Should we expect a Nintendo DSi App Store this year?

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Apps, Apple’s or otherwise, make the world go ’round, and now Nintendo wants some of the action. Allegedly. Apparently there was a super-secret Nintendo developer conference in London last week, and the company told its developers, in so many words, “Please make other, general purpose applications for our upcoming DSi App Store.” So goes the rumor, at least.

It seems Nintendo, not wanting to cede anymore portable gaming credibility to the iPhone—remember, the iPhone/iPod touch can be considered a proper gaming platform nowadays—has asked its developers to come up with said Apps. They can be game-oriented, à la WiiWare, but Nintendo also said to think outside of traditional gaming. Who knows, maybe we’ll see an instant message application on the Nintendo DSi sooner or later!

The DSi’s built-in microphone and camera are said to be key parts of Nintendo’s new, “don’t let the iPhone kill us” mentality.

The DSi is scheduled for release in North America on April 5.

Again, this is all he-said/she-said, so if none of this ever happens, don’t be surprised. At the same time, don’t be surprised if it does happen: as we learned yesterday, some people think Nintendo may have ridden the Wii/DS as far as they can go in their current state. (Remember how the App Store gave the iPhone a second wind of sorts?) A highly publicized, “see, we have apps now!” would do well to keep Nintendo’s name “out there,” as it were.

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