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Nintendo DSi Arrives On Store Shelves Sunday

Nintendo's latest gadget could evolve into a competitor of the iPod Touch, which is also a gaming platform and music and video player.

Nintendo DSi gaming platform

Nintendo DSi gaming platform
(click for larger image)
The Nintendo DSi, the latest iteration of the company's market-leading DS portable gaming device, arrives on U.S. store shelves Sunday.

The DSi, which has been available in Japan since last fall, has more entertainment features than the older model and could prove to be a competitor of Apple's iPod Touch. Gamers will be able to buy the DSi from U.S. retailers April 5 for about $170. The device will be available in blue and black.

Nintendo hopes the DSi will continue to drive the success of the DS line of handhelds. The video-game company has sold more than 100 million of the devices since the original DS was released in 2004. In comparison, Sony, Nintendo's major rival in the portable gaming market, has shipped 50 million units of the PlayStation Portable since releasing the device the same year.

The DSi advances the franchise, which includes the DS and the DS Lite, with two 0.3-megapixel cameras, one on the external body and the other pointing at the user when the device is flipped open. The outside camera is for taking and sharing pictures over the Web. Developers are expected to make use of the inside device to make games more interactive. Other features include a voice recorder and music player.

The system plays downloadable games from Nintendo's online store, as well as store-bought games. The DSi also can play the more than 850 titles made for the DS.

Nintendo's latest gadget could evolve into a competitor of the iPod Touch, which is also a gaming platform and music and video player. The iPod is more expensive with a starting price of $229, but games are cheaper on the Apple product.

As of Dec. 31, global shipments of 83 DS games have topped 1 million copies, according to Nintendo. Seven of those titles topped 10 million.

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