What Does a DSi Have That a DS Doesn't?

by K.C. Moore

At a glance, it may not look as if the handheld Nintendo DSi is much different from its predecessor, the Nintendo DS. Both feature dual-screen gaming with an interactive touch screen on the lower half, and both play Nintendo DS cartridges. That is where the similarities end: the Nintendo DSi offers several new additions to the hardware that were not present in the earlier models.


The Nintendo DSi is a larger system than the Nintendo DS, but it's also more streamlined for better portability. The Nintendo DSi is 5.39 inches wide and 2.94 inches long, while the Nintendo DS is only 5.23 inches wide and 2.91 inches long. The screen itself is 0.25 inches wider on the Nintendo DSi. Nintendo also designed a longer, 3.62-inch stylus for the DSi, which allows for greater control. The Nintendo DSi is slimmer at a thickness of only 0.74 inches, compared the Nintendo DS at 0.84 inches.

Built-in Cameras

One of the biggest additions to the Nintendo DSi is the inclusion of dual built-in cameras that are featured on both the front cover and in between the two game screens. The Nintendo DS has no cameras. With the cameras, you can take pictures of your friends or yourself and use the built-in software to alter the photos using the touch screen and stylus. In addition to taking pictures, some Nintendo DSi games and software also incorporate the cameras, letting you put yourself into the action.

DSi Ware

The Nintendo DSi allows you to visit the Nintendo DSi Shop via wireless Internet access to download games and software directly to the DSi. The Nintendo DS can not access the Nintendo DSi Shop or store downloaded games. The Nintendo DSi Shop features free applications and software for Nintendo DSi owners to try out, although some games require a fee. To purchase games from the Nintendo DSi Shop, you must buy Nintendo Points by redeeming a Nintendo Points card or by using a credit card.

SD Card Memory

An SD card slot was added to the Nintendo DSi so you can save your game content and media files using flash memory. The SD card allows you to save software onto your system and share photos taken with the DSi Camera with your friends and family. Nintendo DSi owners can also load their SD cards with audio music files in the AAC format to turn their Nintendo DSis into portable stereos that use the built-in media player software.


About the Author

K.C. Moore has been writing professionally since 2008. He has contributed to "Eye on Life," Kingdom Hearts Ultimania and several online publications. Moore has also worked professionally as a game adviser for Blockbuster Video since 2004. Moore is a graduate of Central Michigan University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in English with a concentration in creative writing.