Nintendo Co plans to launch a new version of its DSi hand-held videogame player with a larger screen in Japan as early this year, the Nikkei business daily reported on Tuesday.
Nintendo hopes the introduction of a large-screen version will kick-start demand for the DSi, whose monthly sales have slowed to a third of their peak levels following its launch about a year ago, the Nikkei said.
The existing version has a 3.25-inch screen, roughly the same size as Apple Inc's iPhone.
The new version will have a screen larger than 4 inches, which would put it roughly on a par with the screen on Sony Corp's PlayStation portable game player, the Nikkei said.
A bigger screen could lead to new applications for the DSi, including for reading electronic books and watching videos. It could also attract older consumers by making it easier to view the contents on the screen, the Nikkei said.
The large-screen DSi will sell for 18,900 yen, about the same as the current version.
Nintendo also plans to launch a version of the DSi with more robust anti-piracy features for the Chinese and South Korean markets by the end of the current business year in March 2010, the Nikkei said.
(Reporting by Nathan Layne; Editing by Michael Watson)