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The DS Lite U.S. Launch 125

Yesterday Nintendo began selling the upgraded version of their popular DS handheld system, and by all accounts sales are going very well. 1up has a look at the story of the DS so far, from somewhat rocky launch up through this last amazing Christmas season. From the article: "Nintendo had lost its collective mind. At least, that's how it looked back in January 2004 when the company announced its latest system, the DS. 'We have developed Nintendo DS based upon a completely different concept from existing game devices in order to provide players with a unique entertainment experience for the 21st century,' company president Satoru Iwata stated--a bold proclamation. But few were buying it." PC Magazine has details on what was upgraded, and Engadget has pictures from the NYC launch party.
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The DS Lite U.S. Launch

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  • DS Launch in Canada (Score:4, Interesting)

    by scrabbleguy ( 980944 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @12:04PM (#15517398) Homepage
    I live in Toronto and the stores here open on Sunday at 12:00 noon. Not having pre-ordered a DS Lite I left at 12:10 to go buy one. I needed to go to 4 different stores before I found a store that was completely sold out. And every store I went to had about 5 other people asking if they could buy a DS Lite.

    If that's how the early morning went, I can't imagine how the rest of the day went. Sounds like a pretty successful launch for a product revision.
    • by NightRain ( 144349 ) <ray@cyron.[ ]au ['id.' in gap]> on Monday June 12, 2006 @12:08PM (#15517434)

      They were launched here in Australia at the beginning of the month, and my wife and I walked in to the store after lunch, not even being aware that it was a launch day or that the DS was anything special (I'm not really up on Nintendo portables). We ended up just picking one up off the shelf though and buying it for a present for a friend.

      There were no lines or stock shortages that I saw...

    • In Montréal, Zellers open at 9h00 I was there at 9h30 get the 4th one :-P
      The EbGames open at 10h, I walk in front of the store 10 minutes before the opening I show my ds lite at the staff waiting to enter :->

    • I went to a local Wal-Mart, but the staff were too lazy and incompetent (example: typing in "DS Lite Sistem" into a computer screen doesn't help bring it up) to look. So I did the Sears pickup thing - 1'15" after walking into the Sears pick up department, I had my DS Lite.

      It's a lovely thing - just showed some go workers "Big Brain Academy" - took half an hour before they could give it back ;).
    • Strange, I went into Bestbuy out in the suburbs (Brampton) and walked in and saw they had a bunch of the lite's kicking around. So I picked one up with no problems at all :)

      That being said I currently own a PSP and my bro has the regular DS. Yea, let's just say I haven't touched my PSP since my bro got his DS and the DS Lite is a huge step forward for this platform. When comparing the two systems the Lite is so much better I can't believe the old DS and the new one are the same price!

      I doubt anyone in th
    • I'm in North Carolina and my brother and I headed to a bix box store when they opened at 8AM on Sunday and snagged two of the forty they had in stock. We weren't even the first ones there, people had actually lined up outside the store before it opened.
  • ... for the other colors. Bright white? Come on Nintendo, come with the pretty DSLites!
  • by Forkenhoppen ( 16574 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @12:13PM (#15517455)
    It's a nice product, with some really nice bright screens. It's my first DS, so I can't really compare it to the original model, but it puts my Palm's screen to shame. Would love it to death if it weren't for the blue stuck pixel in the upper screen. I'll probably send it back to them under warranty in a few weeks, after I've had a chance to mess around with it a little.

    I'm really curious what Nintendo has in store for it in combination with the Wii.
    • by nhaines ( 622289 ) <> on Monday June 12, 2006 @12:50PM (#15517718) Homepage
      This came up during the Nintendo DS launch in November 2004. Nintendo's offical policy on dead pixels was "We want you to be happy with our products and anything that detracts from your enjoyment is not acceptable to us. We invite you to play your DS for a day or two and see if the pixel bothers you. If you find that it is distracting, we'll ship you a new one free of charge."

      If you can't exchange it at the place you purchased it, just call Nintendo Consumer Service (1-800-255-3700) as listed on the back of your DS. If you give them a credit card number as a deposit, I'm sure they'll ship you a replacement. Just open the box, grab your new DS, test it... then put your old DS back in the box, slap on the new mailing label, and drop it back in the mail.

