There are some people out there that might not have a DSi yet and maybe aren’t ready to get on the 3DS bandwagon. Well, Nintendo is making it a little easier to get in the handheld market. Beginning on May 20th they will be dropping the price of the DSi to $99 and the DSi XL to $129. Both of those systems have a huge library of games available to play. I would recommend games like Mario Kart DS, Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time or Dragon Quest IX as a good place to start.
I actually have been thinking about picking up a DSi XL and this price is getting a little closer to making it a purchase I’m willing to make. That is just a great looking system and the screens make the games look fantastic. If $180 is still a little much to make you want to pick up a 3DS then this would be a great place to start for gaming on the go.
The 25th Anniversary Edition Wii will be heading here complete with a copy of Wii Sports, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, the 25th Anniversary edition of Super Mario Bros., a red Wii Remote Plus and a red Nunchuk. It will be sold at retail for $199.99.
The red DSi XL will also be coming on that date bundled with a copy of Mario Kart DS. It will also come with pre-loaded copies of Brain Age™ Express: Arts & Letters, Brain Age Express: Math and Photo Clock and will retail for $179.99.
For those of you not needing a new system you can get your hands on the new Wii Remote Plus for $39.99. No longer will you need to keep track of your Wii Motion Plus dongle as it’s built right into the controller. Flingsmash, the new retail game that utilizes Motion Plus will hit stores on that date as well, bundled with a new controller.
Nintendo has announced 3 new DSi XL colors for Europe. Hitting stores on October 8th will be the yellow, blue and green SKUs. These models will retain the glossy top half with the matt finish bottom half. The DSis (how on Earth to you write that as a plural?) will continue to ship with Brain Training, 6 in 1 Dictionary and the DSi Browser. So basically, they are the same but just different colors.
The press release refers to the colors as yellow, blue and green but I have no doubt that Nintendo will come up with goofy names for the colors before the go on sale. Names like Banana, Smurf and Palm Leaf, respectively. No news on when/if these colors will hit other regions but I’m sure they will make their way across the globe soon enough. Europe typically gets shafted on release dates for games and hardware so it’s nice to see them getting something first for a change.
It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper Retro Redux on the site and you could almost say I’ve been criminally negligent to the feature over the last few months and that will change starting in two weeks. I’ve been so swamped in working on newer games that I’ve neglected the older ones. The Retro Redux will be back proper in two weeks with a look at Star Tropics. One of the readers out there recently played the game and we talked about it and I’ve never played the game so I’m going to jump in and get the Star Tropics experience.
This week, though, you get a special second Tony’s Time and I’m just going to talk about something that happened recently. It occurred at my day job that actually pays the bills. I work for a major healthcare group here in Tulsa that I’ve mentioned before and a strange thing happened at work the other day. I’m known as the tech guy and the video game guy on my floor. If anyone has problems or questions about electronics or video games they come to me. Yesterday one of the women on the floor came to me asking how to unlock worlds 4 and 7. I told her how and she asked if I would unlock them for her, so I did. I say all of this because I want to talk about the device I played New Super Mario Bros. DS on.
I finally got a chance to get some hands on time with the DSi XL and I have to say I’ve got mixed reactions about the device. I ended up playing with it for about an hour. First let me talk about the things I did like. The screens; they’re enormous. I really like the screens. They just make the game feel that much bigger. I didn’t notice any real resolution differences between the DSi XL and the DS Lite, which is what I own. It seemed a little bit brighter and the colors a little more defined. I didn’t have anything to compare it to on hand, so it’s all based on recollections, but the screens do seem to make the games look a little bit better.
The user interface is also very nice. I like the simplicity of it. The DS touch screen would have been a perfect place to replicate the Wii Channel Menu, but the simple straight line layout of the DSi works quite nicely. It was very easy to navigate around to and all of the pre-loaded apps made it very easy to get back to the main dashboard without having to restart the system. I was impressed when I hopped into a Picto Chat channel and was able to log out without turning it off. That’s always been an irritable point with me when it comes to the DS Lite. Being able to reset the system back to the main menu from the game was also very nice. A simple tap of the power button will take you out of a game and back into the dashboard of the DSi.
Holding the system book style was great. I hopped into one of the Brain Age games that came pre-loaded on the system and it felt really nice to have the system held book style. I think the added weight of the device and the increased size really made it feel good in my hands when it was held that way. The bigger screens make it really easy to see myself using the DSi XL as an e-reader if Nintendo ever allowed that capability. I could almost see myself purchasing a device with two screens that was this size to use as a book reader, especially because the second screen gives you the perfect opportunity to feel like you’ve actually got a book in your hands. The touch screen on the right would be perfect to use to turn pages with. It would be a great use for the device.
