Why You Want A DSi

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Brad

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Edited By Brad
Begin gazing intently.
Begin gazing intently.
You know, I thought I'd be hanging onto my trusty, slightly battered DS Lite for a long time. It still works just fine, and the new Nintendo DSi isn't adding that many new features, right? I can get by without upgrading, surely.

Wrong. I was a little perturbed recently after Nintendo stopped by the office with a couple of DSi units, to give us a full guided tour. Afterward I grudgingly admitted to myself that, yes, I am in fact going to buy one of these things. There's a reason I own every iteration of a Nintendo handheld since the Game Boy Color, and it isn't common sense.

It's because they keep making the darn things better! Here's a list of reasons you may also be unable to resist the DSi upgrade bug next month.

Hardware Improvements. In addition to the slightly bigger screens and integrated cameras, the DSi has a bunch of little hardware changes that improve on basic aspects of the DS' design. The DSi has louder speakers, addressing a common complaint about the DS Lite's sound output. There's a discrete charging light, separate from the power light (which is itself now blue; that ought to make gauging the battery charge a little easier on red/green colorblind individuals like Vinny).

Subtle Usability Tweaks. Were you ever annoyed that you couldn't change the brightness on the DS Lite while you were in a game? Did you ever think it was strange there was no soft reset, forcing you to physically power the unit off and back on to restart a game? Those issues have been addressed, so you can now pop back to the main DSi menu and hot-swap a new game in without powering off.

It isn't Photoshop, but it's pretty neat.
It isn't Photoshop, but it's pretty neat.
Streamlined, Wii-like Interface. Once you soft-reset your way back to the DSi's system interface, you'll find a touch-driven application reminiscent of the Wii's channel setup. You can drag the icons for each menu item around into any order you want, and you use the stylus to zoom from one end of the icons to the other. There's a new system settings interface that's basically identical to the one on the Wii, too. Design synergy!

Phun With Photos. OK, so the DSi's camera isn't exactly bleeding-edge technology. But you can do an awful lot of silly, technically impressive things with the photos you take in the picture editor. There are 10 filters you can slap on your photos, like one that lets you pull and stretch parts of the photo around with the stylus, kind of like the giant Mario head at the beginning of Super Mario 64. Another really nifty one lets you do selective color subtraction, so you could take a black and white photo with only reds or blues showing, and then you can change those hues to entirely different ones after the fact.

ExciteBike Music Visualizer! Dude! The DSi's music player is one slick piece of work. It plays songs from your SD card, and there's a bunch of visualizers that you can run on the top screen, and one of them is ExciteBike! It generates the track based on the song's waveform, and then the bikes jump the track. Do I even need to keep talking? OK, how about the sound recorder and editor, which lets you take 10-second clips in through the DSi's microphone, then use really intuitive stylus controls to change the speed and shift the pitch. There's even a pretty good tool for removing vocals from your songs.

DSiWare Looks Awesome. It shouldn't surprise you that the DSiWare store and pricing structure is being patterned after the existing Wii Shop. DSiWare will use the same points system (100 points to $1) as the Wii, though you'll have two separate points totals for the Wii and DSi; you won't be able to purchase games on both services from the same common points wallet. So if you buy a 2000-point card and enter it on your DSi, you'll only be able to buy DSiWare games with those points.

Not ExciteBike.
Not ExciteBike.
Pricing for DSiWare games will run 200, 500, and 800 points. That will allow Nintendo to sell bite-size little action games and such for next to nothing, and it'll also open up the possibility of non-game applications being made for sale on DSiWare. For instance, we got to see a flip book-style application where you can draw frames, turn them into an animation, and share them with your friends. That's right: They're bringing back Mario Paint.

Nintendo also showed us a tiny, mindbending puzzle game being tentatively called Code that seems like Tetris in math class. The game displayed a grid of numbers, requiring you to align numbers to produce sums of 10, which would clear out those numbers and make room for more. But moving a number doesn't just slide it--it flips it in the direction you're moving it. Since the numbers are displayed in a digital-clock sort of typeface, that means that moving a 2 to the right would flip it horizontally, turning it into a 5. Moving a 7 downward, however, would make it unusable, since an upside-down 7 is obviously not a valid number. DSiWare seems like it will be a great testbed for developers to try all sorts of crazy ideas like this, without incurring the bigger risks of shipping a retail game.

Good job, Nintendo; you win again. Win my money, that is. It's going to be hard to find space for my DS Lite in the drawer, with all those Game Boy Advance SPs and Micros and DS Fats crammed in there, but I'm going to have to try.


