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Disassembling the US Nintendo DSi

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the keep-all-27-pieces dept.

Hardware Hacking 102

An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday iFixit tore apart the Nintendo DSi and found several internal upgrades from the outgoing DS Lite. It seems that an experienced hand can completely disassemble the DSi in less than ten minutes using standard tools, especially since the job does not require a tri-wing screwdriver. This should make repairing and tinkering with the DSi substantially easier. The DSi now includes two integrated cameras that, unfortunately, have only 0.3 megapixel resolution. This is certainly a bit underwhelming considering most mainstream phones have cameras of at least 1.3 megapixels. As for chips, Nintendo is using a Samsung MoviNAND integrated 256 MB Flash memory / MMC controller chip, as well as a custom ARM CPU + GPU is stamped with the revision code 'TWL.' The DSi's chips all had manufacture dates around September 2008, indicating that Nintendo has been stockpiling these devices for quite a while prior to the North American release."

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Interesting (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27510935)

I'm surprised that they decreased battery capacity. I thought the reduced battery life was a side effect of the component upgrades. Apparently, that's not the case. Even more surprising is that the DSi mainboard is technically smaller than the DS Lite, but the unit has a larger footprint thanks to an expansion board hanging off the side. The board appears to be the contact points for the system's buttons.

I wonder if the larger footprint was necessitated by the larger screens? One would think that Nintendo would shave off a bit of space from the sides, but perhaps that didn't yield as good of a grip as the DS Lite.

Re:Interesting (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 5 years ago | (#27510965)

Could the decreased battery be a weight issue?

Re:Interesting (3, Funny)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511067)

Yeah, my DS is way too heavy. Thank god someone's taking my complaints seriously.

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511483)

They've got to leave room for improvement for the DS micro (Remember GBC? -> GBA -> GBA SP -> GB Micro) => DS -> DS Lite -> DSi -> DS Micro

Re:Interesting (4, Insightful)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511675)

That's not a good comparison, as the Game Boy Advance was wildly different in capabilities from the Game Boy Color. Meanwhile the DS, DS Lite and DSi are essentially the same system.

Re:Interesting (4, Funny)

cizoozic (1196001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513539)

That's not a good comparison, as the Game Boy Advance was wildly different in capabilities from the Game Boy Color. Meanwhile the DS, DS Lite and DSi are essentially the same system.

So it's true - Nintendo is developing better business sense with time!

Re:Interesting (1)

Blublu (647618) | more than 5 years ago | (#27514381)

The DSi is to DS what Gameboy Micro is to the GBA; no more backwards compatibility, but a better screen. Personally, I would rather go for the DS lite which has only a tiny bit worse screen than DSi but still really good, and would recommend the same to everyone.

0.3 Megapixels... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511009)

0.3 megapixels is equivalent to a resolution of 640x480 pixels, which is twice the resolution of each individual Nintendo DS screen. The lower resolution CCD costs less, and the images are far easier to process in real-time with the DSi's limited resources.

Re:0.3 Megapixels... (3, Funny)

faragon (789704) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511135)

Re:0.3 Megapixels... (-1, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513875)

Uhhh, shaving is for those people who possess vaginas. Real men don't fuck with little baby blades, aloe strips, and shit like that. Let the facial hair grow. It's in your genes. Buncha metrosexual candy asses. Or, are they homosexual candy asses? It's hard to tell the difference sometimes.

Re:0.3 Megapixels... (2, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511393)

I'd rather have a nice crisp 640x480 picture than the amazingly noisy and poor quality X-Fuckabit cellphone camera.

Re: Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511585)

Surely they are CMOS cameras not CCDs.

Re: Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511631)

That they are, my apologies to the camera gods.

Re:0.3 Megapixels... (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511749)

In other words, it's a glorified view-finder and moving your photos to any other device or media would be pointless.

Re:0.3 Megapixels... (2, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511767)

Yes, I think the resolution makes sense for the DSi. Especially since I think it may figure into some game mechanics in the future; the cameras mounted on every Wiimote are only 320x240, I believe. They are IR sensitive, but I believe that all digital cameras are unless specific IR filters are installed. Does anybody know what the maximum frame rate is for obtaining images from the DSi cameras? Can it capture 30+ frames a second?

