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DS

Nintendo Announces Official North American DSi Release Date

by Nick DiMola - February 18, 2009, 6:29 am PST
Total comments: 55 Source: Press Release

With a price point of $169.99, the DSi is launching alongside Rhythm Heaven sooner than anticipated.

This morning Nintendo announced the official release date of their upcoming DS revision, the DSi. The unit will be available in North American stores April 5 with a MSRP of $169.99. The system will launch in two colors, Matte Black, a color already available in Japan, and a brand new Matte Blue color unique to North America.

Though the GBA slot has been removed, the DSi boasts a number of new features over its DS Lite predecessor. Being a DS revision, the system will also retain the same unique features made available in the DS and DS Lite. The DSi will include a camera (with editing suite), a sound studio for recording and playing sound/music, an SD Card slot, as well as access to the DSi shop. Similar to the Wii Shop Channel, the DSi shop will offer unique downloadable games for purchase. Furthermore, the DSi will also have a unique lineup of titles that cannot be played on older DS models.

Nintendo also revealed that their popular Japanese title Rhythm Heaven will release alongside the DSi system on April 5.

NINTENDO DSI LAUNCHES APRIL 5 IN THE UNITED STATES

New Portable System Offers Customized Gaming Experiences

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 18, 2009 – Nintendo pioneered hand-held entertainment in the '80s and made it fully mobile with the Game Boy™ video game system. Now, Nintendo is transforming the way people access, experience, create and share content with the new Nintendo DSi™ system, the third iteration of the world's best-selling portable video game system. Nintendo DSi launches in the United States on April 5, 2009, at an MSRP of $169.99. The colors available at launch will be Blue and Black.

"Ever since the arrival of the first Game Boy, consumers worldwide have turned to Nintendo for their portable gaming," said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. "Nintendo DSi builds on Nintendo's commitment to bringing fun and creative entertainment to everyone, and will allow consumers to personalize and share their very own experiences."

Some features that will be built into the system and ready to enjoy upon purchase include the Nintendo DSi Camera, Nintendo DSi Sound and Nintendo DSi Shop. The most noticeable feature of the slim Nintendo DSi system is its two cameras – one camera is on the external body, and the second one points at the user when the device is flipped open. As the first truly interactive digital camera in a video game system with 10 different interactive "lenses" that can manipulate your photos, the Nintendo DSi Camera offers an easy way to take and share your photos with family and friends. The cameras also present people with unprecedented ways to interact with their games while giving developers a new tool to devise creative games and experiences. If the touch screen gave Nintendo DS a sense of feel and the microphone allowed it to hear, the two cameras give Nintendo DSi the sense of sight.

Another enhanced feature is the Nintendo DSi Sound application, which serves as both an interactive voice recorder and music player that allows users to play with their music while they listen to it. Users can access different audio filters or control the pitch and speed of recorded voice or music files to alter voices or change the tempo of a song. The mic is located between the two screens when the device is flipped open, and there is also a stereo headphone output that lets users listen to music saved on an SD card, even with the screen shut.

In the world of software, Nintendo DSi will be the platform for the most relevant and fun on-the-go games and applications. The Nintendo DSiWare™ application will populate Nintendo DSi with software that can be downloaded using Nintendo DSi Points directly to the portable system, just as WiiWare™ has with Nintendo's Wii™ console. Developers big and small are invited to create software that makes use of the properties and functions of the hardware. Nintendo DSiWare games and applications will be available at a range of values, starting at 200 points.

In addition to downloadable games, Nintendo DSi is able to play games made specifically for the system and sold at retail. The system can also play most Nintendo DS™ games, and will have access to a library of more than 850 titles originally made for that system.

Also on April 5, a new Nintendo DS game, Rhythm Heaven™, will join this roster of games available for both Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DS owners in the United States. Having sold more than 1.6 million copies since its July 2008 launch in Japan and still increasing sales today, this infectious game challenges players to tap and slide the stylus on the touch screen in time to original music created by legendary Japanese pop-star producer TSUNKU♂. Simple gestures with the stylus combined with fun music and quirky visuals make Rhythm Heaven a completely unique musical experience for players of all ages.

