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Nintendo DS Lite Blue Console
Price Range:$99.00 to $119.99
Product Description Nintendo DS Lite revolutionizes the way games are played with ultra-bright dual screens and touch-screen technology.... Read More
Product Description Nintendo DS Lite revolutionizes the way games are played with ultra-bright dual screens and touch-screen technology. Connect wirelessly to Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and put your skills to the test against players across the room or across the world. With impressive 3D rendered graphics and ultra-bright screens, Nintendo DS Lite delivers cutting-edge portable games for fans of any genre. With the Nintendo DS Headset, you can talk and chat over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection or voice command games. Minimize
137 Reviews from Epinions.com
Mar 3, 2008
NINTENDO DS LITE - Gowan, touch it. You know you want to!
Pros: The DS is easy to hold, has long battery life and tons of good games!
Cons: Button placement could have been better.
The Bottom Line:
A innovative console with tons of solid games from a proven giant of the gaming industry. You'd be crazy not to own one.
You know, I feel a little bit bad with the release of the Nintendo DS. The release of the DS is pretty much the effective final nail in the coffin of the Gameboy. While Nintendo says that the GBA is in fact not a dead system, the pure economy of the situation says otherwise, and that makes me sad. Oh sure the Gameboy has undergone all kinds of changes and upgrades in the last nearly 20 years now, but at the core it's still the same big, gray and bulky system that I fell in love with way back in 1989.
But time marches on, and all technology falls by the wayside after a while. And so it must be on the Gameboy - but hold your head up! You had a proud run!
So, what about it's successor - the Nintendo DS, the tenth portable system that Nintendo has released.
To say that the Nintendo DS has been a big success in both the United States and Japan is an understatement. It's is much an understatement, that in the long line of understatements, I would be hard pressed to think of another. While the system was slow to take off - it was bulky, it was big, it just wasn't sexy and it looked like something you would keep makeup in - in the last two or so years, the DS has been flying off the shelves. In Japan, they had to reverse import them from America just to keep up with demand (like the rest of Nintendo's handhelds, there is no regional encoding). Shop lines wound around the blocks, DSes were sold out almost before the boxes could be opened, and used units were selling for higher prices than the new ones.
I never had one of the original DS systems (the DS Fat, as I hear them called), so I cant compare and contrast the size, the battery power and the screen to the new DS Lite, sorry.
GREAT, SO WHAT IS IT?
Before I get too much into the nuts and bolts, I should bring everyone up to speed. The Nintendo DS - and nobody exactly knows what the D and the S stand for, by the way - is a handheld system with two screens, not to dissimilar to the old Nintendo Game and Watch handhelds from the early eighties. Held in a landscape position (usually), the top screen displays the game (usually) and the bottom screen is where all the interaction takes place (usually) by way of a touch screen interface.
When you first turn on the DS Lite you'll be surprised on how well it lives up to the Lite part of its name. The screen is really bright and easy to see, and you can toggle between four levels of brightness, although you can't turn the light all the way off. Mind you, I rarely change the screen's brightness. The brightest setting seems to be the best in the widest variety of lighting conditions, and changing the settings is a little bit of a hassle.
The light isnt the only good thing about the DS screen. The DS is clear when viewed from any angle, all the way to 90 degrees off center. It gets a little bit dimmer as you move around, but it's now possible to watch someone else playing the system and actually see the screen without climbing into their laps.
SO I CAN SEE IT, WONDERFUL. HOW ARE THE CONTROLS?
Ok, I have huge Man Hands, and while some of the old Gameboys could be a touch on the cramped side (I'm looking at you, GBA Micro), I dont have much problem holding and using the DS for long periods of times. The system is pretty light, which makes it easy to hold, and with some playing around, I found a sweet zone for me so I can hold it comfortably.
The D-pad, to the right of the touch screen, is a bit smaller than what you got with the Gameboy. The buttons, between the D-pad and the screen and down slightly, are easy to reach, but tough to tell apart. It would have been nice to get one slightly bigger than the other or with a bump on it so I can tell them apart without looking. When you add in that they're right next to each other, spreading them out would have gone a LONG way to make finding the buttons easy.
The select and start buttons have been moved to the bottom of the system and to the right of the screen, well out of the way. They're both round, which can make it more difficult to figure out which button is which without looking.
The (sadly underused) microphone is in the center of the DS, just above the touch screen right between the screens. I dont know what the old DS was like - I hear tell of all kinds of problems with Brain Age - but it seemed to be able to pick up my voice at low levels of volume.
The shoulder buttons also dont see a lot of use - at least on the 7 or so games I have - so I cant really comment on their comfort levels. They seem well placed and easy to reach, but I just dont have much call to stress test them.
WHAT ABOUT THE BATTERY LIFE?
Of all the problems and perks of the DS, there is one vital, important cornerstone to the system: the battery. If the battery isnt robust enough to handle a long flight or car trip, then the console isnt much good. While I've never gotten out the stopwatch and timed it to the second, I can usually get six hours or so from a full charge - and that's with the sound turned up and the backlight on the highest setting. You could probably easily clear eight or nine hours if you turn the backlight down.
The DS does come with wireless capabilities, allowing you to play Mario Cart or Pokemon with friends across the room or across the nation. Nintendo has also promised to start including Wii/DS functionality in the future (as of this writing, only the new Pokemon game works in tandem with the DS).
Nintendo also has kiosks scattered about, wireless stations that allow you to download demos and freebie games to your DS. I found one in JFK during my layover on the way to Germany. It wasnt very in-depth, but it was a nice touch.
ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?
Well, the DS is backwards compatable with the Gameboy Advanced games, but NOT with the original Gameboy and Gameboy Color systems. If you need to get that old school black and white Tetris fix, you better hang onto your old GBA, too.
Alos, the DS comes in a HUGE array of colors. Black, white, blue, pink, black and red (my favorite), and probably a ton of colors that I've forgotten about. Seek out the color that suits you best before plunking down your hard earned money.
TOO MUCH TO READ. SUM UP PLEASE!
Nintendo loves to innovate. From the way out there nature of the Wii to the way the controllers are laid out, Nintendo cant help but change things up from time to time. What started as a gimmick - the touch screen - has turned into a legitimate gaming tool that's fun to play.
The design of the DS is sleek and sexy, and while it has a couple of flaws, the system is very accessible and easy to play for long term sessions. The screen is bright and looks sweet. If you're a casual gamer or a hardcore fan who takes your portable everywhere, then youd be a fool to pass this system is up.
The King is dead! Long live the King!
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