The new Nintendo DSi is due out next month. Although some seem to think the iPhone is an issue, it seems like Nintendo’s attempt to catch up with the current leader, the Playstation Portable or PSP.
A few days ago, I wrote an article about the new Nintendo DS with a built in camera due out later this year.
It appears that the new Nintendo DS will be called the Nintendo DSi (ho-hum), but be quite different from its predecessor in that it will have a built in camera and chances to use the photos taken in games, a sound recorder with distorter, also for use in games… (add that to the Wifi aspect and maybe some genius will make a Skype type program for it).
There will also be a very very useful addition. An SD card slot! I expect this will be the delivery system for digital audio among other things. I’m sure it will also end up providing a lot of new options and features in the near future and subsequent Nintendo DS systems. It will only be able to play music in the AAC format. (Deal with iTunes?)]
The opening menu also features something called the “DSi Shop” so this may be the source for some music and smaller game software (which dare I dream might be saved on to the abovementioned SD Card?).
The DSi Browser (still Opera based?) will be available for download for free from the DSi Shop, as will a very intriguing program called “Ugoku Memo Cho” or “The Moving Notebook” or an even better name would be “The DSi Portable Notebook” allowing users to draw or jot notes using the DSi
The Nintendo DSi will go on sale here in Japan on November 1st for about 18,900 yen full retail price ($180 or so).
I’ve heard some reports using this as another excuse to bring up the “impact” of the iPhone on the Japanese gadget market, but I have yet to see an iPhone in the wild or meet anyone who owns one. The quick announcement and release of the Nintendo DSi may have more to do with the mid-October release of Sony’s new Playstation Portable. (Which seems to be currently winning the war of the little portable electronic games… maybe I should take a look at the PSP which seems to have more users and a loyal fan base who are actually saying that 18,900 yen is way too much to pay for the DSi when the PSP can be bought for about the same price. The DSi seems to be copying a lot of the features of the PSP (not the iPhone!).)
The DSi will also feature a 3.25 in screen, slightly larger than the Nintendo DS Lite’s 3″ screen.
I’ll update the blog again when I see the first Nintendo DSi commercials on TV.
We’ll see how the “PSP Killer” DSi does in the next few months.