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The new DSi features an MP3 player and two cameras, one 0.3 MP outside, and another one inside. It also features a thinner build and larger screens. With it you can access Nintendo's new "DSi Store" and download games and apps.  (Source: Nintendo)

The new handheld debuts in Japan November 1 for approximately $178 USD and comes in two colors -- black and white.  (Source: Nintendo)

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata announces the exciting new handheld.
The new gaming system will come with 2 cameras, music functionality, and be even thinner

Following rumors that had been circulating throughout the last week, Nintendo confirmed reports that it was giving its best-selling handheld gaming console, the Nintendo DS, a facelift.  Nintendo President Satoru Iwata was on hand to announce the new unit at Nintendo's Fall Press Conference.  With the new handheld, Nintendo looks to continue in its successes thinking outside the usual gaming box.

The new unit, called the "DSi" will keep the trademark double-screen (DS), while expanding the screens to 3.5 inches, a 17 percent increase in size.  Like Apple's iPods, Nintendo is cramming more into a smaller space, fitting the jumbo new screens into a package that's 12 percent thinner than the previous DS.  The general look of the handheld is otherwise relatively unchanged, with the stylus being perhaps slightly larger.

One major omission is the scrapping of the GBA cartridge port, likely to help cut the size down and make room for the bigger screens in the thinner body.  Fans of backwards compatibility will have to turn to their old DS's and the defunct Game Boy Advance for their GBA gaming fix.

While that exclusion is disappointing,Nintendo packs a lot of features in the new unit to make up for it.  The biggest new feature, perhaps, is the addition of cameras.  The outside of the case gets a 0.3 MP VGA (640x480) resolution camera, similar to that found on some cell phones.  Inside, there's a smaller camera on the hinge.  New games will be able to harness the camera functionality for unique new gameplay.  Further, the new DS comes with a free paint program so users can edit their pictures.

The new unit also will come with an advanced web browser, so users can send their new pictures over the internet if they have a wi-fi function. 

The other highly touted feature of the Swiss-army knife-like DS is music functionality.  The DS now features both an SD slot and an undisclosed amount of internal storage to help support its newly acquired music playback.  One unique feature of the unit's MP3 player is the ability to slow down or speed up tracks via user control.  Says Mr. Iwata on this new feature, "We want our customers to individualize their Nintendo DSi ."

Much like Apple's iPhone App Store, Nintendo is also launching a "DSi Shop", which will allow users to buy and download games and other applications for the DSi over a wi-fi connection.  Customers points will be tied to the Wii Store points, so fans of the Wii should be able to interchange their credits.  The store's applications will come in 0, 200, 500, and 800 point tiers -- in other words, there will be some free applications.  Until March 2010 the device also comes pre-bundled with 1,000 points.

The new DSi will launch November 1 in Japan and will cost ¥189,000 (approx. $178 USD), close to the price of the current DS.  International launch dates are yet to be announced.  The new handheld comes in two colors at launch -- black and white.

With its new console Nintendo looks to continue its dominance of the gaming industry.  In the traditional console market, Nintendo's Wii is the world leader and outsells Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PS3 by large margins monthly.  In the handheld market the Nintendo DS is king, having sold over 81 million units worldwide.  However, Nintendo likely felt compelled to update the DS as it has recently been facing stiff competition from the redesigned PSP -- it has fallen behind in Japanese sales to the PSP for the last 5 months.

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0.3 MP???
By SpaceRanger on 10/2/2008 10:27:21 AM , Rating: 2
one 0.3 MP outside, and another one inside.

Gee... The resolution on that picture must be GREAT!

RE: 0.3 MP???
By JasonMick on 10/2/2008 10:31:24 AM , Rating: 2
Yea I kinda did a double take myself, as the press release I was reading said .3 (no zero) and I thought, oh 3 MP, that's pretty good, only to look at it again a couple minutes later and realize the truth.

Still, while it might not make a good camera for your family photos, the price on the new unit is not much higher and it might make for some interesting gameplay. Kinda like the Boktai (sp?) series where you used light to kill vampires ... those games were underrated classics!

RE: 0.3 MP???
By StevoLincolnite on 10/2/2008 10:40:22 AM , Rating: 2
I had actually heard some things on the rumor mill before this announcement which gave me the impression they were Bringing the Original GameBoy Camera back, with there own little Printer docks. (Nostalgia).

Still I imagine the 0.3 Megapixel camera was a cost saving idea, which just ticked something off a feature list, Nintendo usually like to make money off the sales of there consoles anyway, so I can see why.

And considering you can edit the Photo's on the DS once you have taken them (Unless I read the article out of context) - it could provide some funny albeit short moments.

