Nintendo DS: Nintendo DSi Officially Announced

Hot off the heels of Nintendo’s fall presentation in Japan comes the newly announced DSi. The 12 percent thinner console comes equipt with a 300,000 pixel camera and an SD card slot.

The device features a touchscreen layout almost identical to the DS Lite, though the company is calling it a “third platform,” which means it’s complementing the existing system, not necessarily replacing it. Looks-wise there’s not much different happening, but it’s some 12 percent thinner — partly because it omits the GBA cartridge slot. The displays are slightly larger, at 3.25 inches apiece, and there’s an external three megapixel camera as well as a front-facing camera located on the inside hinge. The DSi has an SD slot and internal storage — we’re not sure how much at the moment — but photos can be taken directly to the Wii Photo Channel on the card. Nintendo’s also launching an online “DSi Shop,” which will sell content directly over WiFi, including a free browser app and “DS Ware” game — and the company will offer free wireless connectivity at “Nintendo Zone” hotspots located in Japanese McDonalds. The shop will take the newly-renamed Nintendo Points (formerly Wii Points), 1000 of which will come free with the handheld until March 2010, and content will be priced in 200 / 500 / 800 point brackets. The DSi will come in white or black finishes, and will cost ¥18,900 ($178) when it launches in Japan on November 1st — the rest of us will have to wait until next year.

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