With the recent launch of the Nintendo DSi into the Handheld market they have also released the use of the DSiWare function. This is a service available to the new DSi which allows users to download games, apps and software directly to the console via a wireless connection. This makes for a convenient and reliable way of keeping your system up to date. All app downloads will come at a price and will range from being free upwards to the top category of 800 points. Points can be bought via the wireless connection or you can top up using a physical card from retail outlets. The points are available for purchase from 1000 points, 2000 points and finally 3000 points. There is a short time promotion for new DSi owners which 1000 free points are received when you first connect to the DSi shop.
The process of downloading is similar to the shopping system made for the Wii. It is accessed from the DSi’s main menu. At the moment there is only a limited number of Apps available but this will expand over time. Currently Nintendo have expressed interest in a variety of projects and one includes the “Moving Notepad”. This will be free to download and is able to make pictures move to create mini animations. You can also add colour and sound to enhance your creation. Another App mentioned has been the ability to check train schedules. In my opinion the DSi creators have obviously taken on board the power of iTunes with their application options which equate to a massive market. I expect they are trying to replicate something similar to take a slice of the pie.
On the face of the DSi store users will be able to select games and choose from different options such as Category, Age Rating or Keyword. A list of results is then presented to them of which they can choose their games. The list only has 12 games at present all of which are due for release soon, as of the time of writing. The majority will be released in the second quarter with age recommendations still to be decided.
The DSiWare shop has a fair chance of revolutionizing the Nintendo DSi and help them make their mark in new market of pod casts, apps, and downloadable media.