Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nintendo DSi - Maybe Not Just For Gamers?

Nintendo held their fall press conference yesterday where they announced a new version of the Nintendo DS called the DSi. I've been poking around on the web - here's some details I've been able to find on the new device:

  • The DSi will not be backwards compatible with Game Boy Advance (GBA) cartridges - the GBA slot has been removed from the DSi.
  • The DSi screens (there are still two, like the DS) are now 3.25 inches, that's 17% larger than the 3 inch screens on the DS. One of the screens is touch, like the DS.
  • Nintendo has enhanced DSi audio.
  • The DSi has a 3 Megapixel and a .3 Megapixel camera (there are two) built in.
  • The DSi has an SD memory card slot.
  • The DSi will come in White or Black.
  • The DSi comes with a web browser and games can be downloaded using the web browser and saved on the DSi.
  • Nintendo is launching an online DSi Shop where users can buy content and download directly over a WiFi connection.
  • The DSi shop will use Nintendo Points (previously called Wii Points) for purchases.
  • The DSi comes with 1000 Nintendo Points that can be used unitl March 2010.
  • DSi content will be priced at 200, 500 and 800 points.
  • Nintendo will provide free WiFi connectivity in Nintendo Zone hotspots found at McDonalds in Japan.
  • The DSi will cost ¥18,900 ($178) and will be available in Japan on November.
  • The DSi will be available in the U.S. sometime in 2009.
Here's a short video demo of the DSi:

I always thought that, with a few tweaks, the DS could work very well as hybrid/crossover somewhere between a personal digital assistant and an Ultra-mobile PC. The addition of the SD card slot and availability of applications for the device just might make this happen. We'll likely have to wait in the U.S. until next year to find out.

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