Nintendo DSi: Definitely not all it is cracked up to be

Posted by Samantha Rose Hunt

Opinion - With Nintendo’s recent announcement that it has developed a new and better version of the already successful DS handheld, I decided I might do a little research. I enjoy keeping up on game consoles and try to get my hands on new technology early. So, is this new system something I should purchase? Is this the new face of mobile gaming? Let’s look - I can’t be left behind in the technology world.



Though it was a hot topic on all of the major technology boards and forums, this new Nintendo DSi just doesn’t impress me much. It seems to me that Nintendo is moving in a completely different direction with its product line. The new features are so far from what I am used to seeing from Nintendo, it has kind of left me in a state of confusion.

It is blatantly obvious that the brand spanking new member of the DS family isn’t really much different at all. In looks it is pretty much the same. Nintendo wants the DSi to be a complimentary gaming system to the DS, meaning they feel there was no need to change the design.
 
One of the most exciting, and widely discussed features of the DSi is the fact that it comes equipped with two digital cameras. There is a visible 3.0 megapixel camera on the unit’s exterior, and an interior 0.3 megapixel VGA camera that remains constantly focused on the player.

Typically I don’t play games on small handhelds, because I really can’t see them all that well, so the boasting of a larger screen is intriguing to me. Previously the DS had a diagonal screen width of 3 inches; the new DSi is equipped with a 3.25-inch screen, which is actually a pretty noticeable difference.

Well, now you have another option as a mobile music device. But don’t get too excited about that yet. If you are like me, then the majority of your music is stored in the form of MP3 files meaning that they can be used with your iPod, or other portable MP3 player. The DSi supports AAC files. Even though AAC files are said to have better sound quality than MP3s, I do not know many individuals who use this file type regularly.
 
Another new feature of the DSi is the on-board flash memory that can be used when downloading and storing files from the DSi Shop. This feature is similar to the Wii Shop channel, which will more than likely offer tons of new games, and also games from previous systems. This is the only major difference from the DS/DS Lite is the ability to download and play your favorite titles.

A clear negative is the removal of the GBA cartridge slot. Yes, your system is now slimmer and lighter, but it comes at a cost. You won’t be able to utilize cool ad-ons like the fret board attachment for the DS Guitar hero. Instead, your new device will be equipped with an SD card slot and also the DS game cartridge slot, which is standard.
 
I’m a little iffy on my feelings about the DSi. Yes they equipped it with a few more things, but they really could have taken it a few steps further to truly revolutionize mobile gaming. I’m curious as to whether there will be improvements to the sound quality, and to the web browser as those are both features I would love to see upgraded.

With Nintendo slacking in regards to delivering anything spectacular, I can honestly say that this will more than likely be a piece of technology that I am just not willing to spend $175+ on.