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Written By: J. Castle


Recent the highly sought after Nintendo DSi went on sale in Japan. Lines formed in several locations around the Country. Nintendo was praised for running a highly efficient pre-order campaign. The Company quickly sold out of their initial 200,000 unit shipment. (Media Create estimates that 171,925 units were sold. However retailers across Japan has completely sold out of the machine.) Ironically the DS Lite also sold over 16,000 units in the same week."

The Nintendo DSi sports a number of improvements. The Face Buttons and Triggers are greatly improved over those found on the DS Lite. The D-Pad is also improved. The brighter screens are rich with color, having a wider viewing angle than the DS Lite. They seem much larger when compared to those found on the DS lite. (Even though they are technically only .25 larger than the DSL screens.) Audio quality is also greatly improved. This what my biggest complaint on the DS Lite. The built in Web Browser is also a nice bonus.

The Camera, despite its low megapixel count, takes photos that are surprisingly sharp & clear. Nintendo's photo manipulation software is a blast. Its a throwback to the Gameboy Camera days. For that reason alone it is a worthy addition to the new machine.

The multimedia features of the machine is a mixed bag. Music playback is technically decent quality. And the ability to manipulate audio tracks is a small bonus. Unfortunately the limited file support is aggravating. Hopefully Nintendo will change their policy on MP3s before the DSi comes to the States.

The DSi also supports Nintendo's long rumored "virtual console portable" idea. Basically downloadable content created exclusively for the Nintendo DSi. The feature holds great promise but its real value waits to be seen.

So as the era of the Nintendo DSi comes upon us, let us look back at what were losing in the bargain. For all we gain with the DSi we lose a ton of clever little gadgets. As you'll see, designers made excellent use out of the Slot 2 GBA port.

Guitar Hero: On Tour, On Tour Decades
Guitar Hero: On Tour was a surprising hit on the Nintendo DS. A sequel quickly followed with a 3rd Title allegedly waiting in the wings. Activision has even claimed that they will "influence console design" with the power of their software. Oh the irony.

DS + GBA Slot Combo
Combining certain GBA and DS games would reveal unlockable features.

DS Game Expansion Cart
The brilliant music game Daigasso Band Brothers featured a GBA Bonus Cart filled with additional music.

Incredible Paddle Controller
I can't say enough good things about the Slot 2 Paddle Controller. Its elevates games like Arknoid and Space Invaders Extreme to a new level. This is the only way to play these two titles.

Rumble Pack
Used By Several Great Games including Metroid Prime Pinball and Super Princess Peach

Slot 2 Piracy & Homebrew Cards
This 3 in 1 "expansion cart" has built in RAM, Rumble and the ability to store pirated GBA software.

The Web Browser Ram Pack
The DSi comes with a built in web browser making the old model obsolete. The extra RAM is also built into the machine.

Multi Media Players
Slot 2 Multi Media players like the Play Yan (original designed for the GB Micro) and the Max Media Dock.

Face Training Camera & Stand
Face Training...coming soon to the DSi

FM Radio Tuner
This nifty little gadget works surprisngly well.

TV Tuner
These things have existed since the days of the Sega Game Gear and the Turbo Grafx Express.

For those of you who complain about the DS Lite speakers. Now you can give your DSL that "ghetto blaster" look.

Slide Controller
Designed for use with the JPN game "Slide Adventure: Mag Kid" this cool little device turned your DS Lite into a giant PC mouse.

Famicom Adapter with TV Out
The Japanese will not give up on the Famicom. Here is yet another Famicom>Portable game system adapter. This one features a handy TV out function that works only for Famicom Games.

Taiko Drum Master Stand
The PS2 game comes to the DS with this highly elaborate Drum Stand.

Deadly DS Lite Robot With Desire to Enslave Humanity
This machine will force you to buy Nintendo's unending hardware revisions.