When Nintendo released the Gameboy many years ago they changed the gaming industry forever. They have recently done it again with the release of the DSi. The Nintendo DSi is a very big step up from the DS Lite. The DSi came out in Japan much earlier than here in the US, November to be exact. The DSi hit stores April 2009 and has been selling quite well with its $170 price tag. The new Nintendo DSI can still play the regular DS games, but it also has some really cool new features. The DSi supports DSiWare, can capture digital pictures, can record audio, and now comes with an SD storage slot.
DSi Look and Build
The new DSi is 12% thinner than the old DS Lite. The new matte finish has a grippy feel to it. The Start and Select buttons are much easier to use because they are now just a tiny bit bigger. In fact all of the buttons have gotten a makeover and are now much smoother to use .All of the cool new features make the DSi much more comfortable in an adults hands. The screen size has also gotten a makeover. The new DSi Screen is 17% bigger than the old DS Lite, but the resolution is still 256 x 192. The DSi come with two cameras on the body. The first camera is on the back so you can take pictures of your friends and scenery. The second camera is on the front which makes it very easy to take self portraits. But remember that these cameras are only .3MP, so they are not a replacement for your regular digital camera. There is also a brand new slot for SD cards which allow you to store games, pictures, and audio. The new DSi is missing the GBS slot, so you can’t play your Game Boy Advance games any more. The DSi also uses a new charger which means that you will have to buy a new car charger. The best upgrade has got to be the new ARM9E CPU which is clocked at 133 MHz, this new CPU has 16MB of RAM. This makes the DSi much faster than the DS Lite.
The new DSi interface has gotten a complete face lift, and it really makes things easier. You will now navigate through a single row of icons. This makes moving through programs very quick and easy. The icons size makes it so that you don’t always have to use a stylus to navigate properly. Meaning you can use your fingers instead of the stylus. When you first turn on the DSi it will take a shot of your face. This snapshot of your face fills up the entire top screen, this can be considered good or bad depending on your looks. When you are on the main screen you can use the L or R buttons to take a picture at any time. When you are in a program you can use the power button as a Home button, which will bring you back to the main screen. This is called a soft reset. This is great until you accidently hit the button during game play.
If you want to take more than just regular pictures then you’re going to want to go into the DSi Camera app. The DSi Camera app has all sorts of cool filters for you to put into your photos. You can also warp pictures of your friends and make them as strange as you want. The only downside is that these pictures are so low res due to the .3MP camera that you won’t be using them anywhere but on the DSi. Another downside is that the DSi only recognizes pictures it took so you can’t edit pictures from other digital cameras.
The DSi audio is just like the camera. You can record and edit sound with the built in mic. You can make you or your friends voice sound like a parakeet or a robot. The DSi also comes with an AAC music player, but it is a low bit rate player. These apps will probably only appeal to anyone over 11 for about 10mins, but the kids will love it.
The DSi takes advantage of the Wi-Fi much more so then the DS Lite. The new DSiWare titles are available for purchase through the DSi Shop. The shop just works. You get a Club Nintendo account with the purchase of a DSi. This allows you to purchase points which you can use to download games. The only problem is that the Nintendo DSi still is just to slow when it comes to the online experience.
DSi Opera Browser
While there where high hopes for the DSi’s browsing experience, it is still just as unpleasant as the DS Lite and the PSP. The DSi still gives you a wide view of the web page on the top screen and a zoomed in version on the bottom screen. Due to the fact that the screen is so low resolution neither view is very viewable. There is no Flash support so don’t expect to go browsing Youtube. Also going to a website with a lot of pictures will deplete the system memory leaving you with blank spots on the webpage or even a full error screen. There is no protection for kids with the browser, they can surf whatever they want. This might make some parents very hesitant to buy a DSi for their kids.
Playing games on the new DSi is still just as fun as ever. All of the new DSi games that take advantage of the camera and audio make the DSi even more fun than the DS Lite. Is that possible? The ability to download games, store photos, and the new SD slot definitely make the DSi worth the price tag of $170. If you want access to DSiWare or you just want a bigger screen, you should definitely invest in the new DSi. Nintendo will be releasing a series of games that are only compatible with the DSi. Nintendo always seems to outdo them self, and they did it again with the DSi.