Petit Computer is a new application which brings the golden age of home computing to Nintendo 3DS and DSi - no cassette tape required. Available on the DSiWare store and 3DS eShop, the app allows both hardened BASIC veterans and new recruits to get stuck in to the venerable programming language and to this end, several tools are provided which are written in BASIC and thus can be tinkered with easily.
BASIC (or the Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) was a popular command-line computer programming language initially created in the mid-1960s, but it really found widespread popularity during the home computing boom of the 1970s and 80s and was to appear on many classic computers, including the Apple II, the TRS-80 and later, the Commodore 64.
Petit Computer enables users to select commands and run programs using the Nintendo DS touch screen, with a virtual keyboard included for those willing to tap endless lines of code into the command-line. Games, applications and music all can be created with the modified version of BASIC, providing you have the necessary skills and patience.
In addition, users can share programs with other Petit Computer-equipped Nintendo DSi and 3DS consoles, either by making use of the Wireless Communications feature which each device sports, or simply saving to an SD Card.
If one chooses the latter option, the relevant program can also be converted to a QR code using a computer and browser, and this QR code can then be loaded onto another Nintendo DS model running Petit Computer by using the console’s camera to scan it. From the promo material we've seen, it's not clear exactly how this QR code loading works, though if you're savvy enough to code BASIC in the first place, then one presumes it shouldn't be too taxing.
Petit Computer can be purchased from Nintendo's online store for US$7.99. Check out the promotional video below to learn more about the application.
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