iPod Touch vs. Nintendo DS

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by Scott549, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. Scott549 macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2010
    I've got an 11-year old son who has been begging for a Nintendo DS as a holiday gift. I am wondering whether an iPod Touch is an alternative. I'm no expert on video games, but I would think that with all the apps and the new Game Center feature, there would be some pretty good choices. What can the DS do that an iPod can't? I'd love to hear from people who have both.

  2. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    The DS is strictly a game-playing device, so it's not so much what either can do but what games he wants to play.

    The DSi has some limited photo and music features but it's not meant to be a digital camera or MP3 player replacement by any stretch.

    So you really need to find out what he wants to play. You're comparing 99-cent to $10 titles to titles that range typically from $10-$30, and DS games tend to be much meatier as well. Pokemon & Mario are always popular with the kids.

    In my humble opinion the DS is better than the the iPhone or the iPod Touch dept because it has what those lack: Physical Buttons. I like my platformers, and on-screen buttons just don't work.

    Edit: Also do keep in mind that the DS will be much more durable in the hands of a 11-year old. It can take a bit more punishment than the iPod Touch will be able to handle.
  3. iphone1105 macrumors 68020


    Oct 8, 2009
    My two nephews 9 and 11 since getting their iPod Touch's haven't picked up their DS's. They love their iPods, games like Angry Birds my nephew cant put it down.

    I say get him the touch, it can do more and it can grow with him and his needs. It could be a great study aid for him as well, flahs cards and such! Might be worth a look!
  4. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    I'd also be concerned about acquistion of games for the iPod by a 11-year old. He obviously can't have his own credit card, so someone would have to put their info onto his account, which isn't good considering you can rack up $100+ in purchases easily.

    You could go the gift card route, but the DS still has the advantage of the used game market in addition to being able to borrow/loan games with friends and family.
  5. Adibobea9 macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2007
    I can't believe I am saying this because I believe games are better on the DS than the iPod Touch, but considering you want to get it for the Holidays I would get the Touch.

    Games are more robust, entertaining and overall better developed on the DS, but the next version will be getting a release next March; called the 3DS. It will have a 3D screen that doesn't require glasses with very detailed graphics. The lineup of games are already outstanding and given the history of Nintendo systems, the hardware will be reliable with great battery life. It will have downloadable and retail games, and you will be able to download 3D movies and take your own pictures in 3D as well. In fact it will be backward compatible with the current DS allowing you to play all of the now available software. Overall a great product.

    Now after selling you on that product I must recommend the Touch unless you can wait until March. I would get him an 8GB Touch to let him play around with games, then upgrade to the 3DS in a few years…
  6. TorontoLRT macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2010
    Toronto, Duh!
    Take it from a former DS addict: Portability and super-affordable games beat DS any day.
  7. Carouser macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2010
    If he's been begging for a DS why in the world would you go looking to justify buying something else instead? What if he wants to play Pokemon, kids are crazy for that stuff. Or wants to play against his friends? If you can buy him something which would make him happy, buy it. There may be good reasons to not get him the DS (he plays too many video games, there's the 3DS coming soon, you can't afford it) but there's no good reason to buy something else instead and convince yourself it's just as good. Do you want his eyes to light up or do want to spend Christmas morning explaining to him all these logical reasons why he should be happy with the iPod? ('flash cards'? Come on)

    What if your spouse said "I'd love a lobster dinner more than anything." Would you ask your friends if you should get steak for her?
  8. tablo13 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2010
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    If it's only for gaming, then go for DS. Gaming experience on iPod touch doesn't compare to physical buttons on a DS.
  9. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    If he has been begging for a DS - get a DS. He might be after specific games for it.
  10. zim macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    The games on the iOS are good but we still don't have any true all start games like Mario or Zelda.. I also feel that many of the games on the DS are much deeper and richer in content, longer play times.

    Another thing to consider.. the 3DS will be out sometime in early 2011(??) so maybe wait on the DS and go for the touch?? If I was to ask my almost 3 year old she would go for the touch, loves the touch, doesn't get the DS.