      But the point is, Nintendo Consumer Service has been superlative since as long as I can remember (1988 at least), so give them a try if the store gives you any hassles.
      • by Zigg ( 64962 )

        I know that's been their policy before, but I just called this morning for mine and advance replacement wasn't an option -- just depot repair (and they're damn fast at it, but a week is still a week).

        So I guess I'll drop by the store tomorrow once I've collected my box etc., copied my WFC ID back to my old DS, and such...

    • I have a permamently-on red pixel at the lower right of the bottom screen. Annoying as hell. Need to see if EB (here in Canada) will replace it.
    • My DS Lite has a dead pixel too, and its making me very angry. i'm having the urge to throw it against the wall, only then it will never be covered by the warranty, and I'd probably put a hole in the wall!

      here is what nintendo's customer support page has to say about stuck pixels: r ouble_spot.jsp []

      if you're a sucker and pre-ordered it at EB or some other boutique store, they probably won't exchange it (the eb rep told me that their warranty only covers
      • That's rather disappointing for Nintendo. Especially in contrast to their original fat DS launch policy, where they'd advance ship you a unit for even a single stuck or dead pixel.

        I guess all that Japanese demand is really taxing on their supply chain or they realize what kind of hit they have on their hands or something.

        I hope it's something innocent like demand and they aren't going to start dropping the ball on quality/QA.
        • It's probably a pure loss decision. People are assholes and they probably lost more than a few units doing advance repairs. That they replace it for just one or two stuck pixels is impressive in and of itself given as nitendo points out, it is within spec and most companies won't do that.
          • You had to give them credit card info and they ran an authorization through for the full cost of a replacement unit before advance shipping you one, IIRC. Then they reversed the transaction when your defective unit arrived. So I doubt it's hardware losses.

            Nintendo is(was?) pretty much the gold standard of console support, warranty, build quality(fischer price tough, survives a warzone AND your kids) and QA. This seems to be a step down for them, which is disappointing, since the reliability of their hard
            • Oh, I know that's how it works, but people are still assholes, and in general, your credit card company is on your side rather than the merchant's side. I'm sure there are more than a few people who didn't send back or sent back an empty / weighted box and fought the charge on their card. While it's not common, in this day and age it would not suprise me if it was common enough to hurt.
  • Complete GNU/Linux distribution available for the DS Lite in 3... 2... 1...
  • I think I'll have to buy one of these... once they come out with more colors (*crosses fingers for black*). They're relatively cheap ($130 on NewEgg), there are some cool games for it (Zelda, Resident Evil, and of course... Tetris), it's a decent amount smaller and lighter than the regular DS, and the brightness is adjustable. Overall, it looks like a very svelte little machine -- it looks like it's a lot easier to stick in a pocket than a regular DS. I WANT, I WANT!
  • One of the things I like about the DS is its buttons... I like the way the buttons and the D-pad "click" when you push them down.

    I tried the DS Lite at the store, and I didn't like the way they changed the buttons... they don't have that "click" anymore, that's the best way I can explain it. Maybe it's something I'd get used to, but I didn't really like it.
    • Actually, a lot of people complained about precisely that same "clickiness" with the original DS, which is why they made the change - the new controls are supposed to be more in line with the GB Micro and past systems like the SNES.
    • One trade-off for another. While I miss the clickiness of the original DS, this is more than outweighed by the fact that the buttons are raised and rounded. I'm already noticing that games that require using multiple buttons are much easier to control. The d-pad on the Lite is a total blessing. The original d-pad was just mushy. I could actually play a fighting game on the new model! And lets not forget about the resin molding on the new model. Wow, I can actually grip this thing.
  • by GenmaKun ( 821817 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @12:26PM (#15517544)
    My wife just upgraded her DS to a DS Lite. On the DS we started out with one of the Nintendo screen protectors, but it quickly got scratched up to where you could not see the lower screen through the mess.

    To solve the problem we simply bought some high quality Palm Pilot screen protectors, then cut this to the right dimensions for the DS. It works flawlessly with the DS and the stylus, and looks better after use than the Nintendo protectors do new. This pad hardly shows marks at all, even after playing stylus intensive games. They are less than $1 each at your local office supply store.

    Yesterday we picked up a DS Lite and the first thing we did was throw a Palm protector onto the screen. Works like a charm.
    • by laxcat ( 600727 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @12:47PM (#15517700) Homepage
      I know most techies get really protective of their gadgets, but I've been rockin' my DS Fat since launch with no lower screen protection whatsoever, and I still have no visible damage. The screen tends to get a little greasy from games that encourage you to just use your finger, but that's the only real loss in visibility, and is obviously easily remedied every once in a while.

