Nintendo DS Lite review

One year on and the Nintendo DS has been shrunk, not in features, but in size. 39% smaller and 21% lighter than the original handheld console launched last year, the company's latest effort results in a smooth stylish system that should now compete with Sony's PSP rather than being its poorer competitor.

The console is available in a range of colours depending where in the world you happen to be. Here in the UK you can get black, white and now pink.

The new console is region-free and supports multiple languages and means that with favourable exchange rates and no region coding, the DS Lite can be bought as low as £65 in the US and shipped over to blighty rather than paying the still incredibly cheap £99.99 here.

For those not sure what on earth we are talking about but keen to know, the DS lite is Nintendo's latest handheld games console will a strong emphasis on gaming rather than being anything but.

As with the original Nintendo DS gamers are presented with two screens within the clamshell design. The top screen is where the majority of the action happens, while the bottom screen, controlled by a stylus, your finger or anything else pointy allows you to interact with the games in a way that before now has been impossible.

Fitting in with the "iPod generation" and for that matter the new MacBook generation as well, the new slimmer DS Lite has been refined, glossed up, had its screen upgraded and even had a re-working of its buttons. Gone are the complaints of a bulky clunky design and in come praises of how shiny it looks.

Inside and the most notable difference is the upgrade in screen and its brightness levels. The DS Lite now has four brightness settings, up from two on the original DS and the new settings certainly make a big difference.

As before the console still supports GBA games - the insides have barely changed with the redesign - and Nintendo has now added a cartridge cover to the GBA games slot to save it filling with, er, pocket lint.

As a design package the slimmer design is now symmetrical rather than sporting a larger bottom half and although it sounds corny, its amazing how much they have managed to shrink and sculpt the console without affecting the core gaming experience in the year since it first launched.

Verdict

Just as Sony shrunk the PlayStation 2 to great effect to create the PS2 slim, Nintendo has managed to create a console that you'd not only want to own, but that shocks you in to thinking how could have it been so bulky before.

The new console will certainly appeal to gamers new and old and the redesigning will no doubt draw in a bigger crowd who until now would have felt that an over bulky and almost childish looking device wasn't for them.

The new console is definitely a thumbs up, its new refined style should now pit it against Sony's more style conscious PSP, but with a quirkier selection of games and a price tag under a £100 means it’s a slice of gaming excellence.