Iwata: DSi Not An iPhone, PSP Wannabe

Declining to confirm that the DSi, with its lifestyle-friendly functionality, is a direct competitor to Apple's iPhone or Sony's PSP, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata says the handheld update's primary purpose is to be "useful for applications other than p
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata says that while the DSi's lifestyle-friendly features -- camera, music playback and online capability -- might make it look like a run for Apple iPhone and Sony PSP marketshare, that's not what the company's after. "We wanted users to have the device on them at all times," Iwata told (subscription required). "By downloading subway maps and other things, for instance, the DSi can be useful for applications other than playing games." He focused primarily on the increased functionality that the DSi would add for DS users, rather than directly addressing its competition in the "portable lifestyle" arena. "We wanted to create an offering that would fit naturally into people's everyday lives," Iwata said. It's somewhat unclear, though, how this stated goal avoids bringing the DSi into competition with the PSP and iPhone. Iwata also said that the DSi's online functionality will let users "customize" their experience with the device. Nintendo first revealed the DSi at a Tokyo press conference on October 2nd, and soon after confirmed it would also see a Western launch. Nintendo of America hasn't yet firmed a launch date, however; president Reggie Fils-Aime says it won't reach U.S. shores until "well into 2009," and in this recent interview Iwata concurred that will "probably" be the case.

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