Gamers across the pond (meaning Europe and Japan, specifically) have been able to handle Nintendo's smallest and most powerful DS system yet for some time now, but at long last the pleasure is finally coming to those who call North America home. Starting this week, gamers with a thirst for more on-the-go fun can part with $170 in order to bring home the much hyped DSi handheld
Early reviews have found the upgraded device to be far superior to its two predecessors. The loss of the GameBoy Advance slot is a surefire downer for those who adore legacy titles, but pretty much everything else is a definite leap forward. For starters, the display panels are enlarged, while the overall casing is smaller, lighter and easier to lug around. Nintendo has also thrown in a pair of cameras for new forms of player-game interaction, and an all new download store finally gives the DS series that online edge that Sony's PSP has thus far held solo.
There's also an SD card slot to store downloaded games, but we're sure the homebrew crowd is already dreaming of emulation paradise. The new DSi Shop enables users to surf a wireless store in order to download games and other content that has been missing from prior DS consoles. The only real knocks are that battery life has taken a hit due to the decreased size, and the browser is said to be a touch slower. Anyone already taken the plunge on this here device? Calling in sick today in order to grab yours early? Don't worry, we won't tell.