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Your Digital Kids

After Wii’s Success Nintendo Woos Us Again

nintendo-dsi-1.jpgIn the old days (just last week), before Nintendo’s new portable game console, the DSi, was available, portable game consoles were for kids with good eyesight, fast reflexes, and too much time on their hands. The DSi, the next generation of Nintendo’s DS, is going to shake things up by changing the nature of the games we play as part of the mobile experience.

nintendo-dsi-2.jpgI’ve been scanning the reviews of the new DSi and becoming convinced that the techie crowd doesn’t understand that “something’s happening here.” Most reviews are using words like “evolutionary” and missing the point that when you put a camera, good microphone, and some great software in a portable game machine, it changes the nature of the game. I spoke with Warren Buckleitner, founder of Children’s Technology Review and the director of our Kids@Play Summit program. Warren calls the new DSi a “Digital Sandbox.”

By adding two (yes, two) digital cameras and a sensitive microphone, the DSi heralds another level of creativity and exploration. The two cameras (one faces inward so you can capture photos of yourself and one faces the outside world) come with software that lets you pull, yank, meld, and manipulate images using software special effects lenses. The sound and music tools let you use the DSi as an MP3 player, but, more importantly, lets you sample the sound of voices, birds chirping, and teachers lecturing, and then edit and manipulate them. The DSi, if used well, will unleash fantastic amounts of creativity.
To read more on why Warren thinks the DSi is magic in a kid’s hands, read his DSi impressions.

For a great synopsis of what’s new and different with more emphasis on the technical specs, I’ll point you towards John Davison’s review on