3 Oct 2008

Nintendo announces DSi

For those whose first thought was "BUY!", the DSi will be out in Japan on 1 November 2008 while US and Europe should get them early/mid 2009 unless there's a nationwide DSi shortage in Japan.

For the rest of us, hit the jump for all the juicy details from Nintendo Conference 2008.

DS sales data:
- Currently 23 million DS sold in Japan
- Hit 20 million mark in less than 3 years (in contrast, the PSS2 took 6 years 9 months)
- 54% of DS users are female
- 2.8 DS users per household on average
- 1.8 DS per household on average
- Ultimate Goal in Japan: 1 DS per person (!!!)

DSi dimensions:
- Nintendo DSi: Width 137mm, Length 74.9mm, Thickness 18.9mm (touch pen is approx. 92mm in length)
- Nintendo DS Lite: Width 133mm, Length 73.9mm, Thickness 21.5mm (touch pen is approx. 87.5mm in length)

Note: The DSi is only 4 grams lighter than the DS.

Noteable changes:
- 3.25 inch screen (DS: 3 inch)
- 0.3 MP camera (on the outer front cover)
- Slightly better speakers
- 2.5 hours charging time (DS: 3 hours)
- Overall slightly shorter battery life (the DSi could possibly have a brighter screen, hence the battery life)
- No GBA slot
- DSi shop (similar to the Wii's download stores, and shares the same points system)
- SD card slot for music, photos and downloads
- On-board memory (for DSi shop downloads)
- Photo editor that has touch screen support
- Audio player (currently only confirmed to play AAC) that allows you to change pitch, slow down, reverse, record (10 seconds from mic), etc...
- Profiles stored on DS, called MyDS
- 4 price categories in DSi shop: Free, 200, 500, 800 points (100 points = US$1)
- Free DSi web browser
- Free Moving Notebook software, which is a movie maker that uses audio and still images (from photos OR you can draw on the screen) only, like stop motion animation
- Free 1000 DSi store points for every DS bought till end of March 2010!

PRICE: 18900 Yen (about US$180)
RELEASE (JP): 1 Nov 2008

Other than the gimmicky camera and not-so-useful changes to its dimensions (and screen), I think it sounds rather good. Basically a DS lite with in-built memory and a SD card slot. Seems like small changes on paper, but the internal memory does WONDERS for the system as a whole. Remember playing single-cart multiplayer games or downloadable demos? It disappears whenever the DS is switched off. Now it can stores these things AND provide enough memory for you to run a browser. The DS homebrew community would be churning out compatible PDA software within a few months! Price-wise, its still quite reasonable, considering that the DS lite is selling at 16800 Yen (US$160) in Japan with no price drop in sight. I doubt there will be any price drop till at least the 2009 holiday season, which is more than a year away.

So... will you be getting one? I'll definitely keep an eye out for it... Thoughts?

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