Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nintendo Goes New-DS Crazy

the ghost of the old dsi has come back to haunt the new one

Nintendo today announced something that people had apparently been expecting – they’re releasing a new, amped up version of the DS in Japan, in the form of the DSi LL.

The LL has cameras, an SD memory card slot, and plays the same ol’ DS games that we’ve all come to know and love. Which is to say, there’s not much to differentiate this from the DSi that Nintendo released just one year ago, apart from the fact that it’s got bigger screens.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should probably say that when the DSi LL (North American release date TBA, and probably also there will be a slightly more Americanized name to go with it) hits our shores, I may just pick one up – my old DS Lite is looking a little long in the tooth, and since I rarely actually go anywhere with my DS the extra screen size will be a boon.

Thing is, though, this is the wrong response to the iPod Touch, which is partly to blame for Nintendo’s reduced profits this year.

The thing about the new, huge DSi is that it’s the wrong  product for the wrong time – it’s exactly the same as the existing DSi, except it’s a bit larger. Congratulations, boyos, it only took you five years to forget that people bought the DS because it was different.

After five years (going on six),the Gaming Public would not only forgive the introduction of a truly new handheld to the market, they’d probably welcome it. Maybe Nintendo has an ace up its sleeve for next November, but this year all it has is a gigantic pair of twos.