At a press conference in Japan this week, Nintendo confirmed what everyone already knew: the DS is getting a touch-up. Officially called the Nintendo DSi, the new system will feature sharper visuals, crisper audio and will allow users to listen to their music library and snap photos with a built in 3 mega pixel camera. While the DSi’s design will stay mostly the same, it will be tweaked where it counts, as it will reportedly feature 17 percent bigger LCD screens and a 12 percent thinner package.
“We are finding ourselves in an unprecedented stage where one of every six people (in Japan) has the DS,” Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told a news conference on Thursday. “We will strive not only to appeal to those households without the DS, but to promote a shift to ‘one DS per person’ from ‘one DS per household’.”
The new unit will also give users access to an online store, similar to that found on the Wii. Nintendo has also promised that the DSi will feature an SD card slot to alleviate any memory concerns and allow players to view their own photos on the system. The new DSi, launching November 1 in Japan and expected mid 2009 in North America is no doubt an attempt by Nintendo to compete with Sony’s PSP and Apple’s iPod, the company’s main competitors on the portable entertainment front.
Also at the conference, Nintendo made every gamer who grew up in the NES era happy when they announced that a new version of Punch Out! will be coming to the Wii in 2009. No further details are known on the game, but it’s expected to use an advanced version of the engine seen in the boxing stages of Wii Sports and Wii fit.