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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.

77 Comments on Nintendo DSi review

  1. The dsi is the best

  2. i very like ds all the dsi,dsi xl,ds lite is 100% very excellent and perfecto

  3. I have a DSi, its white and AWESOME!I also have maybe 16 DSiWare titles in it! I love it sooooooo veryy much!

  4. The DSI has more stuff which makes it better.If you want GameBoy games go to GameStop an buy one for $50(sounds bad but games are $3 a peice which makes it a great deal!)

  5. dsi rules

  6. I think the DS better than the DSi. 70%=DS 30%=DSi

  7. a dsi is a 100% better than a ds.i love to have a dsi i rellay want one.

  8. technolord // April 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm // Reply

    Tell me which is better: the PSP Go or the DSi. Please.

  9. killer snake // April 10, 2010 at 6:56 pm // Reply

    I like the dsi because it has camra flip notes and a dsi shop and on picto chat you press the pencle two time it gives you a rainbow color

  10. iwatch videos of it online, i dont care what coler it is,i want one. i allready have a ds lite and all it does is play games and pictochat

  11. if you have a dsi the battery last longer if the wireless communications are turned off.

  12. I hate the Ds lite because it has the most worst graphics, some of the games for it has bad graphics so I think that a DSI is WAY BETTER than a ds lite so everyone, lets all get a dsi!!!!!!!!!!

  13. The reason why the dsi has no gameboy slot is because nintendo noticed that nobody was playing the older gameboy gams anymore. So you all have to get used to it and just try to enjoy it without gameboy games to play on it. Plus, hert gold and soul silver are out for ds and dsi so we can play a lot of pokemin games.

  14. i want one i think its cool

  15. I think that the DSI is the best system I have gotten in my whole life.

  16. I own one its great

  17. i want to win a wii

  18. I really need a dsi because i never had one so if i win i would be so happy

  19. I havea ds and its better b cuz on pokemon i migrate masterballs using my gameshark b cuz i dont hav a action replay

  20. i dont even have a normal ds

  21. they both are cool i love video games


  23. how do i enter the contest

  24. mario cray person // January 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm // Reply

    I just got a dsi with five free dsiware games already intalled and ready, its in the color metallic blue. its AWSOME!!!! ps i posted this with my dsi

  25. king of gamers // January 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm // Reply

    the dsi may not be able to play game boy games but you can browse the internet.Any more

  26. pokemon platinum // January 7, 2010 at 3:23 pm // Reply

    I want the black one realy realy bad

  27. I dont like DSI!!!! GO DS LITE!!

    • falcon5.0, on the dsi, you can buy games on the dsi shop for a certain amount of dsi points, (also presented on the wii where you need a certain amount of wii points.) Its cool how you can get games from the dsi shop and downloading them on the dsi. So I’d recommend you get it to see what how cool it is. Ok? So if you don’t, then you can get rid of it and get a DS Lite. See ya.

      • dsi-lover // April 6, 2010 at 2:27 pm //

        ya falcon5.0. tom is right. if you dont like it get the ds lite. but ithink that the dsi IS WAY BETTER THAN DS LITE.

      • falcon 5.0 // May 1, 2010 at 1:33 pm //

        I dont care what it can do i thibk its just a waste of money the DS Lite is way way way way better

    • The ds also does picto chat

  28. scribblenaut // December 31, 2009 at 9:56 am // Reply

    awsome i love the camera`s features. i have a light blue one.

  29. Pokemon platnum, diamind and pearl mystery dugeon games are for ds so we can play some games on the dsi.

  30. I finally got a black one and it is awsome, I got Kingdom hearts 358\2 days for it!!!

  31. I really Want it!

  32. Extreme Beatles fan // December 7, 2009 at 7:47 pm // Reply

    Dsi’s don’t sound very cool.

  33. indiana jones // December 6, 2009 at 12:04 pm // Reply

    i will get the blue on

  34. indiana jones // December 6, 2009 at 12:01 pm // Reply

    i like the nintendo dsi

      • Man, the dsi is so AWESOME!!! I love its awsome camera features too. I also like the dsi shop but you need to be conected to the internet, but I’m already conected the wi-fi. So make sure to connect to the internet so you can use the dsi shop and buy games to download to the dsi. So everyone lets all get a dsi.

  35. How is dsi?

  36. I want the blue and black.

  37. Pokemon Hacker // December 2, 2009 at 5:39 pm // Reply

    Does anyone know how to get the idsi browser?

  38. NEVER EVER NOWAY. It has no gameboy slot. I’m not buying unless I can play my pokemon crystal.

    • Ferretyui, maybe you haven’t noticed, but you can’t play Crystal on a regular DS either, it doesn’t accept Game Boy Color games. Just wait a few months after Heart-Gold and Soul-Silver are released, they’ll probably repackage Crystal for the DSi, too.

      -posted from my DSi

      • Yeah, and bioniclekid, heart gold and soul silver are already out (this is also for you to ferretyui). Also platninum, diamond, pearl, and mystery dungeon are for ds, so we should all get dsis.

    • Listen to Bioniclekid Ferretyui. He’s right about what he said.

    • just got heartgold

    • bioniclekid is right Ferrutyui. You acually can’t play crystal on a ds lite either, it doesn’t aceppt color games (like what you said bionclekid). You can play other pokemaon games on the dsi besides just being on crystal. (no affense though ferrutyui).

  39. I wont a Dsi

  40. Pokemon Ninja // November 27, 2009 at 5:49 pm // Reply

    I wish I had the Black or White.

  41. Nintendo Gamer/Pokemon Gamer // November 25, 2009 at 4:18 pm // Reply

    I think that the DSI gaming system is better because of many different reasons. . .
    One, of which is that you can go to the DSI shop channel instead of running all the way to Wal*Mart. Second, the Nintendo Co. is remaking a lot of the older Gameboy Pokemon games. For example, Nintendo is coming out with Pokemon Silver and Gold this spring; and are planning to remake leaf green and fire red. So all in all, I believe that the DSI gaming is a better choice unless you like the original games from gameboy. -Nintendo Gamer

  42. I wish I had one!!!

  43. dsi is so awesome the people who invented it are awesome

  44. Pokemon Hacker // October 30, 2009 at 8:57 pm // Reply

    To dogy: what do you mean by going to gamestop?

  45. MAX THE YAHOO! // October 30, 2009 at 10:15 am // Reply

    but I want to play gameboy :[

  46. if i get one ill never stop playing it!!!

  47. i want one!!!!

  48. pokemon hacher you just go to gamestop.

  49. I wish i had a Dsi so verry much.

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

    DS=60 percent better than a DSi!

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