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Nintendo DS Lite – NDS, the latest in the long line of handheld gaming devices from Nintendo, was a technological marvel by itself. Released back in November of 2004, it has amazed and caught the interest of lots of consumer, hardcore gamer and casual enthusiast alike. The Nintendo DS was groundbreaking for the number of innovations that it has brought with it, even though not the first handheld to have a dual screen (that honor is reserved for some of Nintendo’s Game and Watch releases back in the 1980s), nor was it the first gaming device to feature voice recognition capabilities. However, the Nintendo DS was the first to include all of these innovations in one portable and stylish looking package.
The Nintendo DS Lite is the latest iteration of the famous handheld gaming device. Its primary purpose was to improve several aspects of the original Nintendo DS, primarily the original’s somewhat thick and bulky size, resulting from having two screens in a clamshell design. The DS lite is a little bit thinner and smaller than the original DS (which people have started referring to as the DS Phat model), with a total of 42% less overall volume. This reduction in dimensions has also resulted in lighter weight, with only 218 grams or 7.69 oz, which makes it almost 22% lighter than the Phat DS model.
Both the top and bottom LCD screens of the DS lite has also been improved by making it more durable and brighter, featuring 4 different levels of brightness similar to the ones found on Gameboy Micros and the latter SP models. However, it seems confusing but the option to turn the backlight off in the main menu is missing from the DS lite.
There were no marginal improvements on the software side, but third party support has been improved resulting in better compatibility with external programs such as Opera’s port for the nintendo DS lite Internet browser.
The DS lite accessories are practically the same as the DS Phat’s, which means you can use accessories that came with the original. However, battery support has been improved significantly – while the DS Phat will last around 10 to 12 hours on a full 3 hour battery charge, the Lite version is estimated to run for eight to nineteen straight hours, depending on the brightness setting and the complexity of game being played. (Technically, processor intensive games will drain the battery faster).
In terms of color, the Lite version of Nintendo DS was initially available only in Crystal White, Ice Blue, and Enamel Navy. A manufacturing debacle resulted in even fewer colors available during launch time, with Crystal white being the only one with enough supplies for commercial release. After a few months, the kinks were ironed out and Nintendo eventually released the rest of its intended color schemes, with Noble Pink, Metallic Rose and Gloss Silver joining the other two. A demand for a black DS lite prompted the release of a Jet black version in September of 2006, however due to thehigh demand for this color, the supplies soon ran out, and they became quite a rarity. These days you won’t find a relatively cheap DS lite in jet black colors, but that wouldn’t be a problem since DS lites in premium price are still cheaper compared to its Sony competitor.