Surprise: Nintendo DSi launching in Japan Saturday

The latest handheld gaming system from Nintendo hits the shelves in Japan tomorrow for about $192 just weeks after being announced.

Matt Hickey
With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.
Matt Hickey

Rumor had it the Nintendo DSi, a new, slimmer version of the DS Lite, would ship first in Japan in early summer of next year. But in a surprise move, Nintendo has said the recently announced handheld game system is ready to ship.

According to Michelle Wyman, a spokeswoman for Nintendo, the DSi goes on sale Saturday in Japan for 18,900 yen, which is about $192.16.

The device does away with the Game Boy Advance card slot to make room for a smaller footprint and new features like a VGA camera and an external camera rumored to be 2 megapixels. All told, though, it's pretty similar to the current version of the DS Lite. We should expect to see it in America sometime next year, though how much it will cost, we don't yet know.