When the Nintendo DSi launched it helped to shake up Nintendo’s approach to selling games on its portable hardware, following the lead set by Wii and introduction a download store. A hugely popular arrival was Flipnote Studio, a free download that allowed talented users to create basic but entertaining animations and drawings.
Users were then able to share creations online through Flipnote Hatena, a website that passed one million users. This app and the online service only lasted 4 years, however, due to the arrival of 3DS and a successor – Flipnote Studio 3D. The original Flipnote Hatena service was taken down.
The 3DS entry had a troubled initial release in Japan, though, with Nintendo disabling online sharing features after inappropriate content was distributed through the app. Its release in the West was extensively delayed, before arriving as an offline experience.
For some the peak of the concept was in its original guise on DSi, and now ‘Sudomemo (Austin Burk) and the wider Flipnote development community’ have launched Flipnote Archive, which is hosting the entire available DSi archive from the defunct Flipnote Hatena servers. The site states that this is 44 million Flipnotes from 1.2 million creators, accounting for 12TB of data.
The project has been in the works for quite some time, with the team having to overcome hurdles such as formatting and successfully generating the correct sound from the files. The results are a lot of fun; as an early taster below are a couple of funny Flipnotes from Aardman (Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep) that were part of a marketing promotion back in the day.
It’s well worth a browse, as there are some amazing animations that were created by eager artists on the DSi.