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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 27, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

    What’s the fuss with the Nintendo DSi?

    Ciara O'Brien

    The launch of a new games console – handheld or otherwise – usually has me interested in some way shape or form.So the launch of the Nintendo DSi a few weeks ago should have had me even a little bit excited, right?

    Wrong.

    The main reason I’m finding it hard to work up any enthusiasm for the DSi lies is solely because , well, it looks a bit pants. Like Nintendo sat down and tried to figure out a way they could persuade you to part with some heard-earned cash this year, so they decided to just tack on some extra features (and an extra ‘i’) and pretend it was shiny-new.

    Epic fail.

    The Nintendo DSi gets a big fat ‘meh’ from this corner. So they shoved a camera into it – big deal. At 0.3 megapixels, no amount of “humorous” or “creative” effect on the camera would make it worth shelling out for that alone.

    Then there is the big bugbear – region locked games. This will only apply to DSi exclusives, as far as I can make out, but on a suck-iness scale of one to 10, it’s hovering around the seven mark.

    But perhaps I’m being unfair. So in summary, here’s what’s different:

    • It’s thinner than the DS Lite – 2.6mm or about 12 per cent thinner to be exact.  Which means you’ve lost the slot for GBA games.
    • The screen has been made bigger. A whole quarter of an inch apparently. 3.25-inch screens are the new 3-inches.
    • Speaker volume and sound quality has been “improved”. Apparently. I’m not really sure if this should actually class as a benefit, because people who play DS Lite’s with the volume up on public transport give me the utter rage. It’s right up there with people who decide that the one hour commute is the ideal time to check through every ring tone on their mobile phone. Twice. 
    • This brings us on to the inclusion of an audio player for the DS. Which is not supposed to be an ordinary audio player. Oh no. It’s designed so you can muck about with sounds. Another thing to drain my battery. Which, incidentally, now last less time than the previous DS Lite.
    • An SD card slot has also been included, for all the audio files you’ll be creating and low-res pictures you’ll be taking.
    • The DSi has an internet browser, which was developed by Opera and Nintendo. Because it’s been tuned specifically for the DSi, inetendo says its faster. there’s also some faster Wifi connectivity, which gets a thumbs up.
    • Nintendo has decided that now is the time to boot the R4 cartridge off its system. Used by some to back up games so they don’t have to haul around four different game cards, there is another use for it – piracy. So not surprisingly, they won’t work with the new DSi.
    • It’s got more RAM – 16MB – and 256 MB of internal flash memory.

    I think I’ll be hanging on to my (almost new) DS Lite for the time being.

    • petee says:

      i’m amazed at how we will buy stuff we already have that’s been tarted up a bit. i have a PSP but only really to watch movies when i’m travelling.

    • Natasha says:

      Why do we need to constantly add things onto a product that is already good. I love my DS but I don’t see the point in adding a camera to it. I already have an actual camera and a camera on my phone so when am I ever going to need to take a photo when I’ll only have my DS and not my phone or actual camera in my possession!!! In relation to the voice changer and photo morph application (I’ll admit I know nothing about the new DS other than what I’ve seen on the tv ads), do we really think this will still be fun after 9 or 10 minutes?

    • Justin says:

      Hello Ciara,
      Thats a great overview on the DSi and I can certainly say that I will not be forking out hard-earned money on minor enhancements product!