Today, Nintendo released their new handheld the DSi. When I heard about it, I planned to upgrade. Yesterday, I learned both that my GameStop would be open at midnight for the release and that I wouldn't be able to make it to the Stop until next week. So what's a lad to do? Go for the midnight release, of course!
So I have a DSi. It's really quite cool and a big step from the Lite in many different ways. The new design ditched the gloss and the emblem, making the appearance moremedia-like. When I opened it up, the first thing I noticed (other then the cameras) was how comfy the controls were. They don't look much different, but your hands have room to breathe and your fingers don't feel cramped in the least bit. The buttons also have a satisfying pop to them, abolishing the previous dull, wearing feel.My Lite must have been an earlier model, because the touch screen it had was loose and sometimes annoying to play with. The screen on the i is larger (which you notice during play) and the touch screen is tight and responsive. The shoulder (L and R) buttons are also raised.Although this makes them easier to press, it also introduces the fear of popping one off when you stuff the system into your pocket a little too gruffly. The only thing I dislike about the grasp is the two (really)tiny nipples on the bottom of the system where the GBA used to be, meant to support the system when you set it down on a surface. If you hold it too close to the corners, they will dig into your pinkies. This is simply adjusted by sliding your fingers a little closer to the center, but it may take some getting used to.
After you complete the system's initial setup, Nintendo leads you by your hand through taking pictures and fooling around with them in the editor. The cameras are obviously a selling point Nintendo's trying to exploit.There are different modes that you can edit your picture with, my favorite being the graffiti. Drawing mustaches on your cat never gets old. The fact that there's two cameras still seems slightly gimmicky to me, but I have yet to try out Wario Ware.
The music is both fun and disappointing. The disappointment is that you can't play half of your iTunes, as you get a message stating "____ could not be converted because protected files cannot be converted to other formats" when you try to convert your digitally purchased songs into the required ACC format. You can still convert your ripped CD's, and once you get them onto your SD card (sold separately, by the way) it's a blast. You can change the pitch, lap it with sound effects, remove the lyrics, and watch the mix of odd and hilarious scales. My favorite is chicks busting moves when they hatch from their eggs. The only picture I could find is Mario running through a field of coins staggered to the music's beat.
The ring in the top middle of the bottom screen allows you to cycle through the 15 different animations. The icons to the left and right are two changeable sound effects.
I've had time to search the DSi shop, and it's impressive. Although simple (and linear from the small amount of available downloads), it still opens up a large door of many opportunities for Nintendo. So far I haven't used any of my 1,000 free points and have only downloaded the Opera Browser. It's well worth it. I'm not sure why people complained about load times. I could load various sections of Yahoo! and even crisp images from Google in under a minute. The only two cons are that I don't think you can save the pictures you find to your DSi or SD card, and logging into accounts and loading heavily-imaged sites. A message pops up stating something like "this site required an update not available for this system". Sites with many images can't be loaded correctly, leaving pieces of it out. There is hope for people who must visit these sites. All you need to do is go to the site's mobile page (if they have one). These mobile pages load just fine. Here's GameSpot's: http://iphone.gamespot.com/
There are other features, such as hot-swapping games or adjusting the brightness (which can nicely go down to almost nin) at any time, but these are just pleasant additions. In my opinion, the i was well worth it. Some may be skeptical about the money, or claim they already have MP3s and camera phones, but the DSi bundles those and more into one loveable package. The i is unique and an undeniable winner compared to many other portables. When you get a chance, upgrade.
In other news:
I picked up Big Bang Mini, Oblivion, and a DSi starter kit while at Stop. Mini and Oblivion are well worth it (Mini offering on-the-go arcade play and Oblivion serving one major dose of vast-world fantasy). The $20 starting kit was ok, but the screen protectors wouldn't go on without bubbles and the case could be made slightly more functional.
*Sorry for any lack of spaces or mis-spelt words. GameSpot has been smushing my words together when I spell check.