At first there was the Nintendo DS which was actually the butt of many jokes when it was announced nearly four years ago, but since then, this portable handheld console from Nintendo has managed to stave away the supposed Game Boy killer known as the Sony PSP with great success, and I must say that the revamped hardware in the form of the DS Lite was what really kick started the whole DS craze all over the world. After all, kids clamored for these DS Lites no matter what their color were, and it did help that there are tons of great, quality titles available for the platform. Let’s not go into the amount of shovelware though since there are more haphazardly programmed titles by developers who are out for a quick buck compared to instant classics, but that’s another story for a different day. Today marks the announcement of a hardware refresh by Nintendo for its 2-year old DS Lite redesign – known as the Nintendo DSi. More on the DSi right after the jump, where you can then make your decision as to whether you want to pick one up or not when available.
The DSi will still retain both touch screens, although both displays have had an increase in size to 3.25″ from its original 3″. Doesn’t sound like much, but I’m sure it will make gaming all the more engaging. In addition, the DSi has slimmed down by 12% compared to its predecessor, partly due to the omission of the GBA cartridge slot. I find that omission to be rather disturbing, since those who want to play Guitar Hero: On Tour (a game that requires the Guitar controller add-on which fits into the GBA cartridge slot nicely) won’t be able to do so on the DSi.
Other improvements include a front-facing VGA camera located on the inside hinge, while a 3 megapixel external camera will compete with your cell phone for casual photographs. Not only that, the DS will support SD memory cards with a new SD card slot, and the integrated browser application makes it a contender for the iPod touch since you can also play back your favorite MP3s without resorting to an R4 or M3 card. The Nintendo DSi is tipped to hit Japan on November 1st for $179 thereabouts – expect it to hit other regions sometime early next year. Will you be making an upgrade?