Nintendo DSi system software

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Nintendo DSi system software
Nintendo DSi logo.svg
Developer Nintendo
Nintendo SDD
OS family Nintendo proprietary
Working state Active; Discontinuation imminent
Source model Closed source
Initial release 1.1 / November 1, 2008; 8 years ago (2008-11-01)
Latest release 1.4.5 / December 11, 2012; 4 years ago (2012-12-11)[1]
Available in German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, Korean, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese
Update method Direct Download
Game Card
Platforms Nintendo DSi (XL)
Preceded by Nintendo DS, DS Lite
Succeeded by Nintendo 3DS system software

The Nintendo DSi system software is a set of updatable firmware versions, and a software frontend on the Nintendo DSi (including its XL variant) video game console. Updates, which are downloaded via the system's Internet connection, allow Nintendo to add and remove features and software. All updates also include all changes from previous updates.

Technology[edit]

User interface[edit]

The user interface of the Nintendo DSi has been redesigned from the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite. The DSi's user interface is a slideable single row of icons. Moving between programs is fairly snappy, and most icons are big enough on the new touchscreen to allow for navigation using fingers instead of the built-in stylus. When users load the DSi for the first time, the system snaps a shot of their faces. Their faces then fill the entire top screen whenever they are in the main menu screen. From the main screen, they can take a picture at any time by pressing the shoulder buttons. The camera to be used can also be selected. From within programs, the power button doubles as a Home button, bringing them back to the main screen with a soft reset.

The Nintendo DSi provides some built-in applications. Initially users are able to access the following programs from the main menu: DSi Camera, DSi Sound, DSi Shop, Picto Chat, and Download Play. The DSi's menu is akin to the Channel interface of the Nintendo Wii in that new programs can be downloaded and added to the interface. The DSi Camera application can do more than snap shots. It has all sorts of zany, real-time filters for users to put on photos to squish heads and so on. However, it is subject to the low resolution of the actual cameras (0.3MP). Additionally, the program cannot recognize shots that a users had taken on other digital cameras for editing. The DSi Sound application is thematically similar to DSi Camera, serving as a sound recorder and editor (along with an low bitrate AAC music player). There are some notable features here, like Excitebike and Starfox-themed equalizers, and modulators that make a user's voice sound like a robot or parakeet. The DSi Shop would serve as the DS version of the Wii Shopping Channel.[2]

Multimedia features[edit]

Unlike Nintendo's previous handheld consoles such as the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite, the Nintendo DSi has built in music playback support. The DSi Music program is split into two modes: voice recording and music playback. Both offer plenty of entertainment value because of the tools and gimmicks Nintendo has included. The recording mode lets users record at most 18 clips of maximum 10 seconds length. Once they have recorded a clip, they can play around with it in various ways. For example, users can make the clip play backwards or forwards, isolate small sections using A-B repeat, and modify the speed and tone by dragging a pointer around on a 2D graph. They can also apply 12 effects to the clip, which can be used to transform the sound. The music playback mode also has many play options. Once a song has been loaded up, users can change the speed and tone just like with the recording mode. They can also overlay the recordings that has been made in the recording mode to songs at any point. In addition, Nintendo has provided a set of sound effects which can be selected quickly by using the stylus, then inserted freely using shoulder buttons.

Unlike the built-in DSi Camera application, which would not read any files that were not generated by the DSi itself, the DSi Music application does not have this restriction when it comes to files and directory structure. When files are stored in a multi-level directory structure into the root directory of the SD card, the DSi parsed through them instantly and displayed all the internal directories for quick access. During playback, users have access to features such as forwarding, rewinding, and volume controls. Nintendo presumably envisioned DSi Music as being a substitute for a real music player. However, there is an important drawback of the DS Music application, that is, it does not support the popular MP3 format. Instead, the player only supports the AAC format with .mp4, .m4a, or .3GP filename extensions. Furthermore, compared with Sony's PlayStation Portable it is more difficult to interface the DSi with a PC, as there is no USB port on the system. In order to transfer music and podcasts over, users will need to remove the SD Card and plug it directly into their PC.[3]

Internet features[edit]

One of the major updates the Nintendo DSi brings to the Nintendo DS line is full network connectivity. Unlike the original Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite which only featured minimal network connectivity, download content and firmware updates are at the core of the DSi experience, similar to the Wii and Sony's PlayStation Portable consoles. For example, when users first power up the system and click on the DSi Shop icon from the main menu, they are immediately prompted to run a firmware update. The Nintendo DSi supports WEP, WPA (AES/TKIP), and WPA2 (AES/TKIP) wireless encryption;[4] only software with built-in support can use the latter two encryption types, as they were not supported by the DS and DS Lite.[5][6]

With the DSi Shop application users can purchase various DSiWare titles. The cute music and blocky interface are somewhat similar to the counterpart on the Wii. Users can permanently login with their Club Nintendo account to track purchase rewards, and the main shopping interface also lets users add DSi Points and read the DSi shop manual. As with the firmware updates, the DSi shopping experience is quite similar to that of the Wii, although a big problem with the DSi Shopping is the slow speed.

