According to a report from media and research company Enterbrain, Japanese gamers have scooped up a truckload of Nintendo DSi units.
In fact, more than 500,000 units have flown off Japanese store shelves since November 1. And while the new, updated portable console is selling well overseas, the North American market will not see the new and improved DSi until after April (and possibly before Autumn) 2009. Why? Because the DS Lite is still selling extremely well.
But gamers wanting to bypass the wait and considering options to import the DSi may want to halt such silly thoughts: the DSi software is region locked. "DSi is region locked because DSi embeds net communication functionality within itself and we are intending to provide net services specifically tailored for each region," Nintendo told CVG. "Also because we are including parental control functionality for Nintendo DSi and each region has its unique age limit made by different independent." Other reports indicate that Nintendo DS software from any region can be played on the DSi.
Although the DSi appears similar to the current DS Lite unit, the DSi features two built-in cameras, access to an online DSi-specific shop to download games, and a SD card slot to store all those downloaded goodies, photos, AAC music files and more. The DSi is also 12 percent thinner than the current portable console but features larger screens and improved speakers. Nintendo removed the GBA cartridge slot, thus making games like Guitar Hero: On Tour impossible to play on the DSi as well as removing backwards compatibility with GBA and older software.
Currently Nintendo’s DS line of portable consoles has sold more than 84 million units worldwide since the original model debut back in December 2004. North American consumers gobbled up over 27 million units as of September 2008, followed by a close second with Japan scooping up over 23 million units.