Nintendo: No US DSi until 'well into 2009'

At San Francisco event, Nintendo of America unveils new Punch-Out and Fire Emblem, $29.99 Wii Speak Channel due next month, promises increased DS and Wii supply for Q4, new storage solution for Wii. Full event blog and photos inside.

SAN FRANCISCO--On Sunday, Nikkei Net reported that Nintendo was readying a third hardware configuration for the DS. The Kyoto-based game giant quickly blasted the story "speculation," saying that the Japanese news service had based the story on their own research and not any official announcement.

The new DSi taking a picture of whatever "Fido" is in Japanese.

It didn't take long for the official announcement to come. On Thursday morning in Japan, Nintendo held a press conference to unveil the DSi. The redesigned handheld will be 12 percent thinner than the DS Lite, with screens 17 percent larger than those of its predecessor. Though it will lose the Game Boy Advance slot, it will boast two cameras--one outward-facing 3 megapixel and one lower-resolution one for self-portraits--and an SD card slot for multimedia storage. It will also sport a built-in Internet browser, which will let users directly download games from a new online DSi store.

Fils-Aime explains why the DSi won't be in the US for months.

The DSi will launch in Japan on November 1 for ¥18,900 (about $179). However, Nintendo did not use its Tokyo press conference to reveal release plans for the handheld in any other territory. Presumably, that's what Nintendo of America is planning to do at its own media jamboree, which is being held at an upscale hotel just off of San Francisco's iconic Union Square this morning.

Game journalists and analysts from across the continent gathered for the two-day event's kickoff presentation, which will be presided over by Cammie Dunaway, NOA's executive vice president of sales and marketing. In 2007, she took over the position from now-NOA President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime, whose attendance at today's to-do had not yet been confirmed as reporters jostled for position inside the presentation hall. Dunaway and Fils-Aime co-anchored Nintendo's widely derided presentation at this year's E3 Media & Business Summit in Los Angeles.

[9:12] Reggie made it, he takes the stage to tell us about "the third upgraded DS" and holds up a DSi.

[9:14] DSi will have built-in flash memory, "which will change the way DS is played."

[9:14] DSi shop will launch with redesigned versions of two Brain Age games.

[9:15] The soul of DSi will be "new forms of entertainment." Its camera and music functions are not meant to compete with the "red ocean" of competitors.

[9:16] The DSi has 2 cameras, and "how you use the cameras will make the difference." The pairing will offer a "new way of photo functionality." Photos can be edited, manipulated, combined, and shared online.

[9:19] "We intend for this to be the camera for your everyday life," says El Reg.

[9:19] DSi will allow for full media playback for music and podcasts.

[9:19] The DSi browser will be a modified version of the Wii's Opera browser.

[9:20] It will be faster than the DS Lite for Web connections.

[9:20] "Today's Japan announcement is for Japan only," says Reg. "We will not see the DSi in America until well into calendar year 2009."

[9:21] "Here's why," he continues. "There is currently still much demand for the current model of the DS Lite in the US." He says that they are 22 percent ahead of 2007's record sales, so there's no need to introduce the DSi just yet.

[9:23] "Iwata is addressing the problem of Wii storage," he says. "Soon you will be able to download and store virtual console and WiiWare titles directly on your SD card, and play them off your SD card. This will make the Wii download experience much easier."

King Hippo is back, and he's none too happy about it.

[9:23] Reg quickly switches gears to sales, and says Wii hardware and DS hardware will break records come holiday shopping season.

[9:24] "Will this be enough to meet demand?" asks Fils-Aime, "To that I say, 'Ask me in January.'"

[9:26] Dunaway takes the stage now, to introduce a remake of Punch-Out. The game will follow scrawny Little Mac on his road to becoming the champ. It will apparently feature returning fighters such as Glass Joe and King Hippo.

[9:27] Next she's touting a new build of Call of Duty: World at War for the Wii.

[9:27] On comes a slide of the "black, white, and red" action game MadWorld. Think Sin City meets Killer7 on the Wii and you're close.

Madworld, in living non-color.

[9:28] Punch-Out is just for the Wii, apparently.

[9:29] High Voltage Software's Eric Nofsinger gets onstage to show off The Conduit, the Wii-exclusive shooter due Q1 2009.

[9:30] "Our goal is to make a AAA shooter for the Wii," he says, and the pre-alpha build he's showing definitely looks promising.

