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zohar

DSimpressions

April 18th, 2009 by zohar

Categories: DS

So, in an effort to stimulate the economy, I sold my DS Lite and picked up a DSi last week. 🙂

Unfortunately though, I have to admit I am not that impressed.

First of all, the new matte material feels rough and kind of cheap. I prefer matte surfaces over anything else (got a matte grey PS3), but the DSi just feels weird. And although it is smudge-resistant, I foresee it being more scratch-prone — kind of hard to describe it, but I think you can understand if you ever see/touch one in person.

The new UI is also a bit weird. Instead of crisp clean displays like the old DS menu, you get this awful looking, poorly anti-aliased menu. And it’s not like the bigger screen is trying to stretch anything — they just decided to anti-alias everything and do a bad job at it. The whole experience is also much more like the Wii. You’ll see a lot of similarities, especially in the system settings and DSiWare menus.

As for the two cameras, I never expected much in the first place. They are both 0.3 megapixel, so … we’re talking cell phone quality from 5 years ago. But, along with the voice recording, I can see it being a possibly interesting feature in future DSi-exclusive games. Nintendo always does something innovative with this kind of stuff 🙂

The web browser — ABSOLUTELY horrible. I thought they might have improved it over the first DS Browser, but no, not really. The main problem with it is that it’s slow, slow, slow. Text-based sites, like craigslist, load alright. But throw any site with images on it, and prepare some coffee on the side because you’re in for a long wait. Disappointment again 🙁

All negativity aside, I am excited about one thing (and it’s primarily the reason I got the DSi): DSiWare. Right now the available downloads are very few in number, but I really hope this attracts more “bite-size” games and more independent developers to the DS platform. I haven’t bought anything yet with my 1000 free points, but I’m looking forward to PiCOPiCT, D-CODE (yes I am a nerd), and of course Dr. Mario, whenever they come out in North America. And of course there is the potential for NES/GB/GBC emulation. 😀 However, the prices do bother me, which brings us back to the negatives…

Games come in 200, 500, 800 point intervals, which translates to $2, $5, and $8 — all cheap if you compare it to $30 DS titles and $50 Wii games, but… I got an iPod Touch 2G a few weeks ago too, and I have to say that it completely blows the DS away in terms of casual gaming. It might surprise you, but there are a lot of addictive games in the iTunes app store. And the best part is that they’re all cheap, the vast majority priced at $0.99. The most expensive games are the ones from well-known game developers like Namco, Square-Enix, Konami, etc., and the highest I’ve seen is $7.99 for Metal Gear Solid Touch.

The iPod/iPhone targets the same consumer market as the DS. As this Kotaku article points out, Sony and Nintendo should be afraid. Nintendo, moreso. I can already say that I use my iPod more for gaming than I do my DS. And that’s just a bit sad.

DSi: Simply not worth the transition … yet.

One Response to “DSimpressions”

  • Cat says:

    I’m actually surprised how crappy those cameras actually are XD;; I didn’t expect them to be 0.3 megapixels.

    That’s unfortunate how bad the web browser is. That seemed like it could have been a cool feature. Though the game prices are pricy compared to ones from Apple, I can still see people getting them. (I uh… would.)

    I was wondering whether or not I should look into getting a DSi right now. I guess I’ll wait on it. Thanks for the review!