Nintendo Makes Money

Breaking news, right? The sky is blue, grass is green, Qdoba is better than Chipotle — all obvious truths, provided you go outside sometimes and also have a pulse. But an even more obvious(er) truth is the fact that Nintendo, purveyor of magical white boxes of all shapes and sizes, is raking in the dough. The trend isn’t anywhere close to stopping with their latest release, a fancy pants version of the world’s most popular gaming handheld: the DSi.

Was that Apple-inspired ‘i’ on the end there absolutely necessary? Nobody knows. What I do know, however, is that I want one, even if there’s no obvious reason to upgrade from my trusty old DS Lite.

Okay, okay, that’s not completely true. In addition to (slightly) larger screens, two (useless) built-in cameras and an (awesome) SD-card slot, the DSi comes with a shiny new service neither of its two predecessors can enjoy: DSi Ware, a virtual marketplace for games, applications, etc. It’s basically the Wii’s Shop Channel retooled specifically for the DS, opening up all sorts of nifty new things to enjoy even when the handheld doesn’t have a game in its cartridge slot.

It’s an exciting service, and one I hope takes off, though the current selection is a bit limited. The Wii Shop Channel was similarly sparse when it first debuted, however, and it’s rocking a growing number of great games now, so hopefully developers will take advantage of the DS’s unique features and create some inspiring titles.

The other bit of big news about the handheld revolves around the bottom slot, which was previously used to load Game Boy Advance games. The DSi strips it entirely, a pretty blatant hint that Nintendo is ready to move on from its Game Boy days and into a dual-screen, money-printing future. I’m not really sad to see it go, given that I sold off my GBA titles long ago, but I can imagine it’s pretty disappointing for the large number of gamers out there who still have Advance games they’re fond of.

But what about you, dear reader? Are you due for an upgrade?

Honestly, if you already have one of the previous iterations of the DS, I don’t see much of a point. Unless the DSi Ware marketplace consistently produces amazing titles over the next six months, the DSi offers nothing a regular DS can’t do. Bigger screens are swell, sure, and the overall aesthetics of the handheld are definitely improved, but neither one of those features can really warrant a base price of $170.

If you don’t have a DS already, or plan to buy one for someone else, then definitely shell out the extra cash for the latest version. The relatively minor changes might not appeal to an established gamer, but someone new to the DS entirely will definitely appreciate the new features alongside the already awesome library of DS games.

Me? I’m going to hold off and save my cash for more important things. It’s a tempting purchase, especially knowing that you can trade in a DS Lite at Gamecrazy to get $90 in credit towards a DSi (only for the next week!), but even $60 seems a little steep for this cheap ass gamer. Alas, blogging isn’t quite as lucrative as you might imagine, so in the meantime feel free to leave comments about how awesome the DSi is just to make me super jealous. Jerks.

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No Comments on "Nintendo Makes Money"

  1. i
    08/04/2009 at 10:29 am Permalink

    Seriously? Qdoba > Chipotle? You crazy.

  2. matt
    08/04/2009 at 1:18 pm Permalink

    Haha! I wondered how long it would take before Chipotle’s limey-guac lovers called for my head. 🙂

    In all seriousness, I’m a big fan of both, though Qdoba’s Queso Burrito has won my heart over the last few weeks.

  3. pantone175c
    09/04/2009 at 7:34 am Permalink

    My son and I were debating on upgrading. Im not sure the cameras, larger screens, SD slot are enough to make the switch. DSi Ware sounds awesome, but we are going to wait a few months and see what happens. I love the matte finish though!

  4. Giochi
    05/05/2009 at 3:03 pm Permalink

    I got a Dsi yesterday, and I love it.
    Screens are bigger, L and R buttons are much easier to use and it has opera web browser.

    So far it’s pretty great

  5. Nintendo DS Flips
    10/12/2009 at 12:19 pm Permalink

    Nintendo seem like they are just printing money at the minute! Everything they do sells like hotcakes, and seems to hold its value for years!

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