Re:0.3 Megapixels... (2, Informative)

bencoder (1197139) | more than 5 years ago | (#27512047)

cameras mounted on every Wiimote are only 320x240, I believe.

actually they are 1024x768 and can capture very fast, but presumably it's mono only. There's also no way(in software) to get at the output of it, before it goes through the SOC that does blob detection.

Re:0.3 Megapixels... (1)

Josejx (46837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27512503)

I'm pretty sure this isn't true, simply because the output from the cameras is displayed on the screen when you raise or lower the Wii Remote sensitivity.

They're always perfect circles (4, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27512577)

Each side of the sensor bar has half a dozen infrared LEDs in a line. But have you ever noticed that the dots on the Wii Remote sensitivity screen are always perfect circles? The screen actually reads the four biggest blobs (X, Y, brightness) and draws them to the screen as circles with radius proportional to brightness. So you're not seeing the direct output of the 128x96 pixel* sensor in the Wii Remote but instead an interpretation of this info.

* The effective resolution is 1024x768 because the remote's firmware uses brightness and area information to refine the estimated position of the centroid of each blob to 1/8 pixel increments.

Re:0.3 Megapixels... (3, Insightful)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513553)

> equivalent to a resolution of 640x480 pixels, which is twice the resolution of each individual Nintendo DS screen.

Each LCD on the DS only has a native resolution of 256x192 (almost the same as the old Apple ][s, except 15-bit.) Twice the resolution is 512x384. So you really should say "...which is more than twice..." (I would know, since I shipped a DS game last year, and this year.)

For comparision, the Acer Aspire One also uses a 0.3 megapixel camera (which I've found to be OK.) So while the megapixel resolution isn't great, the issue is over-rated IMHO. The low resolution is party to cover up the low native resolution of the LCDs.

Re:0.3 Megapixels... (4, Insightful)

Samah (729132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27514437)

Well... technically (in terms of pixels), 512x384 is 4x the resolution of 256x192.

Re:0.3 Megapixels... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519393)

No, it really isn't. It's four times the pixels, but it's twice the resolution; there's twice as many pixels in a given fraction of screen distance. Resolution is a concept which only requires two dimensions, don't make it more complex than it needs to be. :)

I knew it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511015)

Quoting the article [ifixit.com] ,

The most surprising find on the DSi's motherboard was a family of Italian terrorists who leaped out and attacked this writer's cat. These illegal immigrant stowaways had folded themselves in between the main bus and the integrated sound co-processor and had sustained themselves on sunflower seeds while trapped in the plastic casing. Nintendo's spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

I have always warned that Barack "Giuseppe" Obama was in league with Japanese financiers to spirit Italian extremist provocateurs into our nation's heartland. Now what do you nay-sayers say?

Inside the back case (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511041)

Is a picture of goatse [goatse.fr] , image 5 of the series if I am not mistaken.

sexting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511053)

I am wondering if you can send the picture anywhere after you take it. with the recent sexting lawsuits I am sure nintendo doesn't want jr. high kids sending pictures of sex organs to each other in class on their DSi.

That could really kill off their new DRM ridden pile of crap.

Re:sexting? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511677)

Wow, if only the seven-year-olds new that the DS used DRM they would certainly get rid of it and wait until a similar device was available based on Linux (about the time they want to start playing brain age to help combat alzheimer's).

Wii Numbers (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27512527)

I am wondering if you can send the picture anywhere after you take it.

I don't see any reason why it would use privacy rules different from the Wii Numbers used on Wii.

Megapixel fetishism (2, Interesting)

guspasho (941623) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511145)

0.3 megapixel pictures are far easier to share and probably far easier for the ARM CPU to manipulate than 1.3 megapixel pictures. From a usability perspective the megapixel makes a lot more sense than trying to edit a much larger picture on such a small screen or trying to use such a small device to transmit the picture wirelessly to your friend's DSi.

Re:Megapixel fetishism (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511471)

It really makes no sense not to have at least a 2MP camera on the outside, for taking actual pictures. To be limited to 0.3MP in and out is kind of pathetic. The parts are cheap.

