DSi Review

POSTED BY DANNY CHOO On Sat 2008/11/01 09:04 JST in Games

Nintendo's new offering the DSi went on sale today and my sample arrived this morning - SAGM (Suddenly Acquired Game Machine) ^^;
I lurve this job ^^;

Unlike the previous PS3 launch and Wii launch which I attended in armor to cheer up the lads sitting in the cold, the DSi launch was uneventful - Brian covers the launch in Osaka.

Most places that were selling it asked people not to line up - and even if they did, all they would get is a raffle ticket in the morning. This shop said they were giving out the raffle tickets between 10am and 12 noon. They ask that raffle ticket holders go back at 2pm to see if they won a chance to purchase the DSi.

I think this is pretty fair and that making folks wait out in the cold like the PS3, Wii and iPhone was quite evil.

Anyway here is the spanking new DSi out of the box. The video clip below shows you what the DSi can do.

Cant remember what the previous box looked like as I usually throw all boxes away unless I know I'm going to sell it. Looks like I'll be keeping my old NDS for a while because the R4 is *not* compatible with the DSi - I've been enjoying playing homebrew games which my friends made and am most sad orz. But I'm guessing that it will only be a matter of time before a patch is out for the R4 or they release a similar device.

I read that the way the DSi boots up is different so a simple patch probably wont work though...

Inside the box - manuals, extra stylus and power adapter.

Lovely. They made the new power adapter bigger.

Very much dislike huge adapters. Dont know the reason but guessing its to cut down costs.

Stylus is just a bit longer than the NDS one - looks like they are going to be able to make more money by getting you to buy new spares. I've never had the need to replace one though.

DSi and NDS comparison. the DSi is just a bit longer.

The DSi takes a different battery shape.

The DSi is only just a tad slimmer. The surface is matte which looks cool but easy to leave fingernail marks on - can be wiped off easily though.

The new DSi has an SD card slot which I thought was going to be cool...

The DSi comes with two built in cameras - one on the cover and one inside.

DSi in action.

The camera feature in action.

You can take pics and have them saved to the SD card or the actual unit. The DSi will save about 410 pics at VGA resolution on the unit.

The camera feature has full of stuff to play with - each icon at the top of the screen represents something that you can do to the photos.

For example exciting stuff like have your face surrounded by hearts. Brilliant.

The photos taken on the camera are managed with a slider thingy and keeps track of when you took the photos too.

The DSi has some functionality to play with music tracks - but they have to be in ACC format. There was me thinking that it would be a cool MP3 player.

When you turn on, the bottom screen shows a series of icons and empty boxes. The empty boxes will be filled with applications that you download. the DSi has great potential (especially with its wireless capabilities and SD card slot) to become a cool PDA but why the restrictions? Will talk about the photo restrictions later on.

The settings screen which include parental controls.

The screen for copying data to and from the DSi.

If you turn on with a game inserted, you will see it in the game slot as shown here. Turn on with the R4 inserted and it will say "you have just bricked your DSi and you wont be able to use it ever again you fool."

Well it was either that or "Nothing inserted in the DS slot."

Yes I do have a handful of original games - this was the last Castlevania game with Johnathan and Charlotte. Been loving the Castlevania series since the SNES version - CM below. Game play for the SNES Castlevania below.

Now going back to what I was talking about regarding restrictions - you cant save images on the SD card and transfer to view them on the DSi and I really don't see why not. The only way you are going to view ecchi stuff on the DSi is to take a picture of it from your display...

What you can do however is to save pics that you took on the DSi and transfer them to your computer.

Side by side comparison. The DSi screen is slightly larger.

The new volume button looks like this.

Gone is the old GBA slot.

Glad they removed the power off button from the side - I used to turn off the machine mistaking that for the volume so many times ^^;

They also changed the adapter shape meaning that I need a new USB charger thingy.

Power, Wifi and Charging lamps on the left. I chose black this time round because the buttons on the white ones turn yellow after a while ^^;

And the usual amusement from Nintendo regarding what you should not do including "don't throw away", "don't put in mouth", "don't pour liquid in it", "don't microwave it" and "don't step on it."
Brian has more closeups of the manual.

"Dont drive and play at the same time", "Dont play on a crowded train."

"Dont attach un-certified objects to it" - I think they mean "Dont use R4."

Changing the battery.

Going over the new UI. Cant wait for a beefed up version of Moonshell - or anything more decent to give me control of my data.

The different things you can do with the camera features including merge your face with another face.

Seems like there is loadsa money to be made in digital downloads and Nintendo obviously want a piece of that. You can buy points which you can then use to download apps directly to the DSi. I have not tired it yet as it asked me to update the firmware as soon as I turned it on.

I'm guessing that they will be releasing firmware updates to nullify any new updates to R4 type devices.

Looks like you will be able to download some over 18 type games too (eroge?).

Interesting illustrations they are using...

And here are the photos taken with the DSi.


You can stretch the camera view and it will display like this in real time.

And you can do very strange stuff like this. I have no idea what I was doing but it looks very unpleasant.

Shot of the desk.

The camera features will entertain Japanese children for hours. Will be interesting to see what games they bring out that will interact with the two built in cameras.

I lurve playing homebrew so dont think I will be using the DSi much until I have a patch or device that enables me to do so. DSi has much potential but just need to wait for the groovy third party apps to come out.