      The screen was built to be touched, and while I can't speak for sure for the new Lites (I can't imagine otherwise), you'll have the best, most visible experience just using the product as it was designed.

      Take a deep breath! Take that cloudy plastic off! This is game system, after all. It's no fun if you're stressed about keeping it pristine for the next ten years.
      • I was actually starting to get screen scratches, so I bought a protector before it got too bad. You can trust me when I say that I take care of my stuff.

        I keep my systems for a long time, and I'm not rich. $5 at the Nintendo World Store is worth the piece of mind as I go to town in Metroid.
      • I heard once using wood polish on these type of screens to fill in the scratches. Disclaimer: I hold NO respnsibilty for anyone doing this.
      • I think it's worth pointing out that the parent poster has had the bottom screen protector scratched up very badly. With everyone that I know, including a family where three people share a DS (for about a constant 7 hours of use a day between them--yes, they're gaming nerds), there has been no damage at all to the bottom screen using fingers or the stylus.

        Admittedly, if you wanted to, I'm sure you could damage it if you tried, but I'm fairly sure the screen wasn't built to withstand extended play using a s

    • As others have stated, I've had my DS for about 6 months and play regularly, with no scree protector, and have no scratches. I bought my girlfriend one the same day, and she plays hers 2x as much as me, and hers is fine too. I don't think you need a screen protector, unless perhaps you have young kids.
    • If you want the BEST protection (but not the cheapest) possible, try the InvisibleSHIELD from []
      From what I've seen, this stuff's nearly impossible to break or scratch, and you don't even notice it's there. I'm going to get the shield for my DS Lite. I was skeptical, but after seeing those videos of attacking an iPod with sets of keys and whatnot, I think I'll try it.

      Does anyone here have any LCD products that they've protected with this stuff? What's been your experience wit
  • After both my brother (PSP) and sister (DS) have apparently succumbed to the mobile craze, I'm ready to take the leap in with 'em with the DS Lite.

    I fell in love with this trimmed-down tricked-out console the instant I saw one of my classmates in college playing an imported version, and the only thing holding me back now is the promise of ice blue DS Lites.

    While it'll be a shame to have to pass up Ratchet: Size Matters, the point remains that Insomniac does not a console make, especially when the console in
  • I just got done reading some of the comments here below about the color. I also agree that white is not exactly the "pretty color" I would choose for the new DS Lite. However it is a classic color aside from the gray that all Nintendo's start out with. I would however would be extreamly impressed if they released a black soild color version of the DS.
  • I got mine last week, from a friend of a friend who works at Nintendo.

    Sadly, I opened it to find two stuck pixels (red and green)
    Apparently, Nintendo won't replace the unit unless there are three or more.

    Anyone know how to 'stick' a pixel . . ? :)
    • Try pressing on the screen on them. Till ou ge that rainbow effect. I did that on my original ds and it unstuck them. DOnt press hard enough to break the screen though.
    • Re:stuck pixelies (Score:4, Informative)

      by tuffy ( 10202 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @01:28PM (#15517974) Homepage Journal
      Apparently, Nintendo won't replace the unit unless there are three or more.

      Where did you get that information? At the original DS' launch, any stuck pixel was enough to merit a replacement under Nintendo's 1 year warranty. Give them a call on their 1-800 number and see if they'll get you a replacement unit.

    • Re:stuck pixelies (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Gulthek ( 12570 ) on Monday June 12, 2006 @01:56PM (#15518154) Homepage Journal
      Not so, Nintendo will repair (not replace) a DS Lite with even one dead pixel. I should know, my prepaid UPS label for sending my DS Lite in for repair is on its way.

      From the Nintendo DS Lite Customer Service Page:

      White (or Other Color) Dot on the Screen
      With a small number of Nintendo DS screens, one or two dots on the screen may appear to be "stuck" on a particular color, such as white or red. This effect is caused when a particular pixel (the dots that make up the screen) is not working properly. Even with the high quality standards set by LCD manufacturers, you will find this situation is common in many LCD devices (PC monitors, televisions, cell phones, etc.), and is within LCD manufacturers' specifications.