Re:Megapixel fetishism (3, Insightful)

guspasho (941623) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511535)

I find your signature ironic since the post you responded to explains why it makes sense to use a smaller camera.

Re:Megapixel fetishism (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511899)

The post was wrong. Well, that's my opinion anyway, but that's the obvious subtext when you make a subjective statement like that. Using a low-MP camera on the inside is fine because there's no need for anyone other than DSi users or the DSi itself to look at you with it. Putting such a pathetic one on the outside is pathetic because it eliminates many potential uses which demand a higher-megapixel camera. You can already subsample a camera sensor, so that you can treat a whatever-megapixel camera like a camera with some fraction of its actual number of pixels. Your response as almost as stupid as the kind of AC stuff I try to avoid rewarding, but since some people [read: you] didn't get it, I had to explain the whole thing.

Re:Megapixel fetishism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27514911)

With your excellent ideas, I see not reason for you not being head of Nintendo. Obviously, you have thought it all the way through and Nintendo yet again made an awful business decision. I guess that's why they are poor. Please drinkypoo, save them :(

Re:Megapixel fetishism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27526403)

Can't you tell from his calm temperament that he is far too classy a fellow to accept such a lowly position while he is still walking this earth? Tsk tsk, you should feel ashamed for even contemplating the possibility. Surely you wouldn't want to insult him; that might make him question whether he is really as perpetually correct and all-insightful as he rightfully thinks he is.

Re:Megapixel fetishism (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511651)

Maybe it's 0.3 good MP? versus the 1.3 MP of very adulteratedgarbage that you get out of most cameraphones. 1.3MP That you can't even display on said cameras small low res screen and are so crappy you couldn't be arsed to download them anywhere else.

Re:Megapixel fetishism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27515763)

You can zoom in you know. Anyway the current generation of phones (from Sony and Samsung, not crapple) use 10Megapixel cameras.

Re:Megapixel fetishism (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 5 years ago | (#27640645)

Do you really think 2MP is going to get much out of a tiny CMOS sensor with a static plastic lens and a focal length of a couple of millimeters?

Also light sensetivity is an issue. Many phones perform extremely poorly in low-light conditions. This would be worse for the intended uses of the DSi. Using a lower resolution sensor helps.

STOP THE PRESSES! (-1, Flamebait)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511169)

How in the fuck are pictures of the internals of an electronic device front-page worthy?

Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (4, Insightful)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511641)

Because it is Slashdot "The nuts and volts of news for nerds" Which means this documentation is now the first step of any modifications. I and many other NERDS, Love modding and getting the most bang for your buck. It is just like Car Guys who are always looking for more performance.

Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (5, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511673)

How in the fuck are pictures of the internals of an electronic device front-page worthy?

What? Get the fuck out.

Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (2, Funny)

midicase (902333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27512145)

Components or GTFO!

That's better.

Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 5 years ago | (#27514091)

Thank you.

Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27515049)

TOTALLY front page worthy!!! iFixit is actually really great. I've ordered several screwdrivers and such from them!

Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#27515529)

Never have words so important been said so eloquently.

Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511829)

Wow.

OP aside, please feature more stories about disassembled electronics. Thank you.

Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27512017)

Hummm .. what? This is Slashdot by the way, not Perez Hilton.

Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513565)

They aren't, especially since all of the images are so small. It looks like they link to something, but when I click them, nothing happens.

Re:STOP THE PRESSES! (2, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520127)

This is slashdot. We get hardons looking at picture of naked electronics. If you don't, try hanging out somewhere else.

Flashme (1)

hippie-joel (1399283) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511175)

The real question is, does Flashme work with it?

Re:Flashme (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511451)

I doubt it since it run a different software?

Re:Flashme (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521723)

Flash cartridges and such act like a regular game cartridge as far as the DS is concerned. Current ones use some kind of security hole in the system, and I think the reason they're not suppose to work with the DSi is that the security hole has been closed.

Re:Flashme (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522667)

He was talking about flashme, not flashcarts, flashme is a modified firmware which allow booting from slot 2 / gba without a passme device (which identifies as a game and then start processing from the gba slot in DS mode) and also disables the warnings.

