Monday, September 18, 2006

DS Lite - Onyx

I've been a fan of Nintendo handhelds since the original 1989, black and white Game Boy. In fact, I've still got it. Since then I've upgraded, skipping about every other generation until recently. When the White DS Lite was released I told myself to, "Hold out for the black one". This past weekend I finally bit the bullet and replaced my ugly, blue DS Fat with the recently released onyx DS Lite (pictured).

The first thing I said when I turned it on was, "Wow." I've heard the rumors regarding the new brighter screen, but still didn't expect the difference to be as drastic as it truly is. I said "Wow" again when I turned the brightness up to the maximum available (there are four settings). The thing to understand is that not only is the screen brighter, but the colours are significantly more vibrant. When putting the old and the new side by side, the older DS Fat's graphics look muddied and dreary compared to the bold colours of the DS Lite's improved screen.

Another change is the mechanics behind the buttons. They have a lot more 'spring' in them, giving you more tactile feedback. The stylus has also been given an overhaul, now thicker and perhaps a little longer. I despised the old stylus, it was far to narrow for my large hands. This new one, while not as comfortable as a PDA stylus, or a larger 3rd party stylus like the ones you can buy at Staples, is a vast improvement which I can appreciate.

The black, reflective finish is both a blessing and a curse. It looks awesome, but the finish is a finger-print magnet. Within seconds of it being out of the box it was covered in little smudges. A small price to pay for a cool, shiny black gadget.

Overall, I'm very happy. I find it more comfortable to use (except for Metroid Prime Hunters, which still gives me hand cramps every time I play it), a lot more attractive, and well worth the investment for the brighter, better looking screen.