      It's important to understand that this issue will remain limited to the pixels you have already noticed. The problem will not get any worse and you should not expect to see the problem in any other areas of the screen.
      We suggest you use your system for a few weeks to determine whether this interferes with your enjoyment of game play. If, after using your system for awhile, you feel that this tiny dot is too distracting, the Nintendo DS Lite does carry a one-year warranty. We are happy to inspect and, if necessary, fix your system at no charge within the warranty period.
      • Also don't forget all UK internet orders are returnable withing a 14 day period by law. I've ordered mine from GAME, and so the return can be done to a store if there is a problem, no questions asked.
  • I picked up the last one in stock at a Game Crazy (Hollywood Video's game store-in-a-store) at 6pm yesterday after trying maybe three places. I picked up copies of Brain Age, Sprung (dating sim) and Worms. I haven't owned a Nintendo handheld since the Gameboy Color and I was very impressed with the build quality and the brightness of the screen. It reminds me of a miniaturized version of my 12-inch iBook G4, which I just sold, so there's already some nostalgic attachment right there. Once Opera is relea
  • This is the best portable console that has EVER been released. I could not be happier with it. It's cheap, there's a ton of games, the battery lasts a long time, the screens are bright, and the colors are vibrant. Nintendo really did a great job with this one.
  • I went to Circuit City at 10am (opening) yesterday, and picked mine up. Also picked up 4 games (Brain Age, Tetris DS, Mario Kart, Super Mario DS). I would not have bought so many, but I had a few gift cards to various stores. I was surprised when I went to Best Buy late in the afternoon that there were still a couple DS Lite's sitting on the shelves considering the number of people who were at Circuit City buying one in the morning.

    Having never played the Fat DS, I am very impressed with the games, and som
    • I haven't gotten Brain Age back from my wife. She's addicted to Sudoku too.

      Hope is on the way though. There are 2 Soduku games for the DS being released toward the end of this month. I figure if I get both of them I'm guaranteed to be able to play one of them.

      Oh yes, Tetris DS is the best one ever. My previous favorite was the Nintendo one for the NES.
    • I HIGHTLY suggest you go buy Kirby Canvas Curse, Meteos and Metroid Prime: Hunters.

      All of those games make great use of the stylus. Kirby Canvas Cruse and Meteos are played only with the stylus and they are GREAT.

      Meteos is a fast paced tetris style puzzle game so if you're not into those don't bother (but it's the best I've ever played).

      Kirby Canvas Curse is a MUST HAVE in my opinion.
  • Just saw one in Zellers here in Canada. Remember those Game and Watch dual LCD screen games (Donkey Kong)? Well, that's what the DS Lite more closely resembles in its new form factor: smaller, lighter, and crap are the new screens bright! It is easier to hold, but the buttons do feel mushier and don't "click" as much as the original DS buttons. The power button has been moved to side, thank god, where it should have been in the first place and the cosmetics are much improved. The white case is very sexy.

    I c
  • Just took back my DS and got a DS lite. So far I like most of the changes. However, the DS lite feels more rickity to me, the buttons are not set as much as the regular DS, and it just feels like it is more fragile. I'll just have to be a bit more careful I guess.
    • Re:Fragile. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rAiNsT0rm ( 877553 )
      At the EB near my house, they have already gone through 3 DS Lites replacing broken ones. On was a D-Pad that was DOA, and the other two were cracked casings... so apparently they are fragile. The manager said that both of their in-store demo units had been cracked within hours too, which was the first I had heard of this.

      I don't really like the mushy buttons and smaller size, but I LOVE the screens, the new stylus, the layout, and a few other bonuses.

      So now I am torn, after hearing of some issues, and my f
  • I got mine at Best Buy a little after opening on sunday (I dunno how many they had, they didn't even have a display set up. The guy had to go get it from the stock room) and New Super Mario Brothers. Not having played the Fat DS, I'm impressed with this little system. And I don't mind the white, matches my iPod! ;)
  • I'll be getting one of these for one reason only: New Super Mario Bros.! It's about time they come out with another 2D platformer Mario game.
  • I picked mine up yesterday... no interesting journey stories to tell though, I pre-ordered mine the day the USA release date was announced.

    One thing I like is the new brightness settings. There are four, the lowest being equivalent to the old DS's screen. On just the second highest setting colors are very vibrant. It's hard to describe, but the games just look better.

    The higher settings mean I can play on the bus fine. I used to have trouble with the old DS getting too much glare, not anymore!