The one thing I really didn’t like about the device, though, was also the added weight when holding the system normally. It’s considerably heavier than the DS Lite and the original DSi. I could very easily see a lot of people complaining about getting tired holding that system for a long period of time. After about 30 minutes I was starting to get tired of holding it. The DSi XL is a very sturdy system. It felt solid and I think it could take quite a beating with no problem, but it’s really heavy to hold onto for a long time. I think the DS Lite is the perfect size for Nintendo’s portable systems, and it makes me really glad that they’re going back to that size for the 3DS. Thinking on it now it would be very interesting to see if they could do anything with the new system while holding it in book style. I think any of those games will be required to turn the 3D off.
I know it’s a bit late to get hands on impressions with a system that’s been out for quite a while now, but there are still people out there purchasing DSi and DSi XL systems. I’m really bummed now, after getting a chance to mess with the device that I haven’t picked up a DSi. There’s quite a lot of good software available in the DSi Shop to purchase. I would recommend if you’re going out looking for a system right now that you pick up the original DSi. It’s a bit cheaper and I like the size and feel of the smaller system a little better than I do the DSi XL. The only reason I see now to pick up the bigger device would be if you absolutely needed the bigger screens. I like the system, but if I was making a purchase right now I would pick up the smaller DSi. As it stands, though, I’m waiting until the release of the 3DS to make my new portable purchase.
I own a DS, one to be exact. I wouldn’t mind having another but I really don’t need two. I must be in the minority. Doesn’t it seem like Nintendo has sold about twice as many of their handheld as the world has people? This month was no exception. Thanks to the good people at Gamasutra we have learned that the DS sold over 700,000 units last month. 141,000 of that was the DSi XL alone.
I guess the announcement of the 3DS isn’t going to slow DS sales down any. It actually seemed to help since this has been the best month for the DS in quite some time. I am almost starting to feel guilty that I am still rocking my Electric Blue DS “Phat.” Almost.
Nintendo’s announcement of the 3DS came at a very odd time in North America. The DSi XL had not even come out yet and it didn’t make sense to announce the next system before this one had even come out. A report out of Gamasutra may shed a little bit more light on the subject.
“Apparently, the Japanese press was all over it and talked with suppliers there and Nintendo just wanted to get out ahead by breaking the news to prevent a leak,” M2 Research senior analyst Billy Pigeon told CNBC. “Does it clash with the DSi XL? Yes, it does.”
The DSi XL is old news in Japan. The system’s been out for a while there and the Japanese media was catching on to what Nintendo was doing. It makes sense, now, that Nintendo, who is a Japanese focused company, would want to control the message a little bit and get the news out there before it leaked. Does it make sense here in North America? No. Is it going to cut into sales of the DSi XL? Probably.
That’s the question Nintendo wants you to answer. They’re ramping up the publicity for the Nintendo DSi XL. The big feature is the fact that the screens are 93% bigger than the current DSi. So they want to know what you would make 93% bigger. Check out this video to see some responses they’ve already received.
If you’re ready to answer the question you have a few ways to do it. First you can leave us comments here for what you’d make bigger. You can also visit Facebook and check out the 93% bigger App. If Twitter is your thing then check out Nintendo of America’s Twitter Page.
Source: Nintendo PR Email
Nothing terribly exciting. No big announcements, but a lot of release dates and confirmations of things we knew were coming. Here are some of the bigger announcements.
- The new Nintendo DSi XL™ hand-held system launches March 28 at a suggested retail price of $189.99. The screens of the Nintendo DSi XL are 93 percent larger than those of the Nintendo DS™ Lite model, providing a more vivid and engaging play experience. The screens of the Nintendo DSi XL also feature a wider viewing angle, letting friends and family members join the fun. The new system launches in both Burgundy and Bronze colors, and comes loaded with pre-installed premium software Brain Age™ Express: Arts & Letters, Brain Age Express: Math and Photo Clock, as well as two free applications: the Nintendo DSi Browser and Flipnote Studio™. Nintendo DSi XL will also come with a larger pen-like stylus that allows for a more comfortable grip and enhanced ease of use when playing games that use the Nintendo DS touch screen. America’s Test Kitchen: Let’s Get Cooking and WarioWare™: D.I.Y. will also launch for the Nintendo DS family of products on March 28, providing consumers with new content that can be enjoyed on any Nintendo DS system. Games like these demonstrate the enhanced experience available with the Nintendo DSi XL.
