News Article

Nintendo DSi North American Launch: April 5th

Posted by Damien McFerran

Nintendo has confirmed that it will be launching the DSi in North America on April 5th of this year and has given some tantalizing news regarding its innovative DSiWare service.

In case you didn’t already know, DSiWare is shaping up to be the portable equivalent of the WiiWare portal that is already entertaining millions on the Wii. Games will be downloaded directly to the DSi and will be paid for using a points system; Nintendo has confirmed that the cheapest games will retail for 200 points.

Here’s a little more information on the machine straight from the horse’s mouth:

Some features that will be built into the system and ready to enjoy upon purchase include the Nintendo DSi Camera, Nintendo DSi Sound and Nintendo DSi Shop. The most noticeable feature of the slim Nintendo DSi system is its two cameras – one camera is on the external body, and the second one points at the user when the device is flipped open. As the first truly interactive digital camera in a video game system with 10 different interactive "lenses" that can manipulate your photos, the Nintendo DSi Camera offers an easy way to take and share your photos with family and friends. The cameras also present people with unprecedented ways to interact with their games while giving developers a new tool to devise creative games and experiences. If the touch screen gave Nintendo DS a sense of feel and the microphone allowed it to hear, the two cameras give Nintendo DSi the sense of sight.

Another enhanced feature is the Nintendo DSi Sound application, which serves as both an interactive voice recorder and music player that allows users to play with their music while they listen to it. Users can access different audio filters or control the pitch and speed of recorded voice or music files to alter voices or change the tempo of a song. The mic is located between the two screens when the device is flipped open, and there is also a stereo headphone output that lets users listen to music saved on an SD card, even with the screen shut.

In the world of software, Nintendo DSi will be the platform for the most relevant and fun on-the-go games and applications. The Nintendo DSiWare™ application will populate Nintendo DSi with software that can be downloaded using Nintendo DSi Points directly to the portable system, just as WiiWare™ has with Nintendo's Wii™ console. Developers big and small are invited to create software that makes use of the properties and functions of the hardware. Nintendo DSiWare games and applications will be available at a range of values, starting at 200 points.

In addition to downloadable games, Nintendo DSi is able to play games made specifically for the system and sold at retail. The system can also play most Nintendo DS™ games, and will have access to a library of more than 850 titles originally made for that system.

Also on April 5, a new Nintendo DS game, Rhythm Heaven™, will join this roster of games available for both Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DS owners in the United States. Having sold more than 1.6 million copies since its July 2008 launch in Japan and still increasing sales today, this infectious game challenges players to tap and slide the stylus on the touch screen in time to original music created by legendary Japanese pop-star producer TSUNKU♂. Simple gestures with the stylus combined with fun music and quirky visuals make Rhythm Heaven a completely unique musical experience for players of all ages.

Naturally, we’ll be looking to give coverage to DSiWare titles in the same capacity that we currently cover WiiWare releases. In the meantime however, you can check out the Nintendo DSi page here.

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User Comments (75)

Wiiloveit

#1

Wiiloveit said:

As if the DSi news wasn't enough... Rhythm Heaven as well? You lucky yanks! I wonder how much it'll retail for?

ADDED: Just checked the official site and $169.99 doesn't sound like much at all when you consider what you're getting - plus, that's only (thinks for a moment) $40 more than a lite!

I'm a little disappointed by the colours though, since the blue looks awful and the little red LED on the black looks a bit out of place - here's hoping for a white model in the future!

I'd love to import one of these little beauts, but I'd need to import my Nintendo points as well, and of course it wouldn't be very useful if it broke, or if I wanted to register my Club Nintendo stars, so I think I'll wait for the European release for now. Here's hoping that Rhythm Heaven isn't going to be too far around the corner, either.

NintendoNaut

#2

NintendoNaut said:

Yahoo! Long have I awaited this. The day that you would come! Ah, this is awesome! Everything I possibly could have asked for!

Adam

#3

Adam said:

The DSiWare software released so far in Japan, that I've read about, hasn't seemed very exciting.

Here's hoping that doesn't change so I don't have to shell out the money for a DSi. ;)

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#5

Philip_J_Reed said:

I was just talking with my friends about this...wondering why we didn't have a release date yet. This is GOOD NEWS. I can't wait to pick this up.

JohnshiBRPG

#6

JohnshiBRPG said:

I am excited for a DSi, but Nintendo Co. Ltd's selection of their DSi Ware is a little mixed. Some are directly taken from Warioware touched. Dr Mario receives another chance for the DSi and two new Art Style games arrive with unique game play.

Wiiloveit

#8

Wiiloveit said:

There isn't going to be a DSiWare-World, all DSiWare content will be featured here alongside the Wii stuff - extra convenience for the users and no need to start plugging another site all the time, you see.

