What’s with the new Nintendo DSi

The new Nintendo DSi is out in Japan. I have no doubt that it will come out here in the Philippines very soon. It has new features that will gain some attention, like the camera and the SD card slot. But what do I think of it?

I like the idea of the new DSi, but I have mixed feelings about it. Nintendo has been doing this to us for quite some time now, making better versions of their current popular handheld console. Although previous hand helds only made the system better, not a total remake and adding new features. This is why I have mixed feelings about this system. 

I like the camera feature, it makes a better Pictochat, especially that you can play around with images and faces of what you capture on your DSi. With the camera, I like the idea that it can play music too, although so far from what I heard it can’t play MP3’s but AACs. With the camera and music capability, obviously this will take a lot of space, so the SD card is another nice added piece to it. The online DS shop is a good thing, it makes it just as accessible as the Wii Shop Channel, downloading demos and games will not be erased anymore since they can be saved on the SD card.

Okay, now about my problems about this DSi. One thing, battery life is going to be a problem, its not going to be as reliable as the original DS especially with all the new features packed in. The AAC music format is not a standard, but at least there are file converters out there, but it still is a hassle. The Gameboy Advance slot is totally gone. So, if you want to keep playing GBA games, you have to get a DS, DS Lite or a GBA. Another problem with this is the Region locking of the new DSi games. This is going to be the first on all handheld consoles, from what I remember. Gameboy games, DS and PSP games had no restrictions whatsoever. 

This is a double edged sword though, I like the idea of the system making pirated software useless, but it will kill off a lot of homebrew development. Flash cards won’t work on this one this time around. So far a lot of people have tried R4’s and M3 Real cards and none of them work. Although, it may just be a matter of time until someone works it out. 

Without new software to justify a DSi, I don’t see why I need to buy it. The added camera, music player and the SD slot is nice. Heck, my phone already does those things, so what’s the point adding more music players and a camera? 

This system will need to wait until games do come out that takes advantage of the camera. I know Nintendo will come up with one, no doubt about it, but they should have released a camera enabled game together with the DSi. At least it should justify the purchase.

To everyone else, it’s your call to buy one, remember, the new DSi games will be region locked and its only released in Japan. The US is still waiting another year before releasing it, so no english games for the DSi until next year.

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