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Nintendo DS Lite Hands-on Review 81

Nintendo DS News writes "Those lucky chaps at Lik Sang have done a hands-on review of the DS Lite, with masses of screenshots and comparisons between the new and old versions. Now, you can officially add whiter, cooler, prettier, sleeker, and overall better to your arsenal of superlatives when describing the Nintendo DS Lite in comparison with the first edition of the Nintendo DS. The new edition has for sure a fashionable look, and appears more modern than the previous model, which many compared to a 'cheap plastic toy from the 20th century' when it first came out.""
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Nintendo DS Lite Hands-on Review

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  • gee. how handy that you can buy all those nice accessories from the same guys who brought you the review...
  • by earthbound kid ( 859282 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @12:10PM (#14826996) Homepage
    I was at J. Toys R Us and tried it out:

    My first thought was, "Oh, the screen's not that bright." Then I looked over at one of the old style DSes. It looked so muddy and washed out in comparison! It's definitely a step up. Next, I tried the demo of Animal Crossing... but I didn't learn much from that besides that AC is only interesting when it's your town not some demo character. Mario Kart was much more interesting, because it taught me that the buttons are way more comfortable. The current DS buttons are sort of shallow and hard, but the new buttons are a lot easier on the thumb when you're holding down the gas with all your might. It's also seemingly easier to hit A while holding X, or whatever. The stylus is also better. I almost never use the built-in stylus now, since it's too small to be comfortable, but the new one seems just big enough to be useable.

    I'll see if I can manage to find one or not when they go on sale (when the shops open in a couple hours from). I'm actually holding out for the new color, but I told a friend, I'd send her one at low commission. Usually, there isn't much problem getting a hold of things on their release date, but this might be more problematic than usual, since it's supposedly in short supply. We'll see.
    • Note that the DS's screen is already significantly brighter than the SP. The SP had a goofy front light with a reflective panel or something that spread the light across. When I bought the DS and threw in some games the first thing I noticed was that it was even brighter than the GBA. On some games it seems to be bright enough to wash out the colors a bit. I hope the DS Lite's adjustable brightness isn't tipped even further.
      • ### On some games it seems to be bright enough to wash out the colors a bit. I hope the DS Lite's adjustable brightness isn't tipped even further.

        The washes out colors aren't the result of the DSs brightness, but the darkness of the original GBA, which forced the developers to use colors brighter then you would normally use to compensate for the dark display. So GBA games look wrong on everything other then the original GBA. Some emulators might counter act that by applying a low gamma before displaying the
        • Actually, even some of the DS games look a bit washed out. Advance Wars DS gets pretty bad when the in-game weather is snowy. But my GBA games all look pretty fine on the SP. I realize that developers occasionally compensate for the original GBA, leading to stuff like the FFT:A color options.
    • I don't mind that my old-style DS has a slightly less brilliant display. If only it had a !@#$% anti-reflective coating. In bright daylight it is virtually unusable.

      OTOH, it seems that the touch screen means that strategy game publishers are definitely looking seriously at the DS. I've seen a few really good strategy game (turn-based no less!) in the 2006 lineup. I can't wait for Europa Universalis.

  • I love the look of the iBook (and have one) so was glad about the redesign. however, seeing these new images I'm a little less keen on the look.

    I hate it when laptops have really thick bases with thin screens on top - it just looks bad imo. the iBook gets round this by making the top and bottom rounded and having a grey section sandwitched in-between the white upper and lower parts.

    the DS Lite is solid white and further exaggerates the difference between top and bottom thicknesses by recessing the upper scr
    • the DS Lite is solid white and further exaggerates the difference between top and bottom thicknesses by recessing the upper screen into the lid.

      Perhaps, but in comparison to the original DS...

  • by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Wednesday March 01, 2006 @12:22PM (#14827137) Homepage
    Mark me troll if you want (I carry my DS during every morning and evening commute) but I'm not "upgrading" to a system that will have GBA cartridges sticking out one centimeter from the case. One of the best things about the DS was that you had 2 games ready to go, and the GBA library for classic ports is huge. Here you have an attempt by Nintendo to get people to play more DS titles (the same way GB titles stuck out of the GBA), but how much work would it have been to find the extra CM of space for the cartridge? I mean come on, Nintendo.

