated events, right? Maybe not. Personally, I think that the removal of the second DSi slot is directly related to the Dragon Quest IX delay.

Keep the following two facts in mind while reading this article:
  • The DSi had two game card slots until late in the console's development.
  • Dragon Quest IX was delayed due to a critical glitch
Got it? Alright, now I can begin.

We all know Dragon Quest IX is going to be a huge, huge, HUGE game. If you thought Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was big, then Dragon Quest IX is going to be gigantic. To illustrate just how big people think this game is going to be, one Photoshopper even whipped up the following little gem:

While the above is believed to be fake, I think the creator was on to something...

Now, imagine this was true: Imagine Dragon Quest IX really was so big it required two game cards, and Nintendo created the dual-slot DSi as a way to accommodate this game and any others too big to fit on one card. But then a problem arose: The dual slot DSi was too big. Nintendo wanted it smaller. So they cut out one of the slots in the interest of appearance, and told Square-Enix they'd have to figure out another way to do things. Thus dual slot DSi had come to an end, and Square-Enix's problems had just begun.

Could the canceled dual slot DSi be behind the Dragon Quest IX delay?

When we get to this point, though, I have two different theories. First is the one I think is more likely to be true:

Nintendo didn't just drop the slot and tell Square-Enix to fend for itself, though; They had an idea that just might help. They added to the DSi the technology to allow game cards to be removed and inserted without turning off the console. A solution was found: Just swap out the first game card for the second at the end of the first half, travelling back to the days of the multi-disc Playstation games. Something didn't quite work out, though. Some sort of glitch arose, and Square-Enix needed more time to combat it. By then, though, the DSi was already released in Japan, and it was too late to switch back to the old design. So now Square-Enix is stuck working out this problem with a one-slot DSi, and we have to wait even longer for the epic-length Dragon Quest IX.

And now for the other theory, which I think has a slightly lower chance of being the real situation:

Looking at the DSi and trying to figure out a solution to the problem, Square-Enix noted the SD card slot. Why not have part of the game in the game card, and part of it in the SD card? Inside the retail package would be a standard DS game card (Containing some of the game data) and an SD card (Containing the rest of the data and some spare rewritable space so as to not remove all other SD card functionality when the game is being played). This was a new and vastly different technique, though, and as is the case with just about every new and innovative technology, something went wrong, and the game had to be delayed to fix it.

One slightly different ending to either theory is that adapting to the new technology just ended up taking longer than they thought, and development ran past its original deadline. Also, you've probably noticed that, with either theory, the game has become exclusive to the DSi. Could Dragon Quest IX end up being released in two formats? Maybe the DS/DS Lite version would feature all the extra data on a Game Boy Advance cartridge, and the DSi version would use one of my above ideas? I suppose we'll just never know until it actually comes out, will we?

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SpinachPuffs said...

It's a pretty interesting theory...

But as a counter-argument, surely DS cards are able to reach SD card levels of storage if the need arises - it's only the cost of manufacture that has stopped anyone from doing so. GTA:CW is only 120MB or so - even a game three times that size should have no problem fitting on a DS card if a different manufacturing process was used.

Just my thoughts :D

SenorTinman said...

True. I do believe producing a larger size DS cart would be cheaper than producer 2 smaller cards.

Anonymous said...

I doubt both theories, but I've already decided that if DQIX has ANY DSi features, even incredibly minor ones, that will make me get a DSi with the game. And this is coming from a longtime DS pirate who hasn't paid for a game since Pokemon Diamond, although I am paying for DQIX even if it's leaked early with no DSi features.