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Nintendo to launch camera, music-capable DS

Sun Sep 28, 12:30 PM ET



TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese video game maker Nintendo Co Ltd plans to launch a new model of its DS handheld machine that can take pictures and play music by the end of the year, the Nikkei business daily said on Sunday.

The move would pit the top-selling portable game gear with Apple Inc iPod and camera-embedded cellphones in general.

The price for the new machine, which will also be equipped with advanced wireless communications functions, is expected to be below 20,000 yen ($189) in Japan, compared with 16,800 yen for the current model, the Nikkei said.

The Wii game console and DS have been Nintendo's twin growth engines, helping its share price to grow more than three-fold over the past three years.

The DS far outsells Sony Corp's rival machine, PlayStation Portable (PSP), globally.

But in Japan, the PSP's unit sales exceeded the DS's in five consecutive months through July, according to game magazine publisher Enterbrain, in a potential sign of slowing momentum for the current DS model.

Nintendo officials were not immediately available for comment.

($1=105.97 Yen)

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
 

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I really want to see what this thing looks like... so I can decide if I want to wait for one or hurry out and get a Lite before they disappear for good! :p
 

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DSi Factoids

DSi Factoids
Technical details dished out by Nintendo regarding the next DS handheld.
by Craig Harris

October 2, 2008 - Last night in Tokyo and this morning in San Francisco, Nintendo revealed the next handheld system from the company: an updated Nintendo DS called the DSi. This handheld, to be released next month in Japan, upgrades the current platform with a unit featuring a smaller footprint, larger screens, an SD card slot, built-in browser, and dual digital cameras.

Nintendo engineers shaved a few millimeters off to make the DSi slightly thinner, but it's a bit longer and wider: when closed, the DSi is 137.0mm wide by 74.9mm long, and 18.9 mm thick. The current DS Lite is 133.0 mm wide, 73.9mm long, and 21.5mm thick. With the DSi, you'll be getting a longer stylus: 92mm long vs. the DS Lite's stylus at 87.5mm.

While both the Nintendo DS Lite and the DSi systems share identical LCD technologies for their displays, the DSi screens are 3.25 inches diagonal, compared to the DS Lite's 3.0 inches. The DSi system will have five brightness settings where the DS Lite featured four.

The DSi will have its own unique AC adapter and will not share the same battery pack as the DS Lite handheld. But with all the extras the DSi offers, the battery life isn't quite up to the same standards as the DS Lite. At the lowest brightness setting, the DSi lasts 9 to 14 hours on a single charge depending on a variety of factors like Wi-Fi use. This doesn't quite meet the DS Lite's energy usage, at least according to Nintendo numbers where the current system lasts between 15 and 19 hours on a single charge. At the highest brightness, the usage of the DSi drops to 3 to 4 hours on a charge, compared to DS Lite at 5 to 8 hours.

According to the spec sheet, even though the DSi won't play Game Boy Advance games due to the lack of GBA slot, it will play games written specifically for the DSi as well as current DS games. It is unclear whether there will be exclusive DSi packaging for games that are made only with the DSi and its unique functions in mind.

The DSi will ship in Japan on November 1st 2008 for 18,900. Nintendo of America has only offered a "2009" release window for our territory.

 

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Nintendo Unveils New DSi Handheld

Nintendo Unveils New DSi Handheld
The Nikkei report wasn't a rumor after all. Nintendo of Japan has taken the wraps off its new DSi, which features camera and MP3 functionality, game downloads, larger screens, and more.
by James Brightman on Thursday, October 02, 2008


Despite labeling recent reports of a new DS "speculation," Nintendo has indeed announced a new version of its hugely successful handheld. At a conference in Tokyo, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata unveiled the new Nintendo DSi, which features not one but two 640x480 cameras, MP3 support, larger screens, and more.

The new feature set is as follows:

# Two screens, size increased from 3 inches to 3.25 inches for each

# DSi is 12 percent thinner than DS Lite (removal of GBA port helps in part)

# Built-in cameras (one outside, one inside) with 640x480 resolution (300,000 pixels)

# Web browser built-in

# DSi offers new DS Shop for downloading games (prices go up to 800 Nintendo Points, which is $8)

# DSi purchasers will get 1000 Nintendo Points bundled in until mid-2010

# DSi features SD card slot to enable media storage for music, photos, games, etc.



Lots more functionality, smaller design, and reasonably priced


This new DSi is slated to launch in Japan on November 1 for 18,900 yen ($180). Although no release plans outside of Japan have been revealed yet, a press conference in San Francisco on Thursday will likely bring word of Nintendo of America's plans for the DSi.

Update: The official Japanese DSi website is now live, where you can check out additional images of the new handheld and read more about it (if you know Japanese...)
 
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