[9:32] The game will feature aliens taking over Washington, DC and will feature 15 enemy types. Think Area 51 in the US Capitol.

[9:33] The gameplay looks very F.E.A.R. like, with graphics that look surprisingly sharp for the Wii.

[09:36] Dunaway takes the stage to reintroduce Wii Music, which she says "Miyamoto says he isn't sure is even a game."

[09:37] Onstage bounds JC Rodrigo from Nintendo studio Treehouse.

JC Rodrigo rocks out with Wii Music.

[09:37] "The point of this game isn't a high score," he says. "The point is to play however you want.

[09:38] "You can play whatever you want however you want to play it," he says, offering a reggae version of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" as an example. Apparently there's even a barbershop quartet mode.

[09:40] Rodrigo shows how you can use just two buttons to play music. He cycles through the instruments, which include everything from guitars to bagpipes.

[09:41] He demonstrates how you can cut reverb and make chords through button combinations.

[09:42] The number of instruments is staggering, and includes sitars and bells. At the author's request he tries out the bagpipes, which don't sound even vaguely Scottish.

[09:42] Should've seen this coming--someone asks for "more cowbell," and Rodrigo obliges.

You can't stop rock-'n'-roll, but you can slow it waaaaay down.

[09:44] Percussion instruments also include a beatbox option. The Fat Boys are spinning in their graves.

[09:45] Apparently the 50-odd Wi-Fi laptops in the hall are causing interference with the Wii Remotes. But that doesn't stop them from trying another rendition of the Super Mario Bros. theme, with less disastrous results than at E3.

[09:45] Of course, there are only two instruments involved.

[09:46] Rodrigo and a partner try to act like they're rocking out, but the music sounds very much like a kindergartner mucking about on a Yamaha home organ. Still, the nonbutchered theme draws applause from the audience.

[09:47] Apparently they showed off Wii Music at the Austin City Limits music festival. Dunaway gets onstage to read testimonials about the game from musicians you've never heard of. Apparently it's great for teaching kids about music--hopefully it will make grade-school music classes less agonizing.

[09:47] Now it's on to Animal Crossing: City Folk.

[09:48] "When we introduced Animal Crossing on the GameCube, most people didn't get it," she concedes. "But it was the core gamers which really get into it."

[09:48] The new game will have USB keyboard support and DS connectivity.

[09:49] "We think this will really enhance the experience for core gamers, who will spread the word," she said.

[09:50] Now she's touting Wii Fit. Apparently Jessica Simpson and Christina Aguilera's personal trainer is in the house to whip any takers into shape.

Sin and Punishment 2 is coming to America.

[09:51] Next up is Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, which Dunaway says...hold on a sec. Sin and Punishment 2 from Treasure just came up out of nowhere.

[09:51] Due in North America in 2009.

[09:51] "We saw how many downloads there were in Japan and realized US gamers would appreciate it too."

[09:52] Original was an N64 sequel, but this one is all-new and all Wii.

[09:52] Switching gears back to the DS, Dunaway introduces a "new series of games from the creator of Brain Age."

[09:53] Behold the Personal Trainer series, which will teach you how to actually do things like cooking, math, and...walking? Walking?!

[09:53] Apparently the hotel chef will be demoing it later today.

[09:54] Now another new game: Rhythm Heaven, due in the first half of 2009 in North America.

[09:54] Apparently the game is currently selling 50,000 units a week in Japan, and is expected to be a big hit.

[09:54] Oh, hello. Age of Empires: Mythologies coming to DS in November 2008.

[09:55] Like Viva Pinata DS, the Microsoft Games Studio game spin-off is being published by THQ.

[09:55] Tecmo Bowl DS. November 2008 as well--hello, Christmas wish list!

[09:56] Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, due October 21, and Chrono Trigger available this holiday season.

[09:57] Now it's Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, the series' DS debut in North America. Due first half of 2009.

[09:58] Another American Treehouse employee takes the stage to show off some gameplay.

[09:59] The employee stresses how strategic the gameplay is, given that when you lose a soldier or character, they're gone for good.

[09:59] He demonstrates how to ambush characters in a mountain pass.

[09:59] The entire game will have stylus-based touch-screen controls.

[10:00] Pegasi battle barbarians in the top screen, and the demoer stresses the enhanced graphics, battle animations, and magic animations.

