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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. Awesomegamer // October 10, 2009 at 7:17 pm // Reply

    Hey heavymetalmetallica, Do you have an allowance? If you do ask your parents for an advance!

  2. Awesomegamer // October 10, 2009 at 7:09 pm // Reply

    I love my DS lite but I’m wondering, should I get a DSi or should I stick with my Metalic Silver DS Lite?

  3. baltimore 101 // October 10, 2009 at 7:03 pm // Reply

    I really like the DSi but it has less time to play so that’s a ripoff.

  4. The DSi will become boring !

  5. Pokemon Hacker // October 8, 2009 at 9:02 am // Reply

    I agree with dsink. People seem to think that this is a waist of money, but I think that the dsi has much better games than the PSP.

    P.S. I wrote this on my dsi.

  6. the DSI looks cool but no game boy games!?! I still play super mairo Bros. it came out in 1997.


  8. i wrote this on my dsi;)

  9. the dsi is worth the sacrifice if you have a gameboy advance, gameboy advance sp, or gameboy micro there are tons of apps that its predessesor ds, doesn’t

  10. I’ve always wanted a DSi! i like the camera idea.


  12. DSI ‘s are fun to play with

  13. Pokemon Hacker // August 27, 2009 at 7:21 pm // Reply

    Hey perdo, If you want to get on the internet hook up your WiFi and go to the DSi shop to download it for free.

    P.S. You have to agree to something and it will ask you to sign in but you don’t have to. Tell me if you have any problembs:)

  14. Pokemon Hacker // August 27, 2009 at 7:07 pm // Reply

    I got one of these a week ago and I love it!!! My ds lite broke, so I got this. My advise is to get one of these.

    Also can sombody tell me if I can get a flash player on my dsi and how to do it?

  15. Pokemon Hacker // August 27, 2009 at 6:48 pm // Reply

    I got one of these a week ago and I love it!!! My ds lite broke, so I got this. My advise is ti get one of these.

    Also can sombody tell me if I can get a flash player on my dsi and how to do it?

  16. The nintendo dsi is the coolest thing ever.

  17. cool features

  18. I got one for my birthday

    i can not connect to the internet

  19. i really want one!!!!!!!!!

  20. sony informer // August 25, 2009 at 6:12 am // Reply

    dsi rock the rule too im buying one today

  21. !!!!!!!!! says // August 25, 2009 at 6:11 am // Reply

    dsi rule all u hecklers just will not try it!
    The dsi rocks i bought mine a while ago and
    it still works like its brand new!!!!!!

  22. No gps man says // August 25, 2009 at 6:08 am // Reply

    buy a dsi
    no really psp and psp go LAME!
    but dsi is great and besides psp has no pokemon or mario,link,kirby,sonic etc. games and those r the best u can get

  23. that is cool

  24. dsi stinks! // August 19, 2009 at 1:44 pm // Reply

    dsi is just a wast of money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  25. I really want one.

  26. sony informer // August 5, 2009 at 2:41 pm // Reply

    don’t waste your money psps are 100% better go sony!

  27. If I win I would be very happy because I was going to buy one my self

  28. i m really want one so i guess i will get one

  29. sony informer // August 2, 2009 at 4:00 pm // Reply

    save your money. get a psp they have way more funcutions and have great game graphics.also psp go is coming out in october.

  30. I wanted a dsi ever since they came you can make fun of your friends with the cam, search the web and you can use your ds games.

  31. Pokemon Fanatic // July 28, 2009 at 10:02 am // Reply

    ok we all know there is no game boy slot but hey the can make those games into the shop and if they dont pokemon lovers, THERE IS POKEMON PLATINUM FOR DS SO GO NUTS LETS ALL GET A DSI sheesh

  32. haevymetalmetallica!!!! // July 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm // Reply

    I’ve always wanted a dsi!! the great part is the cam!!!! i am saving and selling my stuff like pokemon and games!!!! especially if i loose!!!!

  33. Master Cheif // July 19, 2009 at 6:34 pm // Reply

    I don’t really see anything great about the DS-i all there is, is camera, music, and a store. And there is disadvantges of buying one like less time to play and NO GAMEBOY GAMES!!! that is why I will never buy one DS is way better than a DS-i!

  34. Awesome! I want one for Christmas or sooner!

  35. None of ur business // July 18, 2009 at 9:12 am // Reply

    Nice reveiw u should right consumer reports

  36. None of ur business // July 18, 2009 at 9:09 am // Reply

    Nice Reveiw have u tried consumer reports lol
    no really lol

  37. yea i no i luv all of nintendo products

  38. garrett333 // July 17, 2009 at 7:48 pm // Reply

    the dsi is the worst idea from nintendo yet.

  39. I Am A Master At Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga

  40. wow cool

  41. i am like a pokemon fananic but i will give up my old pokemon games for game boy any day to get a dsi i am a girl but would want it in black my bitrthday is in a week in a half my parents might get it if not i have back up plalns

  42. cheese man // July 10, 2009 at 12:53 pm // Reply

    I really like my black dsi. it has great graphics and i hope one of you lucky contestants wins it.

  43. the dsi rocks

  44. I’m on my dsi right now and it’s totaly worth selling your old ds for!

  45. Nintendo is trying (empasis on trying) to make a PSP. Its whole online store and multimedia capabilities are just a nintendo version of PSN, and sort of a joke. The SD slot and cameras are nice, but lack of a Gameboy slot removes a lot of compatability. I think it would be a better idea to wait and get a PSP Go.

  46. It’s so cool !I love how it goes!


  48. THE BEAST // July 6, 2009 at 4:33 pm // Reply

    im writing this on my new dsi. just wanted to tell you guys this ds rocks my socks off !!!

  49. Pokemon master Avery // July 3, 2009 at 4:42 pm // Reply

    I really want dsi so if you could help me win i would be very happy if you could help
    Pokemon master Avery

  50. i’m saving my money for the dsi if i still loose

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