Nintendo DSi XL – Stupidity At It’s Best

Posted: March 16, 2010 in Random Thoughts

Stupidity Is everywhere. From individuals to large corporations, to governments, stupidity is one area where supply is on the increase. If only we could power the planet with stupidity.

Despite the huge amounts of stupidity scattered around, you’ll find a piece of stupidity that is so pure, so unbelievable that you just have to stand back and admire the minds that came up with it.

Today I got my first look at the new Nintendo DSi XL.

I’m a big fan of the DS Lite. I’ve had one for years, it’s gotten me through many long flights, many delays at airports, rainy days stuck in hotels. It’s a great little device.

It did always have one annoying problem. I couldn’t connect it to the internet when I was at home. I like many people use WPA security on my router, and the little Nintendo DS Lite didn’t like WPA encryption.

Option 1 – Change the security on my home network to suit the DS (not something I was willing to do).
Option 2 – Buy a little USB dongle from Nintendo to allow the DS Lite to connect through a computer.

I’ve decided to stop paying companies for solutions to problems that they create, it just encourages them so option 2 was also out.

Option 3 – Learn to live with the fact that I don’t use the internet features of games on my DS Lite.

Option 3 has worked reasonably well for me.

Nintendo released an update to the DS Lite a while back, the DSi, and what do you know, it claimed to handle WPA security settings for connecting to the internet. I must admit, that feature and a camera weren’t enough to get my interested so I ignored the DSi.

Now Nintendo have released a further update, the DSi XL, which is basically a bigger DSi.
So, for those who perhaps have a DS Lite and are wondering if the DSi or DSi XL are worth upgrading to, let me help you out. The answer is an emphatic No.

Here’s why.

1. Yes, the DSi now handles WPA security settings. But, it has been implemented in such a way that existing games, and indeed many new games won’t be able to use it.

In short, unless a game is specifically written for the DSi it must still connect to the internet through the old connection mechanism.

As stupidity goes this really takes the cake. I can not fathom what kind of people sat in a room and came up with that kind of solution and gave it the all clear.

2. DSi specific games (the ones that will be able to use WPA security settings) will be region locked.
Let me explain something about the Nintendo DS. It’s a small portable gaming device. The
kind you might bring on holiday, or on any long flight. The kind of device you might use to occupy your self for a few hours while waiting for a plane.

I’ve bought more than a few games while on holiday or while actually at an airport.

And because the DS was always region free, you could do that. But, no more.

Now unless you think to buy the games at home before you travel, you can forget about buying them at all.

I don’t know what commercial implications or benefits there are for Nintendo from making games Region free, but using myself as a sample of 1, it will mean less games being bought.

In perhaps the most ironic twist, the built in SD card slot on the DSi will make it much easier to download cracked pirated games for the DSi. Something that I would never have considered up until now. Games were usually cheap enough, and on the DSLite using pirated games involved a bit of hassle.

If Nintendo push forward with trying to region lock their DS games then they will be pushing people who would otherwise have bought a game towards pirated games. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

In a nutshell. The DSi (and DSi XL) doesn’t fix the one issue I had with the DS Lite, and it introduces a whole new kind of problem in the form of region Locking.

Bye Bye Nintendo, you’ve lost a fan. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

  1. Gerard says:

    Hi I’ve just got to say that I really agree with your points. I come from a country that Nintendo practically ignores (not one of the big ones, USA, European, Japan, or Australia) so we receive a whole stack of games and consoles from differing regions. I am currently studying in the United States, and my family is in Australia. It’s strange but right now I have three “homes” so to speak.

    Because of the “three homes situation” I frequently travel from country to country and would purchase games from different regions (mostly USA and Australia). Now while piracy would usually be an easier route, I try my best to support the publisher. It has worked well for me with regards to the DS Lite because I could just as easily play PAL games from Australia as I could NTSC games from the USA. However as you have mentioned, the DSi’s locking out mechanism was irritating enough that I refused to buy it. Why would I want a handheld that will prevent me from buying anything while on summer vacation (three months!) in Australia?

    In fact, region locking is the primary reason my family and I are not buying a Wii. Because games are very expensive, I initially considered buying second-hand games here in the USA and bringing them home for my family in Australia. Region lockout means this is impossible and Nintendo has probably lost a family eager to invest in a Wii. Of all things, I am actually considering a PS3 for the family, despite fervently disliking Sony products, because of it being region-free.

