Toyota Uses Nintendo DS For In-Car GPS Remote

Coming to the Nintendo DS in Japan, and only for Japan, a remote-control software for Toyota’s new Smart Navi GPS.

Toyota Estima Hybrid Nintendo DS Image 1

Recently, Nintendo seems to be pretty friendly to the idea of lending their handhelds for uses beyond just playing Super Mario 3D Land or whatever flavor of Pokémon is out on the shelves. In April, Nintendo partnered with the world-famous museum, The Louvre, in Paris, France to offer visitors Nintendo 3DS-enabled guides. We covered this story back at the time and thought the combination was most, “oh! c’est bien!”

This time though, Nintendo is forging another interesting kinship. It’s with Toyota, fellow Japanese company and one of the biggest car manufacturers known on the planet. What type of brand-crossing shenanigans are both  businesses up to? Well, for one thing, it’s not a limited edition Mario-themed car; I’m sure some Nintendo-worshipping fanboy has that covered in spades somewhere in Internet-land.

No – instead it’s a Japan-only software created for the Nintendo DS that controls Toyota’s new Smart Navi GPS, a vehicle navigation system available for the automotive giant’s line of Estima Hybrid minivans. It’s called the Kuruma de DS, and when synced via Bluetooth, passengers can enter directions, make hand-drawn map notes, and explore trip-info with touch of their DS’ styluses.

Toyota Estima Hybrid Nintendo DS Image 2

Other features for the Kuruma de DS include: Mii characters speaking out text information (and you thought they were plenty annoying already), location-based trivia questions, and the ability to use the car as a speaker system. Both the Smart Navi and Kuruma de DS go on sale starting June 1st, but with the unsavory price of entry, it might be a little too rich to afford, even for the Japanese consumer.

The converted Yen-to-Dollar’s cost of Toyota’s Smart Navi is $2,575; the Kuruma de DS, $92; then, when you tact on a Nintendo DS on the side-chance you don’t have one – impossible as that might be in Japan, heck, even the world – and, well, the end-total isn’t enough to justify having Mario tell you that you’ve just missed the next exit. Although, those are just my price-conscious thoughts on the matter.

I wouldn’t be all too surprised if there’s a buyer for this contraption. Just like I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s buyers for these futuristic eye-specs or top-locks for Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. Which is an actual thing despite my wild disbelief… Okay, it’s not that illogical of a thingie. Ben & Jerry’s is the some pretty good ice cream.