Nintendo announced today that the Nintendo DSi will be released in the U.S. on April 5. The next-gen handheld will cost $169.99 and launch in blue and black.
The DSi, an evolution of the popular DS that adds cameras, voice recording, music playback and a memory card slot in place of the Game Boy Advance cartridge slot, has been available in Japan since November for $211. The current generation of the DS sells for $129.99 here.
“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 and 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.”
The most noticeable feature of the slim Nintendo DSi system is its two cameras — one on the external body, and one pointing at the user when the device is flipped open. 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.
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. 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 The system can also play most Nintendo DS games, and will have access to a library of more than 850 titles originally made for that system.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.