1,163 of 1,221 people found the following review helpful
People will no doubt find the Nintendo DS Lite to be a way for Nintendo to sucker people out of their money. It can be that way, if you think of yourself as a sucker, but for me the DS lite is a little better. Simply put, if you're content with your original DS, then don't even waste time to buy this one. If you don't have a DS period, the DS Lite is a much better investment than the original bulky one.
With the DS Lite, gameplay is made a little simplar. The button placement and brighter screen make the gameplay a little better. For one, the start and select buttons have been moved to resemble where they were on the original Gameboy Advance. This makes handling some of the functions (especially for GBA games) a lot easier. The buttons, sadly, are a still a little small for guys with big hands like myself.
The DS Lite also comes with a phony GBA cartridge (called a "cap"). If you don't have a GBA game plugged into the system, you can put in the phony cartridge to keep it from collecting dust in there. However, when you do stick in a GBA game, it sticks out by about a centimeter. It just looks weird. The cap does, at least, keep the system looking good.
Perhaps the most welcome change to the DS Lite is the screen. The original DS screen was not exactly bright. In fact, it was, in comparison the DS Lite, rather dark. Games like Metroid Prime Hunters were darker than they had to be. On this new screen, the difference in how bright the games appear really shows. Not only that but, you can adjust the brightness if need be. It doesn't really affect the battery life, either. You can play the DS Lite for as long as you played the original. And also like the original, it charges while you play.
Another welcome difference is the touch screen itself. These screens last a lot longer than the original DS. Those who have an original DS no doubt experienced a lot of scratches on their screen from their stylus. To the point where it was noticeable. You could still see the screen, but it was apparent that the stylus was doing a number on it. The screen is more protected here. The stylus doesn't scratch the screen quite as easily. In other words, the touch screen lasts a lot longer.
The DS Lite also looks better, and fits in your pocket better. It also performs all the tasks of a regular DS. For example, if you're playing a game and you suddenly have to go, just flip it closed and it sleeps. There's also a place to store the stylus, and the stylus is better too. It's a little bigger and thicker, so it's not quite as easy to lose.
Some problems with the original DS still plague the DS Lite however. You still can't play Gameboy Color or regular Gameboy games on the DS Lite. Also, you still can't configure the controls to play a GBA game much easier. In other words you can't configure "X" and "Y" when you play a GBA game. This probably won't bother you in the long run, however. Also, the touch screen still has its sensitivity. Touching the touch screen with your bare hands is more dangerous than the stylus scratching the screen. The oils from your fingers might damage the screen and therefore, it won't respond to the touch of even your stylus.
When the original DS launched, owners will note that there were not very many good games availible. About the only good game during its launch in 2004 was Super Mario 64 DS. Now there are plenty of games out there (and not all of them are ports), so if you do want a DS, this is a great time to get one, and the DS Lite is a better investment than the original one by far.
The DS may not play movies, or MP3 players, but to be honest, that almost defeats the purpose of a gaming system. Am I looking to buy a portable entertainment center? Of course not, I'm looking to find a system to play some of my games on, and the Nintendo DS delivers. Real gamers know it's about the games, not about the bells and whistles of a system. For the casual gamer, the Nintendo DS delivers, and the DS Lite is a fine improvement.
+Vastly superior to the original DS
+It fits in your pocket easier
+The Screen is much brighter
+Touch screen is more durable
+The placement of the Start and Select buttons is easier
+A better stylus
+The battery life is unchanged
-Those with an original DS, who want a DS Lite will have to spend more money for yet another DS
-Some of the cons of the original DS are still here
237 of 257 people found the following review helpful
Nintendo's newest DS Lite adds a cool new color scheme and some subtle improvements.
+ Awesome cobalt-blue and black color scheme - looks almost royal blue or purple!
+ Black base is a more grip-able matte finish that doesn't smudge and holds well in your hand
+ Nice design - thin DS Lite form factor you know and love
+ Brighter screen with better contrast than previous generation
+ Less than two-thirds the size of the original Nintendo DS and 20 percent lighter
+ Well placed microphone in the center of the unit
+ Well placed LED lights visible when the unit is open or closed, indicating power on and low battery
+ Wi-fi connectivity allows for DS Download Play and Muli-card play
+ Works with original DS games and GameBoy Advance games
+ Lower price point than competing portables like the PSP ($130 versus $170)
+ Great selection of low priced games to add to your collection!
+ Great game selection for adults, particularly learning and puzzle games
+ Multi-player wireless game play for games like MarioParty and New Super Mario offers great fun!!
