News Article

Petit Computer Looks Set for the 3DS

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Let's all code a smiley face pixel

While not necessarily a blockbuster hit, DSiWare title Petit Computer has earned a loyal, dedicated group of programmers around the world. Using BASIC code, it provides a surprisingly robust, powerful tool to create small games and share them online, even if it wasn't quite perfect in its execution.

Of course, this app arrived around the world — at different times — relatively late in the DSi's lifespan, but nevertheless prompted plenty of keen programmers to try it out among the Nintendo Life community. The great news is that it seems a new app in this series appears to be on the way to the 3DS. The smileboom website has a page promoting the format with the following lines.

PRINT "ALL NEW"

PRINT "HELLO AGAIN"

RUN PETIT COMPUTER

It would appear to be utilising BASIC programming language again, though we're unsure of some of the specifics in the text. We'll contact Smileboom for details, but in the meantime you can check out our Petit Computer interview. Are you excited about this coming to 3DS?

[via smileboom.com]

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User Comments (50)

SilverArrow

#1

SilverArrow said:

I hope we get something akin to Wii to Wii U VC discount. It would suck if I had to pay full price for the DSiWare AND 3DSWare.

By the by, had already brought Petit Computer from eShop.

Pikachupwnage

#2

Pikachupwnage said:

I hope this one allows for larger files and more advanced graphics and such...the old one looked pretty limiting(a given though being on Dsiware)

luminalace

#3

luminalace said:

I just read a post about some programmers recreating Megaman 1 on Petit Computer. It looked awesome!

Captain_Toad

#4

Captain_Toad said:

Heh, I was contemplating whether to get Petit computer for the dsiware service.
Glad i waited.

SmaMan

#6

SmaMan said:

Me too! I was about to buy it either this week or next.

Hopefully this will make the code sharing a little bit easier than scanning pages of QR codes. A good online transfer perhaps? Would make coding team communication a whole lot more streamlined.

Also, look no further than our very own forums to see just how dedicated some people are to this app.

Pod

#7

Pod said:

Heck yes I am excited about this! I started my hobbyist games making with coding BASIC on an Amstrad when I was 11, and although I sucked at it, I made stuff happen. Looking forward to revisiting BASIC in an inviting new shell.

Cesco

#8

Cesco said:

Well, if Smilebit will need the very same amount of time to bring it in Europe, I'm looking forward it towards the end of 2016..

KnightRider666

#9

KnightRider666 said:

This seems like a cool tool. Too bad I don't have a clue when it comes to programing, even in BASIC.

Grubdog

#10

Grubdog said:

This thing makes a lot more sense on Wii U with the Miiverse behind it. Look at the huge impact the Art Academy Community has had in such a small time. Nonetheless I will check it out on 3DS.

WiiLovePeace

#13

WiiLovePeace said:

I'd love to make a game, but I just don't have the time inbetween playing them to make one I think haha. Surprising they announced a 3DS one so soon after releasing the DSi one in Europe but I guess with the waiting time inbetween the Japan & European releases even if you just bought DSi Petit you will still get your monies worth out of it before the 3DS one releases for sure. Maybe one day I'll buy it & make an RPG or something haha.

DrKarl

#14

DrKarl said:

I will pick this up for sure.

I am hoping for a more robust language, or at least beefing up the BASIC support. If I recall correctly, you can call subroutines, but you can't get a return value without setting it in a global variable. In fact all of the variables have global scope. That gets tricky, as you had to keep careful tabs on things when you want to reuse a variable.

If they include a C style language I would be ecstatic. That would really open up the door of scalability that I find difficult with just basic BASIC.

FiveDigitLP

#15

FiveDigitLP said:

Sweet! I've considered getting the original previously, but was unsure. I'll just wait it out and get this. Sounds like a nice app to tinker with.

Mk_II

#16

Mk_II said:

excellent news. 3DS is a much more powerful platform and for an interpreted language you really want all the speed and memory you can get.

gojiguy

#17

gojiguy said:

I'll get it if they actually add tutorials of some kind and make it intuitive...

The original is like trying to learn to write poems in mandarin without any help.

CrabGats

#21

CrabGats said:

Ahh, yes. I was on the edge about buying the DSi counterpart because I knew they'd have to release a much better 3DS version of it. And I was right!

Prof_Clayton

#22

Prof_Clayton said:

Finally, I can access the internet browser on 3ds, while in the game! :D
Please include a tutorial, even if it's advanced though, that was an issue with the first to many people.
...Or translate the website into english. >_>

Hairmanban19

#25

Hairmanban19 said:

@WiiLovePeace its not so easy to make games with it,well,that is if you don't know how to program BASIC,that was the problem with Peit computer,because some people bought it thinking to make awesome games but then they realized that they don't at all how to program with it when they thought it would be so easy! But there is not many tutorials,and,well,there are mostly just tutorials that teach you only how to make text games,but you can just ask people on the forums for help.

