Nintendo DSi US Launch Set For April 5th

i_17510.jpg

Nintendo has announced this morning that the new Nintendo DSi that launched in Japan late last year is set for a US retail launch date of April 5th, which matches up perfectly with the portable’s previously speculated Spring 2009 release. The DSi will be available in blue and black colors at launch and will sell for $169.99. DS rhythm game Rhythm Heaven will also launch on April 5th.

“Ever since the arrival of the first Game Boy, consumers worldwide have turned to Nintendo for their portable gaming,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “Nintendo DSi builds on Nintendo’s commitment to bringing fun and creative entertainment to everyone, and will allow consumers to personalize and share their very own experiences.”

As the third iteration of the the money-printing Nintendo DS handheld gaming system, the DSi incorporates many new features, the most prominent of course being two built in cameras — one pointing externally, one pointing at the user upon opening the system — equipped with 10 different “interactive lenses” to manipulate photos with. Much like the touch screen and microphone of previous DS models, the cameras will also allow for unique gaming applications, should developers decide to take advantage of them. Working camera functionality into games could be a really neat thing. I’ll be very interested to see how creative developers get with this moving forward.

i_17509.jpg

Other new features include an SD card slot, an interactive voice recorder and music player application known as DSi Sound, and the Nintendo DSiWare shop, an extension of Nintendo’s online WiiWare service enabling gamers to purchase (with virtual currency called DSi Points, of course) and download original game content directly to their device. DSiWare games will cost 200 DSi points and up. The DSi is also even thinner and lighter than the DS Lite, and even features slightly bigger screens. Also remember that due to the physical changes the DSi will no longer feature a GBA slot for backwards compatibility or support for accessories like the RumblePak and Guitar Hero controller.

i_17511.jpg

Nintendo is said to have even more DSi features to announce in build up to the DSi’s launch, so stay tuned for more news over the next month and a half.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!