In its Electronic Entertainment Industry Update released today, TNI Securities reports that the recently revealed headset port on the Nintendo DS will be used in conjunction with the built-in wireless 802.11b networking capabilities to offer voice-over-IP chat--in effect, allowing gamers to use the DS to make free phone calls at wireless network hotspots.
The report, which is intended for investors in the electronic games industry, goes on to express TNI's opinion that this will "help drive adoption among the increasingly connected younger gaming audience."
Analyst Boris Markovich in his weekly memo said, "The headset will allow gamers to use the DS as a phone handset enabling free phone calls over wireless network hotspots. We think that this will be a very compelling application of the handset..."
Markovich adds that based on his research, the DS remains "on track" for a 2004 release in both the US and Japan.