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Nintendo's Latest Plaything

Thursday, October 02, 2008 by Chris Brown

Whoops, seems I forgot to update again. Since I’m sitting in the computing labs at uni with absolutely nothing to do, guess I should think of something to rant about, and since it’s only been announced today, it’s gonna be the DSi! We’re well cutting edge here at CCJAD, we are.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the DS Lite, if not with the original DS. It’s Nintendo’s latest wonder machine, drawing in users by the millions, and filling swimming pools full of cash for the big boys at N to swim in and laugh like maniacs. They’re japanese, what do you expect? But now, despite the first re-design, they’ve decided the money isn’t flowing in fast enough, and have announced another version: The DSi. Not the iDS. DSi. Totally not apple inspired in any way at allllllllllll. As if the accusations of copying the sudden outburst of iPod styled designs being mandatory for everything ever when they made the DS Lite weren’t bad enough.

Okay, I’ll try and stop with the heavy sarcasm here, don’t wanna drown you before I get to the exciting part: tech specs. Why bother re-designing it for a second time if you’re not actually gonna DO anything to it?
At first glance, the DSi looks like an identical clone of the Lite, lacking only the GBA port from the older iterations. This seems to be the only complaint levelled against the new design so far, but speaking from personal experience, I never use the port anyway. If I wanna play a GBA game, I’m gonna be using my GBA SP. Yes, not everyone has them, but with the difficulty of actually buying GBA games now, it’s not really a major fault.
Next up, the physics of the console itself. It’s been thinned out once again, apparently making it more comfortable to use. The main difference in this aspect is that both screens have been slightly increased in size (3.25 inches instead of the old 3 inches), and once again made slightly sharper. Good job, ninty.
So, they stole the GBA slot, and sliiiightly increased the screen size. What’ve they done with the rest of the space, I probably don’t hear you cry? They’ve put cameras on it, of course! Sounds a bit bizarre at first, and was oddly skirted over during the press conference. With a 3mp camera built into the outer case, and a 0.3 interior camera to boot, I’d hope Nintendo have some plans for these, like exclusive games. Which brings us nicely onto...
...the DSi shop! Basically an online store specifically for DSi games and apps, using the same points as the Wii Shop Channel. Personally, I love this idea. They’ve added an unconfirmed abount of flash memory to the handheld to support these downloads, as well as an SD card slot for any extra space you may need. Will we be able to transfer between the Wii Shop Channel and the DSi channel? Again, unconfirmed, but it seems a fairly obvious step for them to take.

So, to round up:

  • No GBA slot

  • Slimmer build

  • Increased screen size

  • 3mp exterior camera

  • 0.3mp interior camera

  • Online games and app shop

  • Internal flash memory

  • SD card slot for memory expansion

  • Built in opera web browser

Sounds good so far. Oh, one last detail I forgot to mention. Apparently this isn’t a replacement for the DS Lite, but rather a sort of companion handheld for it. Whether the general public sees it that way or not, who knows?

P.S. Feel free to send me my advertising check whenever, Ninty. You’ve got enough cash to afford it.

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Anonymous said...

Wow... Nintendo likes releasing new things to make us with the older (and still perfectly adequate) versions feel the need to spend our money....

Mike O'Shay said...

You mentioned how it's not a bad thing that they're getting rid of the GBA slot, because it isn't used very frequently. While I agree, it's required in order ot play certain DS games, such as the DS Guitar Hero ones, and to get certain special features/content by having certain DS carts and certain corresponding GBA carts in at the same time.

And that is a terrible camera. If they can fit a pretty enormously better one into a cell phone, they should be able to fit one into the DSi.