NEW YORK –
Nintendo Co. will launch the latest version of its portable video game system in the United States on April 5, adding two digital cameras and the ability to play with sound recordings.
The DSi, which is already available in Nintendo's home country of Japan, will cost $170 and come in two colors, black and blue. This is the third iteration of the world's most popular handheld gaming system. The DS Lite, its predecessor, costs $130.
The new handheld is slimmer than the DS Lite, sports bigger screens and includes two digital cameras — one facing outward and one pointing at the user when the device is flipped open. Nintendo likened them to a set of eyes.
"If the touch screen gave Nintendo DS a sense of feel and the microphone allowed it to hear, the two cameras give Nintendo DSi the sense of sight," the company said in a statement.
Using the DSi, players can manipulate photos, mix images and share them with friends.
The launch comes as millions of people are turning to mobile games — on the DS and on smart phones like Apple's iPhone — to pass their time.
The DSi also includes a memory card slot for users to store photos, music and games, which players will be able to purchase and download through the device's Wi-Fi wireless connection. A stereo headphone output on the outside of the DSi lets users listen to music even when the system is flipped shut.