+ Convenient stylus storage slot on the right underside of the unit
+ Awesome battery life that only requires recharging after many days of use!!!
+ Cool (though seldom used) novelty app called PictoChat for DS to DS chatting
+ Availability of add-on programs for wireless web surfing and other apps
+ Great accessories market, but beware low quality providers such as Switch&Carry (BD&A)
- GameBoy Advance game slot leaves cartridges sticking out and not flush
- Shiny cobalt top still attracts smudges - no biggie
- Reports of common issues with hinge cracking from regular use; time will tell if it's been fixed
- Somewhat slow start-up with DS Download play
- Some cheapo accessories are Nintendo certified: AVOID Switch&Carry (BD&A), stick with Pelican!!!!
- Limited built-in configuration settings (only military time format????)
- Need to exit games to access key configuration settings like brightness, etc.
- Colors produced in limited quantities and sell out too quickly!!!!
Looks and Form Factor
I've owned several DS lites, including the Onyx Black model. I chose the DS over the PSP for the games. PSP 2000 Console - Piano Black
This is by far the best looking DS Lite!! The cobalt blue on black color scheme shines a hue that's closer to royal blue or deep purple! The top is still a shiny smudge magnet, but it looks so cool anyway! Just wipe it down. :-)
The decision to make the base a matte black is both great for looks and function. The unit is easier to hold, doesn't smudge on the matte black part, and won't slip out of your hand as much as previous models. This feature started in the new BrainAge2 bundle with the red top. You can kind of see this from the pictures but it's not really highlighted in the descriptions. Considering this is the 1 biggest improvement, that surprised me.
I've also heard that the hinge was improved for durability, but I can't visually see a difference and I'm not going to dismantle it to find out. :-) It's a common known problem that hinge cracking has been the only common defect, so just handle with care. I personally haven't had a single DS falter on me in any way.
Other than that, same DS Lite form factor that you know and love. The only real gripe is that every version of the DS Lite is produced in very limited numbers and sells out in a few months. So if you like a color, you have to act fast before they disappear from retail!
Game Play and Functions
This handheld is very well designed for game play. The speakers and microphone built in to the unit are more than adequate, and you can attach peripherals or headphones to the included port.
Nintendo has done a great job of very targeted well designed games. Kids games like MarioParty Mario Party DS and the New Super Mario Brothers New Super Mario Bros. are fun and engaging! Get a group of friends together and play each other with only 1 game cartridge using DS Download play and versus modes!
Similarly, plenty of games for adults including the cult favorite BrainAge Brain Age, the new BrainAge 2 Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day and my personal favorite Big Brain AcademyBig Brain Academy!
Plus now language games like MyWordCoach My Word Coach
and MySpanishCoach My Spanish Coach offer more edutainment options to a growing list of games!
Nintendo has decided that fun game play and great design is more important than high-end graphics in a handheld, and I think they're right!
The most notable DS Lite features are based on the Wireless connectivity. Some add-on applications even allow you to wirelessly surf the net. There are even apps that allow you to do other stuff like play MP3s with it!
Many games offer multi-card play (each player needs a card) or download play (1 card needed for 2-8 players) that both use the wireless connection.
The device has awesome battery life, and I've gone a week of light use without having to recharge. The heavier the use, the more you will need to charge it.
The configuration screen lets you set one of 4 brightness modes, which will also allow you to make your charge last. Some options aren't easily set . It seems to default to military time. Also, you can't change your brightness while in a game. Still those things are minor in context.
Your game scores and profiles are saved on memory stored on the game cartridges. That means you don't have to worry about transferring your info from one DS to the other. :-)
Hopefully the next version includes a faster wireless. Loading those games just seems to take too long. Still, it works and once again, this is a minor gripe.
Overall this device is an improvement. Nintendo's DS will continue to attract fans. Just make more of them guys!!! These colors sell out too fast!
You will want to buy a nice case and screen protectors to protect your DS! Avoid all Switch&Carry accessories!
Here's some of the ones I like!
Nintendo DS Lite Invisi Shields
Nintendo DS Black Nerf Armor
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2006
I have owned the first DS since the day it came out. I bought the DS Lite about a week after it came out and I was amazed of the changes. It is so much lighter and is just a lot better to have than the original. The screen emits about as much light as the sun. It is like DLP technology compared to a regular TV. Plus, most of the games look loads better. Sme people say there is a stress crack, but I have had mine since June and it is still in very good condition. My advice is to you to buy this DS Lite and you will have made a good choice.
118 of 133 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2006
My brother and sister got the teal and pink Nintendogs bundles last year with the regular DS in them so I've had a chance to try them out. I wasn't sure whether I wanted the Nintendo DS, PSP, or anything like this at all. However, I decided to go with the DS now after playing around with theirs.
