Nintendo DSi set for April 2 Aussie Launch

Third-generation hardware to sell for A$299.95; pricing for DSi Store software announced.

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Hot on the heels of the recent US launch announcement, Nintendo Australia has followed suit to reveal that the Nintendo DSi will be making its debut in Australia and New Zealand on April 2 for A$299 and NZ$375.00 (both equivalent to about $191.46), three days ahead of the US release date.

The Nintendo DSi: just six weeks away.
The Nintendo DSi: just six weeks away.

The Nintendo DSi marks the third hardware revision for Nintendo's popular handheld device. Aside from featuring larger screens and two integrated digital cameras, one of the DSi's biggest inclusions is the introduction of the DSiWare service. Similar to WiiWare, the DSi Shop will let gamers purchase and download games from independent developers and store them on either the console's onboard 256MB of memory or an SD card.

A Nintendo Australia spokesperson confirmed the company's plans to launch the DSi Shop service alongside the new hardware, telling GameSpot AU that, "We expect it to launch alongside the DSi." At this stage, though, the company is unwilling to comment about what, if any, software will launch alongside the service. Despite this, three price brackets for DSiWare software have been announced. The cheapest games will cost 200 (A$3.50) Nintendo points, whereas more expensive games will cost either 500 (A$8.75) or 800 (A$14) points. Free games will also be available for download.

Those hoping that today's announcement will lower the price of the Nintendo DS Lite will be disappointed to hear that's not the case. The Nintendo Australia spokesperson also confirmed to GameSpot AU that the DS Lite would continue to sell in Australia alongside the DSi and would remain at its current A$199.95 recommended retail price. Traditionally, the Nintendo DS has been cheaper than its main rival, Sony's PlayStation Portable, but the new DSi price point now brings it in line with its only competitor in the handheld gaming space.

Whereas US gamers will have their choice of a black or blue DSi console, Australia and New Zealand consumers will be able to choose either matte black or matte white units at launch.

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