Furthermore, like the previous Nintendo DS and DS Lite, the Nintendo DSi includes a web browser, which is a version of the Opera browser. It has support for the HTML5 canvas object and CSS opacity. However, there are limitations for these features and web surfing on either of these platforms as a whole is not a good experience. In addition to slow download speeds, the browser has difficulty rendering pages. For example, many pages would not load completely, and it is not compatible with movie files, music files or Adobe Flash on multimedia content sites like YouTube.[7]

DSiWare and backward compatibility[edit]

On the Nintendo DSi, there are a collection of games and applications specifically designed for the Nintendo DSi handheld game console and available for download via the DSi Shop, known as DSiWare. Since these games and applications are specifically targeted for the Nintendo DSi, they are not compatible with the original Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS Lite consoles. The Nintendo DSi is Nintendo's first region-locked handheld; it prevents using certain software released for another region,[8][9] unlike original Nintendo DS models. But as a member of the Nintendo DS line, the Nintendo DSi is backward compatible with most original Nintendo DS games, and cartridge software compatible with previous models including original DS games, Internet browsing, and photo sharing are not region-locked.[8][9] Later, its successor, the Nintendo 3DS consoles also adopted this approach, and as a result all Nintendo DSi and 3DS-specific games are locked to a certain region, while original DS games are still region-free. In addition to DSiWare, which are DSi-exclusive (although later they can also run on a 3DS), there are also "DSi-enhanced" games containing DSi-exclusive features, but can still be played with earlier Nintendo DS models. While most original DS games can run on the DSi, the DSi is not backward compatible with Game Boy Advance (GBA) games or original DS games that require a GBA slot, since the DSi itself lacks of such a slot, unlike the DS and DS Lite. Because of this absence, the DSi is also not backward compatible with accessories requiring the GBA slot, such as the Nintendo DS Rumble Pak.[10] Homebrew flash cards designed for previous DS models are incompatible with the DSi,[11] but new cards capable of running DS software (or even DSiWare) on a DSi were available.[12] While users cannot transfer purchased DSiWare on Nintendo DSi consoles between units, most DSiWare can be transferred to a Nintendo 3DS, although not saved data.[13][14] Like the Nintendo DSi, the Nintendo 3DS is backward compatible with most Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi software.

History of updates[edit]

This is a list of major system updates of the Nintendo DSi.

Nintendo DSi system update releases
System version Regions Release dates Note
1.4.5 United States Japan Europe Australia China December 13, 2012 Final version
1.4 United States Japan Europe Australia July 30, 2009 - August 3, 2009 Facebook integration supported[15]
1.3 United States Japan Europe Australia March 26, 2009 - April 5, 2009
1.2 United States Japan Europe Australia December 24, 2008 - April 3, 2009 Initial release pre-installed in original non-Japanese consoles
1.1 Japan November 1, 2008 Initial release pre-installed in original Japanese consoles

See also[edit]

Other gaming platforms from Nintendo:

Other gaming platforms from the next generation:

Other gaming platforms from this generation:

References[edit]

  1. ^ System Menu and Feature Updates
  2. ^ DSI SPECS REVEALED
  3. ^ DSI MUSIC PLAYTEST
  4. ^ Nintendo 2009, p. 94.
  5. ^ "Wireless Home Router Support". Nintendo of America. Nintendo. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  6. ^ 青山; 畑山; 藤原 (2008). "社長が訊く「ニンテンドーWi-Fiネットワークアダプタ". Iwata Asks (Interview: Transcript) (in Japanese). Interview with Satoru Iwata. Kyoto, Japan: Nintendo. Archived from the original on 2009-05-01. Retrieved 2009-09-24. Though the new browser and those programs designed exclusively for the DSi will use a high level of security, existing DS software will use existing encryption. 
  7. ^ DSI VERSUS THE INTERNET
  8. ^ a b Craig Harris (2009-09-22). "Yes, DSi Carts are Region Locked". IGN. Fox Interactive Media. Archived from the original on 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  9. ^ a b Tom Bramwell (2008-10-06). "Nintendo DSi software region-locked". Eurogamer. Eurogamer Network. Archived from the original on 2009-01-26. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  10. ^ Craig Harris (2008-10-17). "DSi: Bye Bye GBA Slot". IGN. Fox Interactive Media. pp. 1–2, 4. Archived from the original on 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2009-02-22. 
  11. ^ Joe Martin (2009-03-17). "Nintendo DSi Review". Bit-tech. Dennis Publishing. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2009-03-20. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  12. ^ Christopher Dring (2008-12-04). "Hackers crack the DS". Market for Home Computing and Video Games. Intent Media. Archived from the original on 2009-05-30. Retrieved 2009-02-25. 
  13. ^ "What Is Transferred During the Data Transfer Process?". Nintendo of America. Nintendo. Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  14. ^ "What DSiWare Games Cannot be Transferred to the Nintendo 3DS?". Nintendo of America. Nintendo. Archived from the original on 2013-02-09. Retrieved 2011-08-23. 
  15. ^ Facebook photo application released for DSi