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Mark Twain meets Super Mario on Nintendo's e-reader game player

e-readergameshandheldMark TwainNintendoSuper Mario

Three months after debuting in England, Nintendo's Classic Books pack is coming to America. The set will include 100 classic works of literature, including books by Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle.

Another new Nintendo arrival will be the oversized DSi XL hand-held player. Set to arrive on March 28 and priced at $189.99, the DSi XL has a large 4.2-inch double screen and comes in stylish burgundy and bronze cases. What else is new? It will serve as a game device and an e-reader.

Does that mean Nintendo is going head-to-head against Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iPad, the Sony e-reader and the Barnes & Noble Nook?

"It’s not really about trying to take on the e-book market,” Cammie Dunaway, vice president of sales and marketing for North America, said in an interview. “It’s just one more way to enjoy your device.”

But she says a bit more in the Venturebeat video below. "Who needs a Kindle or an iPhone when you've got this?" the interviewer asks. "I don't think anybody does," Dunaway answers.

Readers using the DSi XL, as Dunaway demonstrates, will turn the device on its end. The two screens will serve as a double-page layout, mimicking the experience of holding an open book.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photos: Mario, left. Credit: Nintendo; Mark Twain. Credit: Library of Congress.

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Nintendo is now in the ereader game! Don't know if its big enough to compete with the iPad and Kindle but it should still sell well.

As a former employeee in the video game industry, and, currently, writer of a sprawling 20-page diatribe on the future of e-publishing, I find it odd that the most remarkable thing about my old pal Cammie's announcement here is her choice of wardrobe. I didn't realize the folks at Nintendo were such fans of Tron. That's a Canadian Tuxedo from 2070, and I want one, and I want it NOW.


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