Discostew

#26

Discostew said:

@Bluerobin2 that is something I have contemplated if PTC ever became a 3DS app. The 3DS is not only more powerful, but it also doesn't suffer from known hardware bugs, like the DS/i's RAM issue that would effectively drop the CPU's power to 1/8 when not reading data in RAM sequentially.
I really hope they incorporate more capabilities, like more c-like items like incrementors (abc++, abc+=2), more functions/features, or even a semi-compiler to reduce processing used on parsing. I prefer c/c++, but I'll takes what I can get.

Discostew

#28

Discostew said:

Actually, I'd like it to have some form of data file support, so I don't have to deal with the small/slow GRPs to hold data externally.

HandheldGuru97

#29

HandheldGuru97 said:

I always planed on picking up the DSiware version, I'll wait and see when this comes over here. Probably will have some new features and of course 3D

AlGator

#31

AlGator said:

I didn't pick up the DSi version, but as somebody who's been programming various computers for 30 years I could really enjoy a 3DS one. I'd love to port M.U.L.E.

SCAR392

#32

SCAR392 said:

I was pretty interested in the DSi version. I decided against buying it on my 3DS, because I wanted a 3DS version. I'll be picking this up for sure. I'll figure out this BASIC and hopefully make something good out of it.
I hope we get that synthesizer app, too. It's called MORG, I think. My bro wants that.

theblackdragonAdmin

#33

theblackdragon said:

dangit, i hope they come up with an easier way to transfer code to and from the 3DS. I kinda think that's why i stopped mucking around with the DSiWare version, it just got too annoying to work with the buggy program for coding via PC and then transferring to QR codes to be scanned in via my 3DS :/

LegendOfPit

#34

LegendOfPit said:

I bought the original with the dream of making my own game but I couldn't for the life of me, figure it out, even with all the online help :( This one better have a full 360º tutorial/lesson on BASIC for me to buy it. I'd even pay $10 again if it means I could finally create my game that I have planned.

SmileBoom, please don't let my dream die!

TruenoGT

#36

TruenoGT said:

Cool. I've wanted this, but with the storage limits on DSiWare requiring swapping back and forth between the SD card, I just haven't bothered with any more DSi titles because I hate calculating/choosing what's on the system and what's not.

Windy

#37

Windy said:

Would be cool to take this and 3dize some pcengine/tg16 games if such a thing could be done using this. Bonk 1,2 and 3 would be awesome. Might be a good time to learn how to program :)

Windy

#38

Windy said:

@LegendOfPit same here I was totally confused and got myself a headache trying to sort through confusing online help. But I bet its great for those who know how to use it

dadajo

#39

dadajo said:

Though I don't know a thing about programming it was fun scanning those qr codes to try out games people made. It is amazing what people can make with such limited space. (Reminds me of the nes days)

EaZy_T

#40

EaZy_T said:

A 3DS version would be nice, just to suspend/close the system and still get streetpasses! :p

Barbiegurl777

#42

Barbiegurl777 said:

Yuck! :( I downloaded the dsiware version petit computer when released thinking it'd be fun to use but after spending a week on the dsiware app & not getting ANYWHERE as for figuring the dsiware app out except frustation I eventually deleted it off my 3ds. That was the WORST dsiware title I've ever spent 8 dollars on EVER! :(

Glad other people can figure this title out with programming, computers, etc.

Will NOT be downloading 3ds title. :(

Happy Gaming! (^_^)

ejamer

#43

ejamer said:

Very interested to see what improvements are made.
Will Petit Computer 2.0 be backwards compatible with code from the original?

@Barbiegurl777
Why did you delete it? Even with no ability or interest in programming, you could still just play the games that other people have created.

element187

#44

element187 said:

I loved BASIC when I was a kid. I fiddled with QBASIC on msdos for years... yes even creating a computer virus for fun (I was suspended from school for it, ha)

But making a game in BASIC will turn out exactly that, basic.... I'd like to see a more powerful programming tool created for Wii U, like C/C++/Java etc... I think there would be a lot of talent out there that could make their own quick games(when I say quick I mean maybe a month or two) and upload them to miiverse for others to try out.

Do you have to declare lines? I hated that part about basic, thankfully QBASIC took that madness out.

element187

#45

element187 said:

"I'll get it if they actually add tutorials of some kind and make it intuitive"

@gojiguy You have google. There is a billion resources online for programming in BASIC... The BASIC language has been around for a very very long time, and its already well documented. You should be fine following along with guides online.

Slayer

#46

Slayer said:

@Bluerobin2 That will make my experience maximized.
We might either remake all of our games in 3D or just update them with a 3D update. 3DS only, though, so I'm doing remake.

Slayer

#47

Slayer said:

@Barbiegurl777 I love how you fret over how you couldn't get ANYWHERE, and say "Happy Gaming" to those who are on the Petitcom forums and all gamers.

Slayer

#48

Slayer said:

I swear, I will download this first once it comes out. I am excited to make more games and programs, except with the powerful 3DS. (XL actually, I haven't picked it up yet so I'll get the XL due to the HUGE screen) How I've been using the first, I don't have a 3DS so how do I use the normal PTC?
DSi XL.
I got it when it was new, and while the midst of the 3DS came out I was still using it.
Now I will have TWO! But one can do 3D... And better, new games...

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