News has come out that Nintendo is sneaking into the e-book reader market via a back door, their portable DSi XL. The plans include to sell e-books by way of game cartridges for the handheld.
The first e-book cartridge that will be made available is entitled “100 Classic Books”, that contains classic books from William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and others.
Nintendo’s VP of marketing, Cammie Dunaway, has said to Bloomberg they are not trying to get a piece of the E-reader market. But to me, by offering cartridges with e-books their actions say different.
The main update between last years DSi and the DSi XL is the larger 4.2 inch screen, this should make reading E-books easier on the eyes. The DSi XL went on sale in Japan this past November, and is planned to be available in the US at the end of March 2010.
In my opinion, bundling games for download via Nintendo’s DS Game Shop would be a better and easier method of purchasing E-books than cartridges. With an over the air purchase and quick download over WiFi, they could compete on a level playing field with the iPads and Kindle’s of the E-book industry. But either method via cartridge or download the market for e-books on DSi potentially could be huge, considering the current installed DSi userbase of approximately over 3 million.