Citing "multiple sources close to Nintendo," IGN reported that Nintendo plans to release of the upgraded version the wildly popular DS handheld within the first half of the year. "More specifically, the company has allegedly relayed to its partners that DSi will ship stateside in early April, most likely on April 4," IGN wrote. "Insiders assert that they have been told the system will retail for $179.99 when it launches domestically."
The rumored release date comes as something of a surprise, as Nintendo's Satoru Iwata had stated that Nintendo planned to release the DSi in the states by this summer. And while getting new hardware earlier is certainly something to get excited about, getting it for cheaper than we expected is even better. The $179.99 price point IGN has on good word is a fair amount less than what the system sells for in Japan, where it goes for 18,900 yen (roughly $211 in US McDollars). With the DS Lite currently going for $129.99, a $179.99 price point would mean but a $50 difference between the two systems which, Nintendo probably hopes, will be a negligible amount for potential buyers.
IGN hypothesized that the reason the US is getting a better deal is because the DS Lite still has legs in the US, as opposed to Japan, where it has reached peak penetration. "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," they wrote.
So, the DSi will have an SD card slot, a built-in camera, internal memory and host of other minor improvements to the DS Lite. If these rumors are to be believed and we're getting the DSi in the next few months and for just 50 bucks more than a regular DS costs, do you guys think it'll be worth it?