Thursday, October 2, 2008

The new DS: DSi

Have you heard the news? At Nintendo's media event today, the long-rumored new DS was debuted, the DSi (which likely stands for "eye"), which includes, among other features, two cameras. Personally, I think the Wii "Punchout!" is MUCH bigger news, but it's not the reason I'm posting, so I'll save that enthusiasm for another time.

Click THIS LINK for IGN's full story from the event, which includes the other details on the DSi, which include a SD Card slot, built in Opera Browser, faster Wi-Fi, and music playing and sort of editing capabilities. You will also be able to download games to your SD card from a Nintendo online store similar to the Wii Shop Channel. The DSi is slimmer than the DS lite, which means the Gameboy Advance slot is GONE.

The DSi will be available in Japan this year for roughly $180, and won't be brought into the US until late 2009.... since the DS is region-free, I don't know why you couldn't just import one, but I digress.

Now, here's my question... where should I be getting so excited about this handheld? I don't see it as that much of an upgrade from the DSlite, and here's why:

1) Until I see a game that needs those two cameras, I don't want my DS to have them.

2) It's a music player, but will it be a good enough one to make me leave my ipod home? Probably not.

3) The Gameboy Advance slot is gone, but we can now BUY old games and download them... How do people keep falling for this trick? They convince us we don't need backwards compatibility to play the games we already own, then they resell us the games we already own. I still use my GBA slot from time to time, particularly when playing the classic nintendo games I already bought when they were resold to me on GBA!

4) Is it really such a chore to buy the Opera Web Browser for the DSlite?

5) The two handhelds may be apples and oranges, but one of the advantages for the DSlite against the PSP has always been its cheap price. The DSi isn't that much cheaper than the PSP.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to poo-poo technology. But, I like my DSlite. I still use it often. The companies developing for the DSlite are still finding new and fun ways to use the system. And if I have one problem with it, its that there isn't enough in the hardcore gaming area. None of these gimmicky add-ons make me feel the need to change my handheld.

Don't go believing something is a big upgrade just because you are told it is. If these new features really appeal to you, then go ahead and buy a new handheld. I just don't think Nintendo is offering much of an improvement.

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