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Nintendo DSi review

Should you spend $169 for the Nintendo DSi? Or will your current DS or DS Lite still do the trick? (Even better: Maybe you can win one. Click here to enter our drawing.)


ds1-200x148The new handheld console is slightly smaller and lighter than the DS and DS Lite. It doesn’t come in a rainbow of colors (yet), just blue and black. The surface is matte, slightly grainy, not soft and smooth. That’s supposed to prevent fingerprints.

But it doesn’t look as sleek as, say, a white DS Lite with a glossy finish. The LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen is a bit larger (by a quarter inch) and much sharper, too. You’ll notice that improvement right away.

That brightness comes at a bit of a price. While the battery lasts between nine and 14 hours, it doesn’t give you as much playing time as the DS Lite, which has up to 19 hours of battery power. Your DSi battery will last through about 500 full charges.


If you need a handheld device that does more than play games, this could be a good buy for you. First, you can use it as an MP3 player by loading one of those tiny SD (Secure Digital) cards in a slot on the right side. You can play tons of your favorite music—up to 32 gigabytes worth. But only iTunes type music and nothing else.

The small speakers are crisper and clearer than before. But they’re not that powerful. So use your headphones for the best experience.

By finding a WiFi hotspot and downloading a free Web browser, you can surf online. Unfortunately, the speed is pretty slow. Plus, you can’t view videos or play online games, at least right now. But it sure is useful for checking e-mail and news.


The DSi sports two 0.3 megapixel cameras. The one on the outside of the case lets the DSi act like a camera for outings, travel and candid snapshots. The second camera, visible when you open the device, is used more for funny apps and playing games. Sure, the camera is fun. But couldn’t Nintendo have added at least the standard 1.3 megapixels to one of the two? What they’ve given you in camera resolution is so ’90s.

The system comes with a couple of software apps that let you change your photo in kooky ways. By manipulating the picture with your stylus, you can make your face funny, like you’re viewing it in one of those fun-house mirrors. You can also make the photo into kaleidoscope. Then, you can share it with your friends who have DSis. Another neat aspect of the photos is the ability to upload them wirelessly to the Wii Photo Channel.


You’ll also use the camera in small, inexpensive games in the DSi Shop online, in particular during a $5 Wario game. These are like the WiiWare games you might have purchased already via your Wii. They download in a minute or two. You’ll hear some pleasant music and watch Mario and Princess Peach fill a glass of water while you wait. There’s a lot more storage space in the DSi for games, too, four times as much as the DS Lite, a very nice 16 megabytes.

The DSi comes with 1,000 free points, which you can use in the shop for two or three games that range from 200 to 800 points each. When you buy points, 100 points equal $1. No game is over $10.


Right now, the games are O.K. or above average. Aqua is like Tetris with an underwater diver theme. But you don’t use the touch screen to play. It’s definitely sweet, but the instructions are kind of hard to find.

WarioWare: Snapped looks like the best so far. It makes use of the DSi camera. The problem here is that my face wasn’t recognized by the camera because my walls are white, the same color as my face. When I tried this against a green wall, it also failed. Hmmm.


The one huge negative about the DSi is that there’s no slot for your Guitar Hero World Tour peripheral, which used the Game Boy slot. It also means you can’t play old Game Boy games. That means no Pokemon, a big loss for gamers.

Nintendo feels that the old games aren’t being played as much anymore. If you still want that option, you’ll have to hang on to your DS Lite or DS. My guess is that Nintendo will begin re-releasing the old Game Boy games as DSi Ware so they can make more money on them.

While the DSi has a lot of enjoyable bells and whistles, you might already have some of these in your MP3 player or cell phone. The Internet and online options for the DSi are the true selling points of this system.

Maybe by the holidays, there will be a greater variety of DSi Shop games that work better than they do now. Unless you’re the kind of person who needs the newest thing right now — or unless you win a DSi from a cool Website like — the holidays might be a better time to consider buying the DSi.

50 Comments on Nintendo DSi review

  1. It’s good but i’ll wait and see if they improve on it at all.

  2. clemsonfan // April 22, 2009 at 6:33 pm // Reply

    I have a Ds Lite. the DSI doesn’t sound so good as my friends said about it

  3. christopher // April 22, 2009 at 6:04 pm // Reply

    Ilove dsi we cant live without it

  4. I hate the idea,i like old gameboy games,and love pokemon games. :{


  6. Super Gamer DSI // April 22, 2009 at 5:00 pm // Reply

    The DS is a lot better.

