Since the DSi was first announced in October 2008, Nintendo has remained coy about its US release date. After saying only that the handheld would arrive in North America "well into 2009," the company announced last month that it would launch stateside "before summer."
Finally, this morning Nintendo announced that the DSi will arrive in the US on April 5 at a $169.99 price point. The handheld, which has been on sale in Japan since November 2008, will be available in black (pictured) and an all-new blue hue. Unfortunately, when contacted by GameSpot UK for a European announcement, Nintendo Europe declined to comment on the DSi's release in Europe, its final major territory.
Today's announcement also confirmed that the game Rhythm Heaven will make its American debut on April 5. The rhythm action game has proved to be incredibly popular in Japan, where it has sold 1.6 million copies after earlier versions proved popular in arcades and on the Game Boy Advance. GameSpot recently previewed the US version of the minigame collection.
Last but not least, Nintendo also announced that the DSiWare application will also be making its way to the US. The application lets owners of the portable download new software from the Internet a la the iPhone's App Store, with prices starting at 200 Nintendo points ($2). Nintendo declined to reveal any release-date information about DSiWare.
[UPDATE] Speaking with GameSpot, Nintendo said that it plans to continue to make and sell the DS Lite at its $129.99 price point in the US. "The DS Lite will continue to be supported at retail alongside the DSi," said a Nintendo of America rep. "The DSi is not meant to replace the other systems. There has been no news in terms of a price drop."
To find out more about the DSi, be sure to check out GameSpot's hands-on with the Japanese edition of the handheld.