Nintendo's New DSi: Bells and Whistles
Kids (by which I mean their parents) will be clamoring for the newest verson of the DS, dubbed the DSi. side from Mario, Zelda and sudoku madness, the dual-screen handheld is getting more online capability, including an iTunes-esque applications store. However, rumble-pack compatibility is not part of the package.
While not being positioned as a "sequel" to the DS—this is more of a sister product—the DSi has some welcome new features, in addition to being slightly lighter and thinner. The screen is now larger, 3.25" instead of the 3" screen the normal DS enjoys, and there will be two 0.3 megapixel cameras on the hardware, on both the inside and the outside of the case. The hardware will also feature an SD card slot, as well as internal storage to store pictures and move content from the DSi to the Wii. A browser will be built-in, as well as image-manipulation and music playback software. The system will be available in Japan on November 1, for around $180. There is no release date yet for North America, although if the hardware is as import-friendly as the original DS, that may not matter for gamers willing to pay a premium.
The hardware will launch alongside the DSi Shop, where one can download DSi Ware, including both games and applications. The prices are set by Nintendo, and range from free, 200 points, 500 points and Premium, or 800 points. Nintendo will also be giving away 1,000 points with the system for a limited time.
However, the battery life for the new unit is shocking:
On low brightness, the DS Lite was rated at 15-19 hours of life. The DSi gets only 9-14 in the same conditions. That's a loss of 5-6 hours. Higher brightnesses show less battery loss for the DSi, ranging from 1-5 hours less on "high brightness" and stabilizing to a 1-2 hour reduction on "highest brightness."
(I actually don't want one- I'd walk in front of a bus within an hour of switching it on)