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Nintendo DSi Sells Out Quickly, Reviews Coming In 72

Posted by Soulskill
from the empty-shelves dept.
The Nintendo DSi was released in Japan on Saturday, and the initial production run of 200,000 units has already sold out. 1Up has done some comparisons to the DS, and they have a video feature tour of the new hardware (which, predictably, has already been hacked). The image editing software is reported to be rather bare-bones, and the browsing is slow, but both features could likely be used with games in interesting ways. Nintendo will be launching a series of WarioWare games to demonstrate the DSi's capabilities. The DSi will likely reach North America next summer.
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Nintendo DSi Sells Out Quickly, Reviews Coming In

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  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Wednesday November 05, 2008 @06:48AM (#25638279)
    Can someone confirm WPA support already? I know it's not possible with older games but WEP is the main barrier to me using the DS' wireless.

    Also, that power button looks a nightmare for lefties. you only need to tap it to reset the console? euch.

    • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 05, 2008 @07:07AM (#25638377) Homepage

      I read on gbatemp earlier that WPA support was indeed there (see thread about Yasus hack/video for the post in question.)

      Why shouldn't it work with older games to? I think the network part is rather separated from the games, considering you have to restart the DS between configuration and using the network in Metroid Prime, and it always looks the same.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jibster (223164)

        I understand that the network layer is not separated in the DS as you would expect. So the GP is correct, WPA will not work with older games *unless* Nintendo do some very fancy tricks to fool the game.

        This has been a critism of the system by developers from the start.

        • This has been a critism of the system by developers from the start.

          But greeted with indifference by the vast majority of end-users. Nintendo seldom puts a foot wrong in gauging what hardware the game-buying public actually desire. This device will continue to make serious money for the Big N for the foreseeable future.

          • by aliquis (678370)

            Personally I would never use WPA for my computer but if I run wifi-lib test or whatever it's called on my DS and scan for networks around here I find 17 of which one is unencrypted and only 2 uses WPA. So the rest 15 is all WEP. So for most people this will indeed be a none issue, simple because they don't know better / understand the difference anyway.

            The unencrypted seem to use some mac-filter though because my DS can't use it ;/

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by mollymoo (202721)

            But greeted with indifference by the vast majority of end-users.

            A rapidly shrinking majority, if it's not already a minority of potential DS + WiFi users. At least here in the UK the biggest ISPs now ship pre-configured wireless routers with WPA enabled out-of-the-box. That means DS, DS Lite, and perhaps DSi owners with older games will have to have to reconfigure their router and every one of their computers and other devices to make the DS work. People are not indifferent to having to do stuff like that.

        • by Goaway (82658)

          Well, they are already doing some fancy tricks to fool the games that believe there's still an ARM7 processor in the machine, so it's not impossible for them to just patch it all out. I have no idea if they are actually doing that, though.

      • by abigsmurf (919188)
        I believe the wifi networking drivers are done per cart. Given that the DS firmware wasn't meant to be flashed, it's probably the safest way of implementing it so any major networking bugs in the driver code aren't catastrophic (at most the recall of a single game rather than hardware).
        • by aliquis (678370)

          Or they had tested the drivers? But who knows.

          At least the configured access points are stored / DS and not / game. So if you set up network access in one wifi enabled game the settings will be the same when you switch game.

          Also at least pictochat and single-cart multiplayer games uses wifi without any cartridge (but obviously don't use an access point.)

          I have never thought it would be part of the cartridges, and I don't either. I don't know how homebrew using the wifi works, but I doubt they have written t

          • They use dswifi [sourceforge.net], which is included with devkitPro (devkitARM). Yes, it is basically a homebrew driver/library [1emulation.com]. (It has been previously covered [slashdot.org] on Slashdot.)

            If you look at DSOrganize [dragonminded.com], one of the most popular homebrew programs for the DS, you'll see that it can use either the wifi settings stored in firmware or custom wifi settings [dragonminded.com] stored by DSOrganize.

            • by aliquis (678370)

              Except (at least I'm not aware off it, may have been added or been possible to do the whole time) that don't let you actually configure the wifi, just use it. I've only ran the test application and some homebrew using the wifi but none have gave me options for setting up access point configuration or such. They just start to use it as it's already set from a game.

              Ok on the last part, guess my dsorganize is rather outdated.

    • by Golddess (1361003)

      Can someone confirm WPA support already? I know it's not possible with older games[...]

      Citation needed please. I keeping seeing this posted again and again, that even if WPA support were to be added to the system, the games could not utilize it, but the only thing I've been able to find to suggest why WPA is not on the DS has to do with battery life.

      Where is everyone getting this information from??

  • by richy freeway (623503) * on Wednesday November 05, 2008 @06:54AM (#25638307)
    Allegedly someone has already got homebrew running on the DSi, no news on his methods though.

    http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=113637
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cosmocain (1060326)
      Well, THAT'S great news.

