My Nintendo PDA Dream Come True

A concept design for a mobile made by the great maker of video games could give business meetings a veneer of fun

Nintendo concept mobile device by Pierre Cerveau
Concept for a Nintendo mobile by a independent designer, Pierre Cerveau. (Image: Pierre Cerveau, used by permission)

A Bangkok based designer, Pierre Cerveau, has created a mock-up of what he thinks a Nintendo mobile device could look like and how it might function, as shown on Gizmodo. The designer made the concept independently of Nintendo.

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Seeing the idea took me back. In the latter days of the Bush Administration, I was working in an organization in Philadelphia that frequently put me in meetings with political appointees, elected leaders, staff of major foundations and reporters. On a bit of a whim, I bought a Nintendo DS, the handheld video game console from the Japanese comapny. The DS was heir to the groundbreaking Game Boy.

Nintendo DS Lite
The Nintendo DS Lite, which I once owned. “DS” stood for “dual screen,” a feature which broke ground for gamers-on-the-go. (Photo: public domain)

What I wanted to do was use it as a PDA. I wanted to sit in meetings with important people with my handheld game system sitting on the table in front of me and, when the time came to schedule something, I wanted to take it out, fire it up and mark down the meeting in the thing that their kids used to pop Koopa Troopas on.

Pierre Cerveau's concept design for a Nintendo mobile phone. (Image used by permission)
Front and back of Mr. Cerveau’s design. (Image: Pierre Cerveau)

The idea of doing my work on a game system appealed to me. Before buying it, I had found some evidence that using it in that way was possible, but nothing definitive. I also wanted to play video games, so I went ahead and bought the thing. As I recall, it was $199.

Before long, I ordered a couple of cartridges hacked together by a third-party company I found on Amazon. Theoretically, it would allow someone to use the device as a calendar and maybe as a web browser, too. Once I got it, though, it became clear that it would require some hacking of the device that was beyond me. Which is to say, I would have had to do some thinking and spend some time. I wanted it to just be plug-and-play. It wasn’t. I gave up.

A couple years later, I sold the device and the small handful of games I’d picked up to a couple in Oregon, after one of their two DS’s went kaput. I hope their PictoChatting became the basis of a strong marriage.

If Mr. Cerveau’s device were ever to become a reality, though, I could have something like that same feeling of doing important work on what appears to be a toy, pulling out something that very clearly said Nintendo on the back in business meetings and tapping away. I could even leave the gaming attachment in all the time, so that people would never quite know what I was doing on it.

(Image used by permission)
(Image: Pierre Cerveau)

Especially retro: Mr. Cerveau’s inclusion of an 8-bit mode. Classically trained NES-gamers like myself are likely just to leave it there on principal.

There’s more. Check out his design for an Atari phone.


My Nintendo PDA Dream Come True