Nintendo announces DSi, the next generation NDS

October 2nd, 2008

Today Nintendo announced the new DSi, the next generation of thei DS line of handheld gaming consoles. Well, not exacly the next generation, but the next version. Looking at the specs, the DSi is to the DS what the GBC is to the DMG.(The original 1989 version of Gameboy) A spiced up version, but still basically the same thing. This is good in that games can have a smooth transistion between version 1 and 2, but because it means the hardware is still as weak performance-wise as it was in the first DS.
So let’s have a look at the specs. The information comes from Joystiq.

This picture sums upp all new hardware features on the Nintendo DSi

  • CPU power - Unchanged. Period. Unless Joystiq have received too early info and it sports some kind of turbo mode à la GBC, this is a disappointment.
  • Graphics - Unchanged. Two 256*192 screens of which one is (still) a touch screen. The rumours of the DSi having dual touch screens seem to be proven wrong too. At best the screens are a little brighter and have a little more contrast than the DSLite, and the screens are a little bit bigger, even though that’s not a real killer. (The DSlite had a pretty good display)
  • Cameras - Here we go… The DSi has not one, but two cameras. One high-res on the back (Presumably) and one low-res on the hinge consequently. Seeing that they’re targetting girls, judging from their video, it’s not surprising that they’re trying to break into a market that has been dominated by cell phones in Japan for the last few years. But will they succeed? Future will tell. They promise video chat, but I suspect the CPU is a bit too slow to cope with simultaneous compression and decompression of video and audio data. Just saying.
    There’s also a camera app with a few warp effects and other meaningless things.
  • Wi-Fi - Joystiq’s comparison just says Wi-Fi, but let’s just hope they upgraded the wireless card to one with 11g instead of just 11b, and that they implemented hardware support for WPA. As of today, WPA is probably possible, but would eat up all CPU power, leaving nothing to the actual application. (Not cool!)
  • The GBA slot is gone - This was an anticipated change. Seeing that it was only really used by Guitar Hero, Opera (The browser) and backup devices, I can see why they want it gone, since removing it also allowed for a slightly slimmer form factor. We’ll have to live without Guitar Hero, we’ll get a new browser for free, and N wants us to stop pirating and using homebrew. All is as it should.
  • Storage - Here’s something that’s interesting for me, since I’m mainly interested in homebrew. 1) Nintendo is promising onboard storage. They’re not saying how much, but hopefully more than the current 256 kB firmware area. 2) A built in SD slot! I mean wow, here’s a great ptoential for a new kind of cheap passcards. The danger with that is that N will come with a firmware upgrade that breaks the compatibility with said devices, and since they wouldn’t be upgradeable. (Since in my little fantasy that’s what’s going to make them cheap in the first place) But yeah, I’m excited about the SD slot actually. Might be the killer feature for homebrewers, although my M3Real already has an SD slot that works perfectly fine.
  • App Store - To make the onboard storage useful, they’ve added an App Store, much like the Wii Shop Channnel. In fact they renamed the Wii Points to Nintendo Points just honour this new feature.
  • Music player - An MP3 player, possibly with the possibility to buy music online.
  • On a more superficial level… I’m also noticing that they re-arranged the LEDs a bit. They’re now on the left side rather than on the right side. The power LED changed from green to the evr so popular blue, and wireless activity has now got it’s own dedicated, yellow LED.
    New position for the LEDs on the Nintendo DSi

So, in essence, all new known hardware features are the cameras and the SD slot. It will sell, I am sure of it, but with its under-powered hardware, will it last?

Through: Engadget, Joystiq
Official Nintendo DSi homepage (Japanese)

For the G-Bot: New Gameboy 2008

11 Responses to “Nintendo announces DSi, the next generation NDS”

  1. herly says:

    The first video example of how it works here:
    [Link removed]
    Very cooool !!!!

  2. Sebastian Tomczak says:

    looks okay i guess… but still, in the end it’s just a DS that has been souped up a _little_ bit, right?

