Yes, you read that headline correct, a Nintendo DS video game system can be used to input information into the built-in navigation systems that Toyota puts in its cars. But there is a catch: it is only for Japan. Clearly meant to be used – and hopefully only – by the passengers in the car, in addition to entering locations for direction, can also have the vehicle’s speedometer displayed on the game system’s screen.
The system works via a special cartridge that plugs into the DS where games would normally go. It can then be connected to the navigation system by Bluetooth. The cartridge can only be purchased from Toyota dealers at this time, and sells for 7,300 yen (approx. $92). In addition to acting as an input device, the DS system’s audio can also be played over the car’s stereo.
While I’m all for interesting new technology to be used with my video game systems, this just comes across to me as a novelty that would be fun for about 10 minutes. Maybe 15. Since you must have the special Toyota cartridge plugged into the DS for the Bluetooth connection to work, that means there’s no way to play a game at the same time. If you don’t have the connection to the car, you can’t listen to the sounds and music from your game playing through its speakers. And looking at the car’s speedometer, or inputting directions, are not worth the price of $92, not when I can just look over at the driver’s side of the dashboard or use my own finger to input a location into the GPS.