    Pass. My silver DS works just fine, thank you, and I'll continue to enjoy it for quite a while.
    • These incremental products are minor redesigns rather than full-on, must-upgrade things, anyway. If and when a device adds new features and functionality that represent significant improvement, then it's worth going after.

      speaking as someone who likes the DS, but hasn't gotten one, yet, I have to say it's pretty neat-looking. Not a fan of that "scratch me, stain me" milk-white hardware look, though--I'll be waiting for the blue version.

      • I own a current-style white DS, and it doesn't have a scratch, nor does it have stains. I don't spill orange juice on it everyday, but I do use it everyday for at least an hour. I made it fall down twice, no scratches.

        The screen might need a goos clean wipe now and then, but it's not iPod-scratchy.
    • I say, good for you. If you are currently enjoying your system and don't see a need to upgrade, then rock on. Save your money for games you want to play.

      There's no shame or troll-ness in that.

      If you want something a little smaller and a lot brighter, just upgrade.
    • The cartridge I use to the exclusion of all others, the Play Yan already sticks out by about a cm so I am not gravely concerned. I just want a smaller brighter video player and web browser.
    • Eh? I don't plan to get a new DS either -my current one works fine, thank you very much- but what's the big deal if the GBA cartridges stick out a little bit? How is this an attempt by Nintendo to get people to play more DS games? For that matter, how was this true with the GBA, when original Game Boy games stuck out a little bit?

      This is an honest question; I've no clue what difference it could possibly make. As far as I can tell, you're just whining over a minor aesthetic issue.
    • If you have seen the circuit board pictures on the FCC website, you will find that there is simply NO ROOM for both a GBA cart and a DS cart to to fit inside the DS Lite case. Check it out here []

      As you can see, the back of the GBA and DS connectors are practically touching. Sure they could have made it so that GBA carts won't stick out, but only if the case was extended. I prefer the cart sticking out over a larger DS.

      Its not Nintendo was lazy.
      • It would not have been difficult to spend the extra 2 weeks engineering and make the board smaller. It can be done.
        • Well, the middle of the board is practically [GBA cart length - 1cm + DS cart length] long. The board has to be that big because of the physical size of the game carts. I admit, it looks like the gap between the connectors could've been shurnk a bit more, but definitely not 1cm.

          I guess they could layer the GBA cart connector and the DS cart connector, that would've made a thicker DS, espcecially with the touch screen and all. Or I guess they could've had DS carts sticking out a bit.

          I think Nintendo wo
  • Why didn't they add these features originally?
    • Because Nintendo wasn't exactly sure of itself and the DS, JUST like the GBA. The GBA SP came out way too soon afterward to have truly been designed from the ground up once they knew the GBA was a hit. They had the SP designed all along but held back for one reason or another initially.

      Same thing here. Once they were sure the DS was a sure thing, they added in updates that I'm sure they knew well beforehand and then pushed it out.

      I actually don't like this practice and it does nothing to create brand loyalt
      • yeah what's the deal with technological progress? how come companies keep releasing improved products when they know there will be even more improvements in the future?

        we all know that at some point we'll have processors 2 times as fast as the ones we have now, so why bother with measly increments of 25%, 50% etc.? wait a sec, forget 2 times faster, let's not release anything until they're 3 times faster... no, 5 times faster, that'll be worth releasing, everything else in between is just a scam.

        and don't g
        • While I'm all for progress you see this sort of technique in enough other areas as it is. Apple, for one, can be guaranteed to release a new iPod every year. Yes, it's nice that they're improving things, but compared to the current generation my 2nd gen iPod is an unsightly brick. After introducing a dock connector and changing the way accessories work with it it's more or less impossible to find a case or any accessories that work with it. All of this within the course of 3 years.

          Now, I'm no stranger to th
        • Actually you totally missed the point. No one is saying progress is a bad thing, but to release six versions of the same hardware in half as many years does not create happy consumers. It creates confusion and unhappy adopters who purchase the "old" model only to find a "new and updated" model a month later released.

          The DS was a crapshoot for Nintendo. That's why they did so much to make sure people knew it was not the next Gameboy or even part of the same product line.
          • >It creates confusion and unhappy adopters who purchase the "old" model only to find a "new and updated" model a month later released.

            you might have a point if it really were a month later and not a year.
            • You keep switching back and forth between the DS and the GBA which is what I was referencing. I understand that the DS has been out for a year, but you need to realize the largest number of sales just came about since the release of Nintendogs... which was only a couple months.

              It's easy to also overlook the difference between Joe Sixpack and the /. geek who knows and can quote the release date for any upcoming product. The average person has no idea and is in fact angered when they buy little Johnny or Suzi
      • I don't think this as anything to do with Nintendo being sure of itself. It's just market economics. I also think it makes for happy consumers.

