The Nintendo DSi hand held gaming console heralds the first major promotion of the companies' popular Dual Screen format since the DS Lite was issued in March 2006. The DSi is scheduled for a November 1st2008 release in Japan with American and European editions following in Spring 2009 The console was announced at the Nintendo Conference which was held in Tokyo, Japan on October 2nd 2008 and it is the third version of the DS console to be issued.

The console boasts a number of specifications and features which differentiate it from its predecessor the most obvious of which is the addition of two cameras, one of the cameras is positioned on the internal hinge and points at the user, while the other camera is more instantly visible as it is located on the outer shell of the unit. Despite the addition of the cameras the overall size of the DSi has been reduced, it is 12% slimmer than the DS Lite.

The DSi screens are larger than on previous models measuring 3.25 inches as opposed to the 3 inch screens on the DS lite, the speakers have also been tweaked allowing for superior sound quality. Elsewhere you will find minor configurations such as the power switch has been replaced by a power button and it is now positioned next to the bottom left hand side of the touch screen.

An exciting addition is the SD card slot, this allows for external storage of images and downloaded software and facilitates the playback of AAC format audio. However such a feature has come at a cost as the much loved GBA (Game Boy Advance) slot has been removed meaning that this console has no GBA returns compatibility either with the games or any related accessories which require the slot to function.

Another plus point of the DSi is the fact that it ships with its own internal flash memory and built in web browser, it is also possible to download games from an online store enticed DSWare Shop, these games can be stored on to the console for later enjoyment and can be purchased using Nintendo Points, the price structure for these titles are 200, 500 or 800 points although some applications will be free of charge.

Available in a choice of matte white or black The Nintendo DSi will soon find itself locked in combat with Sony's recent PSP upgrade the PSP 3000 and only time will tell if the new look DS console will have enough pulling power to entice those looking for a hand held gaming console to buy.

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