Although it won’t officially be in our hands until later this year (if you got in on the first wave of pre-orders, that is), Panic’s unique Playdate handheld is already being poked and prodded by folks lucky enough to score a dev unit. One such developer recently shared a neat little project that revives Flipnote Studio, a fan-favourite Nintendo DS app, from the depths of digital hell.
For my money, Flipnote Studio was one of the coolest things to come out of the Nintendo DS. It let you draw and sequence a series of still images to create what were essentially digital flipbooks. Flipnote’s simplicity meant that anyone could quickly make fun little works of art. You could also go nuts and make expansive creations like Flipnote Warrior, a 34-minute anime designed entirely in the Nintendo 3DS’ sequel.
Sadly, the original Flipnote Studio went the way of the dodo after the Nintendo DSiWare shop closed in 2017, leaving many lovingly crafted animations to languish on obsolete handhelds. A service did exist at one point to transfer old creations to the 3DS version, but that too has since been abandoned by Nintendo.
Enter James Daniel.
I was lucky enough to get access to the @playdate developer preview, so of course I had to make a Flipnote player for the thing!
— James ???? (@rakujira) October 20, 2021
After launching a web-based Flipnote player in 2018, Daniel recently set his sights on getting old Flipnote Studio projects working on the Playdate. The result, an app known as Playnote Studio, can play any old Flipnote Studio animation by simply pulling the files from a Nintendo DSi’s memory card and plopping them into the Playdate’s own storage.
On Twitter, the initial Playnote Studio reveal garnered hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes, greatly surprising Daniel in the process.
“Ever so slightly (ok, more like very) blown away by the response to this,” Daniel wrote yesterday afternoon. “It’s by far the most traction anything I’ve ever made has received! I hope it lives up to expectations!”
Daniel hopes to have Playnote Studio ready for the Playdate’s launch later this year, the official date for which is still up in the air. In any case, I’d say it’s time to dig out those old Nintendo DSi systems, folks, because your Flipnotes just got a second chance at life.