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Nintendo: Our DSi is not an iPod Competitor

Nintendo is bringing its wildly popular DSi handheld to North America on April 5th. With two cameras and the ability to store and play music, some may think the device is trying to compete with Apple's iPod or even mobile phones. However, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata says that is simply not the case.

In a conversation with Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, Iwata brings up the DSi, and why some think it’s trying to compete with music players and cell phones. "When you try to do something new, objections are sure to appear," said Iwata. "Preconceived notions regarding features such as cameras and music players have become entrenched because of existing products, so when you try to explain something new, it can be next to impossible with words alone to draw a distinction with previous products." Miyamoto agrees, saying the final product, the DSi itself, is completely different from the offerings it’s compared to.

Iwata and Miyamoto may be reiterating the obvious to some. However, Iwata also touches on the fact that whenever a competition angle can be exploited in the tech industry, it always is. "Nintendo doesn’t have any intention of directly competing with existing products," said Iwata, "but the mass media has a tendency to portray everything as a rivalry between opposing companies."

The cell phone comparison may be a stretch, but there is no doubt that Nintendo put a lot of effort into the music functionality of the DSi. In the same discussion as quoted above, Iwata touches on how the DSi utilizes the two screens and touchscreen functionality to better organize your music. Iwata also explains how the user can make playlists based on favorite songs. With those kinds of features, saying that the DSi won't be a competitor in the digital music sector is simply not true. People may not be trading their iPods in for a DSi anytime soon, but if you want some music to listen to while on the subway, why bring two devices when you can play MarioKart and Zeppelin on one?

If Nintendo is facing any competition, it may be from Sony. The company has yet to deny any rumors regarding a new UMD-free PSP.

  • fulle
    I have a little camcorder, smaller than my closed fist. It can play MP3s, maybe its an iPod competitor?

    I have a digital camera... it can play MP3s, maybe its an iPod competitor?

    I have a cheap ass Verizon cell phone... that can play MP3s. Maybe its an iPod competitor?

    I have a fucking USB thumb drive I payed an extra 5 bucks for that doubles as a MP3 player.

    The PSP's a nice MP3 and Video player if you just add a cheap memory card... Is it an iPod competitor?

    I don't know, maybe its just me, but... I don't see any shortage of devices that play MP3s. Frankly, I just think the people that use iPods are too stupid to learn how to manage music without iTunes.
  • Tekkamanraiden
    fulle... just think the people that use iPods are too stupid to learn how to manage music without iTunes.
    I so agree.
  • JimmyJimmington
    wifi + web browser + custom apps like ebook readers. This is an iPod touch with a new interface, expandable memory, and much better hardware. Oh yeah, it's also cheaper.
  • HVDynamo
    Or Maybe people that use iPods and iTunes just like the convenience of it, did that ever occur to you, I honestly have no interest in this new DS, my DS Lite and my old 3rd gen ipod serve all my needs in that department.
  • vaskodogama
    fulle Frankly, I just think the people that use iPods are too stupid to learn how to manage music without iTunes.yeah, one THUMBS UP for you, but come on, ipods are stylish! I hate iTunes too! because of it's bad music managing and bad performance on windows!
    still i miss my old creative mp3 player!
  • captaincharisma
    the DS is far from an Ipod competitor i have used my DS light as an MP# player before and its just too big and clunky for it to move around with. was happy when i replaced it with an ipod nano and use a mix of mediamonkey and winamp to manage music on it instead of polluting my system with itunes and quicktime
  • nelson_nel
    I feel like posting this here because it has no place being here, but did anyone else notice that Apple gets 3 "news" articles (not counting this one) about the new desktops and mac mini, but Windows can come out with 10000 versions of Windows and won't ever get 3 articles about its official release. THG smells...

    And yes, I was very happy to post off-topic!
  • hellwig
    My GPS has an MP3 player too, that must make it an iPhone competitor. People will buy the DSi for games first, everything else second. Most people buy the iPod for the "look at me" factor, everything else second.

    I wouldn't say all iPod users are stupid, but Apple customers tend not to be the most technically capable bunch for sure. I mean, people always say you should get a Mac because its so easy to use. Maybe easy to use isn't the only reason to buy technology, maybe function has something to do with it too.