And hey, while we're on the subject of the DS: Why not head over to MTV Multiplayer to see the first images from the just-announced new DS Zelda game, Spirit Tracks?
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Brad

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#1  Edited By Brad
Begin gazing intently.
Begin gazing intently.
You know, I thought I'd be hanging onto my trusty, slightly battered DS Lite for a long time. It still works just fine, and the new Nintendo DSi isn't adding that many new features, right? I can get by without upgrading, surely.

Wrong. I was a little perturbed recently after Nintendo stopped by the office with a couple of DSi units, to give us a full guided tour. Afterward I grudgingly admitted to myself that, yes, I am in fact going to buy one of these things. There's a reason I own every iteration of a Nintendo handheld since the Game Boy Color, and it isn't common sense.

It's because they keep making the darn things better! Here's a list of reasons you may also be unable to resist the DSi upgrade bug next month.

Hardware Improvements. In addition to the slightly bigger screens and integrated cameras, the DSi has a bunch of little hardware changes that improve on basic aspects of the DS' design. The DSi has louder speakers, addressing a common complaint about the DS Lite's sound output. There's a discrete charging light, separate from the power light (which is itself now blue; that ought to make gauging the battery charge a little easier on red/green colorblind individuals like Vinny).

Subtle Usability Tweaks. Were you ever annoyed that you couldn't change the brightness on the DS Lite while you were in a game? Did you ever think it was strange there was no soft reset, forcing you to physically power the unit off and back on to restart a game? Those issues have been addressed, so you can now pop back to the main DSi menu and hot-swap a new game in without powering off.

It isn't Photoshop, but it's pretty neat.
It isn't Photoshop, but it's pretty neat.
Streamlined, Wii-like Interface. Once you soft-reset your way back to the DSi's system interface, you'll find a touch-driven application reminiscent of the Wii's channel setup. You can drag the icons for each menu item around into any order you want, and you use the stylus to zoom from one end of the icons to the other. There's a new system settings interface that's basically identical to the one on the Wii, too. Design synergy!

Phun With Photos. OK, so the DSi's camera isn't exactly bleeding-edge technology. But you can do an awful lot of silly, technically impressive things with the photos you take in the picture editor. There are 10 filters you can slap on your photos, like one that lets you pull and stretch parts of the photo around with the stylus, kind of like the giant Mario head at the beginning of Super Mario 64. Another really nifty one lets you do selective color subtraction, so you could take a black and white photo with only reds or blues showing, and then you can change those hues to entirely different ones after the fact.

ExciteBike Music Visualizer! Dude! The DSi's music player is one slick piece of work. It plays songs from your SD card, and there's a bunch of visualizers that you can run on the top screen, and one of them is ExciteBike! It generates the track based on the song's waveform, and then the bikes jump the track. Do I even need to keep talking? OK, how about the sound recorder and editor, which lets you take 10-second clips in through the DSi's microphone, then use really intuitive stylus controls to change the speed and shift the pitch. There's even a pretty good tool for removing vocals from your songs.

DSiWare Looks Awesome. It shouldn't surprise you that the DSiWare store and pricing structure is being patterned after the existing Wii Shop. DSiWare will use the same points system (100 points to $1) as the Wii, though you'll have two separate points totals for the Wii and DSi; you won't be able to purchase games on both services from the same common points wallet. So if you buy a 2000-point card and enter it on your DSi, you'll only be able to buy DSiWare games with those points.

Not ExciteBike.
Not ExciteBike.
Pricing for DSiWare games will run 200, 500, and 800 points. That will allow Nintendo to sell bite-size little action games and such for next to nothing, and it'll also open up the possibility of non-game applications being made for sale on DSiWare. For instance, we got to see a flip book-style application where you can draw frames, turn them into an animation, and share them with your friends. That's right: They're bringing back Mario Paint.

Nintendo also showed us a tiny, mindbending puzzle game being tentatively called Code that seems like Tetris in math class. The game displayed a grid of numbers, requiring you to align numbers to produce sums of 10, which would clear out those numbers and make room for more. But moving a number doesn't just slide it--it flips it in the direction you're moving it. Since the numbers are displayed in a digital-clock sort of typeface, that means that moving a 2 to the right would flip it horizontally, turning it into a 5. Moving a 7 downward, however, would make it unusable, since an upside-down 7 is obviously not a valid number. DSiWare seems like it will be a great testbed for developers to try all sorts of crazy ideas like this, without incurring the bigger risks of shipping a retail game.

Good job, Nintendo; you win again. Win my money, that is. It's going to be hard to find space for my DS Lite in the drawer, with all those Game Boy Advance SPs and Micros and DS Fats crammed in there, but I'm going to have to try.


And hey, while we're on the subject of the DS: Why not head over to MTV Multiplayer to see the first images from the just-announced new DS Zelda game, Spirit Tracks?
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eternalmatt

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#2  Edited By eternalmatt

FIRST lolololol.
But seriously, DSi is cool and all, but I'd rather have an all new portable from Nintendo than a remake with a camera.

