Nintendo axed DSi alternative just before launch

Somewhere, in a dark corner of a Nintendo lab, is the company's own alternative to the DSi.  According to the company's global president, Satoru Iwata, Nintendo finalized the hardware on different handheld gaming system sometime in the past three years, but in the end decided to can the project rather than release it.

In fact, claims Iwata, there are "several such examples" where Nintendo have decided to mothball a new design despite R&D investment.  The failing of the handheld console, like the other projects, seems to have been uncertainty within the company as to whether it would not just be a success but a runaway success.

"when we are launching new hardware, the most important is thing is to sustain the momentum. If introducing new hardware won't do anything to do that, well..." Satoru Iwata, global president, Nintendo

Meanwhile, as to the ongoing rumors of a Wii price cut, Iwata claims that no such discounting is on the cards.  Instead, Nintendo will be pushing out a "stronger" catalog of games over the second half of 2009, while keeping an eye on Microsoft's Project Natal and Sony's Motion Controller.  The company describes the Wii's motion-sensitive gaming as its push into a "blue ocean" - that is, a large, untapped market – and will now be watching closely to see whether its two key rivals turn that into a "red ocean" where a small customer base is over-contested:

"We have the greater potential to create the blue ocean market when people are skeptical. So when we realize that other people are coming into [this] market ... there are two things we [can] do. One is trying to intensify the fun nature of something we are already doing. The other is try to create a new blue ocean" Satoru Iwata

[via Register Hardware]