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Nintendo cuts DS prices in Japan

All models reduced in price as Nintendo introduces three new colour DSi XL SKUs

Price cuts for all three models of the Nintendo DS are to be made in Japan, as three new hardware colours for the Nintendo DSi XL are also introduced.

From June 19 the price of the DSi XL in Japan is to be cut from ¥20,000 (£148/$218) to ¥18,000 (£133/$196). The standard DSi will also see a drop from ¥18,900 (£140/$206) to ¥15,000 (£111/$164).

The DSi Lite will no longer be given any recommended price by Nintendo, with retailers likely to significantly reduce it from the current ¥16,800 (£125/$183) standard.

The three new colours are referred to simply as Yellow, Blue and Green and their bright primary colours stand in contrast to the more subtle colours of the original releases in Japan (Wine Red, Dark Brown and Natural White).

Although the Nintendo DS is still the best-selling hardware in the West and in Japan, sales have been seen to slow in recent months. Nintendo's primary answer to this issue appears to be the introduction of the new 3DS portable at E3 this month, although the standard DS models are likely to be sold in parallel for some time.

The Nintendo DSi XL, known as DSi LL in Japan, has been primarily aimed at an older age group and the new colours may signify an attempt to appeal to a younger demographic. Although they are functionally identically to previous models new hardware colours have repeatedly been shown to have a large positive effect on sales, for both Nintendo and Sony.

Nintendo may also feel the colours are necessary given the relatively mild market impact of the DSi XL itself, which unlike the DSi introduces no new functionality beyond a significantly larger screen.

No Western release for the new XL colours have been announced, nor any indication that the price cuts will be replicated outside of Japan.

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David Jenkins