DSi Vs 3DS Compared

If you are in the market to buy a Nintendo DS console, how do you choose between the various editions of this dual-screen handheld gaming system? In this three part series article we would be comparing the main editions of the console highlighting the features that stand out. Today, our focus would be what you should put into consideration when comparing DSi vs. 3DS.

Brief History

The DSi was released in 2008 as an upgrade to the now retired DS Lite hardware. The changes centered on improvement in image and audio quality and content download from the Nintendo eStore. These changes made the console more of an entertainment system than a handheld gaming device. The 3DS on the other hand (launched in February 26, 2011) is a new generation of Nintendo console built on 3D technology. The main selling point of the system is the ability to produce 3D effects without the need to wear glasses or any other accessories.

Size Comparison

There is not much difference between the sizes of both systems. The older system has a dimension of 137 x 74.9 x 18.9mm while the newer one has a measurement of 134 x 73 x 20mm. In terms of weight the latter is 12 grams heavier than the former.


Both consoles feature dual screens. The top screen of the newer console measures 3.53 inches with a resolution of 800 x 240 pixels and is 3D enabled. The former system on the other hand has a top screen display of 3.25 inches with a resolution of 256 x 192 and is 2D enabled. To help adjust the effect of 3D on the eyes, a 3D depth slider has been provided (this slider can be turned off to make the console operate in 2D mode). The bottom half of both systems is a touch sensitive screen that can be controlled using a stylus or your fingers.

Button Controls

There are not many differences between the button controls. The familiar ABXY and LR buttons are all present. One difference however is the addition of an Analog Circle pad in the newer console. This control is something similar to a joystick giving gamers more gameplay control experience.


The newer console has a total of three cameras: an inward facing VGA camera and two external cameras (640 x 800) that can take pictures in both 3D and 2D mode. The former console has a single 640 x 800 camera that can pictures in only 2D format.

Backward Compatibility

The newer console is backward compatible, thanks to a new game card slot that can play all DS titles including GB and GBA titles downloaded from the Nintendo eStore. The older console lacks such compatibility. However both systems require a Wi-Fi connection to download contents from the Nintendo eStore.

Motion Sensor

Present on the new system are two types of in-built motion sensors: the gyroscope and the accelerometer. The gyroscope allows you to control your screen actions by tilting your system up and down, or side to side. The accelerometer on the other hand measures the speed at which you tilt the system. These sensors are absent in the older system thus limiting the type of games you can play.


In comparing DSi vs. 3DS, the DSi is best suited for any casual Nintendo gamer. However for every die-hard Nintendo fan, the 3DS contains so many new features making it worthwhile to upgrade ( you can learn more about the 3DS here ).

By Stevo King