"Revolutionary-Educational-Fun! !!"5.0 starson by SanDiegoNico
Pros: Compact unit, unique gameplay, backwards compatible
Cons: Lacks protective case with purchase
Summary: Let me first state that I am a 35 year old professional. I have played video games since their infancy with Pong and the Atari 2600. I know games, new and old.
I have not been too partial to handheld video game hardware. My logic always has been that if I have time to play video games it will not be when I am running around town. It will be when I am at home. And if I am at home why would I want to sit in a corner squinting at a 2 and a half inch screen playing games with inferior graphics while my xbox 360 and home-theater surround sound and 52" plasma televevision beckons? Well, Nintendo did something interesting. I was already familiar with the DS and had no interest in it. At all! Then they released the DS lite and it's sleak new shape and design reminded me of their earlier liquid crystal display games of the early eighties under the subheading of "Game and Watch". The new DS lite is eerily remeniscent of those original flip open games and it took me back. Add to that a new, high tech sheen that rivals the sharp looks of an IPOD and I was suddenly intrigued. No longer was the DS a clunky, flip-open rehash. It immediatley had become a piece of sophisticated high technology. So kudos to Nintendo for reinventing the wheel. I have to assume it will open the doors to many others as well, and going by first week sales, I am correct.
But enough with my first impressions. Now that I have had the system for a week, let me tell you what makes this product so significant, in my opinion.
With this little handheld Nintendo has revolutionized the way games can be played. Granted many of these creative methods are far from being all new and completely original. Touch screens have been utilized in many business applications from menu systems to bar-riding trivia games. And voice recognition was concieved as far back as the creation of science fiction. However utilizing these devices into a portable gaming system is what makes it revolutionary. While being loyal to it's gaming roots Nintedo has extended it's arms out to a broader public with simple games that continue to challenge you beyond the 30 seconds it takes you to learn them. It truely is a toy for all ages. And for someone like me, I love being able to go back and revisit all those old classic SNES games and still have the ability to play games like Brain Age or ElectroPlankton. Add Wi-Fi compatability to that and it's extremely user friendly interface, along with great hardware installed features like Pictochat and wireless downloading and you have a portable system that I have no problem recommending to anyone. ANYONE. Old and young. East coast/west coast. This system promotes fun and interactivity. It helps me envison a time when children of the future will be utilizing touch screen notebooks to upload class assignments and do their homework on like devices and then taking a break and sending their friends a text message or breaking out a game of Mario Kart. This may sound like I am going off on a tangent, but the point is, that if this little portable game system can trigger that kind of imagination, just on it's premise alone, then that has got to say something. As it is, it is an amazing, simple, fun piece of technology that has redefined what portable gaming means to me.
If there is a downside to the DS lite it is the fact that it does not come packaged with any kind of protective case. But this is no fault of the hardware itself, but it must be noted. I could sit here and tell you how it doesn't do this and that (ielay movies, wireless internet, etc) but for the price of $129.00 I think it is a stellar deal and besides I don't need a gadget that does EVERYTHING. I have found, by experience that portable hardware that tries to do too much ends up suffering in one department or another, if not all.(PSP, anyone?)
I am sold on the Nintendo DS lite and I think everyone else would be as well if they spent a week with it. C-NET seems to almost discourage any "10" ratings, and I understand their logic, but considering what we're talking about here, when it comes to portable hand-held gaming, to me, it doesn't get any better. Go get one. Please.