Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the Amazon Kindle the first device to launch with built-in wireless (that is, cellular data) access? You know, you pay for the device, and then you don’t have to pay monthly wireless access because it’s already included in the cost of the device? It’s pretty neat, I think I can say without too much grief, and is a model that’s been copied by other e-book readers. Now it looks like Nintendo is considering such a model for future versions of the Nintendo DS (and not necessarily the XL, mind you). Exciting!
So Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata, said at a recent briefing that he’s “interested” in the business model (wireless access that’s built into the cost of the device) because it’s new, and, well, it could help expand the popularity of DSi Ware. Right now, to access DSi Ware you need to be connected to Wi-Fi, which sorta limits its availability. What if you’re sitting on a park bench on a warm spring day and want to download Something? You can’t!
You can imagine other scenarios, I’m sure.
Iwata did express concern that Nintendo would have to be careful with such a model because Nintendo is, in his words, an “amusement company.” It’s not Apple in the sense that it can’t charge $LOTS for its products.
Such a move would also give this theoretical new DS an edge over the PSP Go, which you’ll recall only ships with 802.11b access. That’s a bad move on Sony’s part, yes.
Keep in mind that Iwata could have just been thinking out loud, and that none of this will ever see the light of day. So there’s that.