Nintendo really shouldn't be here now. Its Game Cube console, if you believe some areas of the press, has been a total failure, while the Nintendo DS was all set to be completely overwhelmed by Sony's PlayStation Portable hand-held.
And yet here we are. After the PSP's strong start, Nintendo's DS has shot ahead in sales, the Game Cube has still managed to ship over 20 million units worldwide and the forthcoming Wii console has been garnering the kind of positive buzz that money alone simply can't buy. And it's arriving on time.
Nintendo has, to be fair, been arguing for some time that there's more to games machines than sheer brute force. Certainly on paper the PSP eases ahead of the DS in terms of sheer performance potential.
But in the same way that the original monochrome Game Boy saw off the colour Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gear, the DS is winning many friends, and rightly so. For Nintendo has focused, wisely, on the software.
And that doesn't mean retreading as many old franchises as you can dig up. It's about games that may not have the best graphics, may not look the finest in the shop window, yet in terms of playability and originality, they're simply fresh.
And so for every Mario Kart or Mario Bros, there's a Brain Training, a Nintendogs or an Advance Wars. Compare that with the PlayStation Portable, where those quirky, interesting little games that lend themselves to handheld machines are notable by their almost total absence.
Yet all that's a preamble to the reason we're here: the DS Lite. This is a beauty of a machine that's a major argument in its own right for clever thinking over packing as much tech into the box as possible. The key selling points of the original DS are all in here: dual screen displays, built-in wireless connectivity (meaning multi-player gaming without a snake of wires), a touch screen with stylus and a microphone for voice control of certain games.
Yet it's two-thirds of the size of the original DS, has better screen lighting and power save functions (to extend the life of the in-built battery, which can easily be recharged via the mains anyway), has been redesigned slightly for easier and clearer use, and aesthetically looks terrific. Several colour choices are available too.
The machine has slots for the DS games themselves, as well as a covered slot to plug in your old Game Boy Advance games too. Backwards compatibility should, in our view, be a must with all future consoles, simply as a common courtesy, not to mention being good business sense.
Priced at under £100 and with a software library that's already featuring several must-have titles with the promise of plenty more around the corner, the DS Lite is a triumph. It's not only cheaper by far than Sony's PSP (which does have plenty in its corner, in case you think we've got a downer on it), it's also got a stronger software base and generally seems to be a more intelligent piece of hardware.
This refined version is more comfortable to use, particularly for longer periods, and proves, refreshingly, that speed and raw power really isn't everything. And given that it's markedly cheaper than its nearest rival, it's one of the finest gaming hardware bargains currently to be found on the market.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Possibly the best handheld console of all time
Most people have heard of the Nintendo DS Lite - with its evolution from the original DS it has become one of the best portable games consoles available.
Released in 2006 its versatility has made it popular with all ages. From kids playing Mario Kart to pensioners playing Brain Training and Suduko.
The 2.9 Inch screens are very clear - the bottom screen is the touch screen and the top screen is a normal screen. There is a touch screen stylus stored and accessable from the right hand side of the console. The console has built in wireless capability and if someone else has another DS you can open the "picto chat" software built into the console and create a chat room. Then you can type chat or write messages that are sent wirelessly to each other (kids will find it great fun sending each other silly messages). You can also link up and play against each other in compatible games. Also it can connect to the internet for certain games (compatible wireless router or wireless adapter required).
It also has a built in microphone which some games use and has a stereo headphone socket to save you disturbing everyone in the room!
The wide variety of games and accessories available for the console are what make it great for me. Some of the accessories include:
Guitar Hero Grip - for Guitar Hero and Band Hero games - I find these great fun and are good for a break from "regular" games.
Ds lite Browser Pack - this is a cartridge and memory expansion that will let you browse the internet on your DS!
Also the library of games available is very impressive from simple classic games like Scrabble, Monopoly and Battleships to great action games like Mario Kart and Pinball. It will also play the older Gameboy Advance games (they plug in the front). So you dont have to bin your older games.
It would be hard for someone NOT to like the DS as it is so appealing and you are bound to find something you like. You can even get Language Tutors and 100 Classic Books to read on it.
With the vast selection of colours available too - my advice is pick your favourite colour and buy one!
Also a quick note on "fake ds consoles" - there is no such thing. What you will find is some consoles from the Far East (normally sold with a selection of Gameboy advance games) are refurbished units. Refurbs will have had the cases changed to new cases (so they look shiney and brand new) and the cases wont be the same quality as the original Nintendo case - so may feel cheaper and / or be more fragile. They wont have any of the original serial codes, markings etc either. They may also have a cheaper third party power adapter - like all cheaper power adapter these can be dangerous if they fail or short. So just be aware of what you are buying - nothing necessarily wrong with them so long as they work but just be aware that what is inside the case might not be brand new.
Thanks for reading!
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
When the DS first came out a few years ago, I thought that it looked a bit too gimicky, and so I avoided it and went with the Sony PSP, which I had for around 3 years before giving it to my little brother. Recently, I grabbed some old Gameboy games and a Gameboy Advance SP out of nostalgia, and was surprised to find myself just as engrossed in them as I was when I was a child in the mid-90s. It was then that I started to consider the purchase of a DS Lite.
I can tell you now that I was not disappointed, and I regret having made the decision to favour Sony's PSP over the DS all those years ago - this thing is so much more fun than the PSP, it is just ridiculous! I've only had mine for about a week, and already I have used it whilst out and about far more than I did with the PSP, which through a lack of decent games became nothing more than a glorified video player.
I have played the New Super Mario Bros., Sonic Rush, Brain Training and Mario Kart to name a few, and I have thoroughly enjoyed all of them. Nintendo has absolutely nailed the portable market with this console and its library of games. Whilst PSP games are often rather engrossing, they don't lend themselves well to 'pick-up and play' gaming, unlike the DS which is basically perfect in that respect.
Whilst it would have been nice to have a couple of extra features, such as perhaps an MP3 player (the DS speakers are impressive, and MP3s would undoubtedly sound fantastic), because Nintendo has focused on the gaming aspects of the machine, it does seem to have lent itself to being a far more entertaining piece of kit.
I recommend this to people of all ages - I am nearly 21, and it keeps me entertained, and I can say the same for my mother (who will be getting a DSi XL for Christmas - shh, she doesn't know!) and my younger brothers and sister.
Absolutely fantastic product, and as I've said, my only regret is not having picked one of these up a couple of years earlier. If you like games, go out and buy one - it's as simple as that.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Easy to use and for all the family no matter what their age.
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
This is the fifth console I have bought for my family as they make excellent presents. Easy to use, lots of accessories, light and small for travel and so many games to choose from. Really all round portable games consoles for any age.
Well worth the money
| Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
Great bargain from Ebay. Perfect size for my daughter to use and great that it came with 4 games.
Seems to have a fair amount of battery power, haven't had to charge it up yet so that's a bonus.
Would definitely recommend, especially at that price - great to try out to see if my daughter likes it without spending a fortune.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.