The NEW Nintendo DS

The DSi is sleeker, simpler, and more functional than its predecessor

New Nintendo hardware! The DSi is much the same as the DS Lite in terms of graphics, sound and control options, but has snazzy new extras. A pair of cameras! Extra RAM! Built-in internal storage space (just like the Wii)! A host of software innovations! All these additions help make it a lot more than the sum of its parts…

The hardware

Slim and wide
The DSi is marginally thinner than the DS Lite, but it’s slightly bigger in every other dimension. The shoulder buttons stick out of the top a little bit as well.

SD card slot
Plug in an SD card to transfer music and photos to the DSi. This is also where your downloaded content will be stored – hopefully without having to swap it in and out of the console’s internal memory whenever you want to load up a new app.

Bye bye, GBA
The GBA slot has been ruthlessly murdered, allowing the bottom half of the DSi to be a tiny bit thinner than a DS Lite. No more GBA cartridge compatibility means that after almost 20 years it’s the end of the road for the Game Boy brand. On the positive side, DSi owners won’t be getting arthritis from playing Guitar Hero: On Tour, as the guitar grip peripheral won’t work with the new machine.

External camera
It’s just 640x480 resolution, which equates to a puny 0.3 megapixels in digital camera speak, but that’s a lot higher than the resolution of the DS screen, which is where the photos are most likely to be displayed. You can also send your pictures to the Wii Photo Channel too.

Matte finish
No more high-gloss plastic. The outer casing now has a fingerprint-concealing texture, exactly like the inside of a DS Lite. This means that it won’t look like you’ve just eaten your dinner off it every time you touch it.

Battery life
While you can charge a DSi a little faster than a DS Lite, you’ll have to keep returning it to its new power adapter a lot more often. The bigger screens and other new bits and bobs mean it guzzles electricity at a fair old rate. It’s claimed to last 9-14 hours at low brightness and just 3-4 hours on maximum. The equivalent figures for a DS Lite are 15-19 hours and 5-8 hours.

Power lights
Now with 50% more lights! The power light (which is now blue) no longer flashes to show the DS is using its wireless link-up functions. There’s an additional light for that on DSi, which should solve any confusion for people who couldn’t figure out why they had a blinking green light.

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