Far from the unstoppable juggernaut that it once was, the Nintendo DS and its various iterations have started loosening their grip on the retail sales charts. Last month, the NPD Group reported that the perennial hardware chart topper had been ousted by the Xbox 360, a feat due in part to the redesign for Microsoft's console but also non-stratospheric sales of the DS, which stood at just 398,400 units.
Nintendo will launch its latest assault on the handheld market before April 2011, when it debuts the no-glasses-required 3DS. But until then, the publisher announced today that it would be bolstering its 132 million-unit-selling line of hardware with a $20 price cut for the DSi and DSi XL. Nintendo also noted that DS sales have hit 42.5 million units since the first version of the system launched in November 2004.
Beginning September 12, the DSi will carry a $150 price tag, down from its current MSRP of $170. Launched in April 2009, the DSi is an updated version of the DS Lite, featuring 17 percent larger screens than its predecessor. Though it doesn't have a Game Boy Advance slot, it boasts two cameras--an outward-facing 0.3 megapixel one and a lower-resolution one for self-portraits--and an SD card slot for multimedia storage.
Also on September 12, Nintendo will cut the price of the DSi XL to $170, which first went on sale in North America in March 2010. Currently available for $190, the DSi XL is, as its name suggests, an extra-large version of the DSi, sporting 4.2-inch dual screens, up from the DSi's 3.25-inch screens. The supersized handheld also comes preinstalled with several games and applications and features a battery life on par with the DS Lite.
As for the DS Lite, Nintendo noted that the popular handheld will continue to sell for $130--the same price it has commanded since launching in the States in June 2006.