Review by Smitty44

"Is the DSi for You?"

First off, this review is coming from someone who upgraded from the original DS A.K.A. the DS Phat. However, I have also seen the comparisons between the DSi and the DS Lite and will score accordingly.

After receiving my DSi for only 80 bucks through trade ins on launch night, I've been hard at work playing this sleek and handy device. Originally using the DS Phat, the DSi was a huge upgrade. Not only is it a lot smaller, the features that come with the device are outstanding. Its almost a portable entertainment device instead of just a gaming console. I say almost because though the features are a great addition, there is still a lot that could have been done to improve them.

For instance, a lot of people are complaining about the resolution of the camera. I find it to be acceptable seeing how the DSi allows me to manipulate and edit my pictures in tons of fun ways. There also is no video recorder and the music playback can only be used with the DSi open and cannot be played during gameplay. The free internet browser is pretty useful as well though it cannot yet play youtube videos and when trying to open my email, my DSi said its memory was too full to view the page. There has also been some difficulty in the communication between the the DSi and the computer through the SD cards when trying to send pictures to the DSi.

Another concern to many buyers is the lack of a GBA slot. This is completely dependent on the personal buyer. While I myself do not play many GBA games many people still do not to mention how it makes playing games such as Guitar Hero on the DSi impossible without the slot for the frets. But with the left over space, Nintendo has made the DSi much more attractive aesthetically. It is a few millimeters slimmer and a few millimeters wider with a little bigger screen, longer styluses, and a strong, protective matte finish that prevents scratches and drop damage.

As for the button interface, Nintendo has improved the buttons. The L and R buttons are now clicky, the start and select buttons are more appropriately placed , and the power button is really impressive. If you slightly press it, it triggers a soft reset to the DSi menu while holding it down shuts the system down. The DSi menu is pretty neat too. It allows you to easily find your applications and also allows you to move them around to wherever you like. There is also DSiware purchasable online however the selection currently is limited. I have Warioware Snapped! but I can't even play it because of the heavy difficulty it gives to prepare such as having a table, light, and an easily distinguished background from your face but all my rooms have white walls so that doesn't work.

There is also said to be DSi exclusive content to be announced in the future that take advantage of the camera and stronger system. Lastly, the battery is shorter than the DS Lite by 3 or 4 hours however my DSi has yet to run out after a daily charge. So, basically, it comes down to the consumer whether or not the DSi is really and upgrade. If you don't yet have a DS, I highly recommend the DSi or if you still use the original DS. But for DS Lite owners it will be a bit harder decision.

An 8/10 for a quality system that definitely expands the DS experience but misses some great opportunities to compete with other entertainment systems.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/09/09

Game Release: Nintendo DSi Hardware (US, 04/05/09)

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