Now Nintendo, Make an adapter for the DS to play GBA games and were all set! - Or let us download GBA Roms to play on it. - But if you do that you might as well release every game boy game in my opinion.

RE: 0.3 MP???
By JasonMick on 10/2/2008 10:44:54 AM , Rating: 2
Now Nintendo, Make an adapter for the DS to play GBA games and were all set! - Or let us download GBA Roms to play on it.

I feel your pain, friend, but I fear your pleas will fall on deaf ears. Kinda like my naieve hopes that Nintendo will one day release an adapter for Gamecube memory cards for the Wii (or else a SD adapter for the Gamecube, and make the file format compatible). It ain't happening (or at least I haven't seen on yet)... :(

RE: 0.3 MP???
By Mitch101 on 10/2/2008 11:08:51 AM , Rating: 2
Jason do you mean this?


or This?

2.0GB SD Memory Card Adapter for Nintendo Wii
# Officially used to manage saves in SD cards for compatible games (Such as in Japan Animal Crossing). Attach it in any of both memory card ports.
# Compatible with any SD or MiniSD card. Your memory card storing space limit will be the SD card storing space limit.

RE: 0.3 MP???
By JasonMick on 10/2/2008 11:30:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yea thats pretty much what I'm looking for! Wow :)

to below op i meant something to transfer gamecube memory card saves to sd.

RE: 0.3 MP???
By Samus on 10/2/2008 11:56:38 AM , Rating: 2
Nintendo's never on the cutting edge of technology, they just implement older technology really well for really cheap. 0.3MP isn't all that shocking to me. We're not talking about Sony here. Then again, we're not talking about Sony prices, either.

RE: 0.3 MP???
By quiksilvr on 10/2/2008 3:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah cuz Sony's PSP is ridiculously overpric--


RE: 0.3 MP???
By EglsFly on 10/2/2008 6:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the GB Advance was good for its time, never understood the reason for the DS though. I'd rather have it more compact with one nice screen instead of two screens. The music playback is a nice feature and SD card support for sure. I'd still think they'd be better off with one nice screen like the the PSP though.

RE: 0.3 MP???
By danrien on 10/2/2008 11:09:09 AM , Rating: 2
errr... unless i've missed something, my wii has the ability to read gamecube memory cards (i use one to play my gamecube version of zelda64), but it does only use them for gamecube games, if that's what you're talking about.

RE: 0.3 MP???
By mmntech on 10/2/2008 10:31:31 AM , Rating: 3
The DS is mostly targeted at kids. It will take a 640x480 resolution picture, which is still more than the DS's screen resolution. I welcome the SD slot and downloadable content of the DS, but $179.99 for it? It seems overpriced to me. The PSP core system is only $169.99. I hope that $180 price tag comes down when it hits American shores. The DS shouldn't sell for any more than $120, even with a camera.

RE: 0.3 MP???
By tential on 10/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: 0.3 MP???
By Imaginer on 10/2/2008 11:56:04 AM , Rating: 2
You all have to keep in mind that first and foremost, the DSi is meant to be a portable/very mobile handheld toy. I initially too thought 3MP but it is .3MP instead. That is fine. It means quick and dirty snaps, edits, and sharing right away and ease of use.

Had if the resolution been better, the DSi might as well start being out of "toy" price range and into "I am not touching that with a 10 ft pole iPhone" device or "might as well get a netbook PC" instead.

The DS ware in my opinion is giving the consumers what they want in the end. All classics like the VC is to the Wii will be available for the DS (GB, GBC, GBA...) so if you were have to choose between jumping through hoops (or for that matter not knowing the homebrew/emulation/roms realm of things or just simply legitly getting the content - including ones you missed at the time of their release and heyday, which would you choose?

And those mentioning the Slot 2 going away? That means no more rumble pak, Warioware Twisted type of GBA games, Guitar Hero On tour...

Time to pick up more Nintendo stock
By Sylar on 10/2/2008 10:43:57 AM , Rating: 2
From the looks of it, this will undoubedly be another hot seller for the next several years.

RE: Time to pick up more Nintendo stock
By MrSmurf on 10/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: Time to pick up more Nintendo stock
By FITCamaro on 10/2/2008 12:06:38 PM , Rating: 5
Is that similar to "d*ck in a box"?

RE: Time to pick up more Nintendo stock
By Bender 123 on 10/3/2008 11:59:43 AM , Rating: 2
I could teach them hoe to do it...

First, get a box...

Next, put your d*** in the box...

