Nintendo has never shied away from making what some would call “risky” moves, something the Wii has shown us with gusto. I had the classic gray brick Game Boy as a kid until finally the Game Boy Advance did away with the need for any previous Game Boy iteration. But it wasn’t to last, as the Advance SP came out and made me extremely jealous of its backlit glory and rechargeable battery core. And then came the DS, and I was hooked all over again.
The first Christmas the DS was out, I was lucky enough to get it sneakily wrapped in a box with a shot put to throw me off, (no pun intended). I had the Alpha version of the system, so when the Omega came out as the DS Lite, I was jealous again but refused to drop the cash for the definite new upgrade.
Now we have the DSi, yet another upgrade to the DS, but this time we’re losing some aspects as well, and it makes me very sad. The drawing point of the DS for me was the inclusion of a Game Boy Advance slot, allowing me to play Advance games on my DS without having to spend copious amounts on batteries, as well as having it backlit at last. But the DSi doesn’t have a slot for Advance games, eliminating it to make room for two cameras and new internal memory. The loss of the Advance slot was what kept me from upgrading.
But we’re not just losing everything here. We are gaining the use of a new service that allows us to download DSiWare games, and while the majority of them are just fancy clocks, there are a few shining examples of excellent titles. Basically anything listed under the Art Styles logo is considered fantastic, but I still haven’t been convinced to plunk down my money for another full system when my original DS works just fine.
As noted, two cameras have been added to allow for you to take pictures and then dink around with them similar to the Game Boy Camera from the old days. But the quality is roughly the same as a decent cell phone, so the feature is somewhat underutilized at the moment, lacking the drawing power it’s attempting to sell the system with. It also gets an Internet browser, but once more, nothing a decent phone can’t do.
All in all, while the DSi isn’t a bad system, if you already have a DS there’s really no fantastic reason to buy the DSi, especially at $169.99. Then again, if you don’t already have a DS, now may be a good time to give it a try.