DSi

Common Sense Media says

Nintendo's new handheld is great IF parental controls used.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This gaming system allows players to connect to others via Nintendo Wi-Fi capability as well as connecting to others via the Internet. The system also allows for sharing of user-generated content. And you can share photos from one DSi to another via the Nintendo Wi-Fi network. Photos can also be saved to a SD card, uploaded to the Internet, and then sent from there.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this new handheld gaming system connects to the Internet; takes photos that you can store, manipulate, and then share with others; plays music and allows you to record your own; comes with robust parental controls; and can download new software from the online DSi store (in a manner similar to purchasing music from iTunes or the WiiWare store). Because of its connectivity to others, it is important for parents of young children to turn on the parental controls to regulate the communication. And with this device's ability to take photos and then allow users to manipulate or distort them, parents need to consider at what age they want to grant their kids the option to share those photos. We have set the age appropriateness of use of this device at age 7, with the caveat that parents of kids under age 12 activate and use the parental controls. Common Sense Media does not recommend letting kids under age 12 on the Internet unsupervised.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

The DSi is a new handheld gaming system from Nintendo which looks a lot like the old DS. It flips open to reveal two screens, with the bottom one being touch sensitive. It comes with two digital cameras. The one on the inside can take photos and videos of the player to use within gameplay. The other, located on the outside of the casing, has better resolution and can take photos of others. The DSi comes with photo manipulation software which lets you experiment with morphing photos including distorting, adding funny touches (like Mario's famous moustache), and turning a photo into a kaleidoscope effect. This handheld can also play your favorite music from a SD card, and gives you the ability to record, overlay sounds, and manipulate the music's speed and pitch.

The DSi can connect to the internet, and even comes with its own browser. From the Internet, players can access the DSi store where they can download new games to the DSi by redeeming Nintendo Point cards or purchasing the points using a credit card. The games can be saved to the system or to an SD card. The system also has robust parental controls which cover controlling the ESRB rating of games played on the system, and restricting access to the Internet, the DSi store, PictoChat, as well as prohibiting the sharing of photos and user-generated content.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Since this is the next iteration of the Nintendo DS, we will compare it to its predecessor while explaining the Pros and Cons of the new DSi.

PROS:

• Takes photos, and comes with fun and amusing photo manipulation software
• Plays your own music, and lets you layer your own sounds over music as well as letting you manipulate sound, pitch, and speed.
• Games are downloadable, so you don't have to go to the store
• Parental Controls are robust. Can keep kids from going online, sharing photos and PictoChat, buying new games, sharing user-generated content. Parents can also set the level of the ESRB rating that kids are allowed to play (ie. if you prohibit the playing of M-rated DSi games, it won't play them. However, this doesn't work for older DS games which will also play on the system)
• Will play the older DS games
• Easier to connect to the Internet than the older DS
• Bigger screen
• Better sound
• Change games without turning off system
• Backward compatible to the over 850 DS titles
• Can save games and photos to SD card

CONS:

• Costs more than a DS ($170 vs $130)
• Not backward compatible to Game Boy Advance titles the way the DS is
• Parental controls relating to controlling ESRB content is only for DSi games, not DS games
• Has its own new charger so you can't use older DS or DS Lite chargers
• Battery won't last as long as the one in the DS

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether they will miss the ability to play old Game Boy Advance cartridges on this new DSi? Do you like manipulating photos, and if so, which is your favorite filter? What did you like about playing with music?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DSi
Price:$169.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:April 5, 2009
Genre:Mini-games

This review of DSi was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 8 years old July 6, 2011
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

just the same

just the same as any other DS.
Parent of a 8 and 11 year old Written byminks April 6, 2009
Kid, 12 years old May 27, 2009
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Demented review pick

I find it highly unacceptable for CSM to review a video game system. I bet Nintendo will file a lawsuit against CSM for this. Anyway, a must-buy upgrade for the ds!

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