Posted By: bandit
IGN has reported that multiple sources close to IGN that Nintendo is set to release Nintendo DSi in North America on April 4th with a retail price of $179.99.
Multiple sources close to Nintendo tell IGN that the company is gearing up to debut the anticipated successor to its DS Lite handheld during the first half of this year in America. More specifically, the company has allegedly relayed to its partners that DSi will ship stateside in early April, most likely on April 4. Insiders assert that they have been told the system will retail for $179.99 when it launches domestically.
Nintendo's DSi handheld looks similar to its predecessor, but boasts a built-in camera, an SD Card slot, internal memory, an improved user interface and access to DSiWare, an ever-expanding list of downloadable DSi games and content available over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
DSi released in Japan last November and presently retails in the homeland for 18,900 yen ($211 USD). More than a million gamers purchased the system through December 2008, according to overseas data tracking services. DS Lite, meanwhile, sells in Japan for 16,800 yen ($188), a cost difference of almost $25. If our sources are to be trusted, the price divide between the two systems in America would be much wider, as DS Lite currently retails for $129.99 stateside, approximately $50 cheaper than DSi's alleged U.S. price point.
In contrast to the Japanese market, where penetration of DS Lite has peaked, Nintendo of America may be planning to market DSi alongside the still-popular DS Lite, which would at least explain the different price points: one version for casuals and another for the core.
Nintendo of America said last October that it did not feel it necessary to release DSi in 2008 because its predecessor continued to sell at a phenomenal rate. Last year, NOA president Reggie Fils-Aime was also quoted as promising that DSi would not debut in America until sometime after the first quarter.
When contacted for comment, a Nintendo representative told us that the company does not comment on rumors and speculation. Although IGN verified today's story through three independent sources, we have filed the information as rumor until Nintendo makes an official announcement.