I'm looking for some advice: my 9-year old wants a DS; we've never had a hand-held game device. My 17-year old uses an I-Pod Touch & downloads some neat games for about $5.00 each.
My question is, should we go with the DS, or just move on to the I-Pod Touch? If the DS, which one?
Another question- if we get the DSi, my understanding is that we can download games with DSiware. How do these games, some of which appear to go for about $8.00, compare to those that are available in stores for $30.00+?
Same here, I wish someone had answered. We bought 2 Ipod touch's for our 7 and 9 year olds. They already have DSs but they are forever asking to "play" with my droid phone. They did not ask for touch's so they would be a surprise. Lately however, my 7 year old is asking for the DSI xl and we are rethinking our purchase.
I have both (Ipod Touch 3g and DSi XL), so I'll give some comparative review here. Which system to get? It depends on what do you want your system for, and on your taste (or your kid's). I'll be totally unbiased here.
- Build - The Ipod Touch wins here, it is smaller, lighter, and more portable than the DSi, you can google the tech specs and some comparative photos. Another plus: the games are downloaded in the Ipod, while in the DSi you have to carry around a lot of game cards that can get lost or broken. The DSi game cards are almost the same size of a regular SD card.
- Screen - The Ipod touch wins over the DSi here again. The latest Ipod model (4g) have a beautiful screen at 960x640 (called Retina Display) which looks astounding and makes everything looks sharper and more colorful, the DSi (XL or not) have a resolution of 256x192 (both screens) which is really lame, even the Ipod Touch 3g and under have better resolution than the DSi at 480x320. If you don't know what resolution means, keep in mind that at higher resolution, the more crisp, clean and sharper the image. Higher res is necessary for better reading, and can be a selling point for people that wants very good looking games with the better graphics, and to be honest, most DSi games looks really UGLY compared to any Ipod touch game.
- Features (internet, cameras, etc) - Well, the Ipod is just made of features like wifi, internet browsing, bluetooth, music/video player, beautiful camera (4g only), and with the Apple Store you can download apps (even for free) for twitter, facebook, email, and the list goes on. Another big plus of the Ipod is the internal memory, ranging from 8GB to 64GB depending on the model, enough for storing lots of music and videos. The DSi has an internal storage of 250MB, but you can plug in an SD card for additional space up to 32GB.
The DSi (XL or not) have some of these features but they suck BIG TIME. The wifi and internet are SLOW, can play only AAC files (not MP3) and the camera is a joke. If you are planning to get a DSi for these features you will be VERY disappointed.
- Games - Here's where the DSi wins in my opinion. DSi definitely have some good and funny games, and with the double screens you can get very creative, unique games like Yohis's Island and Kirby, besides, most Nintendo games are well known for being really funny and awesome like Mario, Zelda and Pokémon. Games like Pokémon are lengthy and very enjoyable to play for kids and adults alike, you'll pass hours on your DSi playing.
Where the DSi lose is on more "mature" games, with mature I don't mean horror, sci-fi games, but the audience. Games like sports, racing and FPS (firts person shooters) appeal to a more mature, adult audience and most of those games in the DSi are not worthy, mostly because of the screen resolution that makes those games look ugly. If you are a fan of racing and sport games (like Need for Speed, Ridge Racer, FIFA, etc) get a Ipod Touch or even a PSP, not a DS. In fact, the PSP is the perfect system for these kind of games, more than the Ipod Touch.
Most of the Ipod Touch games are short, quick-type games to play while on the subway. There are some lengthy, full games of course like the Modern Combat series or Need for Speed, but mostly you'll find puzzles like Angry Birds, Sudoku, etc. One huge minus point is that the Ipod touch does not have physical buttons to control the games, almost all games uses virtual buttons on the screen so your fingers will be all over the screen during play reducing the visibility. Playing FPS or fighting games like this can be very frustrating, trust me, and even tiring.
- Online gaming - Ipod touch wins here, again. Some Ipod Touch games can be played locally and wireless-ly using wifi or bluethooth, and there even exists online gaming networks like Open Feint and Game Center (the official Apple online network) where you can add friends, compare game statistics and achievements, chat and more.
Nintendo is well known for not caring so much about Internet/online games, is like they still haven't figured out Internet at all. You get some online capabilities in some games, but they are lame or very limited.
- Battery - The DSi wins here. At medium brightness you can get 10-12 hours of battery life on DSi. On the Ipod Touch you get at most 4-5 hours, and if the game you are playing is graphic intensive (like a 3D racing or FPS game) you can drain the battery in less than 3 hours on the Ipod Touch. Battery life can be a determinant factor for portable systems depending on your intended use (for example if you plan to use it on long trips).
- Conclusion - It depends on your tastes and needs, but mostly the DSi is the system with the better games thanks to 1st party games like Mario and Zelda. The cameras, wifi, and other features just are like small additions to the DSi that, in my opinion, should have been ignored to make the system cheaper.
Now, if you want a all-in-one system with some light games (and a couple good ones like Need for Speed or Modern Combat), go for the Ipod Touch.
I actually own both. If you are getting one or other solely for game play, then I recommended the dsi, because while the ipod touch has cheaper games and a wide variety(as far as genre goes, not quantity) because the ipod touch tends to have annoying controls sometimes. Now, I am actually a pretty seasoned gamer (I'm twenty one and been playing games since I was ten) but most of the games I play are rpgs's and I find that the ones on the dsi have been pretty dumbed down. this is probably a good thing though since your son is only nine. As far as which ds, I would go with the dsi xl, the screen is beautiful and it really helps with the game play (I own a ds lite and a dsi xl)
@Jedimaster_NYC The graphics are not "stretched" at all on the XL, the XL have exactly the same resolution of all the DS systems (256x192), just that the physical pixels are bigger.
Now, some of the texts in the XL looks a bit blurry, that is because the typefaces use some kind of anti-alising to make it sharper, but due to the bigger pixels on the XL display this anti-alising doesn't work so well and the text ends looking blurry, you can actually see the "anti-alising" pixels surrounding the text, it's nothing bad and eventually you'll get used to it. This effect is however not noticeable on the games, all of the games looks really cool on those giant screens.
I have an iPod Touch (rev4), DS, DS Lite, DSi, and 3DS and though I enjoy them all I have to admit when it comes to playing games I rarely play anything on the iPod. At least nothing that requires the virtual touch buttons and controller.
It always makes me wish the iPod had a pad and buttons included. It's a great multimedia player and web browser, but as far as games go the DS/3DS wins it for me.