    Thanks a lot Nintendo. You do great games and systems, but your policies are overly paranoid and are not going to work. Trust me, coming from the third world, I KNOW that it will be practically impossible for you to stop piracy. EA’s DRM didn’t work, Ubisoft’s DRM is not going to work and neither will your region locking. Those pirates are geniuses who will crack anything given a matter of time. If anything, all you’re doing is alienating customers. What should be done is to focus on product, as you have always claimed to be doing, rather than on anti-piracy because at least investing in product brings about rewards while investing in anti-piracy ironically just attracts more pirates eager for a challenge.

  2. I’ve been playing with the DSi XL for a few days now and I want to update what I said earlier.

    I’m less concerned about the region locking than I was for the simple reason that I don’t believe it will make a difference.

    As I said in the original post the normal region free DS games will still work, you can buy them anywhere and play them on any DS DSi or DSi XL. The Region locking will only affect DSi specific games and I think it’s entirely possible that there never will be any, or if there are they will be few and far between, and no great loss.

    Apart from the cameras there is very little about the DSi that can’t be done on the regular DS Lite. The bigger screens don’t even have better resolution. No games manufacturer is going to want to alienate all those DS Lite users when there is no good reason why their game couldn’t run on the DS Lite.

    Yes, there might be a few games that use the cameras, and those will be DSi specific, but beyond that as long as there are DS games, they will for the most part run on the DS Lite, which means they’ll be region free.

    Have I changed my mind about whether DS Lite users should upgrade? Not really. Yes, it’s very handy being able to download games and store multiple games on the device.

    If you can get a decent trade-in price for your DS Lite then it might be worthwhile, but you really are not missing much if you stick with the DS Lite until prices fall further, or until the future of DS Gaming is a little clearer.

  3. Mike says:

    Option 4: Get a router firmware that can handle multiple SSID’s, and set up a DSI-only wireless environment.

  4. Options 5

    Terminate Management

  5. Richard Dalton says:


    That solution would work, but of course it would work for the original DS Lite as well. It doesn’t change the nonsense that is WiFi on the DSi.


  6. MM says:

    I have always loved Nintendo from when i was a small kid. but that’s it 4 me. common sense is not common. even to graduates working in big multinationals. in short what they are trying to say is you stick to your kind. @SONY@ when u have profit minded geeks working for !@#!@$#!$ this is what u get.
    No respect for loyal customers.

  7. Chris Taylor says:

    No I have AVATAR for the DS and it plays just fine. ONLY in the DS Lite.

    it would not play on my new DSI XL. so I assumed it was bad. I returned it got another. same thing returned it AGAIN for a third unit and this time bought a $10 game at kmart with it and tried it right there before I left.

    worked fine.

    got home avatar again does not work. then I notice something on the avatar cartridge an EUR on the end and it hit me. the mother fraking scum sucking game is region locked.

    this sucks. this sucks hard core so I am ordering a m3i zero and screw nintendo. region locking should be illegal.

    • Shane Blake says:

      I totally agree with you guys! I bought my daughter a dsi xl for christmas and some games to go with it. On the game case it says that it is dsi compatible. What a load of crock!!! Do you know any way we can unlock the region code so she can play her new games?

  8. lulz says:

    Loved this post, you should make more posty things, you are a funny ham, I mean man

  9. Biffo says:

    I don’t think it’s even a piracy issue – it’s so that Ninetendo can charge different prices in different regions so people travelling to cheaper areas will still have to buy their games in their home country at higher prices. I’ve had a DS Lite for years & played everything on it but last year bought a DSi XL & was even considering a 3DS. however, having just discovered the curse of the region code on some of my favourite games I’ll pass up on the 3DS & go down the homebrew road with the XL

  10. BypeToole says:


    Hablando de consolas aqui teneis muy buenos precios

  11. John Sorensen says:

    In Australia there are virtually no games on the DSi store, and you can’t change the region settings to any other region to access the PAL games that are supposed to be there.
    No Shantae for me on the DSi XL. I can buy the new on on PC, but I won’t want to play it on a bloody PC, it is a perfect handheld game I want to play in a nice comfy chair or lying bed.

    Stupid Nintendo.

    The only way for me to buy this game would to travel to the UK or US, but a DSi XL there, go online, download the game and then travel home with it, and play that one game and none of my other existing PAL games.

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