      No, i'm not totally shocked by the fact that the DSi has been hacked. It's more like: Erm, wouldn't you please stop reading the summary at line 1?

      (which, predictably, has already been hacked [joystiq.com])

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Skidge (316075)

        There are summaries? It's more fun to read the title and then skip to the comments to try to figure out what the hell the original article is about in the first place.

        • by Loibisch (964797)

          It's not only more fun, most of the time it's even more effective.

        • There are summaries? It's more fun to read the title and then skip to the comments to try to figure out what the hell the original article is about in the first place.

          You're not new here, are you?

    • by Goaway (82658)

      It should be noted that it is very likely that no current DS homebrew software will run on the DSi, even when hacked. The DSi lacks the ARM7 processor of the DS, and DS homebrew code relies on this existing.

      Current homebrew code will at the very least require a re-compilation (once tools for this are actually available) or even further rewrites if they use the ARM7 beyond the default functionality.

  • The lack of actual evolution when compared to the DS lite re-affirmed me in buying a Pandora. I know their focus is different, but..
    • by crossmr (957846)
      yes because people buy handhelds for the hardware and not the library of games that comes with it... the masses could give a rats ass about homebrew.
      • by tepples (727027)

        the masses could give a rats ass about homebrew.

        Tell that to anybody who has played a shareware game for PC. Or even anybody who has played an SWF game on Newgrounds.

        • by crossmr (957846)

          maybe you should quote the whole post, like the part where I was specifically talking about handhelds..its easy to quote out of context and give an example completely contradictory to the point I was making. But thanks for coming out.
          Neither the PC nor Newgrounds is for a handheld like the PSP or DS.

          • Neither the PC nor Newgrounds is for a handheld like the PSP or DS.

            It appears you choose to draw the line between the size of a DS Lite, which can't run SWF games, and the size of an Eee PC, which can run SWF games. But why should a computing device be exclusively for large publishers just because the device is small enough to fit in the user's pocket? What's the difference between a Pandora and any other PDA that has shareware?

            • by crossmr (957846)

              well because this article is about pocket sized handhelds..
              as for PDAs, the majority of people don't buy PDAs to play games (or anything other than solitaire on the train). They typically buy PDAs for work. The difference also is that any shareware for any PDA isn't remotely as popular as some of the games for the DS and PSP. They're two different classes of items and the pandora isn't a viable choice for the majority of people because they want to play the current games now.

              • as for PDAs, the majority of people don't buy PDAs to play games

                Then for what handheld device should an amateur video game developer building a portfolio in order to seek employment develop handheld-style games? Or for what handheld device should a new professional studio seeking a DS or PSP license, and working on a first commercial title to be published on some other platform in order to qualify for such a license, develop handheld-style games?

                • by crossmr (957846)

                  I'm not sure what your point is. You suggest people get a pandora instead of a DS because the DS didn't really evolve that much. I pointed out that most people don't care that much about things like homebrew, independent developers and things like evolution as much as they care about playing the popular and current games. I never said developers shouldn't use those platforms to jump on to DS or PSP, but don't expect the majority of people to suddenly switch to a pandora because the DS didn't evolve enough f

      • by RichiH (749257)

        I know there are more games for the DS.

        But the pandora supports Game Boy, SNES, PS1 & MAME as of right now. The other emulators will follow. I am poking the Performous (fka Ultrastar-NG) people about the Pandora, this means a tiny Singstar clone you can hook up to any TV. Quake 2 runs, Quake 3 is being ported and they think that they will be able to make Doom 3 run once it goes GPL.

        No, it's not for everybody. But if you already have a DS/DS lite, there is no reason to shell out for a DSi.

        • by crossmr (957846)

          the masses don't really care about emulators as well. Yes homebrew and emulator scenes are thriving, but of the millions and millions of DSs sold how many of those people do you really think actually care about either of those 2 things, probably not the majority or we'd hear a lot more about it and the scenes would be ridiculously huge.
          So back catalogs of games don't really mean anything to them. The majority of them want to play the current games now.

        • But the pandora supports Game Boy, SNES, PS1 & MAME as of right now.

          So how does one get PS1 I can see, because the user can fairly rip his game discs to ISO images using a PC CD-ROM drive. Game Boy Advance cartridges are easy to dump using a DS or DS Lite, a DS homebrew card, and the appropriate software [jk0.org]. But how would the median user who owns a game for the other platforms (an 8-bit Game Boy Game Pak, a Super NES Game Pak, or a JAMMA PCB) dump it to a PC for use with an emulator? Which copier for Game Boy Color or Super NES Game Paks do you recommend?

          • by ZXDunny (1376265)

            But how would the median user who owns a game for the other platforms (an 8-bit Game Boy Game Pak, a Super NES Game Pak, or a JAMMA PCB) dump it to a PC for use with an emulator? Which copier for Game Boy Color or Super NES Game Paks do you recommend?

