With the DSi going on sale in just two days(!), what better time for the launch of a new weekly segment – GEDDEM Games! From here on out, we’ll be bringing you the latest and greatest in the world of videogames.

This week, the biggest news in videogames is the launch of the DSi on Sunday, and we couldn’t be more excited. In fact, we’re so excited about Nintendo’s new handheld that we got our hands on one three months ago, just to make sure we were the first to try it out.

So What’s New With the DSi?

With just under 20 new features, there are, to say the least, quite a few things that are different about the DSi. The first, most obvious differences are the cameras. That’s right, there are not one, but two built in cameras on the DSi – one on the back of the handheld to take pictures of other people, and the other on the inside hinge to take pictures of yourself, each boasting 3 megapixels of snap-happy goodness.

The next new feature, which is actually the most important, is the new operating system. The DSi comes equipped with a new operating system that is more useful than that on the original DS, and more cohesive with the operating system on the Wii. The DSi operating system, like the Wii operating system, consists of several different nodes, each responsible for something different. Aspictured above, they include 1. Settings Menu, 2. Game Card, 3. Camera Mode, 4. Music Mode, 5. the DSi online Store, 6. Pictochat, 7. DSi Download Play, and then a ton of open slots for games that you can download from the online store or with an SD card. Other differences include a sleeker design (12% Slimmer), bigger screens (17% bigger!), better sound quality coming out of the speakers, buttons that resemble the tactility of the GBA SP, and a new, matte finish.

What About The GBA Slot?

Sorry guys, but the GBA slot, beloved source of homebrew DS goodness, has gone the way of the dinosaur. I’ve heard a lot of complaining about this from other gamers, but honestly I don’t really feel like it’s that big of a deal. At this point, the only people who are using homebrew games are serious gamers, and serious gamers know that just because a new system comes out, doesn’t mean you should get rid of your old ones. I still have every system and game I’ve ever owned (minus the few that were stolen) and that includes no less than 4 DS Lites, none of which I’m planning on getting rid of. The other thing to keep in mind is that the GBA port has been replaced by an SD slot, which means that it’s going to be even easier to get homebrew games on your DSi than it was on the original.

The Bottom Line
Basically, what it comes down to is this; For $169, you get a bigger, brighter set of screens, slimmer console, and tons of other new features (including the new online store) at the cost of a little bit of battery life (going from the DS Lite’s 5 hours on its highest brightness setting to a measly 3 on the DSi) and the GBA port. Those two issues aside, it looks and feels great, and those games which actually push the limits of the graphics engine on the DS (I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings) look beautiful. The new features are all pretty awesome and bug free, and with the online-only releases we’ve been seeing lately, the DSi Store looks promising. Altogether, I can’t wait to go pick mine up on Sunday :).

Total Rating: 8.5/10

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