Kotaku has translated a Nintendo DSi poll taken by Dengeki Online. While the DS has been an enormous hit in Japan (with popularity on par with things like water and clothing), the poll suggests that the DSi will not be as successful. The results show that 40.7 of the people surveyed will not purchase a DSi, while only 3.6% will pick up a DSi soon. The system will be available in Japan on November 1, 2008. Considering that Nintendo has sold more than 22-million DS systems in the country, these results are surprising. However, there are a few things wrong with the poll....
Part of the DSi's appeal and potential is its ability to download games and applications. Gamers will be able to download software through the DSiWare Shop. As this online service matures and gets exclusive content, people will gravitate towards the DSi. All it would take is a hot Square-Enix exclusive like Dragon Quest or Kingdom Hearts and that 40.7% will be much smaller.
The DSi's cameras also gives it some interesting potential. While not as obvious or practical as digital downloads, there's a good chance that an innovative piece of software that takes advantage of the cameras could be a system seller. Metal Gear Solid's Hideo Kojima has shown a penchant for coming up with quirky games for handheld systems. His Boktai games incorporate a solar sensor that requires players to get some sunlight. There's no doubt that he could whip up something excellent that incorporates the DSi's cameras. Ideally, it would have more mainstream appeal than Boktai (and wouldn't promote skin cancer).
Most importantly, it's important to remember that there was a time when people said that a dual-screen handheld was stupid and they wouldn't buy it. Look how that turned out.