Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lite Brite!

I don't mean to brag...but I will, just a little. I finally got my very own Nintendo DS Lite. Picked it up today, this morning actually, at Target in Southgate , CA. It was all because I decided to impusively check out the 'ol DSLiteAvailability map. Apparently, this guy named Dan said there were 13 units available on Saturday night. I would like to take this time to personally thank are a model for all the Dan's of the world to follow.

As soon as I found the electronics department, I was paused by the sheer beauty of seeing those simple, white boxes, sitting behind the glass. I was still sceptical though. It wasn't until the register approved the transaction that I was officially convinced that the DS Lite was mine. I got to my car and couldn't resist opening the box, right there in my air-conditioned driver's seat. C'mon, don't tell me you've never opened up the box of a new game, only to read the instructions manual on the car ride home. I fired up the system, and got as far as completing the setup wizard before I decided to drive home. I don't know what seemed to take longer: the anxious car ride there, or the ride back.

Once home, I wasted no time. I poped in Mario Kart and started racing. And let me tell you, this baby's is a sweet piece of plastic. The picture is very crisp and bright. Although there are 4 levels of brightness, each with an increasing level of battery usage. I think I'll probably use the 2nd or 3rd level most of the time (maybe using the lowest level only on long outings). I love how the white stylus tucks into the side of the unit itself. The game cartridge (yes Nintendo's still using cartridges; my guess is to preserve battery life though) is ejected via a spring after you push it in a second time. The touch screen is quite responsive, especially during the New Super Mario Bros minigames and written exercises of Brain Age. The microphone seems to work most of the time (there are some instances where it can stutter). The sound is excellent (although it could be slightly louder; headphones can always remedy this) and the soft control pads are precise and gentle on busy thumbs.

It's been so long since I last played a hand-held game console (OG, 4-shades of green Gameboy, anyone?). What I do remember is that they were all about fun. The games were easy to just pick up and play, for anyone. That's what I think the DS is all about.

As it turns out, I was showing my girlfriend, Thao (who plays the Sims, and not much else), some of the minigames and she really got into it. So now I will be buying one for her too, and we can battle each other, or compare our "brains' ages". All in all, I'm glad I waited for the Lite version. It's worth every penny.

Btw, I'll post pics once I extract them from my cell phone.

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