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Nintendo DSi Raises Many Questions

New Nintendo DSi Revealed

Nintendo DSi I take one single day off to attend to medical needs and I miss all the big news, it seems.  Nintendo has officially revealed that rumored new Nintendo DS revision, the Nintendo DSi.  It has about what we'd expect: bigger screens, smaller size, built-in camera, and... oh, what's this?... onboard memory and an SD card slot for playing Virtual Console titles on the goKombo has the details.

On the cosmetic side of things, this version will be 12%, 2.6 millimeters lighter, and the GBA slot present on DS Lite handhelds will be excluded. The system will gain a camera and MP3 playback in place of the GBA compatibility. The Nintendo DSi camera will contain 300,000 pixels. Both screens will be touch panels, and photographs should be able to be manipulated through the touch screen. The pitch and playback speed of sound on the Nintendo DSi can be adjusted at will.

Both screens will be increased to 3.25 inches. Also included is SD card support. The system will have on board storage, built-in applications, you can download new apps, you can take titles you've downloaded to the DSi with you. The system will also have a built-in internet browser.

Nintendo will offer DSi Ware titles. They will range from free/200/500/800 Nintendo Points-- formally known as Wii Points. Systems that connect by March 2010 will receive 1,000 free Nintendo Points.

Japan gets first crack at the device later this year, but the rest of us will have to wait for 2009.  Nintendo has already announced the first wave of games for the DSi which include Mario and Luigi 3, something new for Mega Man, a Kirby adventure, and more.  It's not all smiles and sunshine though.  The Game Boy Advance slot won't be included in the DSi, so don't trade in or toss your standard DS or GBAs just yet.

I like the announced additions to the DS's capabilities, and considering that I held off on buying a DS Lite because I knew a better upgrade was eventually around the corner, I'll definitely pick this up once it launches in North America.  Let's just hope that the built-in web browser is better than Nintendo/Opera's last attempt at such a product.  I find myself wondering if some new DSi games will be playable on current DS hardware.  Before you scoff and tell me that is a ridiculous idea, remember how some of the first Game Boy Color games were playable on the original Game Boy (without the colors, of course).  I wouldn't expect anything that required the camera or extra memory to work 100%, but if all a DSi game needs is a touchscreen, why not support the older hardware?