Friday, April 3rd, 2009

What's So Special About The Nintendo DSi?
We know that there are some of you out there that think, "Nintendo sucks! Why would I want to pay $40 more for ANOTHER DS system that has crappy cameras, less battery life and no GBA port?" We'll to be honest. A couple of us here had slight thoughts of something like this. We thought that maybe Nintendo WAS milking the DS product line. Then, we pulled our brains together, did some research, dissected some hardware and came up with a nice article full of information.
     Now, before we get to the good stuff, I'd like to thank people for bitching and nagging about how sucky the DSi is and how it's a waste of money. I, also would like to thank clueless people for getting me more to write about. A lot of folks are going around saying that because of a stronger processor the DSi's battery life is lower since the battery capacity is about the same. This is completely untrue and we believe Nintendo did a good job increasing power but keeping battery life the same. It's due to a much smaller battery capacity that really makes the battery life shorter, but we will get to this a little later.
     First thing's first. We will compare the three DS versions in the next chart for a quick view of what's going on. We suggest reading everything after as well though, because there is a lot of details to explain.


DS Lite



148.7 x 84.7 x 28.9 mm (5.85 x 3.33 x 1.13 in)
133 x 73.9 x 21.5 mm (5.24 x 2.9 x 0.85 in)
137 x 74.9 x 18.9mm (5.4 x 3 x .74 inches)


275 g (including stylus)
218 g (including stylus and GBA slot cover)
214 g (including stylus)

Stylus Dimensions

75.0 x 4.0 mm
87.5 x 4.9 mm
92 x 4.8 mm

LCD Screen Size

Both at 3 inches
Both at 3 inches
Both at 3.25 inches

LCD Screen Colors


LCD Screen Resolution

256 x 192
256 x 192
256 x 192

LCD Screen Dot Pitch

Both at .24 mm
Both at .24 mm
Both at .26 mm

Battery Capacity

850 mAh
1,000 mAh
840 mAh

Battery Life & Brightness Settings

On: 7-11 hours

Off: 11-15 hours

(results vary)
Lowest: 15-19 hours

Low: 10-15 hours

High: 7-11 hours

Highest: 5-8 hours

(results vary)
Lowest: 9-14 hours

Low: 8-12 hours

Med: 6-9 hours

High: 4-6 hours

Highest: 3-4 hours

(results vary)

Charge Time

4 hours
3 hours
2.5 hours

Pre-installed Software

Pictochat(enhanced), Sound Application, Music Player/Mix Software, Camera/Picture Software

DS Demo Download

Yes (demos will no longer erase after being shut off)

Hardware Features

Two Screens, One Touch Screen, Mic, GBA Slot
Two Screens, One Touch Screen, Mic, GBA Slot
Two Screens, One Touch Screen, Mic, SD/SDHC Card Slot, Two Cameras (.3 Mega Pixels each or 640 x 480 resolution)


DS Game Cards, DSi Enhanced Game Cards and GBA Cartridges
DS Game Cards, DSi Enhanced Game Cards and GBA Cartridges
DS Game Cards, DSi Enhanced Game Cards, DSi Only Game Cards and DSiWare Games (internal memory or SD cards)

Storage Capacity & Type

256 KB of Serial Flash Memory (erases when shut off}
256 KB of Serial Flash Memory (erases when shut off}
256 MB of Internal Flash Memory and Upgradable Through SD Card Slot (Up to 32GB SDHC Cards)

Ports & Terminals

DS Game Card Slot, AC Adapter, Headphone/Mic Headset, Stylus Holder and GBA Cartridge
DS Game Card Slot, AC Adapter, Headphone/Mic Headset, Stylus Holder and GBA Cartridge
DS/DSi Game Card Slot, AC Adapter, Headphone/Mic Headset, Stylus Holder and SD/SDHC Memory Card

Music Playback?

Yes (AAC files only)

Game Card Hot Swappable?

No (must be turned off to remove/insert game cards or GBA carts)
No (must be off to remove/insert game cards or GBA carts)
Yes (DS/DSi game cards and SD/SDHC memory cards can be removed/inserted when on)

Wi-Fi Security Protocols

WEP only
WEP only

Speakers & Sound

Good Quality and Loud
Okay Quality and Okay Volume
Very Good Quality and Very High Volume


One Arm9 Main CPU at 67Mhz and One Arm7 Co-processor @33Mhz
One Arm9 Main CPU at 67Mhz and One Arm7 Co-processor @33Mhz
One ARM CPU at 133Mhz


4 MB
4 MB
16 MB




     Okay, so now we'll move onto some of the details that don't get into those charts. As you can see, the battery is a much smaller battery in the DSi and would seem to be the actual reason behind the reduced battery life. In all reality, we really do believe Nintendo has done a great job with increasing performance, increasing hardware features, decreasing the system and battery size (which is really due to limited space) and all the while keeping the battery life where it is now.