Though, for this purpose having flashme on a DSi don't make sense at all, but I guess he meant a firmware replacement without copy protection / which made it possible to load a flashcart. Anyway, lack of hardware and probably very different firmware makes me very sure flashme won't work.

And there are flashcarts such as the Acekard 2i which work on DSi, or did work, for how long? No idea, maybe Nintendo can fix so they don't, maybe not.

DealExtreme sells them for 18 $ with free shipping.

And btw, what flashme / passme devices did was to let things loaded from the GBA slot use the CPUs in DS-mode. But the DSi don't have two CPUs longer so that don't make sense either.

Re:Flashme (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27521695)

One of the main reasons for release this new DS was to disable the flash cartridges that are around now (or so I've read).

Homebrew applications, etc (4, Interesting)

kamelkev (114875) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511211)

I'm really curious if the various mechanisms for running homebrew applications still work.

I have an R4 chip from my regular DS - my guess is they've closed up whatever hole was opened and a new method will be found, but has anyone tested this so far?

Re:Homebrew applications, etc (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511389)

I'm not wildly familiar with the issue; but my impression is that all the current DS methods were closed; but that Nintendo didn't make any real "progress", if you can call it that, toward building a hardcore lockdown hypervised mess, and that hacks are expected to appear in the fairly near future.

Re:Homebrew applications, etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511615)

Anything that works with current DS works with DSi, that includes R4 with DS games, however you cannot use the R4 with DSi games

Re:Homebrew applications, etc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27522609)

Sorry, wrong. It doesn't work. I've tried it.

Re:Homebrew applications, etc (2, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27512253)

I'm not wildly familiar with the issue; but my impression is that all the current DS methods were closed; but that Nintendo didn't make any real "progress", if you can call it that, toward building a hardcore lockdown hypervised mess, and that hacks are expected to appear in the fairly near future.

The DSi is more like the Wii in that respect - there are firmware updates available - heck, there's one when you open the box and try to get your free 1000 points!

So any holes found will be closed, and others reopened, until we get something like the Homebrew Channel for it. Just a big cat-and-mouse game, really.

I'd suggest getting one now with buggy firmware, and hope that someone will release a "Custom Firmware" for it a la the PSP... which is more likely to happen with buggy firmware early machines, than later ones.

Else, don't bother. Sony really needs to get their act together and make the PSP a more compelling system - the lack of PSP competition gives us stuff like the DSi... no real improvements. (Of course, one could say piracy is killing the PSP since very few people seem to be developing for it, and new releases for PSP are thinner and thinner...).

Re:Homebrew applications, etc (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511465)

Current cards don't work but there are DSi cards already being demo'd.

As of right now they're not for sale, nor any input on if older generation cards can be flashed to DSi mode.

Re:Homebrew applications, etc (2, Informative)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513281)

Actually, there are cards that work on the DSi. http://www.dsiflashcard.com/ [dsiflashcard.com] I'd still wait until there're cards that can mimic the DSi only and works better on DSi cartridges.

Re:Homebrew applications, etc (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511469)

There has been cards out which work for long, such as AceKard 2i. The question is if they will work forever or not.

Older cards don't work.

Re:Homebrew applications, etc (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511507)

Homebrew my arse. You want to run pirated games. Just admit it.

Not pirated games, just homebrew (5, Insightful)

gknoy (899301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511841)

There are a number of DS homebrew games I'd love to use, if I ever have the disposable income to spare on the adapters and cards. There's a painting app ( http://colors.collectingsmiles.com/about.php [collectingsmiles.com] ) which looks neat, especially if you are traveling and want to sketch something, or just like to doodle. There are also some PDA-like programs which might be handy, though I don't know how I'd find them useful.

ScummVM ( http://scummvm.drunkencoders.com/ [drunkencoders.com] ) is a homebrew app to let you play old LucasArts games, as well as newer (free) games made for the Scumm interpreter. (Yes, one could pirate the old LucasArts games. The morality of playing a no longer published game on a newer platform is not something I wish to discuss. I don't plan to pirate it, if that's any consolation to you.) There are some free games, such as several from Revolution Software, that have been re-released from Amiga to Nintendo DS.

