Siliconera Speaks Up: The DSi

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Nintendo fans may probably know this already, but the DSi is being launched this week. With its five brightness settings, two cameras, and 12% smaller size, it’s an improvement to the DSlite. But are the improvements worth it? What would convince you to get a DSi?

 

Jenni: While I joke about a Square Enix announcement of a Before Crisis DSi port being all the motivation I need to pick up a DSi, it’s a bluff.

I’m completely satisfied with my DS lite, and have no desire in the DSi at all. The Japanese DSiware I’ve seen doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t need a camera or camera games. (My unused PS2 Eyetoy can back this up.) The internet options aren’t appealing either. And when it comes to music, my iPod and cell phone have me covered.

Even if they announced a DSi Virtual Console, with rereleases of old GB, GBC, GBA or even Game Gear games, I’d turn it down. I still have working GBA SP, Game Gear and Neo Geo Pocket units, so I don’t need to pay more money for games I already own.

The DSi is a nice novelty and option for people who don’t own a DS yet, but it looks like there’s nothing it offers that I want.

 

Spencer:I have a Japanese Nintendo DSi, but I got it as a present. I wasn’t sold on the new hardware when I first saw it because the only DSi exclusive games so far are on DSiWare. If I’m going to upgrade or purchase a new system there has to be at least two or three games I want to play. PM Studios told us DSi enhanced carts are coming months ago, but none have been officially announced. The DSi has a hole-in-the-bucket problem. Developers don’t have an incentive to make a DSi game since they can stick to making games for the regular DS and its much larger install base. And without software supporting the new platform why should anyone upgrade to a DSi?

Now that I have a DSi I appreciate the larger screen, clicky D-pad, and Moving Memo Pad. When rotating through multiple RPGs the memo pad is great for jotting down notes on what to do next so you don’t forget. I like Ishaan’s idea of installing DS and DSi games on an SD card, but that sounds like a pipe dream. As Jenni suggested, Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII would be a killer app and the system should be able to pull it off. Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII uses a cell phone’s camera to pick up colors for spells. The DSi has a camera and Square Enix isn’t opposed to porting mobile phone games so…

 

Louise: I’m with everyone else here. Until they release a game that makes killer use of the DSi features over the DS, I’m going to hold out on buying one. It’s great the screen is bigger and the size is slightly smaller, but with the current economic climate, I’d rather save my money for something else. When the DSlite came out, upgrading from the DSphat was a no-brainer. The Lite was sleek, brighter, and a lot lighter. Between the DSlite and DSi, there’s not that big of a difference.

I would be really surprised if Nintendo allowed loading multiple games onto one SD card. If they actually did that, which I highly doubt, I’d buy a DSi just so I don’t have to lug all my games around with me as well as support their position. If they’re just going to use the SD slot for MP3s and videos, then I’m not that interested. I have smaller gadgets that do that better.

 

Ishaan: As far as games are concerned, the ability to copy games to the SD card and not have to lug a dozen DS carts around with you. Also, good DSi-specific features in “enhanced” carts. Fixing the typically broken DS Wi-Fi would be nice, too.

In the media functionality aspect, enabling video-chat at some point and enabling MP3 playback would be a godsend. I also find it very hard to understand why I can’t send pictures to people on my DSi contacts list over Wi-Fi. DSi has a ton of potential, but it’s Nintendo’s responsiblity to tap into it and give those of us on the fence a reason to upgrade.

Also, I’m going to have to say I want to see Before Crisis on DS just so I can witness the total meltdown that takes place after the announcement. It won’t be nearly as good as the Final Fantasy XIII one, but I’m counting on the FFVII brand to pull it off.

Louise Yang