NintendoNaut

#9

NintendoNaut said:

Now the problem...Save up for DSi or PSP...I already have a DS Lite. Maybe I can sell my Lite for money to get a DSi...Gah! They're both good systems!

DamoAdmin

#10

Damo said:

WiiGuy - watch this space...although what we have planned might not be what you're expecting ;)

EJD

#12

EJD said:

I'm not getting a DSi even if there is a WiiWare like service. Taking away the GBA slot is a bit unfair for those wanting to get the Guitar Hero games and people that have already bought a DS Lite. At least the DS Lite wasn't essential for extra features. I'm sticking with non-portable consoles for now although the Pandora looks interesting.

Wiiloveit

#13

Wiiloveit said:

Ah - but what about this comment from Dazza (comment number 46) in the LIT update article JUST LAST WEEK:
"We've decided not to do a DSiWare site now, we're just going to bolt it on to WWW. Don't worry there will be separate lists to keep DSiWare from getting mixed up with WiiWare. We'll stick with our scale of 1-10 of course."
So stick that up your bum hole and smoke it.

@EJD: I forgot about the pandora! Ah well, I suppose this will probably have a lot more support anyway. Also: don't forget that Nintendo may be bringing classic Game Boy titles to the DS as well.

Which brings me to another question: if the DSi had a Virtual Console, would you just go and create a new DSi site entirely for VC and DSiWare, or would you put the DSiVC on VC-Reviews?

EJD

#19

EJD said:

@Wiiloveit: I'm glad to hear someone else has heard of it, it looks great. :) That would be cool to see a Virtual Handheld shop but I've still got my Game Boy Colour getting dusty somewhere. Then again, the battery ran out on my Pokemon Gold cartridge so the DSi would be handy for that. I hope Nintendo don't make the same mistake, no storage solution is necessary if Nintendo do this right. 256MB sounds like enough but for those who download many games, that could run out quickly. I'm hoping playing games from an SD card could be true with the DSi.

If they bring Game & Watch titles on the portable VC, I think I may just get a DSi.

Wiiloveit

#20

Wiiloveit said:

@EJD: remember that DSi games won't take nearly as much space as WiiWare games do, but either way - there's still going to be SD support. I don't know whether games are playable straight from SD though - but no doubt they wouldn't take long to transfer back and forth anyway.

Ricardo91

#21

Ricardo91 said:

Don't care. I'm gonna stick to my regular DS. Tell me something about that Virtual Handheld, then maybe we'll talk.

Oh, and Rhythm Heaven looks awesome. Definitely one of the upcoming DS games I'm most looking forward to.

professorlayton

#22

professorlayton said:

Well this is great news. To be honest, I'm actually more excited for Rhythm Heaven than the DSi.

Out of those two colors, I'll be picking up the black. I wanted the white one but since it's not going to be available at launch, I'll just get another black DS.

KnucklesSonic8

#23

KnucklesSonic8 said:

I already knew Rhythm Heaven was coming out last month. I was so excited back then and I'm still excited now!

DSiWare is one of the main reasons I've decided to get a DSi. :D

MarkyVigoroth

#25

MarkyVigoroth said:

I knew about that date at least a month ago or more (Pokebeach.com).

I now want the DSi before vacation-in-Dominican-Republic time (though my birthday is fine, also.) and save Pokémon Platinum as a birthday present.

Now if only my loco pseudo-dysentery would go away before June... (School ends in May in Puerto Rico.)

professorlayton

#26

professorlayton said:

Just a note to Canadians, the DSi will launch at an MSRP of $199.95 in Canada.

"Nintendo pioneered hand-held entertainment in the '80s and made it fully mobile with the Game Boy™ video game system. Now, Nintendo is transforming the way people access, experience, create and share content with the new Nintendo DSi™ system, the third iteration of the world's best-selling portable video game system. Nintendo DSi launches in North America on April 5, 2009, at an MSRP of $199.95. The colours available at launch will be Blue and Black."

Chunky_Droid

#29

Chunky_Droid said:

Katamari too! Looking forward to the DSi, I'll have to import from the US though, same as my Wii. My birthday is April 19 too so I know what to ask for ;)

EJD

#30

EJD said:

@Wiiloveit: I hope you're right. I wonder how the release schedule for the DSi will work and if there will be as much complaining when only 1 game is released a week. A portable World of Goo would work well, with downloadable levels possibly.

