Gallery: Nintendo DSi
It's on everyone's mind. The upcoming Nintendo DSi handheld is quite the attractive gadget ... or is it? We're back with another edition of Point/Counterpoint, this time dealing with Nintendo's upgraded portable system. Click the button below to read the pros and cons of Nintendo's DSi.
In your view, is the DSi fairly priced? And what's the highest price you would be prepared to pay when it arrives in your region next year?
With the news that the DSi is region locked, as well as the handheld not officially arriving on North American shores until after April 2009, we're wondering if many of you still plan on importing the handheld? We already know you're going to pick a DSi up eventually (who can resist its awesome features?), but we would like to know if you still plan on snatching one up super early. So, will you?
There are elements of the DSi that are region-free -- you'll be able to surf the 'net wherever you are in the world, exchange photos with friends in other regions, and still play non-local DS games on the DSi -- but it looks like we can forget about importing Japanese DSi software. It simply won't work.
Nintendo's messenger says this is because the DSi "embeds net communication functionality within itself" and provides "net services specifically tailored for each region." The fact that each region has unique age limits is also mentioned. What a thoroughly depressing start to the week! We're off for coffee and extra donuts.
If you're trading in or selling a DS to fund a DSi purchase, you'll be gaining a lot ... but today, we're here to mourn everything you're going to lose, and if you've bought a lot of DS accessories, you stand to lose a lot if you don't keep a DS or DS Lite around. Step right into the gallery to kick off the tour of tragedy, or slip past the break for a moment of song in honor of the death of the GBA slot.
Team 17's studio director Martyn Brown has been eyeing up that SD slot as a potential source of piracy. "Adding an SD slot makes a bunch of sense for downloadable content given the way things are going," Brown said. "I just hope they've done something to counter the mass piracy that exists via the R4 on the Lite. It scares me that with an SD card input, that might leave it even wider open that it was on the original device." He brings up a valid point, but we guess we're just going to have to wait until Nintendo reveals more about the security features of the handheld.
Either way, we're sure the homebrew community will have a field day once it releases to Japan in November.
Before G4's Dan Hsu spoke to Reggie Fils-Aime about the DSi, the closest estimate we had for a North American release date was "well into 2009." Reggie has narrowed the window a bit, saying that because of strong DS Lite sales (Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G hasn't happened here to distract people from the DS), the DSi launch is "going to be in our next fiscal -- so, certainly after April."
He then went on to downplay the immediate importance of DS Shop downloads in North America, in a way that we can't help but read as stating the obvious given that we won't be able to buy anything to play DSWare until "down the road:
"We believe that as we continue to drive sales for DS hardware in total, the biggest opportunity's going to be on packaged software. Down the road, with the DSi Shop and downloadable software, certainly will be a growing opportunity and something developers are excited about, but it really is much longer down the road."
Reggie could only offer an incredibly vague "well into 2009" when asked about the North American launch date for the Nintendo DSi, but Nintendo's European arm has been a little more specific. Over at the official site, the company says the DSi will hit Europe in Spring 2009, instantly bringing hope to North Americans who may have feared a release at the wrong end of 2009. It would be highly unusual if Europe received a piece of Nintendo hardware months before the U.S, so we're suddenly more optimistic about seeing this in North America soon ... ish.
The DS Lite is on track to sell 22% more units than it did last year, says Reggie. Because of the incredible demand, we won't get the DSi until "well into calendar year 2009" Our suggestion? Get ready to import!
In truth, Nintendo couldn't have settled on a safer two titles to launch the DSi store, with both games having sold a quite obscene number of copies in all regions (particularly Europe). The lack of risk-taking involved on Nintendo's part is disappointing to us, though there's plenty of time for innovative games to follow. Bet they don't fix the voice recognition, though.