First (and some second) thoughts about the DS Lite

Ok, I’ve owned Gameboys, Gameboy Advanceds, a PSP and now a DS Lite. And I have to say that the DS Lite has become my favorite.

Here are some thoughts about the DS lite, after goofing with it this evening.

When I was a PSP fanboy, all I heard from other fanboys was, the PSP’s graphics are the best. And, arguably, they are. However, playing MarioKart and Metroid Prime today, I thought the DS did an incredible job. Especially Metroid, which looks as good as any of the PSP games I’ve played.

Another argument was, “who needs a touch screen?” I’ve even uttered these words myself. Well, *I* need a touchscreen. After the way Metroid handles, and Nintendogs plays, we ALL could use a touchscreen. Metroid is a first person shooter. You hold it in your left hand and hit the left shoulder button to fire, and the little d-pad to move. YOu then hold the stylus in your right hand (you can switch these in prefs if you’re left handed), and move it on the lower screen (the one that’s touch sensitive) to move your cursor and viewpoint around. Within seconds, it was totally intuitive. I don’t even have to think about it anymore. I have 360 degree view capability, without some weird ass button scheme like the PSP always had for their FPS games.

Built in mic? Sounds silly, yeah? But when I was blowing bubbles for my pet pug just by actually blowing into the screen though the mic, I was dutifully impressed. Wait till my kids see that. Better get some spit protectors.

The device itself is pretty. PRetty in almost a PSP way. it’s shiny, has good heft, and feels solid in your hands. The screens are VIVID and bright. In fact, when I showed my daughter how she could play Mario Brothers (gameboy advanced) in the DS LIte, she said (she’s 5) “WOW it’s so GOOD looking.” Why buy the new mario brothers DS when the old one looks this amazing on the screen? OH, and on Metroid, there’s a couple of scenes that show across BOTH screens. It looks like the boss is HUGE and tall, when it goes through both screens like that.

The wifi works really well (once I figured out that I had to change my multicast rate on the Apple Airport Base Station to 2, instead of 11), but not a whole lot of people were playing MarioKart tonight. I played a couple of online battles with the Metroid Prime game, and realized i needed to practice more. Hehe.

Another quick observation: the headphone jack…is a normal headphone jack. I don’t need to buy crappy GBA headphones. Whoohoo!

All in all, I’m impressed. I was fearing that I was getting a fancy GBA with two screens, but I’ve definitely got a gaming machine to be proud of. It’s gonna give the PSP a serious competition here when it comes out in the states in a month or two. The future of the DS Lite will be the Opera browser, and the connection to the Wii, eventually. I’d like to get one of those Movie adapters so I can watch movies, and check out the homebrew scene, too. This is one innovative and quality piece of hardware. And the games are really fun, too!

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