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Monday, February 23, 2009

DSi: Do I want?

Nintendo DSi is going to be released in North America on April 5, 2009.

Overall, it's a small upgrade from the DS Lite. A few nice additions like camera(s), SD card slot, slightly bigger screens and AAC music playback.

I've read that so far only the black and (lavender?) blue colours are set for North America release. No white??? Odd.

For me, it's a fairly safe bet that I will be passing on this update. From what I can see, the biggest draw of the DSi is the "i"... even though Nintendo hasn't said what that stands for, I take it to mean "internet"-- specifically, downloadable content through Wi-Fi.

Yes, there's the 2 cameras that could open up possibilities for future games to use them. But if you were a games developer, knowing that only a relatively small portion (even if the DSi will sell like hotcakes which it probably will) can possibly use the camera support... would you make a game that cuts off a large portion of your possible sales? We already know that answer from the Wii-- specifically the Wii Balance Board. It's been out for a year, and there are (very) few games that offer Balance Board support.... and of those few that support the Balance Board, how many of them are *good* games? Leaving a very slim selection. As nice as the feature is, the DSi's camera isn't a huge draw for me.

Awwww, how can you not love it??

AAC music playback: I don't have iTunes, I can count the AAC music files I have on one hand. It pisses me off that Nintendo has chosen to support AAC *over* MP3. I know that AAC is a technically better codec than MP3, but my PSP can play *both*. I don't want one over the other (unless it's mp3) So that DSi feature sucks for me.

DSiWare/SD card support: The SD card is used for music/photos in the DSi (the DSi has onboard 256MB storage too) but the main use will be for games downloaded from the Nintendo Store, DSiWare. Personally, I don't have Wi-Fi, so I can't make use of this feature.

Downloaded games look like the future of handheld gaming (ugh?).... the iPhone seems to be leading the way with Sony and Nintendo playing catch-up.... I'm sure Nintendo's relying on it's past history and brand to keep their edge while they try & figure out how to deal with the changing landscape of the handheld market.... and the DSi is their stopgap measure.

I do really like the idea of slightly bigger screens, though the resolution is the same. So I don't know how much better things will *really* look, but I figure it will still be a *bit* better.

Comparison shot between the DSi & DS Lite.

The big thing for me is, you know how when a new PSP game comes out everyone posts on forums, "I've got to dust off my PSP..." or "My PSP's gathering dust..." well, that's pretty much how it is with my DS Lite. I really like the DS Lite, but honestly, I haven't played it since early January when I bought those 2 games for it (Custom Robo & Sonic... haven't even tried Sonic yet) It's fun, but....... I use my PSP way more because it does more than just games. Today I'm going to be playing some Force Unleashed, then watch an episode of EP Daily, and listen to music on it. The DSi goes a bit of a step towards being able to do all that but it doesn't (natively) play video, and like I said about the AAC-only support....

I'd consider the DSi if my DS Lite broke.

*slightly related: PSP-3000: Do I want?*


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