Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL get price drop

Nintendo DSi units will now go for $150 while the Nintendo DSi XL will set consumers back $170. The price cuts come in advance of the release of the Nintendo 3DS.

Nintendo said today that it would drop prices on two iterations of its popular DS handheld line, pictured here.

Have you been contemplating picking up a Nintendo DSi or a DSi XL? Here's some extra incentive: Nintendo will soon drop prices on both units by 20 bucks. Beginning on Sept. 12, the DSi will retail for $149.99 and the DSi XL – which Nintendo launched last spring – will set you back $169.99. Not bad for a pair of full-featured handheld consoles.

"We know shoppers want to get the maximum value out of every dollar they spend," Nintendo spokeswoman Cammie Dunaway said today via press release. "Our new Nintendo DSi prices make it easier than ever for consumers to access the tremendous variety of games, applications and social tools on the Nintendo DSi and Nintendo DSi XL systems."

A nice spin, to be sure. Although Nintendo has not confirmed it, the price drops on the DS units could also be read as a hint that the Nintendo 3DS launch is imminent. No release date is yet set for Nintendo 3DS handheld system, which will ship with two screens – one a touch screen and the other a widescreen display capable of transmitting glasses-free 3D imagery. The Nintendo 3DS was unveiled at the E3 conference in June.

Many critics have questioned whether the glasses-less 3D technology will appeal to consumers. In March, for instance, a Sony rep suggested that the Nintendo 3DS would likely meet a muted reception on the gaming market. "8- and 9-year-olds playing 3D is a little bit of a stretch given where some of our research is right now," John Koller, the director of hardware marketing at Sony, told the gaming website IGN.

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