Nintendo DS Lite ~ Hands-On Review

Nintendo DS Fat vs Nintendo DS Lite - Title Screen

I’ve been back-and-forthing between the DS Fat and DS Lite all day and - based on my experiences with Mario Kart DS, New Super Mario Bros, and Metroid Prime: Hunters - the DS Lite is absolutely 100% worth the wait for those who haven’t purchased a DS Fat yet. If you already have a DS Fat and are considering a DS Lite, then get your Lite with all speed. I absolutely guarantee that you will notice not only excellently enhanced details in the visuals, but you may also notice that games which require use of many buttons are actually easier to use.

Before you even turn the DS Lite on, there are immediate differences between it and the DS Fat - there’s now a DS logo on the outer casing; “Nintendo DS” on the inner lower casing is now absent; the microphone and WiFi & battery indicators are between the two screens; and the black frame (especially around the upper screen) is no longer noticeable. When holding the DS Lite, you can tell that Nintendo really made an effort to shift the weight around on the system to make it feel better in your hands. While it doesn’t seem significantly lighter (it’s advertised as being 20% lighter), it certainly feels different for a veteran DS Fat player like myself.

Turning the system on was like looking into a second sun; the magnificent, likely-slightly radioactive glow of the DS Lite could cook an egg if it were any more powerful. The screenshots I took were with the backlight setting at 3/4, which was more than enough for my tastes.

As I said above, I spent the day going between the DS Lite and DS Fat - primarily because it’s actually Christina’s DS Lite, but I was interested to see how different details looked between the systems. I wish I had a video of the Metroid Prime: Hunters intro video using both systems as it’s the perfect example of what I mean by “detail” but, when you try it for yourself, you’ll see what I mean. Playing with the DS Lite is obviously the way the game designers intended their games to be played because there are minute aspects that the DS Fat just doesn’t show.

Nintendo DS Fat vs Nintendo DS Lite - New Super Mario Bros

In addition to the excellent graphical enhancements, the controls (especially on MP:H) feel so much tighter on the DS Lite. I play MP:H on Dual Mode, which I’m more accustomed to as it plays similarly to the dual analog joysticks on Halo; however, Dual Mode sacrifices accuracy. Or does it? I played much more accurately playing Dual Mode on the DS Lite versus the DS Fat; I believe that the slight alteration of the A, B, X, and Y buttons make a good difference.

I was mostly buying the DS Lite so Christina and I would be able to play games together, but now I really want another DS Lite for myself. Ah well, maybe there’ll be another color out by September (my birthday)… though white’s not bad at all.

20 Comments on “Nintendo DS Lite ~ Hands-On Review”

  1. I want one… eventually I can justify buying it.

    I did have a question that no one has answered for me. Perhaps you could.

    On the original DS, if you use headphones and turn down the volume you can hear a high pitched noise. You can usually drown this out by maxing the volume, but sometimes that’s too loud.

    Does the DS Lite have this same issue? It was my number one problem with my current DS and in talking to people I found out it seemed to be a very common issue.

    If the Lite fixes that, I think I’ll be getting one sooner than planned.

  2. Tony, I’m pleased to tell you that the noise is gone (afaict). It’s weird, I never noticed the strange high-pitched hum you mentioned until I tried it last night on the DS Fat but, sure as the sky is big, I definitely heard it. On the DS Lite, however, I only heard silence. A beautiful, peaceful silence.

    BUY A LITE! ;)

  3. Thanks. Now I can finally buy one of these things in peace lol. I think it’s time to trade in my old one and my old Xbox…

  4. yeah i’v been telling my freinds that the ds fat is way different than the ds lite u rock keep experimenting i could really use ure thoughts on the ipods!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. wuz up dude u have got to get the switch n carry game max system it (it protects and organizes all of your accessories right down to slots to put your extra stylus!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Hey trizzle where in the world can I get the SWITCH N CARRY GAME MAX?? I bought 3 nintendo lites with 3 SWITCH N CARRY “starter kits” for my kids to go on a road trip next week. I cannot find the cool MAX pictured on the back of these kits. HELP!! I have been playing with the lites myself in hiding until they get their surprises that morning. I am a 34 yr mom who hasn’t picked up a handheld since the first GameBoy in the 80’s. This was awesome. I love the CHAT.

  7. By the way, they know they are getting something cool so they are cleaning their bottoms off every day before they can play outside. Not a lot of complaining from theim either. I think they’ll be in heaven the whole 8 hr trip. Thaanks. OKC

  8. I was wondering the same thing. I’ve tried many variations of searches for “switch n carry game max” to no avail. In fact, if you search for “switch n carry game max” (with quotes) in Yahoo!, Deanish is the only site that comes up… which is cool, but that doesn’t help me in finding this thing (if it even exists).

  9. errmm…….i do have a problem. How do you delete games in the memory chip. I bought mine early for a christmas prezzie so of course i had to try it out, make sure its ok you know what i mean. Cant seem to delete the game though. So please…..Heeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllp

  10. Hmm… I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean that you want to delete a saved game in a DS cartridge?

  11. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Does the “Swith n Carry game Max System” really exsist? I have looked for days on the net & every store in the area. I love how they advertise these things and then you can’t get them. My son just got ALOT of new games for his birthday last week and I’m sure that he will get more from Santa too. Can anyone help??? Please.

  12. i want 200 quid dude

  13. the switch and carry system does exist, so far i have only seen it at sams club. i bought one. for fifty bucks. turns out the ds fat does not fit the case. but the packaging does not say for the ds lite anywhere on it, so i thought the fat would be okay. i am soo mad. i am calling the number on the packaging tomorrow morning to sort this out. i love the kit, it’s pink!!! -it comes in black too… and i paid fifty bucks for it and i hate to have to give it back and never find one to fit the fat ds. i swear there is nothing good for the ds fat out there anymore. six months after i got mine, the lite came out. and the fat was still fairly new i believe. makes me so mad about this kit thing. anyways, hope it helps, check a sams club. i will get back to you on what the customer service says. maybe they have a correct fitting case for the fat… the one in the kit is a polycarbonate one.

  14. yes….how do u delete the game/s??

  15. @ Jace: What game are you playing? There should be an option to delete your save from the “continue” screen in pretty much any game. You could always take your DS and game back to wherever you bought it and see if somebody there can help you.

  16. I just found the Nintendo DS Game Max bag! Like others have said, I bought the DS Starter kits for my kids, but couldn’t find the bag anywhere until now. Check out (

  17. heyy i need help, i have DS fat, and ive been playing a game on it and always saving it, i turned the DS off when i finshed saving, went too turn it back on and it saves saved game has been deleted? whats that from the DS or the game itself?? keeps on saying that, it wont save, it used to be able too!!

  18. What games are you kids playing that gives you such grief? lol

  19. Toys R Us didn’t sell the Game Max System case online. But I did find a site called EB Games. Here’s the link:

  20. Dude i have a question that i CAN NOT find on the internet…. well i got final fantasy 3 for ds (currrently play it on the lite) and i got it used…sooo there is already saved games in all 3 save slots…..i need to delete these could you help???? I have looked at it dousens of times and theres no opption to save over it or delete it so could you help??? i just now noticed jaces comment lol ;0


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    Hi. I'm Dean. Welcome to Deanish. You may have seen me frequent such sites as 4cr, Dtoid, finetune, Y! Answers, and other such entities on the interwebs. Here, you can read more about me; check out my pictures; and/or browse Deanish by tags.
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