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Petit Computer brings the power of BASIC to Nintendo 3DS and DSi


July 23, 2012

Petit Computer brings back the days when apps were still called programs

Petit Computer brings back the days when apps were still called programs

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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.

Source: Petit Computer, via The Next Web

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

It has been said over many years that anyone who programs in BASIC can never be a software engineer. for myself after 30 years of it, I thank God that I found "C" first!


Judging from the video I would say that this is yet another interpretive BASIC. What probably should happen is some international standards committee getting together and coming up with a next generation BASIC that would be structured, yet easy to use.

While I think it's a pretty cool idea, I just wish interpretive languages would just go away. It really does the user a disservice if ever they need to use a real computing language.

Chuck Hunnefield

So where the heck is Petit Computer on DSi-ware? I can't find it via my DSi nor does it show up on the DSi web page lists. Any help would be much obliged.

Klaptrap Von Spilldabeanz
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