Thursday, February 25, 2010

Super Mario? Meet Shakespeare.

Not only do we have e-books and vooks, but another media is jumping on the book biz bandwagon--video games.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that Nintendo plans to add a book reader to its DS handheld device:

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Nintendo Co. is putting William Shakespeare and Mark Twain alongside “Super Mario” with its new handheld game device.

The Kyoto-based maker of the top-selling Wii console introduced the DSi XL handheld video-game player in the U.S., adding a book-reader similar to products from Apple Inc., Inc. and Sony Corp.. The device will be released on March 28 and cost $189.99, Cammie Dunaway, executive vice president of sales and marketing for North America, said today at an event in San Francisco.

The player, which has a larger screen than the company’s current model, will double as an electronic reader when Nintendo introduces “100 Classic Books” in June. Nintendo is facing increasing competition from Apple Inc. for mobile-game players. Apple’s iPad, to be released next month, will function as an e- reader and have games from makers including Electronic Arts Inc.

Nintendo said after introducing the DSi XL in Japan in November that the product had a wider market potential, especially with people ages 25 and up. The company is the largest maker of portable game players, with total DS shipments of 125.1 million units through last year, according to a Jan. 29 conference call.

The “Classic Books” title will be released on June 14 and will cost $19.99, Nintendo said. The DSi XL screen is almost double the size of other DS models and has wider viewing angles so it’s easier to watch a person play.

“It’s not really about trying to take on the e-book market,” dunaway said in an interview. “It’s just one more way to enjoy your device.”

Read the rest of the article HERE

I'm not sure how I feel about these "Look, we can do everything!" devices--basically, you're just carrying a little laptop around with you, instead of your former gaming device or e-reader. These types of advances--unnecessary as they may be--do open up some opportunities. Mainly, it encourages more demographics to actually read, even if it is on their Nintendo.

And I guess there's nothin' wrong with that.

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