Playing video games on the DS in a whole new experience. There are lots of games to play for all ages. The microphone and touch screen get you involved and interacting with the game in a way a joystick or game pad alone just can't do. The wireless feature can't be overlooked either. Locally, we can play against each other including our friends even in different rooms. You can also pictochat (a picture and text chat program that comes pre-installed on the DS). You can also play against others worldwide too! All you need is a compatible router or a Nintendo Wi-FI USB connector for that which was set up by my parents. Playing against others makes it exciting, and a chance to tryout our skills against others. My parents try them out first for "our safety". I think they like to play them too :-). My favorites so far are like Mario Kart which only gives out your user name (we use nicknames instead of real names) and Clubhouse Games which displays your user name as well as select from a list of already made text messages--as far as I know you can't add your own text when online for this games. Other games may be different so it's a good idea the parents do check. So far I haven't come across any usernames that should be bleeped either so everyone seems to being playing nice or Nintendo has a way of screening them out. My parents still took the time to make sure my younger sister and brother knew why they shouldn't give out personal information even when playing locally.
The only decision left was did I want the original or Lite. There was only $10 difference when I bought mine. The regular DS is great, but I went with the Lite because the improvements made it better for me. I liked the looks and the brighter screens when comparing the store display DS Lite to the original DS.
I like the design! It's trendy, fashinable, smaller, and I liked the soft feminine look of the coral pink. However, I liked the pearl pink and teal too of the original DS. They were limited editions and not available now so color does make a difference to me as well as size. Anything in softer shades instead of the bolder colors appeals more to me. I admit that I think lime green might be cool even though it's bold. Anyway, I was so excited to see that the Lite was available in coral pink! Everything I was looking for!
I have some vision problems, and the brighter screens are a real plus. There are four settings so I can find one right for me almost anywhere I play including outside or on the go. My brother and sister's were OK to play indoors, but I felt myself straining to see them in other lighting situations. The colors themselves seem bolder, crisper, and sharper. Really!
According to the manual for the original DS, it takes about 4 hours to charge. You can expect to get six to ten hours of game play on a fully charged battery depending on the game activitiy. This seems about right though the battery life will decrease over time.
According to the manual for the DS Lite, it takes about 3 hours to charge and may last 15 to 19 hours depending on the lowest light setting or about 5 to 8 hours on the highest setting. Battery life also depends on the game activity. For example, I notice the battery drains quicker when using the Wireless feature to play games. I use the third or fourth (brighter settings), and it does seem to last a little longer than the original DS, but has with the brighter screen setting.
The DS Lite comes with two color-coordinated stylus that is a little longer and thicker than the original DS's brown one. I find it easier to use. It also slides in the side instead of the back.
LIGHTS AND MICROPHONE
The two indicator lights and microphone are in the middle of the Lite and the front edge of the original DS. It's a little easier to see the DS Lite's lights when closed and notice them when the unit is open too. The light turns red when battery needs to be recharged, solid green when battery status is good, blinking green when in wireless mode, solid orange when plugged into AC and charging, etc.
SOUND & BUTTONS
The original DS might seems to have slightly louder sound, but both original DS and Lite are easy to hear with some good ear buds. Either version of DS includes a jack that will accept headphones or earbuds with a standard connector.
The button layout is a little different. For example, the DS Lite power switch slides on and off on the side instead of a push button on the front.
The original DS they have came with a wrist strap that included a thumb-touch pad. I'm getting a strap for the DS Lite as I've seen first-hand, how the strap protect the unit from falling to the ground! The prices for replacement straps, batteries, and even that WI-FI connector would be within my limited budget and can be ordered directly from Nintendo if needed. I've had electronics and toys in the past where it was almost as expensive to buy the replacement part as just buying another one of the same thing.
The main differences between the original DS and the DS Lite for me are the size and brighter screens.
All I can say is my younger sister and brother are very happy with their original DSs, and they've held up well. They might even be a little sturdier too--maybe the lighter weight on the DS just gives that appearance. Anyway, the size is not a problem for them since they tote them in a case instead of their pocket or purse, and they have colors and bundled package deal they really like. They do like the brighter screens, but not enough to ask for the Lite instead of something else this year. I'd have to say that would be my thoughts too if I already had the original DS except that the brighter screens really do make a difference for me.
The DS Lite coming out is good for those who prefer the smaller size and brighter screens. I think it was worth the small difference in price since I didn't have one at all. For those who don't need the smaller size or brighter screens, the original DS will probably come down in price as I suspect it will be discontinued making it more affordable especially since the games, accessories, and replacement parts are reasonably priced too.