By foolsgambit11 on 10/3/2008 1:34:52 PM , Rating: 3
C'mon, get it right. It's

One - cut a hole in a box.
Two - put your junk in that box.
Three - make her open the box.
That's the way you do it.

We need more info!
By mikefarinha on 10/2/2008 10:29:42 AM , Rating: 3
Some additional things that I would like to know:

-What audio formats will it support? Lossless support? FLAC, WavPack, WMA Lossless, OGG?

-I'm assuming that it will support SD cards over 2GB unlike the Wii

-Is Nintendo going to make their own 'iTunes' or will they try and integrate it with an existing online store(s)?

This could really be a huge iPod killer if they are able to market it properly... heck, the price is right!

RE: We need more info!
By ChugokuOtaku on 10/2/2008 10:52:35 AM , Rating: 2
I was thinking about getting another Cowon portable media player, but if this thing can do all that, then Nintendo's got my money.

hopefully it'll support high capacity SDHC cards, 32gigs on the go for those bigger lossless formats... maybe even video playback support?

although the tech specs on the DS doesn't look too promising for decoding quality audio/video formats

RE: We need more info!
By Omega215D on 10/2/2008 5:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
But the Cowon player most likely be better with sound quality and movie playing. The soon to be released S9 and O2 look good.

Nintendo will definitely be great on the portable gaming front so it is still useful to get two devices.

RE: We need more info!
By Omega215D on 10/2/2008 5:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
AAC will be one of them according to IGN where they have a lot more in depth info on the unit.

By BAFrayd on 10/2/2008 5:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
They mentioned bigger screens, but the more important thing is, will the screens be higher res?

RE: Screen?
By piroroadkill on 10/3/2008 11:40:17 AM , Rating: 2
If they want to maintain decent compatibility without nasty scaling, I should hope they are the same resolution

RE: Screen?
By overzealot on 10/3/2008 11:59:16 AM , Rating: 2
Pretty sure they're the same res... they just took advantage of size reduction in other components to allow a larger, lower resolution(Pixels/Size) screen.
It's a good thing though.
Not everyone has 20/20 vision, and it those of us that don't will be able to hold it further away.
It won't make DSlite users upgrade, but it may rake a few extra users in. The builtin browser should have been a feature in the lite for sure.

My one question ...
By sefsefsefsef on 10/2/2008 12:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
... Does it support WPA yet? This is why my current DS is never online (I have a first-gen DS only). If this feature has been added, I will definitely 100% be picking one of these up.

RE: My one question ...
By Saosin on 10/2/2008 4:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'll completely lose my trust in Nintendo if they don't support WPA with the DSi... Who the f uses WEP today?

GBA Port??
By othercents on 10/2/2008 12:34:48 PM , Rating: 2
One major omission is the scrapping of the GBA cartridge port

Say goodbye to guitar hero on tour. This game required the GBA port to work. I like the idea of the new design with the cameras and it would be cool if you could do video/audio streaming between two devices. Nice portable way to do video calls.


RE: GBA Port??
By Imaginer on 10/2/2008 3:26:44 PM , Rating: 2
If Nintendo plays it right, the DSi could very well be the first step for video phoning or at least roughly similar communications along that line.

Rinse, Repeat
By clovell on 10/2/2008 12:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
I imagine that they'll keep BC with GBA Titles - you'll just have to buy the old titles through the DSiShop. It's worked for the Wii - and people actually seem to like it.

I wonder if they'll open the DSiShop to homebrew games, as they did with WiiWare - that would actually be pretty fun!

Can you keep an eye out for that stuff for us, Jason? Nice article!

RE: Rinse, Repeat
By kmmatney on 10/2/2008 9:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yep - I think that's how'll they'll do it - downloading the the old games to the SD memory stick. If they are really on the ball, they'll enable downloading the old NES and SNES games, which can easily be emulated on the NDS.

This is a case of Greed vs. Greed
By ajvitaly on 10/2/2008 1:17:37 PM , Rating: 2
Even though hard-copy music sales have dipped, between every online music retailer, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band I'm quite positive they're still doing quite well, despite their gloom and doom talk. And apple, which charges a premium for everything from ear phones, to i-pods, to desktop computers, is doing just fine too.

This whole situation, in the end, is about one greedy industry wanting more money vs. a greedy company that charges a premium for merely hosting content developed of years and years by others.

Maybe the government should step in and bail out the Music industry, too.

/<I quit.>

By ajvitaly on 10/2/2008 1:18:26 PM , Rating: 2
oops, I posted this in the wrong news topic!

¥189,000 = ~USD $1780
By wingless on 10/2/2008 1:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
Sure that figure is not supposed to be ¥18,900?

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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