Boy, the Game Boy has come a long way. When Nintendo released the first model 20 years ago, it was a sensation. Over the years, the device has been changed, upgraded and improved. Even the names morphed in that time -- names like Game Boy Advance, DS, Game Boy Micro and DS Lite. Nobody, not even Sony ( SNE) or Microsoft ( MSFT), has been able to match Nintendo's portable-device success.
First Look: Nintendo DSi
Now there's a shiny new model called the DSi. The changes in this new design are more revolutionary than they are evolutionary. Without even inserting a game card, there are hours and hours of new goodies inside that can keep young and old captivated. I was privy to a sneak preview earlier this week, and I've got to tell you, this new DSi is very cool. If you're familiar with using a DS, then mastering the DSi will be a cinch. Among the changes are three new major features: the camera system, sound system and the app store. The most noticeable feature is the two-camera system: One camera is on the outside and the other on the inside pointing at the user when the device is open. Nintendo doesn't just put cameras on the device and say, "Go talk to someone else." The company created an interactive video game with 10 different special "lenses" to manipulate the photos you take with the two cameras. There is software that offers an easy way to take and share your photos.