     With the DSi, comes the ability to download games and apps from the new DSiWare channel. A browser for web surfing on the go is available for free, and from what we have tested so far, it's lookin' good. The browser loads MUCH faster and just seems more feature ready. Hopefully they actually use the extra performance and incorporate some basic flash code at the very least.
     The speakers are new and improved as well and is actually something Nintendo seems to love themselves. The volume sounds louder and more rich than ever. The quality sounds even better than the regular DS which seemed to take a step back with the DS Lite.
     The screens arn't much bigger, but the small upgrade is definitely noticeable. The resolution stays the same, but since the size didn't increase THAT much, it doesn't harm the pixels with stretching issues. This does, however lead us into our next point. The cameras.
     The cameras are one of the main things that seem to get bashed every time someone talks about the poor little DSi. "What!? Only .3 Mega Pixels! My phone has a 2 Mega Pixel camera!" Yeah, well think about this. We very much DOUBT that you will be sending these pictures to your mom for X-Mas day (Or maybe you will, that's fine with us). Maybe for fun, but not serious pictures. Come on. Havn't you figured Nintendo out yet? They like to do this with their systems. The release these wacky controls and hardware so there's new ways to create games and their elements. They then try to get developers to learn these new ideas. While all of this is going on, they have these neat little apps and software built in that gets the consumer all happy and giddy. They play around with these things for maybe a couple weeks or months, until they become used everyday with some and forgotten about with others. Then a few months down the road and BAM. This little collection of games is released that really takes advantage of the hardware and controls. Now the REAL games begin. So, these cameras are more to Nintendo than just cameras. They are a new way to make games fun. To complete my point on the camera topic, they are .3MP! Most people laughing at the .3 number are people that have NO idea what that even means. .3MP equates to 640 x 480 resolution, or another words 307,200 pixels. The DS, DS Lite and DSi can only display 49,152 pixels (256 x 192 resolution). So, come on! The damn cameras have roughly 4 times the resolution of the screens! That's good enough for me! I am sure the games at least Nintendo makes will make GREAT use of these. Supposedly, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is said to be a DSi enhanced Game where you can use the cameras for taking pictures and inserting he pictures as skins for game objects. Sounds neat to us.
     The internal flash memory of the DSi looks very promising as well. Not just for DSiWare, but for demo downloading from the My Nintendo Channel. We would believe, that due to the internal memory being actual flash storage now, that the demos should be able to stay on your DSi until you decide to erase them. Since this problem was due to the DS and DS Lite's Serial Flash Memory and not a software issue, we would have to stay the course on our beliefs.
     The pre-installed software on the DSi looks very promising and looks to continue the old Nintendo trait of catering to a wide variety of gamers. Pictochat has been enhanced as well as a music player to play AAC files, a music mixer to mess around with your tunes, a sound app to record sounds and fool around and a picture application that let's you go completely crazy with your snapshots. The picture app has 10 built-in interactive "lenses" as well.
     Now I wana get to the complaints of, "but wait, there's NO GBA port!". Yeah, it sucks. I have a few games that I'd like to keep playing, and I am sure there are some of you that have a huge boat load of GBA games you'd be missing. Let's face it though, I had a HUGE boat load of GB and GBC games that I thought I'd miss. I got over it, and so will you! In all seriousness though, the DSiWare is said to be getting a "virtual console" type deal, but with handhelds. Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance are secretly being talked about, and supposedly confirmed by employees at the DSi showoff for Nintendo platinum members. Rumors have even been floating around now that Game Gear will also show up for downloading. I don't see how Nintendo WOULDN'T do this at least for GB and GBC to start.
     One more thing should be said before we hand over the article to some pictures. We believe this is the next step for Nintendo and is pretty much a new handheld or the lead-in to a new one. The Game Boy color wasn't much of an upgrade over the Game Boy, but it allowed for the beginning of a new technology to be showed off cheap before the real deal came along in the form of the Game Boy Advance. The DS had the ability of playing GBA games, and not the DSi doesn't. This is the official mark of the DS taking the Game Boy line's spot, and therefore leading into the next line to come.
     Okay, now we'll get to some of the pictures and such. Enjoy.

Screen Brightness/Contrast Comparison. Top: DS, Left: DS Lite, Right: DSi

Screen Size Comparison. Left: DSi, Right: DS Lite

Picture of the CPU area of the DSi.

     Well, thanks for reading and as always you can pick up a DSi Memory Bundle from us or if you're one of the few looking to pick up a DS Lite still, we have a bundle here as well.

Let us know what you think with any comments below.

Article by: DarkLinkofUtopia - Copyright 2009

Copyright 2008-2009 VGE Utopa. All rights reserved.

Make a Free Website with Yola.