The Nintendo DSi adds cameras, a sound system, and downloadable software to the already popular Nintendo DS. While the DSi has more hardware and personalization features than the Nintendo DS Lite we keep hearing new software is the magic ingredient Nintendo needs to convince gamers to upgrade.
During the launch party I spoke with David Young, Associate Public Relations Manager at Nintendo, about DSi exclusive software and the challenge of launching the handheld.
What is the biggest challenge you faced when launching the DSi in America?
David Young, Associate Public Relations Manager: I think it’s really getting people to understand what the Nintendo DSi is about. Just hearing it has cameras and a sound system doesn’t tell the whole story. It really is an experience. Getting it into people’s hands and letting them experience what it’s about is probably the biggest challenge. Once people get their hands on it the light bulb comes on they realize “Hey, wow!”.
Do you expect Gamestop to be sold out of DSis tonight like the Wii launch?
We allocated lots of stock to Gamestop. It would be great if they sell through, but they have a big stack of them there so we’ll have to wait and see.
Were more DSis produced as a result of the Wii shortage problem?
Our production is pretty aggressive so we certainly think we do well with that. When you release a product you have to wait and see how the public reacts. We have planned extensively for it, but you never know.
We’ve been asked about that quite a bit and it seems like a popular topic. At this point, I have not heard any plans about converting Game Boy games and putting them on the DSi.
What about beaming Virtual Console games from the Wii to the DSi?
That would be pretty cool.
What DSiWare titles from Japan are going to come over? Are we getting Mario clocks?
If you’ve seen some of the product on the DSiWare shop in Japan certainly a good portion of those will find their way to America.
What third party developers are doing DSiWare stuff?
You know there are a bunch of third parties that are working on things. I think Square Enix has some stuff coming out. I haven’t seen the whole list yet. People have been working on this right until the last minute so some of those things are finalizing as we speak.
The Moving Memo Pad was a core application in Japan. Is it coming to America?
That is something that is being worked on. Yeah, so that should be coming out as well.
The only DSi exclusive software we have is stuff coming out of the DSiWare shop. You can expect to see things that are DSi, maybe DSi only or maybe DS games that have DSi exclusive features in them. At this point we’re not talking about any DSi exclusive titles.
Is Nintendo working on any DSi enhanced games in house?
Certainly, were going to be seeing a lot of things coming out, but nothing we’re talking about yet.
How will the DSi enhanced games work? Will they be sort of like Game Boy Color enhanced games?
That’s one of the things I’ve heard talk of. There will be Nintendo DS games that have DSi features in them, but all of that stuff is still in the development stage.
Why is the DSi region locked?
Some of the reason behind that is because Nintendo DSi is more of a network device than the Nintendo DS is. Also because of the ESRB and the rating system. Nintendo DSi has pretty robust parental controls. If you have games that have a rating on them and you’re a parent you can lock out T-rated, M-rated games, those kinds of things. The rating system is different by region so that’s one of the reasons behind it.
Will the DSi enhanced games be region locked?
You know I’m not sure. I haven’t seen the actual product yet so I don’t want to speculate.
Rhythm Heaven which launches tonight with the DSi comes from Nintendo’s Japan team. There are lots of other Japanese games like Soma Bringer and Archaic Sealed Heat also from Japan. Does Nintendo have any plans to bring those over?
Those decisions are made by the parent company — which games are going to be launched in which different region. I certainly have a list of favorites myself that I hope to see someday, but it’s really out of our hands at Nintendo of America.
Can you share some of the games on your favorites list?
You know I’m a big fan of Mother. I like those games so I’m hoping to see those. I’ve been playing all the Fire Emblem games and enjoying those that come to America just to name a couple.
What are your thoughts on the Mother 3 fan translation?
I don’t know if we have an official statement, sorry.
One strange thing about Archaic Sealed Heat is it was rated by the ESRB. Is Nintendo still publishing it?
I have not heard about it so I don’t know.