Nintendo DSi

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Nintendo DSi
Manufacturer Nintendo
Type Handheld
Generation Seventh
Lifespan 2008 -
CPU 2 ARM architecture processors
Media DS/DSi Game cards
SD/SDHC cards
Storage Cartridge save
256 MB of internal memory
SD/SDHC cards
Connectivity Wi-Fi (with WEP and WPA/2 support)
Online Service Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, DSiWare
Release Date Nintendo DSi
JP November 1, 2008
AU April 2, 2009
EU April 3, 2009
US April 5, 2009
Nintendo DSi XL
JP November 22, 2009
EU March 5, 2010
US March 28, 2010
AU April 15, 2010
Units Sold 10.17 million
Top Game Flipnote Studio
Compatibility Nintendo DS
Predecessor Nintendo DS
Successor Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo DSi is a modification of the Nintendo DS featuring several new improvements and additions as well as a few drawbacks.



Differences from the Nintendo DS

This DSi's primary new features are the inclusion of two 0.3 megapixel cameras facing toward and away from the user. An SD Card can be inserted on the right side of the DSi. The lights indicating battery strength and whether or not the system is charging have been moved to the left hinge with the addition of a third light indicating WiFi strength. Much like the Wii there is a customizable menu screen where one can move around built-in and downloaded applications and games. Unlike the Wii's 4x4 channel grid, the DSi's menu is a single straight line. Also unlike the Wii, the slot for the inserted game is able to be moved.

Other improved functions include the screens, which are 0.25 inches larger then that of the original and Lite models, covered by a slick matte finish. The power button is a circular button on the bottom left of the Touch Screen rather then a rectangular button on the upper right or a power switch on the right side. The power button must be held down in order to shut down the system, if it's quickly pressed it will rest back to the menu screen. Furthermore when changing system settings or exiting PictoChat, the system does not need to reset before using it again. This also allows for hot swapping games while the system is still on. Sound quality has improved slightly with the help of better speakers. There are now five settings of brightness as opposed to the DS Lite's four.

The DSi does have a few drawbacks however. The most noticeable difference is the lack of a Game Boy Advance slot rendering the DSi unable to play any games from that library as well as DS games that utilized the slot such as Guitar Hero: World Tour. The battery length also takes a hit from the DS's with a difference of 5 hours, give or take depending on the brightness setting. Also while the DSi is capable of playing DS games from other regions, it is unable to play DSi-enhanced or DSi-specific games from other regions. It is possible, however to play an imported DSi-enhanced game on either the original or DS Lite models.

DSi Camera

DSi Camera is a built-in application for the Nintendo DSi that takes advantage of the central focuses of the DSi is the added cameras. Users can capture and modify pictures taken through either of the DSi's cameras. Modifications include altering the colors, flipping the image onto itself, and decorating the photo with stamps and markers, much like the Wii's Photo Channel. Users can mark their favorite photos within the DSi's album and marked photos will appear at random on the top screen of the DSi's main menu. Photos an also be taken without having to load up the app simply by hitting the L or R button on the main menu. Photos taken this way are automatically marked as favorites. An interesting feature, while photos can be stored on the SD card and uploaded to a computer, photos can also be directly uploaded to Facebook directly from the DSi Camera app.

DSi's Camera can also be taken advantage of in certain video games, being the primary reason a DS game would be enhanced to work better on or exclusive to the DSi. Photos stored in the album can be used as wallpaper for the DSiWare application Photo Clock. The camera can also be used to take a self-picture and apply it to the face of the main character in a few DSiWare games.

DSi Sound

DSi Sound is a built-in application for the Nintendo DSi. It allows the user to record and modify their own sound clips as well as modify music stored on the SD Card. Modifications include changing the pitch and speed of the clip, playing the clip backwards, and filtering the sound. If music stored on the SD Card is being played, the option for a Visualizer appears. The user can scroll through several different visualizers including ones based off Excitebike and Super Mario Bros. and is also able to interact with all of them. Similar to the cats on the News Channel and Photo Channel for the Wii, DSi Sound features a parrot that will sometimes spil the beans on easter eggs.

DSi Shop

The primary source for exclusive DSi games can be found in the DSi Shop. DSiWare downloads are sorted under 4 categories representing their price points: Free, 200, 500, and 800+. Note that 800+ allows for more expensive games with 800 as the lowest price point. Downloads can range from simple applications like clocks and calculators to standard games like platformers and puzzlers. Some DSiWare games are bits of existing Game Boy Advance or Nintendo DS games or ports of older games from various consoles.


The DSi is set up to be able to receive firmware updates from time to time. So far, the only noticeable firmware update has been the ability to upload DSi Photos to Facebook.

Backwards Compatiblity

The Nintendo DSi lacks a second slot like it's predecessors rendering it unable to play Game Boy Advance games as well as DS games that utilized the second slot to enhance the experience. Regardless, the DSi is compatible with every other existing DS game, including ones from different regions.


Nintendo DSi

The Nintendo DSi is the first and smaller design of the DSi sub-family. It's lighter weight and shape makes it more portable. All other additions are noted above.

Nintendo DSi XL

The DSi XL (LL in Japan) is a much larger edition of the DSi primarily geared for the older market. Keeping with this mindset, the DSI XL models feature a classier design as well as classier colors. Sporting all the same features as the DSi, the DSi XL's new features lie mostly in the size. The screens are now 4.2 inches each and when fully opened, it is roughly the same size as DVD case. Although the default stylus is already larger then previous designs, the DSi XL comes with another even larger stylus resembling a ballpoint pen. It also comes preloaded with certain DSiWare programs such as Brain Age Express titles to appeal to the older demographic. The DSi XL's size makes it far less portable and much heavier then any of its DS and Game Boy predecessors.

See Also

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