Buyer's Guide to the Nintendo DS Lite

The Nintendo DS Lite

 TORU YAMANAKA / Getty Images

The Nintendo DS Lite is a dual-screen handheld gaming console by Nintendo. It's the second iteration of the Nintendo DS, and most of its improvements over the original style Nintendo DS (sometimes called the “Nintendo DS Phat”) are aesthetic. The Nintendo DS Lite is smaller, thinner, and lighter than the original DS, and its screens are larger and brighter. The Nintendo DS Lite has a longer battery life versus the original Nintendo DS, and it's packed with a thicker stylus that's easier to hold. A large number of colors are available, and even some custom designs.
The Nintendo DS Lite's functions are identical to the original Nintendo DS. Nintendo developed the DS Lite to be lightweight, compact, and therefore attractive to gamers as well as people who previously had only a passing curiosity about the hobby. With nearly 85 million Nintendo DS Lites sold worldwide, it's safe to say Nintendo got people's attention with the system.

When Was the Nintendo DS Lite Released?

The Nintendo DS Lite hit Japan on March 2, 2006 and North America on June 11, 2006.

What Can the Nintendo DS Lite Do?

The Nintendo DS Lite can pretty much do everything the original style Nintendo DS can do. Nintendo DS Lite games (called “game cards”) plug into the top of the system, which is attractive to people who don't know anything about gaming beyond “plug and play.” The touchscreen on the bottom of the Nintendo DS Lite allows for stylus interaction, which makes for a personal connection that's exclusive to games on every iteration of the Nintendo DS handheld.
The Nintendo DS Lite is backward compatible with Game Boy Advance (GBA) games, which is useful for anyone who never had a chance to play through the library of games for Nintendo's previous portable system.
Like the first Nintendo DS, the Nintendo DS Lite can access Wi-Fi hotspots and support games that have an online multiplayer option. DS game demos can be downloaded at stores that feature a DS Download Station. Several DS owners can also compete with each other locally with the Nintendo DS's wireless link-up.
The Nintendo DS Lite contains a built-in PictoChat option, which lets locally-connected parties sketch their thoughts to one another. There are a clock and alarm functions for sleepyheads.

What Kind of Games Does the Nintendo DS Lite Have?

Like the original Nintendo DS, the Nintendo DS Lite can play the Game Boy Advance library, and it has a huge crop of unique games all of its own. The Nintendo DS Lite was developed with the intent of bringing gaming to a wider audience, and the runaway success of “brain building” titles like Brain Age helped it succeed. Nintendogs, a dog simulator, has also maintained high popularity over the years. Established gamers will find the Nintendo DS Lite has excellent puzzle games and role-playing games.
Nintendo's “Touch Generations” line selects games that appeal to a wide audience. Some Touch Generations games include Elite Beat Agents and Tetris DS.

How Much Does the Nintendo DS Lite Cost?

A new Nintendo DS Lite generally sells for $99.99 USD at most major retailers. Used systems can be found cheaper, though prices will vary. If you're a collector and want a discontinued limited edition Nintendo DS Lite design, hit up eBay or Craigslist and prepare to dish out more than what you'd pay for a new system.

How Much Do Nintendo DS Lite Games Cost?

Since the Nintendo DS Lite plays the same games as the original style Nintendo DS, game prices likewise remain the same. New games cost between $29.00 - $35.00 USD. Used games purchased at chains like GameStop are individually priced, and generally, cost less.

Does the Nintendo DS have any competition?

The Nintendo DS Lite's competitors are familiar: The Sony PSP, and Apple's iPhone/iPod Touch. All three systems have their strengths and weaknesses, though there are clear reasons why you should choose the Nintendo DS Lite over the others!

Was this page helpful?