Nintendo announced today the release of the DSi, a new version of its popular DS handheld console next month, which comes with a built-in camera and enhanced audio capabilities.
The dual-screen DSi will go on sale in Japan from November 1 with a price tag of 18,900 yen (178 dollars), the Japanese video game giant said. It will be launched in overseas markets some time next year.
The new console will have a similar design to the DS Lite, but will be slimmer and have slightly larger 3.25-inch screens. Its is equipped with a 300,000 pixel camera and it can be used as a photo album and enables users to change the facial expressions of the people in the pictures.
The machine also comes with an audio player, to play AAC audio files stored in a memory card. Users will be able to change the speed of the sound. In a demonstration, Nintendo showed that players will be able to listen to a foreign language lesson at a slower speed, or distort music or voices to a shrill pitch for fun.
Nintendo also demonstrated new game software for its hit Wii home console, including "Wii Music."
Players just need to jiggle their remote controller to feel as though they are playing any of 60 musical instruments, including a drum set, sitar, saxophone and piano, although there are only 50 preprogrammed melodies.
Users will be able to make those tunes play electronically from their Wii machines at their own speed and whim - guaranteed to not sound a single incorrect note.
They will also be able to add personal touches, such as choosing accompanying instrumentation and genres such as jazz, reggae and rock.
Data show that the PSP has been challenging the DS lately - at least in Japan. For five months straight starting in March, PSP sales outpaced the DS in Japan, according to Tokyo-based Enterbrain, which publishes game magazines and tracks video game sales.
Display: 3.25" LCD x2 (260,000 colors)
Software support: Software competible with Nintendo DS, DSi
DS card slot
SD card slot
Stereo headphone jack
Operation time (battery):
About 9-14 hours (lowest brighness)
About 8-12 hours (Low brightness)
About 6-9 hours (normal brighness)
About 4-6 hours (High brightness)
About 3-4 hours (highest brighness)
Size (L x W x H): 137.0 x 74.9 x 18.9mm
Weight (Battery and the touch pen oncluded): 214g