Denki News

June 12, 2006

The DS Lite has landed

Filed under: Video Games — icruise @ 1:06 am

I was out by the mall a couple of days ago and decided that I would go to a few places to see if I could find a DS Lite that had been put out before the official launch date (June 11th). Some other people had been able to find them out on the shelves. I didn't find any, but Toys R Us had a sign up saying that they were reserving them for people on the two days prior to the launch with a $50 deposit. So I went ahead and reserved one. I didn't know if there would be any problem getting one, but considering that all of the online retailers I checked were only selling them in lame bundles with accessory packs that you don't really want, I figured it was worth it to ensure that I got one. There was a couple in line right ahead of me who reserved two of them. (More after the jump.)

I picked it up this afternoon, and I must say it's very nice. Of course, it's particularly impressive compared to what a lump the original DS is. The original "phat" DS looks more like a prototype than anything, and there are a lot of things about it that don't really make a lot of sense. The main issue, though, is its sheer size. It's a very hefty system. The DS Lite, on the other hand, is pretty slim. It's no GameBoy Micro, but it's definitely a more reasonable size, weight and thickness. And the finish is also much more impressive. It looks much more like something you'd want to show off, and I think it holds its own against the PSP in terms of looks now. Closed, it looks just like a miniature MacBook, and I don't think that's an accident (although the direct inspiration was probably the iPod).Aside from its size, the main thing I was looking forward to was the screen, and it doesn't disappoint in that area either. The original DS's screens always seemed a little on the dim and dingy side, but you don't realize how bad they are until you compare them with the DS Lite's screens. They are several times brighter at max brightness, and even at minimum brightness, I think they're still brighter than the old DS. The colors are very vibrant and clear. And the battery apparently lasts a lot longer than the original DS as well (haven't been able to test that out yet. Clearly, Nintendo did their best to rectify the flaws in the original design. This is the DS they should have released in the first place.
In the "minor disappointments" department are the fact that the DS Lite uses a different AC adapter than the original DS, which means that you can't share adapters if you have both systems. It also doesn't come with the nifty strap/thumb stick thingy that the original DS came with. Also, GameBoy Advance cartridges stick up about 1cm from the body of the DS Lite, which means that you probably don't want to keep a GBA cartridge in there all the time. You could do that with the original system, and it was kind of nice to have two games available in the system (dual screens and dual games).

Nintendo hasn't announced that they are discontinuing the original DS, but unless they discount it VERY heavily, I don't think it makes any sense to keep both models in stores. I really can't think of any reason to get an original DS now that the Lite is available.


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