    So I guess it looks like the best option is for you to take on a second job and get both! But more seriously, I'd go with the DS for his age. my nephew is the same age and he and his friends play their DSs all the time... plus, you said your son wants a DS so go DS.. so your real question should be should I get the DSi or DSi XL and what games should I get?
  11. Outrun1986 macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2010
    You need to figure out what games he wants to play, if he wants to play Mario, Zelda or Pokemon, then you have to buy a DS.

    IMO, and I can't believe I am saying this, the iPod touch is better for a kid, it has educational apps and he could use it as a PDA to keep track of everything and to help with time management. The big thing here that the iPod has that the DS does not is educational apps, I feel the iPod does a MUCH MUCH better job in this category. They have educational apps for everyone from a small child to a high school senior and even for people in college. The DS does not have that.

    If he doesn't have any taste in games yet I would get the touch, since the games are a A LOT cheaper and if you get a dud, you won't be out $30-40 for one game. Kids when they hate a game they usually won't touch it again after hating it the first time. I have been through it with enough cousins and relatives to know, you buy them a $30 game, they try it once, they hate it and throw it down (lovely, since games are not returnable once opened). Since you will likely be footing the bill for all the games in one way or another, this is something to consider. The touch completely removes this problem, so buying games is not a test of OMG I just spent $30 on this I hope they like it.

    You can also get demo games for free on the touch, and a ton of games have free demo's so you can figure out if you like it before buying it. Nintendo does not have demo's of almost every game available.

    Pretty much the only thing the DS can do is play games, the MP3 sucks on it and the camera's on the DS cannot record video, and are of much lower quality than that on the touch. Kids want to take pics and upload to facebook and upload videos to youtube, the DS does have facebook uploading but it does not have youtube uploading.

    If he already has a home console, you might want to consider the touch.
  12. zim macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    Not disagreeing with you but just wanted to say that the DS does have educational games, I do agree that the range is not the same as the iOS.. Nintendo has even spoken on their commitment to embracing education and ideas as to how the DS can be used in the classroom. Also the DS does allow for demoing some games for free if you are connected to wifi.
  13. hcho3 macrumors 68030

    May 13, 2010
    Ask the boy/girl about Mario. If she/he wants to play Mario games, then you need to buy DS. If not, then iPod touch is a better alternative because of the following reasons.

    1. iPod touch does a lot more than DS including face time calls.
    2. iPod touch is more like everything device, but DS is only gaming device.
  14. neoelectronaut macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2003
    Southeastern Louisiana
    I'm not entirely sure a 11-year old should have a facebook account nor should he be uploading youtube videos.

    Also, what, a 11-year old needs TIME MANAGEMENT app? When you're 11 you go to school and you come home. What is there to manage? Man things have gotten so much more complicated since I was a kid apparently.

    Finally, when I was a kid I played videogames to have fun, not to learn something. School is for education, when I was outside of that I wanted to enjoy myself.
  15. EugenexYew macrumors regular


    Oct 10, 2010
    For me to know, you to find out. :)
    There ain't no Pokemon on iPod touch. :x
    Check out what your kid wants to play.
  16. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    For children, a DS. They are cheap and verging on the point of disposable.
  17. Scott549 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2010
    Thanks for all the great responses. He currently has an iPod Nano and loves music as well as games; I'm looking for ideas so that I don't have to ask him directly. The older brother will help too, I think.
  18. Bacong macrumors 68020


    Mar 7, 2009
    Westland, Michigan
  19. DePaulBlueDemon macrumors regular


    Sep 27, 2010
    Get him the DS if that's what he wants. After all, you can't play Super Mario on the iPod Touch.
  20. citizenal macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2010
    Exactly. Your reasoning on why he would like the itouch better may not be the same reasoning he has when he sees it instead of a ds. Maybe he has friends who bring Nintendo ds's to school and they play via wifi. I would got more info from his brother before making a decision.
  21. TJRiver macrumors 6502


    Jan 14, 2009
    Since my daughter got her iPod Touch, the DS sits alone, sad & neglected in a corner........
  22. bmb012 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2006
    Yes, that happens with shiny new things. Not a single iPod game can compare to The World Ends With You, Okamiden, Zelda, NSMB, Shantae, Phoenix Wright, Professor Layton, Castlevania, or even Pokemon...