    The o
  • All these stories of sold out DS Lites make me laugh. I called one local EBGames/GameStop (of which there are four within a half mile radius of each other) and the lady that answered said that they had sold-out pre-orders for a few weeks now, for all stores within a 100 mile radius (exaggerate much?). I called up the local Target and the guy that picked up said he had a few. I got there at 3:15PM (they opened at 9AM), and I was surprised to see at least ten DS Lite's on the shelves! Target has become my
    • So what part of this makes you laugh?
      • The part where people are complaining about it being sold out and I got one six hours after launch. It looked like Target hadn't sold any. Same thing happened with the original DS and even the Gamecube.
        • It all just depends on where you live. I drove to 4 or 5 places before I finally found one at Target. There were only 3 left.
    • I noticed that too. I cruised by Target just for kicks yesterday to see if they had any -- they had a whole locked up shelf full, with no sign, fanfare or anything. Wouldn't have even known they had the Lite version unless you looked closely, but it was ALL they had. Lot's of 'em. I was somewhat surprised. I'll pick one up in a few weeks maybe.
  • I picked one up in Cambridge MA @ Best Buy about 12:30pm yesterday. I asked and they still had several left. They were running a special to get a free copy of brain age with a DS lite purchase (coupon to print out on Bestbuy's front page). I bought a DS Fat w/ a copy of mario kart days before the DS lite announcement. When I heard about this I decided to just return the DS fat and hold on to Mario Kart till the DS lite came out. Definitely worth waiting. I'm 30 and this is a much more "adult" looking unit.
  • Like a few other lucky souls here, I picked mine up when a SuperTarget in Dallas broke the release date. Not much to say that most everyone else here hasn't--the screens are clear, the redesign is attractive--but I'd like to attest to how the new system feels in comparison to the old one, which I think is still the question mark for a few people here. After 12 days of extensive gaming, here's the skinny:

    Mario Kart DS: For old-school d-pad & buttons games, the DS Lite is heaven. The "mushy" buttons have
    • There's no reason not to just shut the case. I know it's hard to fight the feeling that you need to pause (I still find my self pausing), but you're just going to shut the case after you pause anyway and the game stops on it's own when you shut the case so why bother pausing it and then shutting it?

      On the other hand I do find my self hitting pause to exit a level I've already beaten before I die (like when I accidently jump into a pit or something). so I can see how that might suck. I have so many 1-ups I d
    • I bought mine last week with the new Mario game. It was fun. I then bought Tetris and Nintendog: I have not been able to play it since - my wife would not give the DS back to me :(
  • The line was out the door at the retailer where I had reserved my DS-lite. When I finally got to the front, the guy running the register looked up, saw that the line hadn't shrunk at all, and remarked, "Oh no, they keep re-spawning!"

    They had like 70 units and 60 on reserve, and a few people were taking advantage of that to buy more than one. "For a friend." Yeah.
  • I was wondering if anyone could list some *good* games for it

    Also what are the prices of the games (preferably in CAD but USD is good too...)
    • These are the games I personally own and enjoy for the DS. Most of these games are (or were) $30-35 USD, although some have gotten cheaper. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Super Mario Bros. 64 DS Meteos Kirby's Canvas Curse Advance Wars: Dual Strike Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrows Mario Kart DS Super Mario Bros DS Tetris DS Metroid Prime Hunters Animal Crossing: Wild World I'd definitely recommend any of these...... there are also some other excellent DS games which I don't have, so I can't personally recommen
    • That depends on what you define as good. I can list for you the games I enjoy, with a little description, and you can make your decisions from there. Oh, games generally range from about $20 (Brain Age, Tetris DS) to at most $45 (Metroid Prime: Hunters) new. That's USD, so CAD will probably be another $10 or so on that. Most games will come in at around $30 USD.

      Advance Wars: Dual Strike - Totally awesome game. If you've played the previous Advance Wars titles, this is an excellent upgrade. If you ha

  • "I called up the local Target and the guy that picked up said he had a few. I got there at 3:15PM (they opened at 9AM), and I was surprised to see at least ten DS Lite's on the shelves! Target has become my new launch day source."

    Most Target stores have been selling the new DS Lites for over a week. Check Slashdot archives for the story.
  • Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a wrist strap/thumb pad. Of course, they're selling one on but it looks like it's the exact same as the old DS's strap.

    I've been trying to get the strap from my old DS into the lite for a while, but the holes on the DS are pretty small. Getting it in the first hole isn't that tough, but I push and push and it won't come out the other end. Think I'm going to have to find a needle.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?