Shippin' Out April 5-11: Nintendo DSi

Camera-equipped portable launches busy week at retail including further Chronicles of Riddick, The Godfather II, Ninja Blade, and Rhythm Heaven.

The long-awaited North American launch of the Nintendo DSi is finally here. The camera-equipped iteration of Nintendo's popular portable system hit US shelves Sunday morning, trailing its Japanese launch by nearly half a year.

A new system launch ordinarily means a flood of new games at retail, but the DSi's exclusive debut lineup is available strictly through Nintendo's DSi Ware downloadable store. However, the new-fangled system will play the newly released DS game Rhythm Heaven just fine.

On the non-portable front, things are looking grim in tone, if not in quality. The M-for-Mature-rated EA game The Godfather II puts players in the thick of the cinematic storyline, while Starbreeze Studios' The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena takes the original Escape From Butcher Bay and amps it up for the current-generation systems with extra single-player content and new multiplayer action. Both games are set for release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

PC users can also look for Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, the second stand-alone expansion to Relic Entertainment's critically acclaimed real-time strategy game. As might be expected from an expansion, Tales of Valor includes more single-player campaign missions, as well as new units, multiplayer modes, and maps.

For gamers who like real time but prefer action to strategy, there's the Xbox 360-exclusive Ninja Blade. Developed by From Software, Ninja Blade puts players in the tabi of a modern-day shadow warrior on a quest to cleanse Tokyo of a legion of monstrosities.

The PSP is also getting a bit of Japanese flavor this week in the form of Dragon Ball: Evolution and Hammerin' Hero. The former is a fighting game tie-in for the upcoming feature film starring Chow Yun-Fat and is based on the popular animated series. The latter title, published by Atlus, is an old-school beat-'em-up starring a hero who uses his massive mallet to crush corporate greed.