Today was full of good news for people interested in carrying pads in the palm of their hand.

Fans of the Nintendo DS in North America, the Korg DS-10 Plus synthesizer for Big N’s game system is now coming to your side of the Pacific Ocean. (That also bodes well, I think, for other parts of the world.) The DS-10 I think really deserves some credit for making a straight-up music title a hit on gaming platforms, and its success certainly surpassed my own expectations. It’s not a game, it’s not an interactive experience, it’s not a music game – it’s actually a synth and music workstation that happens to run on a game platform. The DS-10 Plus beefs up the original’s features, though it now has a commercially-available rival in the form of Rockstar’s Beaterator for PSP.

In Plus for both the DS and DSi:

  • MUTE/SOLO built into the SONG mode
  • EDIT/PLAY enabled for all modes within the SONG mode

Apparently DSi-exclusive (as I had speculated in the original story on the new edition):

  • Twice the analog synths (4 of them, instead of 2)
  • Twice the drum machines (8 instead of 4)
  • Twice the tracks (12 instead of 6)
  • Expanded song mode: programmable track mute, realtime editing (that is, edit parameters inside the song mode
  • Two effects layers instead of just the usual effects routing (the equivalent of running two instances of DS-10)

(Previously: Korg DS-10 Plus Coming, with Beefed-Up Features for Nintendo DSi)

I’m also pleased that, if the Joystiq story confirming North American distribution is correct, only the extra effects layers require the newer-model Nintendo DSi. It sounds as though the rest of this functionality works just fine on other DS models.

Correction: As Liam notes in comments, and as I’ve clarified above, many of the new features are indeed DSi-exclusive. That means this is probably worth upgrading if you have a DSi, and a reasonable purchase if you don’t already have DS-10, but something you’ll ignore if you have a pre-DSi system and the earlier DS-10 title. Joystiq apparently mis-interpreted the press release, which is easy enough to do; it’s confusingly written.

XSEED press release

Via Joystiq’s David Hinkle:
XSEED bringing Korg DS-10 Plus to North America