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Nintendo DS Silver Console
Price Range:$99.96 to $296.99
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
May 21, 2009
Nintendo gave the DS a sexy makeover and added the "i" for irresistible!
Pros: Two digital cameras, wireless web browser, SDHC card port.
Cons: You have to find $169, just sell your old handhelds!
The Bottom Line:
The Nintendo DSi is an evolution in portable gaming systems that anyone age 3 and up should enjoy.
The Nintendo DSi has all the features we could ever expect from a portable gaming console at the time of its release. No other portable gaming console can offer all the fun because they either lack a digital camera or in the case of the Apple Iphone it does not have a mature library of games to enjoy. For the past year, I have resisted impulse electronics buying. I saw the handheld in the store and just knew I must have it. When you see the screens and the Secure Digital card slot it should have the same effect I had, buy it and ask questions later.
The Large Dual Screens
The two screens on this product are big, bright and beautiful to game with. Each screen measures 3.25", compare that to the 3" of the older Nintendo DS Lite. I enjoy these bigger and brighter screens so much, I have been playing Geometry Wars Galaxies non-stop for the amazing graphics the game has. The screen is now much brighter making the detail of every pixel easier to see. The careful observer could also claim that the refresh rate has been improved too.
The System Settings menu has a brightness settings option that will let you adjust the brightness levels between five different settings. The lowest setting, a number 1, will let you keep the system running for almost 7.5 hours. To test, I loaded an Advance Wars Days Of Ruin game and left it in a campaign mode game with the screen brightness at its lowest level. I was able to keep the game going for 7.5 hours. To really test the battery life, I put in the game Electroplankton which features an audience mode that plays music and 3D animations constantly. Electroplankton kept me entertained for a solid 7.1 hours before the system ran out of power. If you read anywhere else that the Nintendo DSi only has a 2.5 hour battery life disregard because those people never tried the lowest screen brightness level!
Recharging your Nintendo DSi from empty to full takes an average of 2.35 hours.
Two Digital Cameras
The Nintendo DSi features two, 640x480 resolution or 0.3 megapixel, digital cameras. One camera sits in the hinge between the dual screens facing the user and the other sits on the back of top screen in the upper right hand corner to allow photo taking of friends or places you visit.
Nintendo's designers built in a free photo utility that allows you to do a number of photo editing operations both before and after taking pictures with the system. When you first start, you are given the choice of storing photos in the internal memory or on your removable SDHC card. If you wish to back up your favorite photos, a built in function allows you to copy the photos to removable storage. The photo software will take photos in the following modes: Normal, Distortion, Graffiti, Color, Colorpad, Mirror, Mischief, Emoter, Merge, Resemblance and Frame. Each of these modes are filled with options and taking pictures with them all could take 4 hours just to see the full capabilities. The great news is that the pictures are in JPG format and highly detailed for their size considering that the console does not have a focus lens. I enjoy copying them to my computer and showing my family the latest trickery I am up to. My favorite feature of the whole Nintendo DSi is the integrated photo gallery that shows your photos in the top screen when you first turn on the DSi. I have a photo of my pool with my dogs inside and a picture of the shade trees in my front yard as the two photos it shows randomly.
The portable gaming system features the capability to expand its onboard disk capacity by adding a secure digital memory card. With the card you can download new Nintendo games directly from the internet or take pictures with the built in cameras. Since the DSi is SDHC compatible you will be able to use almost any card from the small 32Mb cards to the massive 16Gb cards coming on the market now.
In testing I found the following secure digital card was compatible with my Nintendo DSi gaming system: 4Gb Transcend SDHC Card
We wait until last to discuss games. First you can now download games onto this portable gaming console, a first for portable Nintendo fans and a welcome advance for me. Next, you can pick from the broad game library available in the Nintendo DS cartridge. Sony PSP gamers are having a hard time to lately because new PSP releases are few and far between. Nintendo is releasing over three new titles a week with some weeks seeing over ten titles!
Luckily for us, the existing game library is filled with great titles which are begging to be tried on the bigger and brighter screen. Here is a list of games to try: Custom Robo Arena, Meteos, Zoo Tycoon DS, Steel Horizon, Geometry Wars Galaxies, Age Of Empires The Age of Kings, Eragon, Freedom Wings, Advance Wars Dual Strike, Advance Wars Days Of Ruin, Star Trek Tactical Assault and Super Collapse 3.
You cannot use Action Replay DS with the Nintendo DSi.
You cannot put old cartridge style, Gameboy Advance games in this new generation device.
You cannot use older Nintendo Gameboy and Nintendo DS wall chargers like the NDS-002 AC adapter.
For the computer geeks of the world, I found some rather interesting facts about the hardware in the Nintendo DSi. First, the system has two ARM architecture CPU’s now. The main CPU is clocked at 133Mhz which is a significant increase over the older handheld which only had a maximum of 67 Mhz. The onboard RAM has been boosted to 16 Mb and the internal flash memory now tips the scales at 256Mb. An internal 802.11 wireless connection allows you to browse the internet and game online.
The advantages of this new portable gaming system far outweigh the cost of $169. For the price you get removable storage, a place to store new downloaded games, two 640x480 resolution digital cameras with an excellent photo utility, a battery charger, the largest screen ever seen on a portable Nintendo gaming product and an integrated web browser. In short, I am happy portable gamer and encourage you to become one as well!
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