This is just the best overall handheld system in my opinion. You won't be disappointed with the original or Lite DS. The only thing my parents wish is that more educational games especially for pre and grade school kids would come out. The mic and touch screen are ideal for that too, and my youngest sister would love "games" she could play too. That way they wouldn't have to buy a separate educational handheld system, cartridges, and accessories just for that.
So what are you waiting for? If you're a parent, quit reading this and buy that DS. If your a kids, be sure to put this on your list!
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on June 16, 2006
Usually when a company produces a "new and improved" version of a product, there's no need to invest excitement, but for those of you who are already big fans of the Nintendo DS, the DS Lite is a brilliant handheld gaming device. I highly recommend that you upgrade to the DS Lite. For those of you who are considering the DS for the first time, I hope the following summary is of help to you in your decision. Here is a brief rundown of my pros and cons:
1. Highly attractive look.
2. Smaller and more streamlined design gives more control while gaming. The old DS is a bit bulky.
3. Power button is no longer a button. It is now conveniently a switch on the side.
4. Stylus slot is now on the side instead of on the top. Much more convenient!
5. Microphone is now between the two screens instead of at the bottom. Very smart improvement.
6. Four levels of brightness. This is probably the most needed improvement. With the old DS, playing in well-lit areas (i.e., outside) was nearly impossible. The DS Lite's screen provides as much or as little brightness as necessary depending on your particular situation. This improvement was the deciding factor for me in choosing to upgrade from my first-generation DS.
7. The new higher-quality DS screen helps the graphics to look sharper and crisper.
1. Brightness levels can only be changed from the configuration screen. If you're in the middle of a game, there is no external brightness adjustment.
2. The exterior of the new DS is gorgeous, but the resin-like coating means easy smudging of the external case. This will be slightly annoying for those of you who are prone to sweaty palms.
3. Still no support for old Gameboy games. There is still, of course, Gameboy Advance and Gameboy Advance SP support just as there was with the first-generation DS.
The DS Lite really is a brilliant device. Nintendo could hardly have done a better job. If you are looking for a great way to kill time and/or experience great handheld gaming, I highly recommend the DS. With so many hundreds of great titles available (when including Gameboy Advance games), a reasonable price, and such a solidly designed gaming device, you will not be disappointed.
I highly recommend this product.
130 of 152 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2006
I have owned both versions of the Nintendo DS system and found that I like the DS Lite much less than the older DS, to the point of actually going back and exchanging it for an older model. The DS Lite is just as much fun and the screens are brighter but I am unhappy with almost all of the changes.
The old DS wasn't anywhere near as pretty as the DS Lite but it was much sturdier. I am very gentle with my handhelds and the outside of my DS Lite had several scratches after a little over a week, it also had several pixels die on the top screen within the first few days of ownership, a problem I have not had with the older DS. Overall, the new DS just doesn't feel sturdy, and I feel a little like I might break it if I'm not careful. The original DS was a system that could take some punishment, a fact that you might want to consider if buying one for a younger child.
While I like the thicker stylus I have found that the touch screen on the DS Lite seems a lot less sensitive than the one on the old DS. I used to be able to use my finger for games where I would only need to touch the screen on occasion but my DS Lite would not respond to anything but the stylus or very hard and repeated finger taps. When I placed the same brand of screen protector I used on my original DS for years on the DS Lite the touch screen became completely unresponsive.
The DS Lite comes with a nice piece to stick in the GBA game slot when there is no game in it, some people might not be aware that GBA games do not fit all the way into the DS Lite like they do into the original DS. Gameboy Advance packs stick out about one centimeter, something that I find very annoying as I liked to leave a GBA game inside my DS and my DS Lite would not fit into a case if I did so I had to take the game out and replace the filler piece when I wanted to put the system away.
The DS Lite is considerably smaller and much thinner than the original and if you are an adult with larger hands this isn't necessarily a good thing. The buttons are also smaller and I have found them harder to work because of this, especially with some of the new button placements. I find the start and select buttons harder to use now, especially since they are so tiny. The D-Pad doesn't seem as responsive. I also miss the wrist strap that the DS used to come with and liked to carry it that way. The DS Lite doesn't have one.