            For hardware that's no longer commercially available, and games that are also no longer available to buy, I'd probably recommend a ROM site. Personally, I have no problem with them; YMMV - I certainly like to emulate the games I bought in my childhood but can no longer run on the original hardware.

            • by tepples (727027)

              For hardware that's no longer commercially available, and games that are also no longer available to buy

              Copyright owners would counter that the hardware and games are still widely available on the secondary market [ebay.com].

              I'd probably recommend a ROM site.

              I thought about that, but it could get U.S. users in trouble. Even owning a lawfully made copy isn't a defense to downloading (and the incidental uploading that comes with P2P downloading). Google UMG v. MP3.com.

    • by Goaway (82658)

      Their focus seems to be on nerds who value feature lists over actually having a usable and comfortable device that makes sense.

  • whats the point of getting ANOTHER ds if theres no gba slot?
    they would've had a perfect ds if they left the gba slot, but they didn't. why?

    • Even if the DSi DID have a gba slot, what's the point? I know VERY few people who bring their DS out with them; most people use their phone as a camera (or, if they're really flashy, use a camera as a camera). The voice-recording software seems utterly pointless, as well.

      The downloadable content and online store are nice new additions, I'll admit, but let's face it: they could've waited until Nintendo's next handheld is released. This is just Nintendo's method of weaning people off of the GBA (I can guara

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Goaway (82658)

      Because they wanted to remove the extra ARM7 processor, probably.

      • by GweeDo (127172)

        How exactly would they remove the ARM7 cpu when all DS games use it? It is the ONLY processor that can talk to the sound engine, input systems and wifi.

        • How exactly would they remove the ARM7 cpu when all DS games use it? It is the ONLY processor that can talk to the sound engine, input systems and wifi.

          Like the Wii, the DS has two CPUs: an ARM9 CPU to run the game and an ARM7 CPU to act as an IOP (input/output processor). The ARM7 runs IOS, which handles API calls from the ARM9 to perform sound, input, power management, and wireless communication. Each DS game includes a specific version of IOS that it expects. But if the DSi's IOP can speak the same protocol that the game's IOS speaks, the ARM9 can't tell the difference. Wii's GameCube back-compat works the same way: a special version of IOS [wiibrew.org] (called MIOS

        • by Goaway (82658)

          Well, first off, I haven't been able to find any solid confirmation that the ARM7 has been removed yet, but it would certainly be possible to remove it.

          Games developed with the official SDK (that means all of them except for homebrew) only use a fixed functionality binary on the ARM7, provided by Nintendo. They do not run arbitrary code on it. So it would certainly be possible for Nintendo to supply alternate functionality that handles the tasks of the ARM7.

          Their own emulator, Ensata, does just that. It doe

          • Re:no GBA?! (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Goaway (82658) on Wednesday November 05, 2008 @11:17AM (#25641813) Homepage

            Update: Here's a photo of the DSi circuit board, with only a single ARM chip on it:

            http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/2008/1101/dsi50.jpg [impress.co.jp]

            The ARM7 is definitely gone.

            • by tepples (727027)

              Update: Here's a photo of the DSi circuit board, with only a single ARM chip on it:

              http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/2008/1101/dsi50.jpg [impress.co.jp]

              The ARM7 is definitely gone.

              That, or the DSi IOP is on the same die as the CPU. Can you provide a comparison shot of a DS Lite PCB with two ARM CPUs on it?

              • by Goaway (82658)

                Yes, that is a possibility too. This diagram [eetasia.com] seems to imply that both CPUs are on one die in the DS, too.

                They're different chips for sure, though, with the DS being labelled "CPU NTR B" and the DSi one "CPU TWL".

              • by chishm (1315979)
                Actually, I'd say the ARM7 is still there. They've got two 802.11 chips, suggesting they kept the old one for backwards compatibility. If they replaced the ARM7, they'd change the 802.11 chip at the same time.

                The new die is likely for a new BIOS. Reports are that the NVRAM firmware chip is completely empty except for the settings. The ARM7 BIOS will now have to load the menu from the main 256MB storage chip, necessitating a change in the (ROM BIOS) boot code.
  • by Per Wigren (5315)

    Two trailers with "thousands" of them were stolen from a harbour in Gothemburg/Sweden last weekend. According to a commenter the exact number is 18000, but [citation needed] on that one... Link in Swedish [www.idg.se].

    • Why would there be 18K DSi units in a harbor in a country in which it's not going on sale for months? I could see someone stealing them in Japan, but 18K units in Sweden doesn't make much sense.
    • by KDR_11k (778916)

      Wasn't the DS also the console that got stolen in quite large numbers in a pirate attack on a freighter?

  • DSi will be interesting as there will be new exclusive games just for the DSi as it has two touch screens.
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