New Console – Nintendo DSi Launch Video
The Nintendo DSi system has been the source of much contention ever since it was first announced. For many, the system represents only a marginal shift or upgrade, and boy do they have a point. For the most part, the DSi is a DS Lite with no gameboy slot. If you’ve got a collection of DS games that’s about all the Nintendo DSi is for you at the moment. It does, however, offer some cool new features. Chief among these is the DSiWare download service, which is the functional equivelant of Nintendo’s WiiWare service, but portable.
The system supports SD cards (though why not MicroSD instead? I have no idea), will playback your music files, browse the web, and has slightly larger screens to boot (3.25″ each for a grand total of 6.5″ of screen space).
I suppose it isn’t too peripheral to add that the system also ships with two cameras, one facing toward the player and another facing out from the system’s lid; it’s probably these cameras that add the most potential for cutting new edges in game design. However, as was the case when the original DS launched with touch screens, I’d be hard pressed to tell you what the hell those games might be like or how they might use the cameras in creative ways. The system itself ships with a number of different features to let you do photo manipulation, including 11 different lenses (which I presume are effects) and tools to warp or color adjust your photos.
Personally I think it’s a little difficult to imagine a way to justify the purchase, as the new DS ships at a somewhat high $169.99, which I believe has been set purely as a measure to ensure the DSi doesn’t canibalize sales of the DS Lite, which has not been discontinued. When it reaches the price of the current model, $129.99, I could probably see picking one up. Hopefully by then there will be some compelling downloadable content and games that require the new features in the hardware.