Additional features and news of Nintendo DSi will be revealed as April 5 approaches.

For more information about Nintendo DSi, visit www.nintendodsi.com.

Talkback

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusFebruary 18, 2009

170 bucks!? Man, that's a bit too pricey for me...

Wow, this DSi Press Release has some real B.S. in it:

Quote:

As the first truly interactive digital camera in a video game system with 10 different interactive "lenses" that can manipulate your photos, the Nintendo DSi Camera offers an easy way to take and share your photos with family and friends.

Yeah, never mind the EyeToy, or even your own Game Boy Camera that this clearly builds upon.

$170 is steep, but not surprising given the Japanese sticker price and the weak dollar. The lack of a GBA slot really is an issue for me, but it sounds like we can look forward to some games in store that require a DSi.  The DSi is sounding more and more like the GBC. One of the processors is more powerful, and it has four times the RAM, so there likely will be a few developers interested in retail games, regardless of the camera's practicality. If the DSi has truly killer apps like the GBC did, I'll have to pick one up.

BwrJim!February 18, 2009

dont want, dont need, no old pokemon and castlevania and its a 170 dollars???

so that means a few things..

If this is the true successor, then new pokemon games will be coming soon that are remakes again that will allow people to get the old critters.
If this is not a true successor, then it will go away.. (considering japanese popularity though, its here to stay)
ect.. ect.

Luigi DudeFebruary 18, 2009

Who cares about the DSi, Rythem Tengoku finally has a US release date.

;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Seriously, that's the only important thing everyone needs to know.

MorariFebruary 18, 2009

The lack of a GBA slot is quickly remedied with that SD Card slot and an internet full of ROMs!

I don't have a problem with the GBA slot going away (still have an SP), but the price is way out of control.  I'm not paying a huge premium for a system whose main appeal is that I can spend even more money for downloadable games.

NinGurl69 *hugglesFebruary 18, 2009

THIS JUST IN

Wii Systems with a Pikachu sticker to go on sale for $380 on April 1!

THAT'S RIGHT, Wiis will now come with a PIKACHU STICKER applied to bottom!

It's Ridge Racer! RIIIDDDGE RACERRRRRRRRR!

I rate this 5 Pikachu Clocks -- FIVE PIKACHU CLOCCCCCKKKKKSSSS

UltimatePartyBearFebruary 18, 2009

I really didn't think Nintendo would allow non-DSiWare games to use the new features, so that's a surprise.  I bet we'll mostly see games that use the extra power if it's there but still run on older models, like what happened with the RAM expansion on the N64.

Any more word yet on whether it supports WPA?  If I can take the DSi online without screwing around with router settings or that horrid USB adapter, it might be worth buying.

I pre-ordered one of these to be safe.  Hopefully we'll get a review version from Nintendo, though.

Ian SaneFebruary 18, 2009

Quote:

In addition to downloadable games, Nintendo DSi is able to play games made specifically for the system and sold at retail.

Well this would make it exactly like the GBC then.  You could more or less consider it a new system.

But because of the way Nintendo handled the GBC I'm very reluctant in buying one of these even if a major game I felt I must own was released exclusively for it.  When it came out I assumed the GBC was the next Gameboy and offered backwards compatibility as a cool feature.  I never bought one because I was just a high school kid with no money at the time.  But I'm glad I didn't because the GBA came out only a few years later.  The GBC had a very short shelf life and had I bought one I would have felt a little ripped off.  So let's say Nintendo releases some 2D Metroid for the DSi.  On one hand that's a game that would clearly make me want to buy a DSi.  But on the other hand I would be afraid that six months later Nintendo would announce the real successor to the DS.

