Larger-screen DSi coming to Japan - Report

Nikkei news service claims a 4-inch-plus-screen version of the handheld could arrive across the Pacific as early as this year for ¥18,900 ($205).

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Last November, the latest hardware revision of the DS handheld, the DSi, went on sale in Japan. Less than a year later comes word that its replacement is already on the verge of production. The Nikkei news service (subscription required) is citing unnamed sources as confirming that a larger-screen version of the handheld will be unveiled shortly and could go on sale in Japan as early as this year.

The DSi will soon have a big brother.
The DSi will soon have a big brother.

According to Nikkei, the new DSi has larger screens than the current version, which sports two 3.25-inch screens. The new version will feature screens in excess of four inches, about the same size as the PSP-3000's 4.3-inch screen and larger than the PSP Go's 3.8-inch display. Commensurate with the increased production cost, the handheld's price will be higher, ringing up at ¥18,900 ($205).

As of press time, US Nintendo reps had not responded to requests for comment on the new DSi or its release in the West. However, its introduction will raise some issues with the US' 2.2 million DSi owners who have bought games from the DSi store. According to reports, DSiWare games are not transferable to another handheld, meaning they would have to be repurchased on any new DSi.

One reason for the restricted rights is Nintendo's ongoing battle against DS piracy. According to Nikkei, the new DSi will have improved antipiracy features that will be beefed up in hack-prone territories such as China and South Korea.

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