I was a little surprised to find the Nintendo DSi in stock on launch day at my local Gamestop, in fact they said there was somewhere around 40 units available after preorders. I figured what the hell and picked one up, because, well I'm a gadget whore. I'll be honest, I didn't know much about the system other than it dropped the GBA slot in favor of a slimmer design, two cameras and bigger screens. I figured with a new baby here, I'm going to be doing plenty of mobile and impromptu gaming - why not do it in style?
The first thing you'll notice is the DSi has a matte finish instead of the glossy finish of the DS Lite. Gone are the fingerprints and in their place are scuff marks. It's honestly not THAT bad, and I actually prefer the new finish. The button layout is slightly changed as well, gone is the slide power and volume controls, and in their place are digital buttons on the side like a cell phone for volume and a gray power button on the face of the device. A nice touch with the new power button is the ability to tap it to exit a game and return to the brand newDSi interface.
As soon as I turned the system on a new firmware update was available, something which the DS Lite lacked the ability to do, and off I went into the interface. The interface will feel fairly familiar for Wii owners as it utilizes little channels to organize your different applications, and in some cases, even shares the same music and tones. Out of the box you'll find your Cartridge,DSi Camera, Settings, DSi Sound, DSi Shop, DS Download Play and Picto Chat. Using the DSi Shop channel you can download new games and applications to fill out your channels on the home screen. There's a handful of games available now, as well as a free version of the Operainternet browser. These items can be packaged and downloaded the DSi's internal memory or to an optional SD card. I say packaged because Nintendo went all cutesy and decided you need to "unwrap" your download from it's blue packaging shell - complete with bow.