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12 July 2009

DS Lite vs. DSi

Okay. For once, instead of my usual game review, I'm going to do a side-by-side comparison of Nintendo's DS Lite and DSi handhelds.

Shared features
Both systems are hinged, so that they can fold closed when not in use, to protect the dual screens. The bottom screen is a touch screen, for which a stylus is included with the system.

First of all, the screens on the DSi are ever-so-slightly larger than the screens on the DS Lite. Honestly, I don't feel that the larger size makes enough of a difference to matter.
The DS Lite has a slot for Game Boy Advance cartridges, allowing the player to play GBA titles on their DS Lite. This slot has also been the focus of developers interested in creating peripherals for use with DS games, such as the guitar controller for the Guitar Hero On Tour franchise, the pedometer included with My Weight Loss Coach, as well as Nintendo's own Rumble Pak, for use with certain games. Unfortunately, the DSi has eliminated this feature, thus preventing users from taking advantage of all of the features of some games, or even preventing them from even playing the Guitar Hero On Tour franchise entirely.
One of the features added, with the extra room made from removing the GBA slot, is a camera. While this could possibly make for some interesting game features, in the hands of the right developers, I'm a bit disappointed in the quality of the camera. My Blackberry has a better camera than the DSi.
The DSi also has access to Nintendo's new online DSi Shop, where you can download apps and games for use on your DSi. I must admit, I like the idea of the DSi Shop, and kind of wish it was possible for the DS Lite to access it. Oh, well.
Another nice addition to the DSi is the SD card slot. This comes in handy when you want to save the apps and games you've downloaded from the DSi shop externally to make room for more downloads, or if, for whatever reason, you want to save the low-resolution pictures you'll get from the DSi's camera. The addition of an SD card slot only makes sense, next to the DSi Shop and the built-in camera, so I have no complaints, there.

Final Opinion
In case you couldn't tell from everything I've said so far, personally, I prefer the DS Lite to the DSi. I like the DSi Shop, and I like that I can save my downloads to an SD card. Unfortunately, I still have some Game Boy Advance games I enjoy playing, and do not like losing the GBA slot that the DS Lite has. Also, from what I've seen so far, I think there is a lot of untapped potential regarding the idea of developing peripherals to be inserted into the GBA slot to make for a more interesting DS game.
In my opinion, I feel that the DS Lite is better for us long-time gamers, while the DSi is better for those who just recently started getting into video games.

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