  3. nitro2k01 says:

    herly: The link you provided seems contain potential malware, so I removed the it. (I’m sorry) If you can find the video hosted on a legit site, please post it.

    Seb: Which was exactly my point. ;)
    IMO, the DSi is all about milking a little more from an already dead console. But that’s ok if you’re selling an experience more than a piece of hardware, I guess. But it won’t make sound software and emulators run better if you know what I mean.

  4. ale/pepino says:

    I’m happy with this. It was just time for a DS revision and to cover another Japanese launch day.

    I don’t think it’s underpowered at all. Just don’t try to do stuff that requires power. I tend to find that stuff ugly even if it’s pulled out decently.

  5. nitro2k01 says:

    “Just don’t try to do stuff that requires power. I tend to find that stuff ugly even if it’s pulled out decently.”

    What do you mean by this? For example, the DS is struggling to emulate a SNES, whereas the PSP emulates a SNES perfectly, and can almost emulate a DS. Sometimes a lack of CPU power can be a problem.
    One example is sound synthesis. I’m amazed the DS-10 was even possibly, but afaics it’s bordering the limit for what can be done on the DS. (I’ve heard one report that the sound stuttered once for someone when the program was overloaded)
    CPU power isn’t everything, but it isn’t unimportant either.

  6. wiiboy101 says:


    THERES NOTHING UNDER POWERED ABOUT DS ITS STILL NOT TOPPED OUT and thats such a psp fanboy comment but please add the psp has serious issues like battery and god dam awful loading times and shit controls and tearing graphics…

    dementium / moon / phantasy star zero/zelda hardly look cough underpowered

    this is a ds + media not a ds2 are you insane

    and as a matter of FACT dsi is more powerful it has more main ram maybe 12 to 16mb vs 4mb dslite

    and with ds lite having a ram pack that fits the gba slot

    dsi graphics are capable on both ds and dsi IF YOU APPLY COMMONSENSE

  7. nitro2k01 says:

    wiiboy101: Who fits the description of fanboy best? Look at your own nick name…
    Anybody who’s criticizing something doesn’t need to be a fanboy of the other side, you know. If anything, I’m a Nintendo fanboy, and that’s why I’m disappointed over the lack of hardware improvement. (But I’d rather say I’m not a fanboy of either)
    I have a DS, but no PSP, and I mainly use it for music software. Music software is using a lot of CPU, which is why that was my personal wish.

    dementium / moon / phantasy star zero/zelda hardly look cough underpowered

    They are not looking bad, but fact is still that they could look better with stronger hardware.

    this is a ds + media not a ds2 are you insane

    I don’t know if you watched it, but during the conference when N presented the DSi, they said that it is meant to be a “third platform”, not meant to compete with the original DS’s. So it looks like that’s what they actually had in mind.

    and as a matter of FACT dsi is more powerful it has more main ram maybe 12 to 16mb vs 4mb dslite

    and with ds lite having a ram pack that fits the gba slot

    It helps to have more RAM, but it cannot replace a better CPU or GPU.

    dsi graphics are capable on both ds and dsi IF YOU APPLY COMMONSENSE

    That comment doesn’t even make sense on any level.

    As for your Google query, no it (still) only has 1 touch screen.

  8. BFG 9000 says:

    For those of you that DO want a DSi, you’ll find a list of retailers with it available for preorder here :-



  9. wiiboy101 says:

    update dsi is a ds2

    2x system cklock speed (whole system 2x clocked) plus 4x ram

    dsi mode and a ds mode

    2x clock 4x ram plus more efficent iphone graphics with ease

    dsi only game carts coming

    psp killer

  10. ihavegirlparts says:

    Maybe a psp killer, but not a psp GO killer.

    haha =]

    Nitro said it the best.
    “That comment doesn’t even make sense on any level.”

  11. kyle says:

    I like this gameboywar from Japan

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