The following is an extensive review of as much of the DSi as possible. The beginning is full of things you may already know, like a brief history of the DS and some of the DSi features like the camera. Some of this you may already know based on research, but I encourage you to read most of it for a more personal and hands-on look.
It is 2004. Nintendo releases a portable system with 2 screens, a system with no “Game Boy” anywhere in its name. Would it sell? Of course it would, for they had created one of the most innovative and spectacular systems of all time, the Nintendo DS.
Fast forward two years. Nintendo releases a second version of their DS, The DS Lite. Slimmer, sleeker, and much brighter, the Lite would also become a mega-hit around the world. Now it is 2009, and Nintendo as released their next DS, The DSi. The question is however, should you buy this system?
Lets start with the new things the DSi has going for it. Most important are the two cameras on either side of the system that allow you to take pictures of yourself and what is in front of you. There are 11 different lenses that change how your pictures comes out, and you can even edit it after you take it. You can distort color, twist the picture around, and even decorate it with cool little things like stars. The camera is really fun to play around with, and is even used in some games. For example, WarioWare: Snapped, a new DSiWare game, is played by putting the DSi down and moving your body around in order to complete the microgames. It feels really futuristic when you first do this, much like the first time you pointed a Wii remote at the TV. The only problem with the camera is that it the quality of the pictures is a little on the…okayish side. The photos I took were not very sharp, and the most subtle movements can make a picture turn extremely blurry and unrecognizable. However, when used still, it is still a decent camera that is easy to use.
There is a sound recorder that allows you to record your voice and save multiple snippets of it. You can also listen to sounds on an SD card, but NOT mp3′s. These must be in AAC format, which is kind of a let down.
The reason I got the DS was neither of these, but the inclusion of a DSi Shop. Yes, just like the Wii, you will be able to purchase new games and download them directly to your DSi. AND, if you access the channel before October 5th, you will recieve a 1,000 free DSi points! This is $10 for absolutely nothing, which I used half of the download WarioWare: Snapped. . Also, there is a FREE web browser available on the shop channel. I found that this browser worked pretty well, you can zoom in and out easily and its relatively quick. I prefer it over the PSP browser because it is much quicker to type with the stylus. I believe the browser on here is the same as the one you could purchase for the old DS’s, but since I never got it I can’t confirm that.
Wow, we’re STILL on the topic of new stuff? Yep, there’s a lot of new things, which is a big difference from the DS Lite, which was just a slimmed down DS with no new features whatsoever. This is why I didn’t purchase one, and was quite excited for the DSi. In addition to the more prominant features above, there are many smaller new features. You can now press the power button in game to return to the main menu, much like the HOME button on the Wii. This is extremely useful if you want to exit out of a DSiWare game and go into another or your DS card slot. However, you cannot switch game cards while the system is on, unlike the Wii. To power off, you simply hold down the power button for a few seconds.
The DSi’s main menu is completely different than that of the DS’s and DS Lite’s. There’s now a scrolling area much like the Wii where you can choose different applications (Wii Channels, basically) and change settings (without turning the system off every time you change something, like the original DS). The DSi can recieve updates like the Wii from Nintendo to upgrade certain aspects of it. Also, you can now change the brightness of the screen from a selection of 5 different brightness levels (with the highest being a tad brighter than the DS Lite, as seen in the picture below). Lastly, you can now see how much battery power you have left on the main menu, rather than the power light just turning a different color unexpectedly.
Lets talk about the physical system itself. It is much smaller than the original DS obviously, but surprisingly it is a little bit longer than the DS Lite, however it is not as thick and feels smaller. The power button that was originally on the inside of the DS and moved to the side of the Lite is now back on the inside of the DSi, but is on the bottom of it and not the top. The stylus holder is in the same place as the Lite’s, the right side, unlike the backside of the original. Also on the right side of the DSi is an SD card slot, which allows you to transfer data to or from your DSi to…well…lots of things, including the Wii and a computer. The stylus is just a little bit bigger than the Lite’s, which is much bigger than the original’s. Most noticable, in my opinion, is the fact the DSi now has a very rough, gritty texture, rather than the shiny and plastic-looking smooth surface of the DS Lite. I personally like it, it provides a litle bit better grip and it feels good.
So what is my final say? I think the DSi is a fantastic new portablel that dwarfs the two before it in sheer innovation and possibility. I would 100% recommend you get it if you want the DSi Shop really badly, because thats really the only exclusive game-piece, or if you only have the original DS and not the Lite. My original DS’s battery was starting to last…not very long per charge, and this creen is a lot brighter and the system is a lot smaller, all +’s that the DS Lite had but now with new features. I would NOT get this system just for its camera or sound recorder, either one you can get by themselves with better quality most likely. I also would be…wary of getting it if you have a Lite. This isn’t a huge improvement in size or brightness over the Lite, and it really comes down to if you really want the exclusive DSiWare stuff. All and all I think this system is very good quality and I am happy with my purchase.
The pictures included are not the best quality ever, and you can probably find some much better and clearer ones around the internet, but I wanted to take them anyway. Some of you may be wondering why I said I didn’t buy the Lite yet have one, it’s my dad’s, not mine. He didn’t have the original DS, so when he wanted a DS we got him the Lite.
If you have any questions about anything DSi related, you are more than welcome to comment and ask and I will try to answer as best I can.