    Of course, all of the games for kids on the DS are pretty terrible compared to real games. Devs need to step it up and make licensed games that don't suck, like back in the days of Capcom Disney games.

    But, to the OP, make sure that he doesn't want to wait for the 3DS, it's an incredible machine that owns the iPod Touch in every way possible, coming out in March.
  23. Outrun1986 macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2010
    My cousins have facebook accounts and they are ages 10 and 13, and the 13 year old got her account when she was much younger, and my other cousin got his account when he was only 8. Some parents put their kids on facebook as soon as they are born these days. All of their friends in the same age group have facebook accounts (each has at least 100 or more friends on facebook just from their schools). I can only assume that the parents of these kids are supervising the accounts.

    My cousins also each got iPods when they were around 8 years old, with the younger cousin getting his even younger.

    As soon as you stick a camera phone in the kid's hand (which every kid here has at age 8 or younger) they will want to upload videos to youtube and pictures to facebook, its just what kids do these days.

    Time managment is stressed in schools and there are functions of the touch that can be used to help kids with that. When you are an 11 year old being shuttled to soccer practice right after school then somewhere else after that it helps to schedule time to do homework, keep track of assignments and when tests are and time for fun as well. The iPod touch can help with this, where the DS doesn't have this function. Unlike a traditional planner, kids might actually use it. Even though I went to school in the 80's/90's I was also required to get a planner and use it every day (the school actually required the purchase of a planner), especially when I hit 5th/6th grade. The only problem I see with this is kids aren't too good about keeping the batteries charged on the iPod, as their iPods are always running out of battery on them. There are external batteries though.

    My older cousin gave up on her DS as soon as she got a touch, and now states that she does not play video games anymore (which I know she does anyways), if they get a DS, and then get a touch, they will leave the DS long behind. The lure of internet anywhere where there is wifi and the 2 cameras is just too much, when the DS does not have those things. I shop at yard sales and have seen a lot of kids playing with the iPod touch, and the DS is on the selling table.

    I have a DS and Nintendo's demos are extremely limited, for every 25 games released you would be lucky to get one demo. The demo kiosks in stores are gone here, so the only way you can download a demo is to go on the Wii channel and download it that way.
  24. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    To further beat this dead horse...

    Find out why he wants it. The iPod offers a ton of versatility you can't get with the DS so if he has an interest in the features beyond gaming, I'd consider the iPod.

    I got my 5 and 6 yr old kids refurb iPod Touches last Christmas and after a year they still use them constantly. They both were always trying to play games on my iPhone and fighting over what movie to watch on the portable DVD player when we travelled so they seems the perfect solution. Games are much cheaper and in my case, I only have to buy one copy for them both to play. Both are still in mint condition, thanks to screen protectors, silicon cases and small neoprene carrying cases. And as previously mentioned, there are tons of great educational apps that integrate learning with games---definitely contributing the fact that both of my kids were reading and doing simple math in kindergarten. Plane trips and restaurant visit are now much more peaceful as well.

    Considering your son is a bit older, I can only imagine he would get even more use out of one.
  25. nixiemaiden macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    I hardly use my DS anymore because I'm bored or have beaten all the games I have and games are too expensive to buy. On the dsi, you have the option of downloading games from the nintendo store but they are pretty expensive in comparison to games in the app store.

    However, I can't get rid of my DS because when certain games come out (zelda, mario) I buy those games. I just don't take chances when it comes to games I'm not sure about like I would on the iPod.

    However, if he wants a DS I say go with that...it is like half the price of an iPod. You can load music onto the DS as well if you go with DSi...

    Also, I have a feeling that there might be some better deals on DSi's compared to iPod touches this holiday season.

    And as someone else said...the DS's aren't nearly as fragile so it is easier to trust a kid with it.

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