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February 26, 2010

New Nintendo DSi XL Needs More Than a New Feature to Compete with e-Readers

By Stefania Viscusi, Assignment Desk Editor

Nintendo of America filled headlines yesterday with new information about what the company will be offering over the next few months.
In addition to a number of new game launches for the Wii console and new games for download directly from WiiWare, the gamemaker is gaining most interest around the announcement of the new Nintendo DSi XL hand-held system, which reportedly launches March 28.

“Nintendo finished 2009 with a bang, and we’re continuing our momentum into 2010,” said Cammie Dunaway, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing.
Available for a suggested retail price of $189.99, the new Nintendo DSi XL will feature a 93 percent larger screen than that of Nintendo DS Lite as well as a, “more vivid and engaging” play experience.
The new system will also come with a larger pen-like stylus, according to company officials, which allows for a more comfortable grip and enhanced ease of use when playing games that use the Nintendo DS touch screen.
A report by newsfactor.com also notes the potential for this new system to move Nintendo into the e-Reader market.

According to the report, a new software that will launch in June called, “00 Classic Books,” turns the DS into a “literary library” with 100 works from well-known authors.
Reportedly, users can download new content via a WiFi (News - Alert) connection, change text size on the screen, and more.
But does Nintendo have potential to succeed in this new market with their offering? Michael Gartenberg, a partner at Altimeter Group, was quoted in the newsfactor report as saying that Nintendo will have to go farther than just adding a new feature to their system to gain an advantage.
"If Nintendo is going to go beyond the core focus of gaming, it's going to have to think in far more detailed and strategic terms about how to do it. Simply adding a feature does not mean that this feature is something that consumers are going to use. It just becomes a checklist item that gets ignored," Gartenberg was quoted as saying.

Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering voice and Voice over IP technologies. She also oversees production of TMCnet's e-Newsletters in the areas of Internet telephony and speech technology. To read more of Stefania's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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