[10:03] The game will have wireless multiplayer, both ad hoc and via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.

[10:03] You will be able to pit five of your best soldiers against five opponents.

[10:04] This Fire Emblem features full voice-chat support, allowing for unlimited nerd trash-talk.

[10:04] You can also loan and borrow units from friends to use in your single-player campaign.

[10:04] Obviously, this will be all done wirelessly.

[10:05] When you give the unit back, you keep the experience.

[10:06] There's also an in-game shop option that lets players use gold earned in-game to buy new items from an online store. Apparently new and powerful items will be rotated into the store, which will have daily inventory changes.

[10:06] Dunaway says she's "merciless" when playing the game. Fierce!

[10:07] She introduces Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, available November 10.

Hopefully Wii don't speak too loudly.

[10:07] Next comes Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure from EA.

[10:07] Now she introduces Mario & Luigi RPG 3, available next year for the DS.

[10:08] A trailer shows that players can assume the role of Bowser during the game.

[10:09] Dunaway is wrapping up with two more announcements.

[10:09] Wii Speak channel is coming November 16.

[10:10] The Wii Speak channel uses a microphone on top of your set for up to four people to talk via their Miis online. It will be sold separately for $29.99 and will come with a code that will let you download the Wii Speak Channel software for free from the Wii Shop Channel.

[10:10] Last but not least, she announces to much applause that Club Nintendo is coming to America. The program lets players earn points by buying games, filling out surveys, and other activities and redeem them for highly coveted limited-edition Nintendo wares.

Manna from nerd heaven!

[10:12] Denise Kaigler resumes the stage to tout the online press kit, and some other legal disclaimers. Come back to GameSpot Monday for previews galore from Nintendo's fall press event.

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Discussion

335 comments
Headfone
Headfone

My DS Lite is pretty banged up, and I might end up getting a DSi, but aslong as they keep releasing the games to where you can play 'em on a lite, you can go buy one, while I laugh at your inability to play Guitar Hero.

jorgeurantia
jorgeurantia

Absurd, why not to buy the DS lite , it IS a great console. Why deprive you from a great game experience? If u want a DS, just get it. Light.

ilidiandemon
ilidiandemon

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Peach100
Peach100

The only reason the DSi isn't being released sooner is because DS Lite sales are still up. Nintendo doesn't want to make a new DS when sales on the DS Lite are still high. They want to make as much money as possible off of the DS Lite before releasing a brand new DS.

JordyKun
JordyKun

Why? Why can't the DSi come out sooner?!?!? My old Lite is broken and there is no hope of fixing it... When I saw the confirmation of the DSi, I told myself that I would wait for that to come out. But to wait practically another year?!? I'm torn... do I get a new Lite, or do I wait and get the DSi... I guess it all depends on what games come out for the DS. Hopefully Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days. Then I really will need to buy another DS ASAP

Innovation_Fan
Innovation_Fan

This is great news. As a Nintendo fan I have defended them from the start of my gaming career, but now all the moaning "core" gamers from other fanbases can keep their mouths shut and watch as Nintendo releases not just core titles, but casual titles, online applications and games...well games that aren't even games!? GENIOUS!

cap_z
cap_z

should have done that from the start now i might have to go buy that new dsi what i fail to see is that this game corparations focus to much on other features that should have been done on the first try. but instead they do that and there games aren't that great. but with the new wii stuff and ds i can't wait to see how the next zelda game is gonna use that stuff phantom hourglass was the only game that truly uses everything

syncroshadow
syncroshadow

also why didn't nintendo make the dsi instead of the lite? Besides they said it themselves. the ds lite sales have skyrocketed and are still going higher. doesn't that mean not many people will wanna waste more money on the dsi? Nintendo- I'm disappointed. also i don't wanna hear this stuff that makes me think Ipod or psp. sony and microsoft can do online and movies because they aren't soley gaming. nintendo is supposed to be solely gaming. now it's more like u guys have drifted off. :(

lionheart234
lionheart234

I cant wait...!!! once again nintendo do the impossible of improving there handheld console. japan and us are lucky they will get the release soon.... i live in the uk so it likely we wont get it til Q3 next year which is long! gonna have to import one i guess.... xD