I wish Nintendo would just release a full-on successor and not jerk us around with this stop-gap.  I'd like to be wrong here but I'm pretty sure this is going to be just like the GBC and that Nintendo is fully aware of that and is doing it on purpose.  They've put me in a situation where I can't buy a DSi.

GBC was perfect for people who didn't already have a Game Boy (like me).  In the same way, DSi is perfect for people who have somehow made it this long without a DS.  I would say it may even be a good choice for people still playing DS Phats.  Then again, if the price on DS Lite comes down, that might be an even better upgrade value.

By the way, I'm not saying that I will never ever buy the DSi... but it would take one, maybe multiple killer apps to convince me.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterFebruary 18, 2009

I'm honestly looking for ward to this, mainly because the top screen of my DS Lite flickers on and off and it bugs me, especially during important scenes.

NinGurl69 *hugglesFebruary 18, 2009

Yeah, i'm never buying a DS.

For myself.

TheFleeceFebruary 18, 2009

I'm mixed about it- on one end I'm happy about the DSi coming so soon, but I am not sure that getting one immediately will offer any benefits. If the DSiWare isn't going to be impressive until much later than why rush to get it?
While I have a few GBA games I am excited to see how the SD slot will be used, but that takes some time. I just got a new DS in Sept and I may not get a DSi until then unless something really amazing comes out for it. Or I'm bored.

NinGurl69 *hugglesFebruary 18, 2009

Let me play DS games on TV, how bout that?

TheFleeceFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

Let me play DS games on TV, how bout that?

Pffft. Nintendo's gonna dance around that one until the universe collapses.

TJ SpykeFebruary 18, 2009

It's cheaper than the rumored price ($180), but still way to expensive. At $150 I would buy it with no problem, at $170 I am a little hesitant. It would help if Nintendo gave some free Nintendo points to use on DSiWare like they did for Japanese DSi's (I think it was 1000 points).

NinGurl69 *hugglesFebruary 18, 2009

If it's as expensive as iPhone, it'd have more perceived value!  YES

Ian SaneFebruary 18, 2009

Quote:

Let me play DS games on TV, how bout that?

This would make me consider getting a DSi.  I don't play my DS nearly as much as I would like because I hate playing on a portable.  When I play games I don't tend to hold the controller very still.  Moving it around is fine on a console but when the screen is on the controller it can make games harder to focus on.  My GBA library got much more playtime once the GB Player came out and I really want something like this for the DS.

I think such a feature should be routine for portables.  They should just come with A/V cables.

GoldenPhoenixFebruary 18, 2009

How exactly would DS games work on Wii? Especialy those that utilize the touchscreen. Not to mention the dual screen problem.

NinGurl69 *hugglesFebruary 18, 2009

There'd be no Wii, just a display cable like what Nintendo does during tradeshows.  It makes sense for console-friendly games like Castlevania.

vuduFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

How exactly would DS games work on Wii? Especialy those that utilize the touchscreen. Not to mention the dual screen problem.

Psh ... these are details that people who request outrageous features need not worry about!

Luigi DudeFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: NinGurl69

There'd be no Wii, just a display cable like what Nintendo does during tradeshows.  It makes sense for console-friendly games like Castlevania.

You know, I wouldn't doubt it if Nintendo releases something like that someday.  I mean both the Super Gameboy and GBA Player did really well for them, so I wouldn't doubt it if they have plans for something like that.

I mean, wasn't the GBA Player just an extension of the kits they used at those trade shows as well, so I'd imagine making an extension of what they use for the DS would be very reasonable.

If Lindy ever confirms that we're getting a review copy, I intend to travel around the country and kill off my fellow editors until I am the only staffer left, and the system will HAVE to come my way.

I think the editors should have some kind of battle royale involving Mario Kart (the only reliable online Wii game) to see who gets the DSi. :-)

Either way, I'm totally getting one. My DS Lite is scratched to hell, the joint is cracked, and I regret slapping all those Guitar Hero stickers on it. I could care less that the GBA slot is gone--I still have a GBA SP, and I never play On Tour. It'll be sad to see the Rumble Pack go, though, because I think it really added to games like Space Invaders Extreme...

