Well, the DS Lite has finally arrived. I'll give you my initial impressions on it:
1. Wow, the screen is brighter! I can see it waaaaay better, even games that I never had trouble with, like Sonic Rush. Resident Evil: Deadly Silence, a pretty dark game, looks fantastic on it. GBA games look perfect. It makes you want to go play all of your old DS games again.
2. It's smaller. It actually fits in my pocket now. Plus, it looks really nice and slender. Holding the shoulder buttons down for long periods of time in Mario Kart DS(MKDS) no longer makes your hand hurt.
3. The stylus is now noticeably bigger, and it is at a more practical spot, on the right side. You also get an extra one!
4. The power button is in a better position, at the upper right-hand side. Mr. Resetti (of Animal Crossing: Wild World fame) won't have any reason for getting mad at you, because you won't be accidentally bumping it anymore!
5. The d-pad also feels a bit looser, and much more like an actual joystick would. This makes playing some games, like Super Mario 64 DS, a little easier. It's still no replacement for the N64 analog stick, though.
These are the main Pros of buying a Lite over the Standard. Yes, there are other changes, but these are the ones that really stuck out for me. However, there are some cons:
1. The GBA cartridges now stick out of the slot a little when you have a game in, much like the original Game Boy games stuck out of the GBA. I mean, it's nothing to lose sleep over, but it is kind of annoying, just because it makes an otherwise sleek looking handheld look a bit ugly. There is a cap that you can put over the slot when no game is in, that returns the DS Lite to its original slim self.
2. Another thing is that all of my MKDS and Animal Crossing friends will have to register my name again. But, that happens everytime you change DS', so it's not a problem isolated to the Lite. So, if you plan on upgrading to a Lite, and you play any WIFI games with friends a lot, make sure they get the memo to register your friend code again. My AC friend code actually changed when I jumped DS'.
3. Your old GBA SP/Nintendo DS charger won't work with the Lite. While this may not affect too many people, since one of the new chargers comes with the Lite, I can see this causing some headaches. Usually, when a friend came over with a dead DS, I could help him out by letting him use my charger. I won't be able to do that anymore, though.
4. Why didn't the USA get the cool colors that everyone else got? Japan has three colors already (white, light blue and dark blue), with another (black) coming shortly, and the UK at least gets to pick from two colors (black and white) when it releases there later this month. While I am sure that we will eventually get some (and probably all) of the colors that other countries have, I am sort of disappointed that we only have white at the initial launch.
All in all, though, I am glad I made the jump. I can play MKDS without cramping my hand, and I can see better in Resident Evil. I have one warning for all Standard DS owners. Do NOT play the Lite until you can afford to buy your own. There's no going back once you experience the Lite. It makes the games better, no question about it.
Product Specs for the DS Lite
- (when closed): 133 millimeters (5.2 inches) wide, 73.9 millimeters (2.9 inches) long, 21.5 millimeters (0.85 inches) tall.
- Weight: Approximately 216 grams.
- Top Screen: A backlit, 3-inch, transmissive TFT color LCD with 256 x 192 pixel resolution and .24 mm dot pitch, capable of displaying 260,000 colors.
- Touch Screen: Same specs as top screen, but with a transparent analog touch screen.
- Brightness Adjustment:
- Users can adjust the brightness of screens at four different levels. Electricity consumption will vary, depending on the brightness level (the brighter the setting, the less continuous play-time capability).
- Brightness Approximated Continuous Play
- 1st level 15-19 hours
- 2nd level 10-15 hours
- 3rd level 7-11 hours
- 4th level 5-8 hours
- Wireless Communication: IEEE 802.11 and Nintendo’s proprietary format; wireless range is 30 to 100 feet, depending on circumstances; multiple users can play multiplayer games using just one DS game card. Ability to connect to Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection, Nintendo’s wireless gaming network.
- Controls: Touch screen, embedded microphone for voice recognition, A/B/X/Y face buttons, plus control pad, L/R shoulder buttons, Start and Select buttons. The stylus is 1 centimeter longer and 2 millimeters thicker than the stylus of the original Nintendo DS.
- Microphone: Located at the center of the unit, which allows it to pick up spoken commands regardless of how the DS is positioned.
- LED Lights: Visible even when the DS unit is closed. Users can easily tell if they have put the machine into sleep mode.
- Input/Output: Ports for both Nintendo DS game cards and Game Boy® Advance game paks, terminals for stereo headphones and microphone. A removable cover for the Game Boy Advance game pak slot provides added protection from dust and other foreign materials.
- Other features: Embedded PictoChat™ software that allows up to 16 users within local range of one another to chat at once; embedded real-time clock; date, time and alarm; touch-screen calibration.
- CPUs: One ARM9 and one ARM7.
- Sound: Stereo speakers providing virtual surround sound, depending on the software.
- Battery: Lithium ion battery delivering five to 19 hours of play on a four-hour charge, depending on use; power-saving sleep mode; AC adapter.
- Languages: English, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian.
- Colors: Polar White