There are even e-book and comic reader homebrew apps for the DS... though I've not used them. (I prefer paper books.)

I'd get a lot more geek cred if I were part of the nintendo DS demo scene, but I'm not. (: However, I hope I have adequately debunked your claim that all we'd want to do is use it to run pirated games.

Re:Not pirated games, just homebrew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513799)

You can get a cart for around $5 - $10 from here [dealextreme.com] and get free shipping. I'm really happy with the one I purchased from them.

Re:Not pirated games, just homebrew (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 5 years ago | (#27516153)

There's a port of Nethack that's better than the wince port. That's worth the price of an R4 alone!

Re:Not pirated games, just homebrew (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519197)

Don't forget that you can run a GB emulator on various GBAs etc, which is superior to the official emulation system in that it permits you to save state, pause, et cetera. If you've paid for the games you're not even "stealing" (snark snark) anything.

Re:Not pirated games, just homebrew (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27532835)

I use my DSLite to play Final Fantasy 2 pretty much as the sole app, right now. FF2 is part of the FF:Dawn of Souls re-re(-re?)-release, which is a GBA game. Being able to have that on a flash thing like the R4 would be pretty sweet. Interestingly, the DSi no longer has a GBA slot. If my DS breaks, I'll feel quite sad not being able to play my primary game, so I would likely resort to playing a ripped version of the same cart on the DSi.

I realize that this might qualify for a "-1, Hypocritical" rating, but I think it's consistent. My goal is not to pirate games on the system, but if that's how to play the games I own, I'll consider it.

Not pirated (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27512499)

Homebrew my arse. You want to run pirated games. Just admit it.

Is Linux a pirated copy of Solaris? No. Is Nintendo's Balloon Fight a pirated copy of Midway's Joust? No. Is Lockjaw [pineight.com] a pirated copy of Tetris DS? No. Is MoonShell a pirated copy of Windows Media Player? No. Is DSOrganize a pirated copy of Hello Kitty Daily, an organizer for DS? Hell no.

Re:Homebrew applications, etc (4, Informative)

Djehuty3 (1371395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511521)

R4s, Edge, M3 et al will not work on the DSi - however, the newer "EZ Flash Vi" and "Acekard 2i" both will. I am not aware of any other DSi compatible carts though.

Re:Homebrew applications, etc (1)

peckox (1267026) | more than 5 years ago | (#27515523)

They disabled all existing DS homebrew cards, but few weeks after release of the japanese DSi you could already buy DSi specific homebrew card. There are 2 already on the market, Acekard 2i and R4i (which is just a shameful copy of the acekard), both works on the US DSi, and european DSi (well, on the european only when the language is set to english :) )

Stockpile means nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511395)

How does this

The DSi's chips all had manufacture dates around September 2008, indicating that Nintendo has been stockpiling these devices for quite a while prior to the North American release."

mean that nintendo was stockpiling? They could have bought the chipsets and just built instead of you know stockpiling

Re:Stockpile means nothing (3, Informative)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511619)

Or they built them, waited until they had a decent amount, and released them all at once, instead of having massive shortages like when they launched their LAST console...

Re:Stockpile means nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513263)

Or, they built them across the span of two months, and then released it in Japan. The DSi came out in November last year in Japan...

It seems... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511417)

It seems that an experienced hand can completely disassemble the DSi in less than ten minutes, using standard tools

A non-experienced one will take 10-30 seconds with no tools at all. This may not make repairing and tinkering with the DSi substantially easier

Stockpiling? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27511423)

The DSi's chips all had manufacture dates around September 2008, indicating that Nintendo has been stockpiling these devices for quite a while prior to the North American release.
 
Or it might have something to do with the fact that the DSi was released in Japan in November 2008.

How long... (1)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511529)

Till the DSi is rebuilt into something geeky like the Millennium Falcon or the Battlestar Galactica? That's the sort of hand held gaming that I can get behind!

Re:How long... (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#27515541)

Till the DSi is rebuilt into something geeky like the Millennium Falcon or the Battlestar Galactica? That's the sort of hand held gaming that I can get behind!

