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Nintendo DS Silver Console
Price Range:$99.96 to $189.97
The Nintendo DSi is a high-powered handheld video game system in a sleek, folding design—loaded with features like touch screen... Read More
The Nintendo DSi is a high-powered handheld video game system in a sleek, folding design—loaded with features like touch screen control for a unique gaming experience. Snap photos with the built-in camera, edit and send them to friends, play back your music with Nintendo DSi Sound, or browse the Internet with the Nintendo DSi Browser. From playing games to just playing around, the Nintendo DSi does it all. Minimize
63 Reviews from Epinions.com
Apr 10, 2009
Bigger Screen + DSi Shop = No Support for Old Games
Pros: Screen size, internet browser, button improvements, and menu.
Cons: No GB/GBA game slot, AAC for music, camera resolution is OK.
The Bottom Line:
Excellent handheld. Camera/music, quality, screen are all great. DSi Ware is so-so and I miss the Game Boy slot a little.Author's Review
I logged 5 cross-country trips with the DSi and it's really growing on me. The camera/music features are surprisingly handy and fun to use. Neither will keep you entertained for hours, but they work like a champ in bridging those 15-30 minute gaps where playing a more involved game doesn't make as much sense.
On the music front, it REQUIRES AAC format. While Nintendo thinks this is a good idea, I am one of those who goes out of my way to use open formats/standards. I'm sure this is a quiet stand against piracy and I think this is a major detraction.
The camera takes slightly better than cell phone quality images. The manipulation features are cool enough you almost want a better camera so you can use the pictures for other purposes (like a digital frame).
Battery life is impressive. It usually takes me 13-15 hours during the course of my cross country trips (podunk to podunk) and the DSi has yet to require a charge. In fact, I don't recall seeing it drop below the first bar. I usually keep WiFi off unless I need it, which probably helps.
Internet browsing is also very good. The DSi works great in those WiFi hotspots where you have some time to kill but don't want the hassle of firing up your laptop or fighting with your smartphone. Speed is acceptable and most sites work surprisingly well. Entering addresses and such is also very easy.
The DSi Ware shows promise, but the software library is pretty limited - 24 titles as of this writing. Most are either applications most of us carry around already or abbreviated versions of other games (e.g., Club Games) I believe the DSi is the PERFECT platform for bringing many of the NES and SNES games back from the dead and I for one would buy yet another copy of the old Zelda/Mario/Metroid franchises just for the DSi.
The unit has been every bit as durable as its predecessor. The surface finish still looks like new. The matte finish is easier to grip as well.
Still haven't missed the Game Boy game slot. I kept a SP around so I could play a few favorites, but haven't dragged them out of the box in a while.
Overall, I'm very impressed. When Nintendo capitalizes on the DSiWare opportunity, thie DSi will be the best option in handhelds today and probably the best handheld ever made.
-----------Original Review Below--------------
I log a lot of airplane time and am often comforted by my Nintendo DS and iPod. The DS is a great travel companion based on the epic battery life, compact size, durability and ample library. The only significant complaint I have with it is the screen size. Nintendo's new DSi offers a significantly bigger screen in a smaller package. Being a sucker for the bigger screen, I bought one. Here's what I can say so far:
1) The screen size is a noticeable improvement. The spec's say it's something like 17% bigger, but it seems better than that. It's flaming bright and very responsive.
2) It's thinner. I didn't measure it, but the thinner size and matte finish means I can put a little think cover on it (vs. the Nerf cover - which I highly recommend) and it will look good for a long time.
3) The speakers have more oomph. Not a lot, but you can notice it.
4) The L-R buttons are much easier to use. The DS buttons were never quite right and certainly didn't match the feel of the d-pad. These are a big improvement.
5) It uses a nicer menu system, Wii-like in execution, and includes a neato software shop. At this time, the selection is pretty lame. If they start putting NES/SNES games on there, I'm going to go broke.
6) It has a SD card slot. I'm told you can put music on it, but I'm thinking this will have some other utility.
7) It has two cameras. I played with this a bit, but so far I'd put this in the neat, but not revolutionary category. Besides, the angle of the main camera will not yield flattering pictures. Trust me on this point.
8) It has a web browser. It's Opera, so it works pretty darn well. I found it faster and easier to use than the one on my Blackberry and I'm psyched to have something less bulky in my arsenal next time I'm feeling the need to check something at a hotel or other free wi-fi zone. Be forewarned, the older software doesn't like the later wi-fi security standards which is a huge bummer.
So far, the big screen, internet, size and L-R buttons are BIG winners with me. The menu system is a plus. I'm undecided on the software downloads, and ambivalent toward the cameras, colors, exterior finish, and speakers.
Most people will wonder if this is the 'right' DS for them. If you like your legacy GB/GBA titles, then the answer is probably not - unless you are blind. If you don't have GB/GBA software (or a GBA floating around), then I think the DSi is the way to go, mainly because of the possibilities and screen size. Time will tell on the other features.
The last item to consider is battery life. The DS was the only device I own that was always ready to go no matter how long the trip went. The DSi is runred to have somewhat less capacity in this area, so be forewarned.
I'm going to log some serious hours over the next two weeks or so (two coast-to-coast trips both weeks), so stay tuned for more input.
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