MatzeEdend
MatzeEdend

I have the classic DS, and I'm planning on buying one of these things and giving my old one to my mother (she likes playing New Super Mario Bros :P) I didn't bother getting a DS lite when it came out because there really wasn't a significant enough difference between the two systems to justify it... same reason I didn't get a GBA SP since I already had the original... but THIS is different. Besides, maybe these new wifi settings will allow for newer encryption protocols... I had to get a wifi adapter for my PC to use my DS online because our wireless router uses a newer encryption protocol than the DS allows for.

master_hookshot
master_hookshot

Im looking forward to the DSI. Looks pretty sweet. I have a GBASP so i dont care. Im glad its going in late 09 because im buying a PS3 this year.

hotCHA23
hotCHA23

I don't understand how you guys aren't excited for the DSi... It's almost like an iPod touch with better games (and if anyone brings up the iPod hack and says "I gots it righ here!" just drop dead right now). I honestly couldn't care less for the absence of the GBA slot, I'd be happy for it to be gone. I wonder if most of you complaining about it are Pokemon players, because I don't see why anyone would really care for it less you guys are diehard Pokemon fans. o_O I am definitely going to get this, my money's a bit dry now, but since they're delaying the release, I'll save all I got for it... I'm a bit disappointed they delayed the release, but whatever, it's not like I'm going to get the money by November.. :S

IvanKavinski
IvanKavinski

Quite a few things to be exited about...

GatCloudX
GatCloudX

fire emblem mario and luigi and castlevania

just_nonplussed
just_nonplussed

Nintendo DSI is a joke. Even though I'll be first in line to buy this new DS, it won't offer anything that I already experience. Punch Out looks great, but I don't have much else to say. -------------------------- it's a joke, but you're still going to buy it?

footlocker-boy
footlocker-boy

they should wait a few more years, make the next gen handheld that plays ds and gba games and id buy that instead

Valchieor
Valchieor

Aside from the DSi, Wiispeak and Mario & Luigi RPG 3 makes this good news.

HumanoMexicano
HumanoMexicano

...damn I just re-bought a crimson ds lite... They removed the gba port? bad idea Nintendo...for a camera? (a cheap one prob...) and some lame online? Give us some good games we will gladly spend 30+ bucks! I will stick with my DS Lite until they come up with a system that looks (handheld) like the Gamecube. (no not the Wii) This reminds me off my normal gba and then the thin gba and then the micro... besides the ion battery the last upgrade was a complete waste... Hell they should have just given the new ds a phone service, lol. (watches as people buy this crap and the new psp.)

Killingspree303
Killingspree303

I don't think DSi looks so different from DS, but it sure has camera. Finally, "gameboycamera" to DS :P

Killingspree303
Killingspree303

I don't think DSi looks so different from DS, but it sure has camera. Finally, "gameboycamera" to DS :P

DSfanatic5
DSfanatic5

Nintendo DSI is a joke. Even though I'll be first in line to buy this new DS, it won't offer anything that I already experience. Punch Out looks great, but I don't have much else to say.

yas710yaf
yas710yaf

o wow nintendo, jst wow, thank god i jst bought myself a 360, get away from this

PsiPhiTy
PsiPhiTy

Actually, the delay in release makes perfect sense. All the games presently advertised to ship (pre-scheduled for over the next 6 months) DON'T use the extras Big N is putting into the DSi, so there would be buyers remorse over buying something [now] which has little ues (yet) where as if they wait, in 6 months here, all those games programmed for the present model will have sold and they give designers time to come up with games for the new hardware benefits, so their console will then ship with games that actually take advantage of that camera, improved net and so forth.. Make Sense? Sure it does.

TAEnemy
TAEnemy

I think those sales of the Lite will be impacted by this news a bit.

jon181
jon181

Surly the system is already close to saturation point? Also not that anyone cares, but I've still got my DS fat and I ain't upgrading till they release the next DS with multi touch that they patented ages ago with this site having pics of the patent that showed a planes wings being controlled with two finger to open or close them. Another bit of trivia/rant the DS is called the IQ in China are they trying to mergre the names where's this I comming from is it a spare from the Wii?

