The NEW Nintendo DS

The pepperpot-tops of the DS Lite speakers have been swapped for meaty little bass resonators on the DSi. In fact, the entire speaker system is better and can go louder than before. “They may sound unspectacular, but we reckon that they are meaningful improvements,” enthused Nintendo chief Satoru Iwata.

Bigger screens
The resolution is exactly the same as before but the LCD panels are a little bit bigger – an extra quarter-inch diagonally. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it means there’s slightly less dead space around the screen compared to an ordinary DS Lite.

New operating system
It’s just like the Wii channels’ interface. The built-in applications such as the camera, browser, music player and shopping channel appear in a list that you can scroll by dragging a bar across the bottom of the screen. There are loads of empty slots for adding downloaded software too. These will appear as new channels on the screen.

Extra brightness
DS Lite too dim for you? We always have ours set to one notch below maximum brightness, so this is a bit irrelevant to the likes of us, but the DSi comes with an extra level of retina-searing power. The downside is that you’ll pay for it in terms of battery life (and probably your eyesight too).

Internal storage
There be flash memory inside here, and we would just love it – love it – if there was more than the Wii’s 512MB. Highly likely, given the dirt-cheapness of flash memory these days.

Power button
It’s now styled like the one on the Wii remote. You’ll have to press it for a second

or so to turn it off, to prevent you accidentally hitting it while playing a game.

Internal Camera
Points towards your face, so you can snap pictures of your gurning mug for future face-training applications. Video chat, too? Possibly not, given Nintendo’s traditional reluctance to allow voice chat or text communication. The mic hole is right next to the camera, so you could easily end up slathering the lens with gob if you play games that require a lot of mic-blowing.

More memory
There’s an unspecified amount of extra RAM inside the DSi, which will be used to power the built-in internet browser. Presumably software written specifically for DSi will also be able to access this additional space too.

The DS stylus started out about the size of a toothpick on the original model, and has been growing ever since. The DSi version is half a centimeter longer than the DS Lite stylus.