Quote from: GoldenPhoenix

How exactly would DS games work on Wii? Especialy those that utilize the touchscreen. Not to mention the dual screen problem.

You could still hold the DS to use as the controller, but one or both displays would be shown on the TV screen (similar to the capture stations).  It should be pretty easy to add an optional feature to highlight on the touch screen display where you are holding the stylus.

As an added bonus, this would effectively give you a Game Boy Player for Wii, if it could be somehow implemented for older DS versions.

PopeRealFebruary 18, 2009

Nice!  Much sooner than I expected.

Choices are good people, if you don't want/need the DSi because you think the Lite is better than thats your choice.  For me I don't play GBA games so this is a no brainer.  Larger screen and improved Wi-Fi are the big draws for me :)

blackfootstepsFebruary 18, 2009

What's the price of the DS lite over there?

Quote from: Halbred

If Lindy ever confirms that we're getting a review copy, I intend to travel around the country and kill off my fellow editors until I am the only staffer left, and the system will HAVE to come my way.

I think the editors should have some kind of battle royale involving Mario Kart (the only reliable online Wii game) to see who gets the DSi. :-)

Either way, I'm totally getting one. My DS Lite is scratched to hell, the joint is cracked, and I regret slapping all those Guitar Hero stickers on it. I could care less that the GBA slot is gone--I still have a GBA SP, and I never play On Tour. It'll be sad to see the Rumble Pack go, though, because I think it really added to games like Space Invaders Extreme...

Its on, Zach. My DS Phat is getting old.

AVFebruary 18, 2009

meh. Allow me to play Virtual Console games from Wii on it. Than I'll be interested.


TJ SpykeFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: blackfootsteps

What's the price of the DS lite over there?

DS Lite is $130 in the US (same price the original DS was when the DS Lite came out).

If I do get the DSi, at least I didn't waste money on a DS Lite (I still use my original launch DS, the DS logo on the front has worn off and the sticker on the back is scratched to hell, but the system still works).

KDR_11kFebruary 18, 2009

The Lite is 150€ here. Makes me wonder what the DSi will cost.

Mop it upFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: TheYoungerPlumber

Quote:

As the first truly interactive digital camera in a video game system with 10 different interactive "lenses" that can manipulate your photos, the Nintendo DSi Camera offers an easy way to take and share your photos with family and friends.

Yeah, never mind the EyeToy, or even your own Game Boy Camera that this clearly builds upon.

I think the key word there is "in". This is the first videogame system to have a camera included in the hardware and not as an optional accessory. That's our Nintendo, they always try to find ways in which they're the first to do everything.

Anyways, I still don't understand the point of the DSi. These kinds of features should be held off until the real successor to the DS is released, which could be in the next couple of years (but might be longer now that they've released this thing). The DSiWare exclusive games are bad enough, but if there are also going to be special DSi games alongside the regular DS games that's just going to cause confusion and even more market crowding. The DS Lite is still selling just fine, all this is going to do is split the userbase and anger those who just bought a DS... such as myself. Although, I probably wouldn't have gotten a DSi anyway since it doesn't come in pink.

These kinds of "micro evolutions" are my main problem with Nintendo right now. They're blatantly trying to squeeze the industry for every penny it is worth.

I must admit though, I expected the price to be higher. Based on Japan, I thought it would be $200. It's even lower than the rumoured $180.

TJ SpykeFebruary 18, 2009

You expected it to be $200? The system is about $186 in Japan, and game systems are usually cheaper here than in Japan.

I don't think there are gonna be any DSi only games (outside of DSiWare of coarse). I have seen one company say they may release DS games that get do take advantage of the DSi's features when used in a DSi, but will still work fine in DS/DS Lites. I guess you could compare it some Game Boy games that could play in color when played on the Game Boy Color, or how the Zelda Oracle games got extra features when played on a Game Boy Advance.

