Nintendo DS Lite Review


If you don’t feel like reading all you need to know is that the Nintendo DS Lite is awesome.

DS Lite

Before I begin, I would like to say that this is my first Nintendo system since the Game Boy Color. I’ve never owned or even played the older DS either.

The first thing that anyone should notice is that the DS Lite is slick. It’s small, it’s smooth, and very shiny. As many have already pointed out, it seems to be very Apple-inspired. Nintendo is clearly moving away from its previous “childish” designs and moving towards a much cleaner look, both with the DS Lite and the Wii. The only unfortunate part about its slick white design is that the clear plastic is a bit prone to fingerprints, but they are easily cleaned with a smooth cloth. The DS Lite is also very light, almost equal in weight to the Game Boy Color.

DS Lite and Game Boy Color

The two screens are really bright and colorful even on their lowest settings. The two screens, though they may seem like a silly idea, are in reality very pleasant features, especially the touch screen. I’ve been playng through New Mario, and a cool feature is when you slide down a tube, the action screen switches to the bottom. The touch screen is a really cool feature, especially with Brain Age, where you draw in number to answer a math problem.

DS Lite Mario

The Lite comes with a lot of features, as well. A D-Pad, 4 action buttons, 2 shoulder buttons, 2 settings buttons (start and select), a volume slider, surround sound speakers, a headphone jack, a stylus, a Game Boy Advance fill-in cartridge, Wifi, a microphone, and 2 screens, one being a touch screen. All these features provide game developers with a lot to work with, making games even better.

DS Lite

The buttons are a little mushy, especially the shoulder buttons, but you get used to them very quickly. I would rather the buttons be more springy as on the Game Boy Color, but sometimes the cards just aren’t working for you, if you know what I mean.

The battery life is particularly amazing. Out of the box, the Lite was charged about a fourth of the way. I fully charged it a few days ago and it has yet to show any signs of running out, despite near constant use, restarts, and 2 bright screens. Having something with good battery life again (ahem, Apple) has reminded me how great long battery life is.

I have yet to utilize the built-in wifi, but I do have a wireless router and will be getting Mario Kart soon, so I’ll check up on that soon. I haven’t been in a crowded area yet, either, but hopefully I’ll get to try out the ad-hoc networking.

Update: I got Mario Kart (awesome) and tried out the built-in wifi (a tad weak).

My only real gripe about the entire system, and this is really saying something, is that the volume slider is hard to get to a specific volume without extremely light, but firm, pressure.

The Nintendo DS Lite is really an amazing system (which should speak volumes because I only reserve the word “amazing” for the highest of honors, unlike Apple.) with great games. And with a price of $130, how can you beat it?