One of the innovations of Nintendo's upcoming DSi is "DSiWare," a feature similar to WiiWare that allows users to download games over the Internet. At GDC yesterday, Nintendo revealed a bunch of downloadable DSi titles slated to launch along with the DSi on April 5th.
- Opera Browser -- This app is a free download. It's an upgraded version of the Internet browser already available for the Nintendo DS.
- WarioWare Snapped! -- A collection of mini-games that use the DSi's internal camera.
- Art Style: Aquia -- A "match three" puzzle game where players swap blocks off a three-tile-thick stack and try to match up the same colors to make them disappear.
- Bird and Beans -- This title takes the two Pyoro games from past WarioWare titles and combines them into a single downloadable file. Basically, these are simple arcade games where players get Pyoro to eat beans as they fall from the sky.
In Japan, WarioWare Snapped! and Art Style: Aquia each cost 500 Nintendo Points (5 bucks) and Bird and Beans can be yours for two dollars, but U.S. prices have not been announced. Regardless of the cost, Nintendo plans to reward everyone who buys an "early" DSi. Everyone who purchases a DSi and goes online by October 5th, 2009 will be given 1000 Nintendo Points for free. Spend wisely, my son.
To purchase games, players buy DSi points through the built-in DSi store or at retail stores that sell Nintendo point cards. Reportedly, Nintendo plans to switch from Wii and DS points to a universal Nintendo points system.
It's entirely unwise to doubt Nintendo's skill at hardware design -- everything The Big N touches seems to turn to money. However, some feel that the advantages and new features of the DSi won't prove enough to spur the kind of sales the company has grown to expect. Are you gonna get one?