Destroyeron13
Destroyeron13

So because we're buying the DS Lite they're not giving us the DSi...wow, way to f*** the people over.

syncroshadow
syncroshadow

i don't think i'll be buying this, besides i don't really see games that i like to play anymore. i'll just focuz on my studies i guess. also the dsi has all this stuff, it kinda sounds like a cell phone without calling. i could imagine nintendo making a dsi2 to put in calling. i rather spend my cash on a new cell phone

syncroshadow
syncroshadow

this kinda ticks me off cuz i alrdy bought the ds lite cuz i heard they weren't going to improve it and they were just going to focus on the wii. now they are making a new ds which everybody will have to spend another over hundred. The only way i would even think about buying this is if we were allowed to trade in our ds lite for the dsi.

silverlife
silverlife

what i after for this new DS is the web browser and a faster connectivity.. i dont care about the music player and the camera (unless they make good games that uses this new feature). and i think this new DS will eliminate the flash carts

Strike_Zer0
Strike_Zer0

I agree with the other comments that it's selfish to hold back on the US release to maximise sales of the Lite. Sure from a buisness point of view it makes sense but isn't it a little cruel to their fanbase? I mean everyone who goes and gets a DS for Christmas is now going to find the console out of date in just a few months after.

KoruKinshi
KoruKinshi

True gamers? Whatever. They're making me happy, and I've been gaming for 20 years. BTW, remake of Punch Out on the Wii? About damn time. Sold!!!

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

A few interesting looking games in there. Nothing that really screams "system mover" though. Nintendo is awesome but they're REALLY REALLY REALLY just leaving the true gamers out a lot more than they've ever done in the past. At least on the Wii anyway. Although it DOES have some cool games coming to it.

god_yggdrasil
god_yggdrasil

DSi looks good, but i hope they dont make the camera and music crappy versions of actual cameras and media centers. they said "NEW entertainment" so its possible they could use those things only for games, which would be sucky. DSi and FE for DS was the only thing that was interesting in this article. rest already knew or sucks balls.

RVViLL
RVViLL

the DSi makes me hard and i'm drooling over club nintendo in the us

Alucard7321
Alucard7321

I have to say the photos of the Nintendo reps is EXCELLENT in this article :) heh

yohan7
yohan7

WOW! I gotta get me one of those Dsi's!!!

just_nonplussed
just_nonplussed

perhaps this is nintendo's secret strategy to destroy the PSP. they pretend they are not directly competing, but now not only are they sending clear signals that they are competing, but they also now have millions of casual gamers and 'non-gamers'. i wonder how the DS is impacting on home console sales...

just_nonplussed
just_nonplussed

they're probably not even aiming at gamers. i bet lots of casual gamers/non-gamers will buy this...

just_nonplussed
just_nonplussed

the DSi camera and MP3 playback are unnecessary. nintendo sell you, and get you to believe in, 'pure gaming', then try to sell you multi-functionality. this is really two-faced (as far as mission statements go) and erodes away at the 'only-about-the-games' percpetion of the company. it appears that nintendo now wants it all... (i wonder if this is an omen for gamers) i will not be buying a DSi. i will only throw in a consideration if the new technology revolutionises the way i will play games. but it doubt it..

DreFullCircle
DreFullCircle

those ds lite sales that reggie was bragging about are sure to fall off after this announcement. it's pretty selfish to hold off on giving us a new ds just to sell more of the current model. nintendo is forgetting that they were in last place in the console wars a short time ago, and more importantly, they're forgetting the people who got them there.

DreFullCircle
DreFullCircle

those ds lite sales that reggie was bragging about are sure to fall off after this announcement. it's pretty selfish to hold off on giving us a new ds just to sell more of the current model. nintendo is forgetting that they were in last place in the console wars a short time ago, and more importantly, they're forgetting the people who got them there.

wolf360rev
wolf360rev

Ok, So I need to get a DS lite before late 2009. Gotcha.

Oni
Oni

I don't get it. They're acting like it's some huge upgrade definitely worth dropping $200. Glad I'm not some fanboy who buys into this. Nintendo needs to stop trying to lure all the iPhone and PSP users to buy a DS. Sorry Nintendo, the PSP is my portable Movie player and the iPod is my Mp3 player of choice. $200 are you crazy?

Killer2401
Killer2401

"[9:21] "Here's why," he continues. "We're not done taking your money yet!"" LOL perfect.

CanalNoises
CanalNoises

They're going to have a hard time competing with the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch pretty soon if they don't add an accelerometer (no-brainer since it's already in the Wii) and a multi-touch screen.