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Pazy

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#3  Edited By Pazy

If you already have a DS or DSlite I still dont see a big reason to upgrade. DSiWare might be a good reason but over a £100 for small downloadable games? Id rather save the money and put it to another system or games. Thats just me though.

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Krenor

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#4  Edited By Krenor

sounds interesting, I hope you guys do a full review when this comes out.

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brydello

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#5  Edited By brydello

I'll be getting one. My DS Lite fell off my desk and cracked the hinge... the screen is holding on by wires.

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sirchode

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#6  Edited By sirchode

Check the end of the "Streamlined, Wii-like Interface" paragraph, you left me hanging!

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toowalrus

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#7  Edited By toowalrus

I'd really like to see a virtual console on the Wii, that's probably asking too much though, eh?

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SuperMooseman

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#9  Edited By SuperMooseman

I really can't justify £150 on this, since I already own a DS Lite. The DS Fat > Lite was a huge upgrade, but I can't see anything that stands out for me here, apart from maybe DSWare and the camera, but even that isn't worth the price of upgrading.

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AndrewB

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#10  Edited By AndrewB

I was waiting to be persuaded the whole article, but nothing about it made me want to fork over another $180. It all comes down to the games, and when I start seeing DSi-ware games worth that price, I might pick one up. Or, maybe, I can just wait for the true next Nintendo system.

Come to think of it, though, if I don't purchase this, it will be the first Nintendo handheld iteration I've passed over (minus the Virtualboy, but can you really call that thing a handheld?). I even have a Gameboy Micro that I've used probably 3 times. It isn't that it's bad, it's just that I lost the charger long ago (it uses a proprietary charger connector, unlike the interchangable GBA --> DS original).

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Cynical_M

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#11  Edited By Cynical_M

I do kinda like the upgrades....But I just don't know if I can justify trading in my Ds lite.

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Hairydutchman

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#12  Edited By Hairydutchman

I still have my DS Phat and I will use it untill it breaks.

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JJOR64

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#13  Edited By JJOR64

God I want the DSi right now.

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RedSox8933

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#14  Edited By RedSox8933

I'm picking this and Pokemon Platinum up on launch day.

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Reverseface

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#15  Edited By Reverseface

I'm still rocking my ORGINAL DS thats right motherfuckers CLACK CLACK!

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SteamPunkJin

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#16  Edited By SteamPunkJin

Have iPod? Check
Have DSLite? Check

Why upgrade? Music and games fighting share space on an SD card, or having to cart around a ton of them seems a bit silly. The bigger screen and soft reset seem like nice features but not worth re-buying hardware I already own.

MrMiyagi
on March 25, 2009
"I'll be getting one. My DS Lite fell off my desk and cracked the hinge... the screen is holding on by wires."
Happened to me too, duct tape is your friend.

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ZipCrash

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#17  Edited By ZipCrash

I will not loose my GBA backwards compatibility. That's all there is to it. I'm not upgrading to the DSi. There is only one new feature I care about anyway: the memory card slot to play music, but my phone and ipod do that just fine.

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WilliamRLBaker

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#18  Edited By WilliamRLBaker

I still have no urge to buy the thing.

I paid 129 dollars for my DS lite and surfice to say the changes in this one don't justify the 189 dollar on last check price maybe if it was 129.99 still but not 189.

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deactivated-5ee2492b629bb

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Man, that all sounds pretty good. I sorta had to buy one anyway, though, since my Lite is, well, halved.

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TabooTongue

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#20  Edited By TabooTongue

Depending on what aftermarket products you have in your DS already, this may not be that big of a leap.
The only things I will get out of it that I wanted are a larger screen and smaller overall size. It'd be kind of cool for it to double as a camera I suppose, but I do already have 2.

....Who am I kidding if they make one in white I'll end up buying it. I don't want a black device or that new blue color though.

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teptom

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#21  Edited By teptom

I still have my DS fat and it works fine. Besides a few broken pixels of course.

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Pie

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#22  Edited By Pie

Someones been brain washed.

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maxszy

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#23  Edited By maxszy

Considering I don't have any Nintendo products this generation (last Nintendo product I had was the Gamecube) the DSi looks really enticing. So perhaps as a first time DS buyer, I will get this.

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#24  Edited By JoelTGM

Looks good, but I still don't see any games I'd like to play except for GTA.  I bought a DS the day it came out, and there's still nothing that interests me.

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REMOVE_NOZZLE

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#25  Edited By REMOVE_NOZZLE

my wallet is frowning at you Nintendo/Giant Bomb :(

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Thievius

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#26  Edited By Thievius

Sorry Brad, but I can easily resist buying this thing.  My DS lite works just fine.  None of the feature upgrades you mention even remotely makes me want one.