  7. mo1000000000 // April 22, 2009 at 4:46 pm // Reply

    Compared to the DS Lite, the DSi stinks. I have a DS Lite and I think it is way better than the DSi. The XBOX 360 costs the same amount as the DSi and the XBOX 360 is so much better. THE DSI STINKS! I have closed my case. Thank You for listening.
    P.S. Do Not I repeat not waste yours or your parents’ money on the DSi.

  8. I don’t no it dusnot sounds to good but I don’t have one so I don’t no and what is a GBS

  9. when does it come out any way?????

  10. kwheeler15 // April 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm // Reply

    i love dsi

  11. I think the DSi is graet if u have a game boy advanst (sp).

  12. bobo the monkey // April 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm // Reply

    the DSI is totally awsome. its got cameras and internet and touch is the best handheld system yet

  13. I don’t have one yet but they look really cool, but they cost just as much as a PSP Slim, too much:(

  14. I am probably not going to get it becuse, there is no game boy slots, I mean what is a handheld nintendo product any good without a gameboy advanved slot. Thats just dumb.They probably going to sell more DSlites this way

  15. lego man sasy // April 22, 2009 at 8:56 am // Reply


  16. Xterminator // April 21, 2009 at 8:54 pm // Reply

    Waste of money, nintendo needs to move on to the next handheld console, instead of making small improvements and charging ridiculous prices.

  17. awsome man // April 21, 2009 at 6:14 pm // Reply

    The DSI is totally awsome

  18. the dsi is the best better than a xbox360

  19. I LOVE THE DSI,but I’m going to wait till christmas to get it.I LOVE THE CAMERA

  20. pokefreak13 // April 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm // Reply

    This is HORRIBLE!!! No slot for GameBoy = No migrating on Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum!!! That’s how I got my super-powerful Sableye on Pokemon Pearl.

  21. i already have 1 itz awesum


  23. i have dsi it is a relly good buy it has cameras a sd card slot a wirlless seeker built in a voice recourder with a lot cool sounds. just because it has no dumm game boy slot doesnt mean its not cool cuz it is i got mine for only 89$ so it was worth it i also have a and it is cool but the dsi is the best game system since well ever it has no problems it has everything a boy and girl and adult would

  24. i love it it’s the best and the gba (game boy advaceed) games are bad anyway.

  25. dudebird47 // April 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm // Reply

    pretty cool

  26. cool

  27. My friends has the dsi and he loves it. If you have the money get it because it better if you don’t your old ds or ds lite is just fine. GET A XBOX 360 Instead

  28. camper man // April 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm // Reply


  29. it defintly has alot of ups i think the dsi shop sounds cool

  30. im selling my ds so i can have one they r so cool especially since it haz 2 camras

  31. i have a dsi, bought it on opening night, theey are pk, but they arnt that much different than the di lite, if you have the origional ds like i did, then you might want to upgrade, but if you have the ds lite, just stay with the lite and wait for the next generaion ds to come out.

    – Lewck

  32. never going to buy dat

  33. what does the i mean in dsi?

  34. i want it i want it


  35. i love it i do not have one

  36. Why does everyone act like the dsi is a bad thing, I have one and i think it is toataly awesome. don’t nock it ’till you try it for yourself

  37. I don’t want it very bad. I like my game boy slot to much.

  38. the DSI isn’t even as good as the original PSP. the DSI is just a coppy of the PSP. and all of the games are for 5 year olds. a DSI isn’t worth it.

  39. I lik it a lot ’cause all off the positives but I don’t like it because no guitar hero.:):(

  40. I guess it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. The DS Lite seems a lot better.

  41. it sounds okay but it dosen’t have a GBSin it.

  42. The DSi is totally awsom it can record sounds and take picturs.

  43. it sounds horrible

  44. bobak47///////////// // April 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm // Reply

    I DONT WANT I DONT WANT, theres no gameboy slot!!!!!!!!!

  45. i dont know someone stoll mine so i dont have a clue about it

  46. COOL!!!!!!! I wont one for my birthday.

  47. carl the corn farmer // April 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm // Reply

    theres noway im geting this an x box 360 costs the same amount of money and is better

  48. Gameboy 50 // April 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm // Reply

    I LOVE the Nintendo DSI because it is really awesome!!!! And it has 2 CAMERAS!!!!!!!!

  49. sounds so cool my dad said he would buy me three so if one break

  50. thers alot of positives and negitives

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