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Report: Nintendo DSi Gets Priced, Dated For U.S. Launch

Illustration for article titled Report: Nintendo DSi Gets Priced, Dated For U.S. Launch

The next Nintendo DS, dubbed the DSi, is rumored to be launched in the United States in April of this year, according to a report from IGN which cites "multiple sources close to Nintendo."

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According to the report, the follow up to the tremendously successful Nintendo DS Lite will land on U.S. shores on April 4 and for a premium price of $179.99. That's $50 more than the cost of the current model and in line with Japanese pricing.

With the Nintendo DS Lite still selling at an impressive rate in the United States — it moved over 1.5 million units in November — Nintendo may want to keep the price higher in an attempt to prevent cannibalization of its still popular handheld, as it doesn't consider the new model a replacement for the old.

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The DSi, which was announced in October 2008 and launched a month later in Japan, features larger display screens, dual 0.3 megapixel digital cameras, SD card support and internal storage. It drops the original DS's Game Boy Advance port, making the device incompatible with some DS games.

IGN's independent sources don't appear to have revealed any details on the U.S. launch of the DSi Ware service, which kicked off in Japan at the end of 2008.

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Rumor: DSi U.S. Launch Date, Price Revealed [IGN]

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DISCUSSION

OK, people, maybe to clarify everything: The DSi is actually a farther step from the DS/DSLite than the Wii is from the Gamecube (performance-wise).

The DSi is twice as fast, CPU-wise (132 MHz instead of 66 MHz), and has four times the RAM (16 MB instead of 4 MB).

I don't know why Nintendo doesn't mention this in its marketing campaign at all (though, in honestly, the extra horsepower does nothing for the actual consumer until there is DSi-exclusive or DSi-compatible software), but they mention it clearly on their developer site on the DSi primer.

Further notices: The DS' and DSLite's codename was "Nitro", which is also the term used for the development kits. The DSi isn't a "Nitro" anymore, it has a new designation (TWL) and also a new dev kit.

And lastly, Nintendo already offers the possibility for cartridge-based games (i.e. not DSiWare, the downloadable games) that utilize the extra horsepower. The developer has the choice to ONLY supporting DSi (which at this point would be stupid for a third party developer), or to build game images that contain both DS and a DSi executable - in which case the DSi portion would probably utilize the extra horsepower and/or features.

So, everyone here who thinks the DSi is actually "less than a DSLite" here should rethink that. Sure, the extra horsepower only is the base for the better OS/firmware right now (including the browser), but there will definitely be games that utilize the extra horsepower once the old DS is phased out.

Even if Nintendo doesn't, the DSi CAN be considered sort of a "DS 2". From a developer standpoint (as you might have noticed by now, I'm a game developer), this is very clear.