The will be "the third version of the Nintendo DS handheld". The Nintendo DSi was announced during the Nintendo Conference on October 2, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan.
Nintendo has announced that it will be about 12% thinner than the DS Lite. The new handheld will contain two cameras (a 0.3 megapixel [300,000 pixels, 640 x 480 resolution] VGA camera on the internal hinge pointed towards the user, and a camera on the outside of the shell), larger screens (3.25 inches as opposed to the previous 3 inches), and improved speakers. The power switch was replaced with a power button, as the original DS had, now located next to the bottom left side of the touch screen. A new SD card slot will be utilized for external storage of pictures and downloaded software and to play AAC audio. The front slot for Game Boy Advance (GBA) cartridges will be removed, thus removing the unit's backward compatibility and its compatibility with accessories that require the GBA slot. The DSi will have its own internal flash memory and will ship with a built-in web browser. Photos can be synced to the Wii's Photo Channel. It is possible to download games from an online store, called the DSWare Shop, and store them on the DSi. The applications will either be free, 200, 500, or 800 Nintendo Points. Due to the higher power consumption and slimmer profile the battery life is reduced compared to its predecessor, the DS Lite.
It has been reported that the DSi will utilize region locking for DSi-specific software, since it will provide Internet services tailored individually for each region. In addition, the DSi uses rating-based parental controls, which differ by country.
The system will first be released in Japan on November 1, 2008 for ¥18,900 (tax included), around US$180, in matte black and white, and in 2009 for the rest of the world. Rose Lappin, President of Nintendo Australia Pty Ltd has not commented about the NDSi but it is expected to be released around the same time as Europe, as they are both part of the PAL region.
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime claimed that DS Lite sales in the United States were still strong, so introducing the DSi to the USA is not a high priority, and will not be available in North America until after April 2009.