Overall, I think that which model of the DS to buy or whether to replace your older DS with a DS Lite is a matter of personal preference. The DS Lite's big selling point are its brighter screens. They are noticeably brighter but I never had a problem seeing anything on my original DS and I don't notice that much of a difference except on the highest brightness settings. I am very happy with the longer battery life and the quicker charge time with the DS Lite but have found that for me it's not worth putting up with the other changes.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2006
Not only does the lite look better, it has been tweaked to perfection in many ways:
WAY brighter screen, makes the original ds look really dull.THe brightness also improves the colors, and makes them seem more vivid.
Stylus is thicker and longer.
Touch screen has a much more scratch resistant coating.
The touch screen seems bigger because instead of being sunken in the ds, it practically pops out, making it look closer and nicer.
The buttons are softer and less clicky, making gameplay much easier.
So, I think the ds lite is worth getting even if you have a ds.
If you have the "old" ds and don't want the new one, make sure you never try the new one because when you return the old one, it'll feel clanky, big, and really dull.
506 of 613 people found the following review helpful
There is so much going on within the handheld wars of video gaming between Nintendo & Sony right now. Sony has tried to deliver with their Playstation handheld, PSP for all gamers who would want to enjoy the customs of PS2 on the go. While that might be a bottleneck with how much you'd spend money for memory cards, and video games itself which are as high as PS2 games, there just could be more. Nintendo however has showcased a big success with the dominant status of the Game Boy Advance SP which has been the most successful handheld video game system of all time, and the stride of the Nintendo DS which was released a few years ago. Now Nintendo has reenergized the Nintendo DS for all gamers, better than ever.
The Nintendo DS Lite, is a sleeker, redesigned Nintendo DS that delivers better than the original edition. It is thinner than the earlier DS, but it still delivers what the original DS had before. You still can play your Game Boy Advance games here like before, you still can use the WI-FI adapter, and other accessories from before. The screen and display on your DS games is also much brighter and can be easily adjusted to meet the best of your gaming needs. The mic is also repositioned for a better use of gaming for games like the recent hit Brain Age, or for the Pictochat enhancement already in the DS. As for the controls, they are easier to use than before, so it won't be a discomfort, and the stylus is also restyled for comfort and easier control on you and your games.
Arguably, I purchased the original Nintendo DS a few months back, and I still am enjoying it a lot. But, I definitely love the new Nintendo DS Lite. It is a great reintroduction to handheld gamers of all ages, and for those who want a video game for its convience and fun. I absolutely recommend this a whole lot.
Control: A 1/2+
Fun & Enjoyment: A 1/2+
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Nintendo has dominated the handheld industry since the GameBoy came out. Now that Sony has stepped in, some predicted that their hold might finally be breaking. Not so, and there is no better proof than the DS Lite.
The Lite is an evolutionary step over the original DS, similar to the GameBoy Advance SP. It has a more compact form factor, brighter screens, a side-mounted power button, weighs less, has longer battery life, and simply looks more fashionable. The basic functionality of the DS is still here- same buttons and general button layout, wi-fi, GBA compatibility, etc.
Is this worth buying if you already have a DS? Maybe, if you've got some spare cash. Is this worth buying if you don't own a DS? Definitely. The design is far superior to the old DS.
No DS review would be complete without further mention of the PSP. While the PSP is undoubtedly a more capable device, it has significant weaknesses compared to the DS. Particularly, PSP games tend to have far longer load times, it has much shorter battery life, and the hardware itself is more fragile. Oh, and of course, there's the cost. The most critical factor, however, is the library of games available. As of now, DS games are more and better, and there's simply no contest when it comes to which has more to offer in this department. Games are what really make or break a console, and the wide variety of excellent casual and immersive DS titles make it a clearcut winner.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2006
I got the original DS back in November of 2004 when it first launched and always felt that the design could somehow be improved. I assume I wasn't the only one who felt this way b/c not too long after, Nintendo announced a redesign for the system....and Boy what a Redesign!
- The first and most important change has to be the new quality of both screens. They are about 3x more vibrant and 4x as bright as the original DS' screens. The colors in the games pop out and truly come alive to the point of feeling as though you're playing on a miniature television. Yes, it's that good.
- The second and most apparent change is the shape and size of the unit. It's MUCH sleeker, and smaller. It comes straight out of a page of Apple's i-products with the stylish glossy and elegant look. Not only this, but it weighs a bit less and feels great in your hands. Although beware, as with all products with a glossy plastic finish, the unit will be subject to fingerprints and such. These can be easily wiped/removed though
To Sum it up, you need this product. After playing on my DS lite it's virtually impossible to ever go back to the original DS. Scratch that, it IS impossible. In fact, THIS is what the DS should have been in te first place. If you enjoy handheld gaming and want to experience some of the best handheld games in the best possible way then pick up a DS Lite.
For $129.99 you simply can't go wrong.