Nintendo DSi - History - Launch

Launch

On November 1, 2008, the DSi was released in Japan; on April 2, 2009, in Australia and New Zealand, and on April 3 in Europe, all with a black and white casing. It launched in the United States and Canada on April 5, alongside the game Rhythm Heaven. It was the first DS console to launch with multiple colors in North America—black and light blue. iQue released a Chinese DSi model in black and white, with a pre-installed version of Nintendogs, in December 2009; the Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun reported that the Chinese and Korean models featured improved security, to combat piracy. On April 15, 2010, the DSi was launched in South Korea in white, black, light blue, and pink, alongside the game MapleStory DS. MapleStory DS was also bundled with a red limited-edition DSi, which had characters from the game printed around its external camera. Other countries the DSi was released in include Brazil, Russia, and Turkey.

Nintendo had shipped 200,000 units for the DSi's Japanese launch, and during its first two days on sale, over 170,000 units were sold—the remaining units were either unclaimed pre-orders or reserved for sale on Culture Day. By the end of the month, the DSi sold 535,000 units, in comparison to 550,000 DS Lites sold in its launch month. In the two-day launch period, Europe and North American sales totaled 600,000 units combined. North American first week sales almost doubled the DS Lite's 226,000 units by selling 435,000. In the UK, the console totaled 92,000 sales within two days of release, which GfK/Chart-Track data showed to be the fourth-best opening weekend ever in the region—higher than previous records set by other DS iterations.

DSi midnight launch events were held on the western and eastern coasts of the United States. Nintendo sponsored an official launch event at the Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles and the Nintendo World Store in New York City. The LA launch party featured several events, including merchandise handouts, signings and art galleries from iam8bit, parkour demonstrations, and performances by Gym Class Heroes. Hundreds attended and over 150 stayed until midnight to purchase a unit at GameStop.

The Nintendo DSi XL was released in Japan on November 21, 2009, in bronze, burgundy, and white. The former two colors were available for its European launch on March 5, 2010, and its North American launch on March 28. The console launched in Australia on April 15, 2010, in bronze and burgundy. The DSi XL was released in other countries including Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey. Over 100,500 units were sold during the console's first two days on sale in Japan, and 141,000 units were sold during its first three days in the United States.

The 2011 release of the Nintendo 3DS, the successor to the Nintendo DS series of handhelds, was announced on March 23, 2010, to preempt impending news leaks by the Japanese press and to attract potential attendees to the Electronic Entertainment Expo. According to industry analysts, the timing drew attention from the North American launch of the DSi XL. M2 Research senior analyst Billy Pigeon argued the "XL is old news ... in Japan – and Nintendo is a very Japan-centric organization. This is just the corporate parent in Japan maybe not acting in the best interest of Nintendo of America." Iwata dismissed any significant impact when speaking to concerned investors, "those who are eager to buy Nintendo 3DS right after the announcement generally tend to react quickly to anything new on the market, and those who are purchasing a Nintendo DS today tend to react relatively slowly."

Read more about this topic:  Nintendo DSi, History

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