I've got two DSs, age 6 and 9. ATM we have 2 family IPads, which they get to use for playing Minecraft, Terraria, Clash Royale etc etc, always in the family room and under (loose) supervision. Most of the games that they have are suitable for them both to play, I'm confident that they aren't accessing anything dodgy and that any chat DS1 participates in is within closed servers for him and his friends from school only. They play a lot of MC multiplayer together, which DS2 especially loves.
DS1 really wants a Nintendo 3DS. Loads of his friends have them, and TBH I'm not averse to him having one. But I think that DS2 is too young for one. Plus I think DS1 would be far more likely to want to go off and play alone in his bedroom, which I am keen to put off for as long as possible.
They are playing / gaming so nicely together at the moment I'm really loathe to disrupt the balance. But is it fair to deny DS1 a new 'toy' because DS2 can't have one as well?
How do you manage devices when you've got children of different ages?
Could DS2 just tag along with DS1 if he heads off to play in his bedroom for a little while? Would that cause arguments? Or could it be a joint gift for them both to play on with a set amount of time for each?
It's hard managing different devices. When mine were 6 & 9 youngest would play sometimes, but was still more than happy just to play with other toys, dolls, lego etc while eldest disappeared upstairs. Now they're 9 & 12 and devices are becoming more a part of daily life for both. They both have kindles and laptops and spend a lot of time playing Roblox, together or separately. It gets very hard to deny one what the other has! They both also spend a lot of time in their rooms anyway, even if they're not on any device, I think that's just part and parcel of growing up and wanting private space away from the rest of the house.
I understand your point, it's lovely when kids are playing nicely together, whether gaming or with toys. It sounds like they have a great bond and I don't think that would necessarily change if you bought the Nintendo.