After spending 10 minutes with the original Nintendo DS I could just tell that a redesign was already in the works. The technology aspects of the system were rock solid, but many of the cosmetic design elements were severely lacking. This month saw the release of the DS Lite which is the revamped and streamlined version of the DS that is now available less than 2 years after the platform’s initial launch. Some might see this as a sign that the platform is weak, but playing the Lite for 5 minutes is enough to make you forget all of that.
The DS Lite promised to be a lighter and more compact version of the new handheld. It was assumed that this re-issue would also carry a complete visual overhaul and boy did it ever. The Lite looks more like something you would expect from Apple as opposed to Nintendo, which I guess is a good thing since Apple products tend to be described as visually pleasing. The Lite comes in white or black variety and sports a paint job on the inside of a clear plastic casing (think 2nd design of the iBook). Visually it falls right in line with the Sony PSP.
The slightly smaller casing does make it a tiny bit more difficult to hold for those of you with big hands, but the larger stylus more than makes up for it. The reality is that it isn’t all that much smaller.
One of the other key ingredients to this re-release is the new brighter screens. Holy burning retinas are these screens bright. Crisp, sharp, and super bright are how I would describe them. As if there weren’t enough reasons already to buy this updated version of the DS, add this one to the top of the list.
The DS Lite may be perceived by some as Nintendo correcting the initial mistakes they made with the DS and others may see it as reinforcing the strength of the platform. However you see it, Nintendo gave a boost to an already thriving platform with this release. If you were waiting on this release before jumping into the DS platform, your wait is over and you have a lot of catching up to do. If you are an existing DS owner, get yourself down to a local game store and trade in that clunky silver, red, or cobalt DS and get yourself a Lite. This thing is the New Hotness (Yes, I just re-watched MIB2. So sue me.)