After nearly three years on the market, the Nintendo DS Lite is about to be upgraded with the next generation of Nintendo handhelds: the Nintendo DSi system. The DSi continues the tradition of touch-screen, dual-screen portable gaming, but thanks to technology becoming cheaper over the years Nintendo's been able to incorporate new elements and improve old ones to the handheld model.
The Nintendo DSi has been available in Japan since October 1st, 2008. The system in that territory is a hardware upgrade to the Nintendo DS Lite, but it's also a companion to the previous generation: both systems coexist in Japan at two different pricepoints. The Nintendo DS Lite is the "classic" to the Nintendo DSi's "premium." That same mentality will be brought to North America when the Nintendo DSi launches in the US.
Early last week Nintendo of America showed up at the IGN offices with the final production version of the North American Nintendo DSi system. The system will launch in this territory on April 5th for $169.99, 40 dollars more than the current generation Nintendo DS Lite. Though all the photos that Nintendo has sent out are of the black model, the company will release the DSi in both black as well as blue on launch day.