Nintendo DSi - Reception


The Nintendo DSi received generally positive reviews. Critics praised many of the console's changes to the DS Lite's aesthetic and functionality, but complained that it launched with insufficient exclusive software. IGN's Craig Harris noted that the DSi-exclusive software library and DSi Shop were lacking in content even after five months on the Japanese market. Jeff Bakalar of CNET said that owners of the original DS should consider buying a DSi, but that its only incentive for DS Lite owners was the DSi Shop. PCWorld New Zealand's Jan Birkeland shared Bakalar's opinion, but believed that it was too early to judge the quality of DSi Shop software. Many critics were disappointed by the removal of the GBA cartridge slot, but others, such as PCWorld's Darren Gladstone, Bit-tech's Joe Martin, and IGN's Harris and Lowe, believed that it was a reasonable exchange for SD card support and the DSi Shop. However, Bakalar stated, "We'd gladly give up the 4 millimeters to be able to play any Game Boy Advance game."

Most reviewers criticized the quality of its cameras, particularly due to their resolution in comparison to contemporaneous mobile phones. They considered them sufficient for the DSi's screens, however. Harris and Lowe believed that the camera's only use was to take "silly pictures of yourself and others". They complained about the difficulty of taking photographs in low-light environments, and said that low-light images were tinged green or blue. Opinions on the DSi's photograph-editing tools were varied: Bit-tech's Martin and Reid considered them to be a gimmick, but Bakalar and Cliff Edwards of BusinessWeek thought otherwise. Edwards said that the camera's use in gameplay was a new opportunity for developers; Martin did not think that the concept would be widely adopted, as he believed it to be "a gimmick that would alienate DS Lite owners". Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell speculated that the DSi follows Game & Watch and Game Boy creator Gunpei Yokoi's philosophy of using dated technology developers are familiar with to introduce new game design concepts that are inexpensive enough for mass production at a profit. He argued its features are designed to "briefly entertain" early adopters while encouraging "developers to consider it as an alternative " to build an attractive game library for the long term.

Because of the DSi's additions to the DS Lite design, critics recommended the console to those who had not purchased a previous DS model. Pete Metzger of the Los Angeles Times considered the DSi to be "more like version 2.5 than a total reboot", but called its new features "worthwhile additions to an already great product." Gladstone gave the DSi a score of 75/100, and said that Nintendo "puts in smart nips and tucks to its already-svelte handheld while adding a raft of useful multimedia features." Harris and Lowe defined the console's hardware redesign as "evolutionary", rather than "revolutionary". After the DSi was unveiled, Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew J. Fassler called the DSi Shop a "tangible early threat" to big-box stores and retailers. Martin believed that the cameras and DSi Shop did not justify purchasing the DSi at launch, but, in line with the general consensus, saw potential in future software for the console.

Douglas Rankine of Wired UK and McKinley Noble of GamePro thought previously existing Nintendo DS games were revitalized with the Nintendo DSi XL's larger screens; games like Scribblenauts and The World Ends with You benefited from increased touchscreen precision and increased legibility of text, respectively. CVG's Mike Jackson argued that the bigger screens, which made its unchanged resolution blockier, would probably be less noticeable to the older demographic for which the XL is undoubtedly designed. However, Jackson and IGN's Scott Lowe and Chris Burke agreed its clear and vivid colors considerably compensated for its unchanged resolution. Carol Mangis of PC Magazine thought families looking to share a handheld between members should consider a DSi XL, but the larger screens were not enough of an incentive for current DSi owners to upgrade. Lowe, Burke, Jackson, and Bakalar concluded the larger DSi model is not an essential upgrade; Jackson explained "if you tend not to carry it out with you, and only ever tend to use it at home, then the DSi XL is the better choice".

Read more about this topic:  Nintendo DSi

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