In addition to landing in the hands of public school students, the Nintendo DS is also making its way to employees of McDonald's in Japan.
The device already goes hand-in-hand with Ronald McDonald and Co. by offering visitors free downloads of demos and other exclusive content via the Nintendo Zone service. Many local restaurants here in the states even sport built-in Gamecube consoles for gamers to play for free. Oddly, the McDonald's by our U.S. office still only has N64's.
However now the Nintendo handheld will be used by part-time employees for training purposes. Although no real specifics were provided, the DS training program itself is called "eSmart," and will use software designed by the fast food chain. The overall purchase and distribution will cost the company around 200 million yen (just over $2.2 million USD)--and that doesn't include the cost of developing the software.
According to Andriasang, McDonald's plans to incorporate around two DS units throughout Japan, making it roughly 7,400 units (based on February store numbers). The company believes that training will be cut in half over traditional methods, mostly because the trainees are already familiar with the Nintendo DS platform.
The eSmart program is expected to launch later this year. So far there's no indication that the program will be incorporated into McDonald's here in the States.