Adama wouldn't stand for networked computers on his ship.

Underwhelming. (2, Informative)

wiggles (30088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511635)

This rev of the DSi is really underwhelming. I traded my old DS phat in for $50 off of the DSi, and though the upgraded screen is nice, I'll never use the damned camera. It doesn't support mp3. Downloadable games are nice, but I haven't found a single one worth downloading at launch. I'm hoping somebody comes up with a way to play old snes roms on it via the SD card -- if that happens, then my purchase was totally worth it. Otherwise, I'd have stuck with a DS lite if I had that option.

Re:Underwhelming. (1)

Arkine (686418) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511775)

What you want already [dealextreme.com] exists [dealextreme.com] for the DSi.

Re:Underwhelming. (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511963)

Last I checked, SNES emulation on DS had about 0 fully working titles, and about the same number of basically playable titles. When did that change?

Re:Underwhelming. (1)

Eat By A Grue (1357605) | more than 5 years ago | (#27512233)

Not to condone piracy or anything, but there are a plethora of SNES emulators available on the Nintendo DS. Some of these (such as snesDS [googlepages.com] or SNEmulDS [snemul.com] ) do have fully working games that run on the DS. The real problem here is that most of these emulators have stop being updated so compatibility issues aren't being resolved.

Re:Underwhelming. (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27512997)

One other thing worth mentioning is you can play mp3 files on the original DS and above with Moonshell or DSorganise - both free software. The first is better for music and the second better for long podcasts since it's easier to start in the middle of a track.

Homebrew reqires third party cards or flashing the rom via wifi - wikipedia has quite a bit on DS homebrew software.

Re:Underwhelming. (1)

Scoth (879800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27512835)

I guess it depends on your definition of "fully working". If you mean 100%, absolutely-can't-tell-it's-not-real emulation, then maybe not. But there are lots and lots of fully playable titles. The biggest problem is they have manual layer settings, which can make some games a bit funny with backgrounds showing on top of sprites and such. Usually not a big deal to fix by fiddling in the settings, but it can be a pain. I've played through most of LttP, DKC, FF3/6, and some of Chrono Trigger on it. It completely doesn't (and probably never will) support any of the special addon chips, so no go with some of the fancier, later games (Starfox, SMRPG, etc)

Incidentally, there's also a very nice Genesis emulator that runs very well for the other side of the fence. Loves me some Sonics and Starflight now and then.

Re:Underwhelming. (1)

default luser (529332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522133)

Don't over-glorify emulation on the DS, it's not nearly that good.

Let me make a short list:

The best emulated platform is NES, but the most-compatible emulator (NesDS) has a serious flaw: the touch interface to save games is confusing, and often it loses my save states after I turn the emulator off (and I'm not the only one seeing these problems [gbatemp.net] ). About the only thing I play emulated on my DS is NES games that use battery backup, because for some strange reason that isn't broken in NesDS. But the list of games with battery backup on NES is short, and limits what I can play.

The SNES emulator is solid for some games, but nothing, and I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING runs full-speed. You mention Chrono Trigger - fully-working, but not full-speed. Another game that runs, but not full-speed is F-Zero. Aside from that, I have a long list of games that have broken rendering issues that make them annoyingly and/or unplayable.

Genesis emulator? Yeah, there is one that actually delivers full-speed (jEnesis), but it only plays mainstream games, and lacks screen scaling (the Genesis has a higher-resolution than the DS, and you have to scroll the screen manually to see everything, which sucks for just about every fast-paced game).

I think I got one game to play correctly on the Sega Master System / Game Gear emulator (Defenders of Oasis), and even that had some graphical glitches.

The problem, as-stated, is that most of the projects are abandoned after they have partial support. This seems to be a problem with most open-source/free programs, especially on minority platforms - the developer gets bored/distracted, and the code gets abandoned. The DSi may be able to throw more processing power and memory at the emulation problem, but no amount of hardware can make up for the eventual disinterest of coders.

Really, the only haven for good emulation is the PC. I'm almost tempted to buy a cheap netbook to feed my emulation hunger, because I know every single emulated platform from the 1990s would work well.

