DSi Coming April 4th

By Mike on 12:41 pm

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There have been many rumors regarding when the Nintendo DSi will hit North American shores. It has finally been confirmed that it will indeed arrive in the United States on April 5th. CNET hailed it as the next evolutionary step in Nintendo's handheld line. I tend to disagree. The upgrades to the system are relatively small, though they are more than what was offered with the DS Lite. The DSi now boasts a VGA (0.48 megapixel) camera, SD card slot, 256mb internal storage, DSi Store selling downloadable content, and AAC support. It brings the system more in line with its two primary competitors; the iPhone/iPod Touch and the Playstation Portable. Downloadable content is something that was a long time coming for the DS given that it was the only console of this generation, both portable and TV top, to not have DLC. Other updates include support for WPA and WPA2 wireless security protocols, though they will not work with existing DS games. The SD slot expands storage limitlessly and will apparently allow the storage of downloadable games, unlike the Wii. It also features a slightly bigger screen. The downside is that the DSi is not backwards compatible with Gameboy Advance games and is not compatible with peripherals that used the GBA slot, such as the Guitar Hero Grip.

While these updates are indeed useful, it's the price tag that I don't like. The DSi will cost $170 upon release, which is the same as the core model PSP. It's important to note that the PSP is a personal media player while the DS is primarly still just a gaming machine. The basic nature of what it does hasn't changed much. While the price probably won't hurt sales, I think Nintendo can do a lot better. In my opinion, the DSi should be priced the same as the current DS Lite, with the latter receiving a price drop to $99. This complies with what Nintendo did in the past with the Gameboy line. Nintendo also has the iPhone to worry about too, especially given their attempts to market the DS to adult casual gamers.

Source: IGN

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