Customer Review

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best portable system currently, October 10, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Nintendo DSi - Pink (Video Game)
While waiting for the 3DS to be released, I thought I'd make a review.

I don't know how I could have lived without Nintendo DS system before. I had DS Lite (metallic rose) for a year before it was stolen from my bag. Then I had a hard time deciding which version to buy to replace the stolen one because I'm a DS addict and simply could not live without a DS anymore- either the DS Lite or DSi. I was skeptical with DSi at that time because I didn't think the upgrade matters much and thought the slightly bigger screen wouldn't make a difference ...boy was I so wrong. After surveying, researching and testing the console at game stores, I found that bigger screen does make a difference! That would also mean the upgrade (DSi XL/LL) would look so much better. I decided to get a pink DSi. I was going to get the red one because I thought pink is too striking & ugly but boy was I wrong again. The actual pink color is much more beautiful than in the picture here.

I fell in love with the bigger and brighter screen compared to the slightly smaller & dimmer DS Lite. The buttons have changed too. I wish the volume control was retained like the old one, because now you can't mute your DS before turning the system on. I couldn't secretly turn it on during a boring lecture class before without hearing the beeping during the warning screen but not a huge problem for me. The matte feel is great too and no longer attracts ugly fingerprints. The location of the turn on button also is better as I used to always turn it off accidentally. Longer stylus is also a plus because the DS Lite's one is too small and actually hurts the fingers if you play games such as Elite Beat Agents or Taiko no Tatsujin series.

Also you can switch games without turning the system off first unlike DS Lite. The wii-like menu is a huge improvement from the old dull interface.

Contrary to beliefs, the DS system can be a GREAT way to learn. There's a lot of educational titles for as young as 2 to as old as 100 years old, seriously. You can give to young kids to start with their development before preschool. They can learn ABC, think creatively, learn numbers etc all in fun ways. For teens, there's a lot of preparation titles for SAT, etc. For adults, don't let your brain become rusty. There are a lot of brain training games so you can improve your brain, boost your memory just like it used to be during school days. Of course there are also good games and bad games. If you happen to buy shovelwares (crap games), don't blame the system. Blame the game makers. There are also simulation games like taking care of virtual babies and pets to love simulation for adults where you can have your own virtual girlfriend (Love Plus+). Also for the business minded, you can play tycoon games, for stress reliever some time management or puzzle games or for those serious gamers, you can go for serious titles like Final Fantasy, Harvest Moon, Zelda, Pokemon, etc. Basically it has every type of games for every individual. It's also an awesome tool for learning language..mainly Japanese! I'm into Japanese language and I found DS is a great way to have fun while learning at the same time.. (have you seen how cute Japanese learning games are?!?!)

++~*THE PROS & CONS*~++
There are a few things you need to be aware off and take into consideration before buying:

1. The camera quality isn't that great. It looks great in the DS, it looks ok on computer but under dark or fluorescent lighting, pictures will turn out horrendous. But it's fun as it has many camera setting and you can use the stylus to draw/decorate your pictures. I also love the facebook feature where you can straight away upload your edited pictures to your facebook from your DSi.

2. DSiwares are region locked. So are DSi exclusive games. So beware of this before buying. All DSiwares you buy in the store are locked to your system. So if your DSi dies, the DSiwares goes with it. If you want to sell your console for a new one yet keep your purchased apps, you'd have to send it to Nintendo for them to transfer it to new system. I find this a major flaw. It's not a smart move to make them nontransferable. Should your DSi die or get stolen, you're the one at lost. However currently, I heard a rumor that this is no longer applicable for the upcoming 3DS. We'll see.

3. DSi has an improvement in terms of connection. It used to only support WEP encryption but now can support WPA security..however games still retain the WEP so it's a big hassle to keep switching the setting in my router. Also do note that DSi uses WI-FI to connect. So it can connect to wifi hotspots like starbucks. But unfortunately there are some people that somehow could assume you could plug and play the internet connection to DSi with a MODEM. No, you need a router so you could use wifi at home. You could also use the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB connector (discontinued, but you can still find it). Any standard router that allows you to access internet through Wi-Fi is fine.

4. Browser is so-so. You can use it to open facebook but do note that it has no flash support. It also lacks memory, which means you'd constantly get out of memory error and would have to refresh the memory often after loading a few huge sites.

5. Hardcore gamers may want to stick to other consoles such as PSP, PS3 or Xbox. It's well known that graphics on DS aren't impressive due to it's hardware limitations compared to PSP but it is however much more interactive because of the touch screen.

6. No GBA slots so you can keep your GBA games away or stick to DS Lite/Phat. You can't also enjoy games like guitar hero that utilize the GBA slot to play the game with their guitar controller.

7. You can use the SD card to store & play your music HOWEVER only AAC format audio ONLY..which means only mp4, m4a or 3gp format only. It does not support mp3. This can be solved though provided you know how to use google and search. There are also other ways & extensions to let you watch videos & tv on your DS.

8. Battery life is shorter with highest bright setting compared to DS Lite. Roughly around 2 - 3 hours.

9. Camera feature not fully utilized. While there are some DSi enhanced games that uses the camera, it still lack good games that fully utilize it. There are DSi exclusive games but unfortunately, not that good. Still waiting for a revolutionary exclusive games that uses the camera feature fully.


So my advice..

++AGE RANGE & LEARNERS - DS is a great learning tool for kids. You can buy this for you kids or grandkids even under the age of 5 together with educational title to develop their mind. A great product to keep yourself busy and stress free too. I consider DS system more of a learning gadget than a gaming system. VERY useful for language learners too because DS can be used as a pocket dictionary. A real electronic pocket dictionary is much more expensive, and for Japanese learners, it's much easier with the touch screen incorporated to practice writing hiragana/katakana/kanji the correct way (e.g. Tadashii Kanji KakitoriKun teaches you the correct way to write and gives the score of how precise your kana and kanji writing are)

++UPGRADE - If you own a DS Phat, it's wise to upgrade for new added feature. If you own a DS Lite but still plays GBA games, stick with DS Lite. If you prefer bigger screen (especially for older people), go for DSi XL/LL. It makes text reading much easier (especially for novel games & Japanese games). HOWEVER, even though DSi has no GBA slot, you can however buy a flashcart (that's all I can say here). The additional flashcart allows you to play homebrew games created by independent game makers but it also has a feature where you can play downloadable GBA games if you have the original game (not condoning piracy). It's the only way for GBA lovers to still own DSi but still able to play GBA games.

++NEW BUYERS - My honest advice is to wait. While DSi is an awesome system, but 3DS is coming out soon. You can enjoy 3DS games while at the same time enjoy old DS games as it has backward compatibility. Best of both worlds.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 28, 2010 8:40:19 AM PDT
Loves Travel says:
Great review - Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 25, 2011 6:45:04 PM PST
G. Peers says:
trust me, get it the 3ds costs 249
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