Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nintendo DSi is a big hit

Both boys had birthdays last month (nine and seven!), and they set their sights on the new Nintendo DSi. That was a bit pricey, so we gave the boys a chance to earn some money towards their gift through extra chores. When the DSi finally came out a month after their birthdays, we picked up their new gifts.

Have to say - I'm really impressed. Here's what I really love:
  • Built-in cameras. The kids have had a ton of fun snapping pictures with the built-in cameras (there's both a user-facing camera as well as a camera that faces away from the user) and using the DSi's image editor to distort the pictures. (Nothing quite like a 7 year-old's face stretched to three times its normal width.)
  • Wireless gameplay. There's actually three different ways for the DS to play wirelessly. Having seen it in operation with two kids, it's great. 
    • Certain games - like Brain Age, Mario Kart DS, both of which we have - give multiple players with a DS the ability to wirelessly download a companion version of the game and play together. (On the game boxes, this is called wireless multi-player download, details here.) This requires you to only own one game card, but multiple players can play.
    • Other games support multi-card wireless play mean that if every player owns a copy of the game, they can connect to each other to play head-to-head. We haven't bought them the same game yet, so we haven't played with this version yet... now it's up to the boys to decide if they want to spend their gift cards and chore money on copies of the same game. :)
    • Nintendo WiFi Connection. Yet other games can play head-to-head over the Internet. My nieces both have DS Lites; with copies of the same game (say, Mario Kart) the cousins can all play together over the net from 3,000 miles away. That's pretty darned cool.
  • DSi Shop. If you connect the DSi to a broadband connection before October 5, you get free points to spend on free games from the DSi shop. The boys picked different games, and the quality isn't bad for free games. There's not much to pick from right now, but I'm sure there's more coming.
Also, a final plug for GameStop. The boys were able to trade in some unused Wii games to stock up on a couple of DS titles they wanted. Not bad.

Final note on the DSi - if you're looking for a little more info, IGN has a great walk-through:

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