AVahne

#31

AVahne said:

if there is a Virtual Handheld console,then i'm hoping gba games would be included also,i want to be able to play Fire Emblem The Sealed Sword without having to figure out how i'm gonna have to get money to import a copy of the original cartridge

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#33

Philip_J_Reed said:

@EJD:
"A portable World of Goo would work well"

It sure would...but the idea was already nixed by the 2dBoy guys on their forum. Sadly.

Kaeobais

#36

Kaeobais said:

I have a Zelda DS and I don't even use it much (only have pokemon though) so this is a no-go for me. Need to save up for a 360 anyways.

Objection

#37

Objection said:

I don't plan on getting a DSi, at least not while my current DS works fine, so maybe some reviewers will move to the DSi site/section and then I can try again for reviewing WW games! ;)

JEPEREZ4EVR

#38

JEPEREZ4EVR said:

As for me Im just going to stick with my Ds lite. I wouldn't pick one up cause it looks like it may not work out too well. And no gba slot how could nintendo do such a thing!

Cthuloops

#39

Cthuloops said:

Wow! It launches on the same day as my birthday! What luck! :)
I'll probably end up getting one.
Also, does it come packed with Rhythm Heaven or is that just saying that it will be released on the same day?

J_K

#40

J_K said:

Wow my brother was off by $10 of what he told me some months ago (works in the ind still, I quit it.) Total scam charging that much when you can get for $170 a PSP core unit as it does far more for the value (unless you're so deep into touch and cameras.) It's funny but in this case Nintendo is the more expensive handheld investment. PSP packages for $200 come with like a game, a movie, and a download PSN game, and 1GB memory card. DSi is $170, game is another $30, and a 1GB SD card would be another $15-20? I'd add a movie in but they're not on there to buy so I suppose you could rip a $10 DVD you own/buy. So now it's the one that's on the high end of the two, how sad.

Once they fairly price this at the level of the DSLite I'll buy in, but until then they can go to hell, and I'll be furious if they start dumping DSL support for this since it has the double clocked main CPU, better screens(and larger), and the better speakers.

Mik

#42

Mik said:

When it says "most" does that just exclude the ones that use the GBA slot or are there others..?

HappyHappy

#43

HappyHappy said:

Can't wait for this to come out. I think I'm going to download that Warioware game if it is available at the launch date.

Objection

#45

Objection said:

@JK-Just goes to show the power of DS. The PSP is not doing that hot and so HAS to bundle in order to sell well. Not trying to start a console war but them's the facts, espeicially if you look at sales of the last year (and beyond, really.)
@Mickeymac-Do you mean Katamari, as in Katamari Damaci (SP)?

Ark

#46

Ark said:

"If the touch screen gave Nintendo DS a sense of feel and the microphone allowed it to hear, the two cameras give Nintendo DSi the sense of sight."
What? It can't even smell or taste things?! Count me out.

But really, I'll be eagerly awaiting the DSi. I've already saved up the cash for it and several DSiWare games so I'm prepared for launch. Now to pre-order...

PapaSmalls

#47

PapaSmalls said:

I'm going to get Powder Blue just because I want to tell people I'm in touch with my feminine side but masculine enough to admit it XD. I would be THRILLED if they offer portable VC gaming by allowing our Wii VC titles (except for N64 and Neo Geo titles for obvious reasons) to be played on the DSi...or better yet, to offer GB, GBC and GBA games as downloadable titles!

Ren

#49

Ren said:

This looks cool to me. I still only have my old grey clamshell one so this is a worthwhile upgrade for me with camera, mic and nice screens, etc. If it's truly faster, it'll also be nice to use the browser and music player when I'm in a pinch. I'm a low tech guy so I like waiting until the end of the cycle when it's got everything, even DL games; cool! Great to have the SD slot now that they're so cheap too. Guitar hero is a living room game to me. I don't need to be seen on the bus jamming on my nintendo.

XCWarrior

#51

XCWarrior said:

I just can't find a reason to care about this thing. I have DS Lite, I am fine. Passing for sure until there is a real upgrade.

hal

#52

hal said:

@XCWarrior: good point.

hmm.. DS[i] is cool, but 'innovative'? this word is used too loosely.., --

isn't ipod+itunes really 'innovative'? isn't there a 'bar' for actual 'innovation'? + where does it stop [actually] being so?! --

1548, from L. innovatus, pp. of 'innovare': "to renew or change," from in- "into" + novus "new."

chiefeagle02

#53

chiefeagle02 said:

