The software has been available in Japan since last December, but Nintendo finally brought Flipnote Studio, its free DSiWare application for creating flipbook-style animations, to North America yesterday. The company also launched Flipnote's complementary online community Flipnote Hatena for uploading, sharing, and rating different clips.

Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata recognizes that this extensive integration of online community features in one of its apps is something the company and its consoles haven't been known for the in the past, but he feels Flipnote and future software emphasizing user-generated content can change that.

Says Iwata, "I think from now on the relationship between Nintendo's game consoles and the Internet will deepen now that there's a way for people to easily bring their ideas to life and present them to others - the same way that today they fire off emails right and left. Flipnote Studio can be a place where people share their creations with each other and offer each other applause."

"I would love it if Flipnote Studio led the way for software making it possible for people to share their creativity in that way. Everyone, let's give it our best!"

Also, my apologies for not animating the above Flipnote image -- I spent much too much time on this (I kept accidentally deleting my creation, as I drew it on a Japanese system), and I couldn't even think of anything to animate without it looking terrible!