Re:Underwhelming. (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27515537)

It doesn't support mp3.

It does support AAC though, which produces higher quality sound for the same bitrate, and is less patent-encumbered than MP3.

Re:Underwhelming. (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522579)

But it's also a format that most people would have to convert their current files from, with a loss to quality, or re-rip their disks to encode into that format.

Re:Underwhelming. (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27523429)

That's true if most people do indeed have their music in MP3 format, but there are a large number of iPods out there and hence a large number of iTunes installations. The default import format in iTunes is AAC and iTunes Store purchases are in AAC format, so there are likely to be a large number of AAC files and music libraries out there.

The usage of the term 'MP3' is likely to exceed the use of the actual format, because it's entered the language can be is taken to mean any compressed music file.

On a slighty unrelated note... (0, Offtopic)

bakedpatato (1254274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27511697)

The ad below the story here on /. has an ad for a company selling R4s, which as mentioned, does not work on the DSi.

Re:On a slighty unrelated note... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27512163)

in before: "What adverts? I use adblock because I'm superior to you"

Re:On a slighty unrelated note... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27512225)

What adverts? I use adblock because I'm superior to you

Thanks a lot. (1)

julie-h (530222) | more than 5 years ago | (#27512425)

Now I won't have to buy it.

1.3 MP is standard??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27514751)

"most mainstream phones have cameras of at least 1.3 megapixels"

Where? Most mainstream phones where I live is 3-5MP. I think iPhone is the only one with a limited MP.

Just got one of these as a birthday gift (2, Interesting)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 5 years ago | (#27515547)

Can't wait for this to be (jailbroken? is that an applicable term?) opened up. As in, really, I can't wait, so I asked Nintendo how to become a developer "officially". Still waiting for a response, not expecting one.

Why do people lock down hardware? I definitely wouldn't have bought one myself without a clear path to being able to develop things for it :/

Re:Just got one of these as a birthday gift (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522623)

Companies want control over what their hardware can do. Nintendo in particular is afraid of not having control over every piece of software released for their consoles. They're worried about their company image, and feel that there is potential for it to be sullied by something that a developer could create.

On a slightly more cynical note, they expect people to pirate software as well as write software that copies commercially released titles, and they want a way to ensure that their software doesn't have to try and compete with free versions of the same thing.

TWL = Twelve (1)

cd-w (78145) | more than 5 years ago | (#27518067)

The TWL codename stands for TWeLve, as it is the 12th Nintendo Hardware platform. Can you name them all?

Chris

Re:TWL = Twelve (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27519347)

NES GB SNES VBOY GBP GBC N64 GBA GC GBASP DS DSlite Wii DSi

That's what comes to mind off the top of my head, if you don't count the Playstation. Two of those are just shrinks of another system, so if you do count the Playstation (which was to be a Nintendo platform) then you get twelve. NES is also Famicom, which had a microphone on controller 1 IIRC. SNES is also Super Famicom, from which it differs only in the shape of the cart port, which was their form of region control. You might also be convinced to treat the Super Game Boy as a different platform. So arriving at "twelfth" very much depends on how you count.

Did I leave anything out? If not, do I get a cookie?

Re:TWL = Twelve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27521659)

GB Micro's missing too. ;)

Re:TWL = Twelve (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27522681)

The Game Boy Micro and Game Boy Light (Japan-only release that was like a GBP with an internal light) come to mind. Again, a size+compatibility-reduced version of a different system, and a feature-enhanced version of another system. Like you said, it all depends on how you count.

Re:TWL = Twelve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27527713)

Famicom Disk System?
If GBP, GBASP, and DSlite make the list, then what about the NES re-design?

I thought it was hilarious that you talk about counting the Playstation and leave out the 64DD... ...but then you mention SGB and leave out the SGB2.

Man it's like you played Genesis growing up or something.

Obligatory (1)

Orleron (835910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27518227)

Can you boot Linux on that thing?

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27518601)

Actually, yes.

http://www.dslinux.org/

Re:Obligatory (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27520365)

I don't see any mention of DSLinux having been tested on the DSi... has it?
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