Ian SaneFebruary 18, 2009

Quote:

I don't think there are gonna be any DSi only games (outside of DSiWare of coarse).

But Nintendo said there would be in their press release.

TJ SpykeFebruary 18, 2009

Haha, I guess I should actually read the PR releases. I guess Nintendo wants to force people to buy the DSi rather than hanging on to their DS or DS Lite's.

Mop it upFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: TJ

You expected it to be $200? The system is about $186 in Japan, and game systems are usually cheaper here than in Japan.

I didn't know what it was in Japan, I was basing my assumption on import prices, of which I saw it selling for $250-300.

TJ SpykeFebruary 18, 2009

Import prices are always higher than the actual price. I just check Wikipedia and saw that the DSi launched in Japan for ¥18,900 (including tax), which is about $192.

AVFebruary 18, 2009

my fear is that all the casual gamers will jump on board and sell the DS Lite they have for this. Nintendo will view it as a huge success and they will continue with baby steps and never release a real successor.

Wii with DVD support, 720p with 20 gig internal memory in 2010 seems more likely.... (when they could have and should have done that in the first place )

I really thought the failure of the Game Boy Micro taught them a lesson, well casual gamers are different beasts lets hope they don't help drive nintendo into foolish hardware updates for the sake of soft sales.

Mop it upFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: TJ

I just check Wikipedia and saw that the DSi launched in Japan for ¥18,900 (including tax), which is about $192.

What a coincidence, that's my lucky number! I wonder if this means I should buy one...?

The Micro was a blip on the radar. They did it because, in their own words, they could. GBC was a success. The various peripherals on Wii are a success so far. In fact, I'd argue Nintendo has had this mentality for a very long time in the portable spectrum, and has finally been able to reproduce the micro-evolution success in the console realm.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: Mr.

my fear is that all the casual gamers will jump on board and sell the DS Lite they have for this. Nintendo will view it as a huge success and they will continue with baby steps and never release a real successor.

My fear is that this won't happen. Yes, this sounds pretty backwards, but I think the DS is in-stride right now. A ton of companies have signed on with it, they know how to use the hardware well, and are able to crank out quality games on a fairly quick and consistent basis. I'd much rather continue to receive excellent titles on a near-weekly basis than have to wait for a successor to eventually ramp up and reach the point the DS is at right now.

Realistically, what would the DS successor feature besides better graphics? Clearly that isn't a big enough draw or else the PSP would be far more successful than it currently is. DSiWare is a great new addition, and should make it even quicker, and easier to produce great single serving games.

My concern is that the price point is too high to justify yet another DS purchase for many people, and as such it won't really catch on here. With the massive profits Nintendo has already seen with the DS, I fully expected a more reasonable DSi price (prior to its Japanese release).

I'm hoping the system won't really catch on at its stated price, and will drop down to something more reasonable ($130-$150).

Mop it upFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: Mr.

Realistically, what would the DS successor feature besides better graphics?

It would feature all of the additions that this DSi has as well as a hardware upgrade. It shouldn't be released now, it should come out after the DS has run its course. It would also have backwards compatibility of course so people could still play their existing DS libraries. The GBA slot would still be axed, but at that point I doubt very many people would care.

This DSi is what is making the DS successor have little room to grow besides better hardware.

TJ SpykeFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: Mr.

I really thought the failure of the Game Boy Micro taught them a lesson, well casual gamers are different beasts lets hope they don't help drive nintendo into foolish hardware updates for the sake of soft sales.

The Game Boy micro came out after the DS had already launched, so that was a huge strike against it. Add in the fact that it could only play Game Boy Advance games (support for Game Boy and Game Boy Color games was removed) and there was very little reason to buy it.

TanookisuitFebruary 18, 2009

Well... I wish they hadn't made the DSi, but I'll probably buy it.  That blue one is beautiful.  I have a Gameboy Micro I never play as well.