I'm still on the fence regarding the DSi. Before, I was against it, adamant about sticking with my DS Lite with it's web browser and my R4 card (strictly for music, ebooks, and homebrew), but now I'm giving it a closer look (thanks, in majority, to very tactfully written Nintendo PR...clever wankers). I mean, I wouldn't mind upgrading (sacrificing the use of my R4 in the process) but I don't see much point justifying beyond DSiWare...and maybe the camera and photo software because I loved quirky nature of the Game Boy Camera back in the day. If the sound software would support MP3's instead of AAC only (easily patchable, like how they did it with the Wii's Photo Channel) and if they released a .txt reader as a DSiWare download, then maybe it'd be worth looking into further (the latter may be daft since Nintendo released the 100 Classic Book Collection in the UK and AUS recently. Then again, they've effectively killed Guitar Hero for DSi by removing the Slot-2, so anything's possible). The lack of Alarm Clock is no skin off my nose, but it is a bit disenfranchising since Nintendo had it as part of the BIOS for free in the Phat and Lite and they're charging money for said feature added on (on the other hand, with all the new gimmicks taking its place, one would look daft complaining about a missing alarm clock).

In a nutshell, the new features are interesting. I just don't see enough justification in upgrading. Maybe later when more features and ideas are realized. It has a lot of potential to be a really practical machine (like what the R4 did for the Phat and the Lite). It's Nintendo's baby. Let's see what they can do with it.

Omega

#54

Omega said:

I have already bought the Nintendo DS Classic and then the Nintendo DS Lite because of the brighter and clearer display(s). And now I should buy another Nintendo DS? No, Nintendo, I don't have a cash cow.

If they release an extension for the Nintendo DS Classic/Lite for around $40 which allows the use of SD-Cards and these downloadable games, then we talk further. Otherwise I am not interested.

ness

#55

ness said:

@ chunky_droid (#29): "Katamari too!"
&
@ Mickeymac (#44): "Kamatari is coming to DSi? F*** yeah!"

It's not the Katamari you think of, it will be a falling block game similar to Tetris.

@ DSi: I will buy the DSi because I still have the old DS.

Wiiloveit

#56

Wiiloveit said:

Oh - and no need to wait for the DSi here in Europe - it's due a day earlier than NA at £150! CAN. NOT. WAIT.

EJD

#58

EJD said:

@Chicken Brutus: Thanks for telling me that, as long as 2DBoy can follow up World of Goo I'm happy.

@Wiiloveit: Will you be doing reviews of the DSiWare games on your site?

I'll have to read many reviews before considering getting a DSi, at least this release date annoucement allows some to save up in the meantime.

Nobarai

#59

Nobarai said:

I've 200 bucks waiting for this baby. Tis sad though, since I just got my Special Mario Red DS last christmas. :/

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#62

Philip_J_Reed said:

@EJD:
Yeah, it was a black day to read that on their forum. The DS would have been a PERFECT match for Goo. I guess they're just choosing their next project carefully.

Wiiloveit

#63

Wiiloveit said:

@EJD: Providing I can get the cash together and find a place to trade in my DS lite now that my local Game has shut down, then yes, yes I will.

RE: World of Goo DSiWare
Look on the bright side: the screen might have been a bit small for all those goo balls anyway. and no doubt Ron and Kyle have got something better up their sleeves!

UltraShadow

#64

UltraShadow said:

Can games bought from the wii virtual console be put onto an SD card and played on the DSI?

ness

#67

ness said:

@ UltraShadow (#64): "Can games bought from the wii virtual console be put onto an SD card and played on the DSI?"

No.

Kirk

#68

Kirk said:

I'm tempted to get a DSi just because the d-pad is supposed to feel a little better and pick up diagonals better and so on, along with all the obvious extra features etc.

Damn you Nintendo!

Kirk

#69

Kirk said:

I wonder if there is a way to use the camera and some custom software so you could use the DSi as a tilt controller using the image being taken in from the Camera?

Nintendork

#73

Nintendork said:

Personally, I'm just happy I'm getting a new DS (my DS's L button doesn't work, as well as having multiple scratches). Also, Nintendo better have a virtual handheld (with Mother 3 as 1 of the launch titles perhaps? :) )

Wiiloveit

#74

Wiiloveit said:

@JEPEREZ4EVR: I seem to recall Nintendo hinting about wanting people to enjoy some of their older games, but this may have just been a reference to their NEW PLAY CONTROL! games.

@Kirk (69): that is GENIUS! Tilt controls seemed like a must when Nintendo announced this console (even though they wouldn't be incorporated into standard DS games), and when there was no sign of it, people were a bit confused. You however, have just come up with the perfect solution, although obviously it may be slightly tricky to incorporate this feature due to shakiness etc.

StarDust4Ever

#75

StarDust4Ever said:

I'm going to bed - Wake me up when they start releasing old gameboy games on it. I hate the DS Lite because it's too small for my huge hands - Knowing Nintendo, this new system will be even tinier - that's why I'm glad I kept my DS classic!

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