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Scooper

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#27  Edited By Scooper

200, 500 and 800 points are still too much.

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gormers

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#28  Edited By gormers

I just hope it wont be that expensive^^ Ive had the old and grey DS for a while now and beeing happy with it, but I will probably be getting this too. 

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Chummy8

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#29  Edited By Chummy8

Sounds cool, but I don't even own a DS.  The only DS in my house is my wife's first generation DS.  It's a freaking brick.

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zityz

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#30  Edited By zityz

Im going to eventually get one, Im really need something to play while listing to the bomb cast and my pile of Ds 'less games are in need of playing. Plus I still need to get my hands on Henry hatsworth Castlevanis :OoE and Pq:Galatrix, and well I guess GTA:China Town Wars.

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LiveOrDie1212

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#31  Edited By LiveOrDie1212

i'll probably get the DSi, so i can just use it for the wrong reason

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ahoodedfigure

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#32  Edited By ahoodedfigure

No GBA port?  I totally can resist :)

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Aaron_G

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#33  Edited By Aaron_G

Damnnit! I want one!

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OldManLollipop

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#34  Edited By OldManLollipop

Will the shoulder buttons on this one melt as fast as the ones on the DS Lite did?

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kraznor

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#35  Edited By kraznor

I still have the original DS so I'm really looking forward to upgrading. Glad I didn't buy the Lite six months ago.

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TDot

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#36  Edited By TDot

Doesn't the DSi only playback AAC files? not MP3?

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Demyx

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#37  Edited By Demyx

I never even got the first DS. I severely doubt I'll use the small amount of money I ever get at one time for a DSi

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Det1

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#38  Edited By Det1

GIANT BOMB: NOW SPONSORED BY NINTENDO
...ok fine it was informative and very helpful. Still, everything below wii-like interface didn't connect to me at all. Personal distaste for things that don't enhance my gaming experience I guess.
Whether I'll pour money into whatever the hell nintendo is doing with all this money they're making, is completely dependent on the pricing of the DSi though. Probably going to wait for it to drop to...below 100$?
Until then, my DSi will serve me just fine.

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Cerza

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#39  Edited By Cerza

Still seems like a bunch of pointless added features to me. Removing the backwards compatability makes it an instant no buy in my book as I still love to play all my old GBA games, particularly Mario Kart. I also think that not being able to have a single points pool for the store sucks. If I spend the money on the Nintendo points I should be able to get whatever I want with them (Wii or DSi) and not be slotted.

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Oy

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#40  Edited By Oy

my DS works fine. I have no desire for this.

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coffeesash

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#41  Edited By coffeesash

I'm not convinced that paying twice the price for some gadgets I won't use is a sensible use of money.

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kainen

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#42  Edited By kainen

the speaker upgrade is the only attractive thing in the bunch to me, normal operation speaker is pretty damned low.  On some titles it's awful.  I'd be curious how much louder they made it?   I still use headphones for the marjority of stuff, and on that topic I wish they'd upgrade the music chip so it isn't so tinny and compressed sounding because otherwise DS audio in games is of good quality.

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AgentJ

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#43  Edited By AgentJ

My god sir, you make a very compelling arguement. However, I still won't be getting one, since at 180 dollars, I could get 6 DS games for the same price, and id rather have 6 DS games. It sure is purty though, and i didn't realize that you could finally soft reset. Thats(almost) worth it alone.

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AgentJ

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#44  Edited By AgentJ

Edit: God damned second double post in a week. But really, That Excitebike music things sounds so cool. Its definately something I'll wish I had.

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keyhunter

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#45  Edited By keyhunter

I still have the original christmas 2005 gray DS. No borken pixels or anything. And the fact that nothing has come out for the DS since I got the damn thing doesn't help either.

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lordofultima

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#46  Edited By lordofultima

Brad, trying to sell me on this just isn't going to work. Unless it has 17 times the battery life, which I'm sure it doesn't.

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gamer4life

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#47  Edited By gamer4life

if anyone is thinking of upgading their ds lite to a dsi, gamestop has a promo going on where if u trade ure ds lite for a dsi they will give u 70 bucks for it.  on top of that their is a coupon going around for an extra 25 bucks on any game system so yo will get $95 towards ure new dsi which isnt to bad.

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Gruff182

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#48  Edited By Gruff182

Nope, not sold. I'l stick to the Lite.

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MrKlorox

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#49  Edited By MrKlorox

I would have pre-ordered one already if my sister hadn't stolen the money off of my best buy card that had exactly enough to buy a DSlite (plus 2 year protection) from my return of my DS lite a year ago. I fuckin hate family.

It's funny watching people try so hard to pretend they don't want a DSi because they already own a lite. You're only fooling yourselves, if even that.

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Wright

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#50  Edited By Wright

sounds even moar sexay