I blame the weak dollar.

But I still want one. DSi games alone I expect to be worth the purchase for aficionados.

AVFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: Mr.

Quote from: Mr.


Realistically, what would the DS successor feature besides better graphics? 

i would have loved to see DSi not only have better graphics, so many developers are maxing out the system now. However some more innovations would have been dual touch input like iPhone, and an accelerometer inside , as well as rumble built in.

Apparently the DSi only has 256 megs of memory, http://ds.ign.com/articles/954/954616p1.html   thats half the size of Wii. As of now you can't save stuff to SDcard and load them onto the game. So the same exact "fridge" problem is happening with the DSi that happened with Wii. Sure right now its not an issue since DSi downloads will be small, but this lack of foresight is really what angers me.

A small fridge on the DSi has many ramifications, not all of them negative MAV.

For one, Nintendo has to manufacture these suckers like crazy. Higher end components would probably cause severe shortages and give the DSi a hard time building up an install base. For another, there's the issue of price, which many already are balking at.

But above all of that, Nintendo has to deal with major issues of piracy, and I bet they're loathe to give hackers any memory space on their hardware to work with.

TJ SpykeFebruary 18, 2009

Quote from: Kairon

I blame the weak dollar.

I'm not sure the dollar (which has improved in the last few months) can be blamed solely. Even in Japan the price is more expensive. The DSi launched at 18,900 Yen while the DS Lite launched at 16,800 Yen. That is about a $20 increase, so it is less of a increase than the US is getting (but does make the prices more even, the DS Lite was about $30 cheaper in the US while the DSi is about $20 cheaper in the US).

Ian SaneFebruary 19, 2009

Quote:

In fact, I'd argue Nintendo has had this mentality for a very long time in the portable spectrum, and has finally been able to reproduce the micro-evolution success in the console realm.

I really don't like this micro-evolution stuff at all.  It only benefits Nintendo and preys on consumer stupidity.  So I won't deny that I hope Nintendo trips up on one of these micro-evolutions.  Not enough to kill them off or put them in serious danger or anything.  Just enough to keep them in line - a nice embarassing financial disaster that will scare them off of this mentality.

The DSi probably won't be it though.  They have such market dominance in the portable market.

vuduFebruary 19, 2009

Quote from: Halbred

If Lindy ever confirms that we're getting a review copy, I intend to travel around the country and kill off my fellow editors until I am the only staffer left, and the system will HAVE to come my way.

Sorry, but these kind of perks are reserved for the site directors.  Jonny got the review DS Lite.  Windy got the review Wii.  Lindy's gonna get the DSi.

Then I'll be forced to kill him!

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorFebruary 19, 2009

Here's a thought - depending on how early you get it.
Every site staff member who's willing to pay overnight shipping to ship it to the next staff member can have it for two days (or one, again, depending on how early you get it), then give us your individual impressions of it and ship it out (overnight) to the next staff member on the list...

My forum signature should indicate how crazy I am when it comes to downloadable games, so I may end up upgrading later in the year based solely on the DSiWare lineup. Also, considering I've already bought 4 DSs because my first 3 broke (all after the warranty expired or in ways that aren't covered by the warranty), there's a reasonable chance that I may have to replace my current DS Lite because it breaks.

Quote from: UncleBob

Here's a thought - depending on how early you get it.
Every site staff member who's willing to pay overnight shipping to ship it to the next staff member can have it for two days (or one, again, depending on how early you get it), then give us your individual impressions of it and ship it out (overnight) to the next staff member on the list...

That would cost me like $30. I'd rather just buy my own.

TJ SpykeFebruary 25, 2009

I already regret it, but I think I will get the DSi. I skipped out on the DS Lite (the improvements were so minor that I could not justify paying another $130+ tax). Knowing how Nintendo of America likes to screw us, I bet we won't get 1,000 Nintendo points free like Japanese gamers are.

Could somebody here with contacts at Nintendo try and find out if they will do that?

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