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We Should Have Seen The DSi Coming

Game Boy Micro Three years ago when we finally found out the amazing secret behind the Nintendo Wii (then known as the codenamed Revolution) I made the point that we should have seen something major on the horizon.  There seems to be a pattern that Nintendo observes when releasing new hardware.  I believe that pattern is in play once again with the Nintendo DSi, so I've shared my thoughts on the matter over at Kombo.

Consider how the Game Boy Advance moved from its second iteration to the Game Boy Micro and compare that to how the DS Lite will transition into the DSi. In both cases:

  • Backwards compatibility for previous generation dropped.  The GBM cannot play classic Game Boy or Game Boy Color games, while the DSi is losing its GBA game-playing abilities.
  • Smaller size.  Both the GBM and the DSi are smaller than their immediate predecessor.
  • Brighter screens.  Again, both the GBM and DSi sport livelier displays than their younger brothers.
  • Apes features from other gizmos. The DSi seems set to try and take a bite out of multi-function gizmos that most of us already carry each day, what with the built-in music player and cameras. The GBM took a stab at this too with the interchangeable faceplates that were so popular with the cell phone crowd several years ago.

There's one more piece of the pattern puzzle that we don't have yet.  The Game Boy Micro just didn't have enough oomph to slay its previous iteration, the Game Boy Advance SP (2.42 million GBM units sold versus 43.41 million GBA SP units sold).  I'm curious to find out if the DSi can outsell the DS Lite and break the pattern.

(Sales data via Wikipedia, so it must be true)