updated 03:00 pm EDT, Wed March 25, 2009
Nintendo DSiWare Apps
Nintendo's DSi should make non-game apps an important core of its DSi Shop mobile online store when the console is released on the 5th, the company revealed as part of its efforts at this week's Game Developers' Conference. Having spoken with CNET earlier, Nintendo said the handheld will get a free version of Opera's browser that is described as upgraded over an earlier version for the DS that depended on Nintendo's proprietary cartridges to work; the new version can be saved either directly to the DSi's internal 256MB of storage or to an SD card.
The company also plans to offer other non-game apps separately, such as a Moving Memo tool.
Nintendo also explained that the DSi will use a point system similar to the Wii rather than a direct payment system; $1 US will equate to 100 points. The console maker is also imposing a 2000-point ($20) cap on prices and intends to provide 1,000 points worth of free downloads between the DSi's April 5th US launch and October 5th.
The news at least partly supports alleged plans by Nintendo to compete with the iPod touch by emphasizing more than game software with the DSi. The clamshell, part-touchscreen device improves on the DS Lite by adding media playback from SD cards as well as front and rear cameras that can be used for photography or within games.