- Super Mario Galaxy™ 2, the sequel to the smash-hit galaxy-hopping original game, launches May 23 for the Wii™ console. The game includes the amazing gravity-defying, physics-based exploration from the first game, but is loaded with entirely new galaxies and features to challenge and delight players. On some stages, Mario™ can pair up with his dinosaur buddy Yoshi™ and use his tongue to grab items and spit them back at enemies. Players can also have fun with new items such as a drill that lets our hero tunnel through solid rock.
- Metroid™: Other M, the incredible new Metroid game developed for Wii through a collaboration by Nintendo and the world-renowned Team Ninja, launches June 27. The game looks at the classic franchise from a new perspective: While much of the game is reminiscent of 2-D side-scrollers, players can switch the perspective into 3-D at any time as they explore the twisting passages of a derelict space station and delve deep into a cinematic, never-before-told story of bounty hunter Samus Aran’s past. This new approach uses a new control scheme in which players use the Wii Remote™ controller held sideways to battle enemies and navigate the expansive, gorgeous environments in classic Metroid fashion, then aim at the screen with the Wii Remote pointer to blast foes in first-person and hunt the world for clues and hidden passages.
In a unique partnership with Square-Enix, Nintendo of America will publish Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies in the Americas when the game arrives in summer 2010. Dragon Quest IX has sold more than 4.15 million copies in the Japanese market. Nintendo and Square-Enix will now work together to bring this title to the Nintendo DS consumer base in the Americas.
Capcom’s Monster Hunter® Tri, an epic action game for Wii, launches in the United States on April 20. The game lets players customize their character, armor and weapons in order to protect a town from majestic monsters as that town rebuilds following a devastating earthquake. Online play will be available for all players with broadband Internet access at no additional cost. Online text chat is fully functional and online voice chat is enabled using the Wii Speak™ microphone, which is sold separately. At a suggested retail price of $59.99, limited quantities of Monster Hunter Tri will include the new Black Classic Controller Pro™, while both Black and White versions of the controller will be available separately at a suggested retail price of $19.99. The game will also be available without a controller at a suggested retail price of $49.99.
Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, the breakthrough shooter game for Wii from legendary developer Treasure, will launch across North America on June 7. The game features nonstop action with two playable characters and international online leaderboards to track high scores. Using the Wii Remote pointer functionality, the game offers unprecedented precision in the shooter genre.
FlingSmash™ for Wii will test players’ Wii Remote skills as they bounce a ball-like hero through countless side-scrolling stages, combining the precision of racket sports with the unpredictable fun of pinball. Playable only with the Wii MotionPlus™ accessory, the game will launch this summer.
Picross 3D is poised to become a puzzle game phenomenon when it launches for the Nintendo DS family of products on May 3. In Picross 3D, players start with a cube and smash away smaller blocks to reveal an object, shape or symbol. Delivering more than 350 unique puzzles and more made available for download on a regular basis after launch via the Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection service (broadband Internet access required), the game takes the mind-bending fun of Picross into the next dimension.
100 Classic Books transforms the Nintendo DS family of products into a library of timeless literature when it launches on June 14 at a suggested retail price of $19.99, highlighted by 100 works from authors such as William Shakespeare, Jules Verne, Jane Austen, Mark Twain and more. Readers can adjust the size of text, place bookmarks and even download new content via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service (broadband Internet connection required).
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands™ from Ubisoft will launch May 18 on both the Wii and Nintendo DS platforms. Boasting amazing graphics with fantastic action and puzzle-solving game play, the Wii version will be the first in franchise history to feature a two-player cooperative experience. As an added bonus, the Wii version of the game will exclusively include the 1992 Super NES™ version of the original Prince of Persia game.
- Disney Guilty Party is the official title of the highly anticipated first collaboration between Disney Interactive Studios and its recently acquired studio, Wideload Games. The fun and hilarious mystery party game is set for release in the second half of 2010, exclusively for Wii.
- Majesco’s Nintendo DSi exclusive Ghostwire: Link to the Paranormal uses incredible augmented reality technology through the Nintendo DSi Camera. Launching this October, the game lets players become a ghost hunter as they interact with the paranormal.
“A new iteration of the Nintendo DSi™ system will be introduced in Japan on November 21, 2009,” according to a statement from Nintendo released to Kotaku. “To be known as Nintendo DSi LL in Japan, and as Nintendo DSi XL in North America and Europe, it will offer a screen 93% larger than the current Nintendo DS Lite with a better view angle, an additional longer touch screen stylus, and preinstalled Nintendo DSiWare™ software. The new version will arrive in North America and Europe in the first quarter of calendar year 2010.”
This announcement comes directly from Nintendo. It’s now officially official. North America will be receiving the larger version of the DSi. It’s assumed, but not confirmed, that the system will sell for the same price as the current DSi. We’ll give you more details as they come in.
So, are you excited? Will you rush out and buy a new, bigger DSi?