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Nintendo takes a shot at Apple and Sony with the DSi

Nintendo has confirmed that it will begin selling an updated version it its handheld DS games console in Japan on November 1st - the bad news is that everyone else will have to wait until 2009.
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Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

Nintendo has confirmed that it will begin selling an updated version it its handheld DS games console in Japan on November 1st - the bad news is that everyone else will have to wait until 2009.

Nintendo DSi image gallery

New new dual-screen console - called the DSi - looks an awful lot like the current DSlite. It has two screens (the lower screen being a touchscreen), a similar complement of buttons, comes in black and white. As for the changes, well, it has two built-in cameras (one on the inside and one, which is VGA capable, of the outside), the screens are slightly larger at 3.25 inches, there's an SD card slot, internal memory, it's beefed up for multimedia apps, and there's a built-in browser. The device is also some 12% thinner thanks to the omission of the GBA cartridge slot.

 
Nintendo DSi

 
Nintendo DSi

Cost: ¥18,900 ($178) in Japan. This will also get you free wireless connectivity at Nintendo Zone hotspots located in Japanese McDonalds.

Official launch site here (which I'm sure is very informative if you can read Japanese).

So, where's Nintendo going with this? Well, I think that the clue is in the name. Hands up who thinks that this new console will be nicknamed iDS? Now that Apple has entered into the gaming market with the App Store and the iPhone/iPod touch, and it's only natural that Nintendo would want to counter that. Figures already indicate that the DS has been losing ground to the PSP in Japan for the past five months, and so between the two factors, the DS was overdue for a revamp.

On a personal note I don't think that Nintendo has anything to worry about when it comes to competition from Apple ... yet. While I have no doubt that the iPhone/Pod touch is a good platform, the user interface leaves a lot to be desired. Just having a touchscreen on the device lets it down when it comes to gaming. You need real buttons for gaming.

Thoughts?

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