Monday, August 21, 2006

Nintendo Drops A Lite Load

I was bored on the plane back, so I wrote a proper review of the DS Lite...

Nintendo used to rule the handheld gaming market, much like the colonel and his secret recipe, they were finger licking good. Even from those early days of Super Mario Land and the ORIGINAL must-have battleship grey GameBoy, you couldn't get close. So to cash in on their portable popularity they fed the consumer (us idiots) multiple variations; the doomed 'Pocket', pointless 'Colour', quirky GBA, money-spinning GBA SP and now the remixed 'DS', the DS Lite.

Nintendo had it good until the day Sony dropped a little bomb on our shores aka the PSP, since then there's been a battle over the money in mother’s purses - not to mention the increasing efforts from just about every mobile phone company. Hence the reason for the Duel Screen's Trisha -like makeover. Version one, the big, fat and heavy box waddled behind the curtain then revealed itself as a slimmed down more attractive distant relative. On first look at the DS Lite its very had to see that they were even related.

Boasting a clearer, brighter and more eye-friendly screen, Lite's got a load of qualities. With 45% improved battery life, better pen and a slicker than slick look that warrants a place on Batman utility belt. Games played Lite seem more fun somehow, as players are proud to show off their console. Its obviously kept the standard button layout - although moving the 'Start' and 'Select' buttons - and gaming is as sturdy as any other previous outing.

Compared to its biggest rival, Sony's Portable PlayStation, Nintendo's latest pocket pal holds its own and then some. Obviously in terms of media the PSP wins hands down, but Nintendo never make machines that multi task. Instead the production line constantly churn out games consoles that are built for ONE thing... Games! Sure there are various add-ons to convert the DS into a media player but who needs them when you're on World 8 of New Super Mario Brothers or you've just found out you are actually smarter than you're girlfriend on Dr Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old Is Your Brain?

Apart from the lack of media (if you yearn for that sort of thing) the only downsides to be found are as follow; Even version one owners would rip off their own grandma to get their mitts on one. The lightest of touches - from those very mitts - leaves the surface looking like its been sexually assaulted by a grease-soaked mouse. And the small unnecessary fact that it isn't packing infrared, but much like the belly button, what's it used for anyway?

If like me, your PSP is gathering dust balls the size of King Kong's love sacks and/ or you're embarrassed to pull out version one on the train, sprint to the nearest retailer and purchase the new DS Lite - before they bring out a new one. Preferably not in black as that would be copying me.