        At first you have to work with the parts that are availible and have been produced. The screens are only so good at the price range your looking for. You can design a $800 dollar handheld but you can't sell it, so you go with what the market will accept.

        Then you sell a million of the units and the producer of the screens uses that capital to improve their product
      • How could Nintendo not be sure about the DS? They are Nintendo! Of coures it would sell. I can accept it with the GBA, but now that they do it again? That's starting to get suspicious. We agree that they probably had the technology and everything before the DS was launched (or atleast very close to the launch), but we disagree on the reasoning. I'm starting to lean towards thinking that they just want to make as much money as they can.

        I believe someone once said: "Once is coincidence, twice is happenstance,
        • Actually, Nintendo was very unsure of the DS. In fact they made a major point to make clear that it was not part of the Game Boy line, and they tried to say it was part of its own line. Why bother?
          • How would them making a point that This Is Not A GameBoy mean that they were nervous about it? If anything, it would mean they were more confident about it since they weren't relying on the Gameboy brand anymore to sell it.
            • Because, if it was a total failour, they'd still have the GBA line, untarnished, and going strong (as it was and still is). If they had released the Virtual Boy as a replacement for the SNES, for instance... they probably would have gone belly up. This way, Nintendo currently has 3 different lines to rely on: GameBoy line, DS line, and console line. All are strong enough, at the moment, that if one were to fail, the company wouldn't go bankrupt. Now, let's be honest about this, the DS is already becoming th
    • "Why didn't they add these features originally? "

      Price. The DS isn't as attractive compared to the PSP when it runs for $200 instead of $130.
  • by omeg ( 907329 )
    Seems like this article is a little biased towards Nintendo's product! "Beautiful new hardware", "astonishing display", "hot software", "we don't agree with the critics", etc.

    Not that they're not entitled to their own opinion, but does sound a little spooky if you take into account the fact that their page is littered with Nintendo advertisements. It would be appreciated if the summary linked to a more sober article of this news.
  • whiter, cooler, prettier, sleeker, and overall better to your arsenal of superlatives

    Yeah, maybe if you're a moron. Whiter, cooler, prettier, etc are comparatives. Whitest, coolest, prettiest would be superlatives.
    • Whiter, cooler, prettier, etc are comparatives. Whitest, coolest, prettiest would be superlatives.
      I'll keep that in mind next time I call someone a "Fucker" when I actually meant "Fuckiest"
    • From

      "superlative adj.

      1. Of the highest order, quality, or degree; surpassing or superior to all others.
      2. Excessive or exaggerated.
      3. Grammar. Of, relating to, or being the extreme degree of comparison of an adjective or adverb, as in best or brightest."

      The words, themselves, may not be superlatives, but they DO add to the excessive amount of adjectives used to describe the DS. ;)
  • You can add a whiter cooler, or even prettier sleeker overalls?

    What does a refridgerator or workwear got to do with anything?

    That makes no sense.
  • A DS that doesn't have the construction charactaristics of a device made for 4 year olds [].

    Now I'll actually buy one.
  • The jump from DS-->DSlite is a lot smaller than the jump from GBA-->GBAsp. This makes me pretty happy, because as it is the DS is an expensive device. I bought an SP when they came out because the lit screen was a must-have, but I can live perfectly happy with my DSheavy. It's almost upsetting that Nintendo spent R&D money on updating it at all, when they have work left to do (I assume) on the N5. (I hate the name "Revolution" so much). I will save the money I would have to spend on the lite t
    • I'm pretty happy as well with the fact that unlike the SP, you really don't feel like you're missing out on too much with the DS Lite. The best thing about this is that if your DS happens to break, you know you have this sleeker version of it waiting in the wings for you, but you know that you don't have to go out and buy this RIGHT AWAY like with the GBA SP, which really added features that the GBA should've had in the first place.
  • I was very excited about the new DS when i saw the initial images... but (stupidly perhaps) I assumed it was going to be quite a bit smaller. That really isn't what happened; its maybe 10% [] smaller [] overall.

    I already have a PSP and I want to pick up a DS as well (I'm a sucker for handhelds, what can I say). What kept me away from the DS so far has everything to do with how they build the actual hardware. I hated the original DS case. And I hated the craptacular screen quality. But I love the innovation behi

    • It's called trade-offs. Like how the PSP traded having games for having really nice hardware that can do lots of stuff, but apparently not games. Sorry, but it's true.

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."