Yes, the DSi was released in North America today, and in Europe a full two days ago. What does this mean for you readers? It means that you can go out and buy, buy, and buy! Do you really have a choice? Yes – but not if Nintendo has anything to say about it. Read on for more info about the latest DS iteration.

I’m sure you all know by now that Nintendo will be phasing out normal DS games with DSi-enhanced games, and then later DSi-only games. Plus, if you don’t know, Spirit Tracks was basically confirmed to be DSi-enhanced, but any number of features could be added to the game at its current development stage.

By far the largest change to Nintendo’s iconic handheld system, aside from the cameras, is the loss of the GBA cartridge slot. Although the internet has raged about this, we can accept that Nintendo is finally moving on. If you want to play your GBA games, you’re probably better off retaining your old DS Lite, or using a GBA SP. The other changes are mostly for the better; the screens are bigger than that of the DS lite, which is a nice improvement. You know what they say about handhelds with big screens right?


The DSi compared to the DS Lite.

The DSi also has SD card support, so you can save downloaded items, photos, and music onto your system. Yes, I did say music! The DSi supports AAC (and only AAC, so don’t go trying to load up MP3’s). In fact, not only can you just listen to you music, if you’re really bored you can can mess with the pitch and tempo of what you are listening to as well.


Pitch-tempo modulator on the DSi.

Of course, the big feature of the DSi is its twin camera system – one on the outside of the system and one on the inside. Both cameras are VGA (0.3 megapixels) in resolution. You can edit your photos as well as compare pictures side by side, right on the DS system. But why two cameras? We all love to take self portraits, but a camera on the outside of the DS clamshell is counterproductive to this need, and so the inner camera was born.

Nintendo also announced DSiWare and the DSi Shop when the console was originally unveiled. When you purchase the device, you receive a complimentary 1000 DSi Points, but beware – spending money on this thing might be just as addictive as wasting it away on the Wii Shop Channel. They will also have a virtual console of sorts where owners can download Game Boy games (rich Game Boy owners rejoice!), and, of course, there will also be a web browser for download so you can browse the internet wherever there is wi-fi.

Is this system really worth it for the addition of the camera and larger screen, at the expense of a GBA slot? It’s all a matter of opinion, so we’d love to hear what you think of the DSi in the comments below.

Related Topics