On Mar. 31, 2010, the Nintendo DS placed as the top selling handheld, selling 27.11 million units worldwide. While the 3DS has outsold it, at the time the success of the Nintendo DS was a big deal. This article will talk about the Nintendo DS Lite and will focus on the handheld’s strengths and whether you should buy a Nintendo DS lite today.

How did the Nintendo DS lite do against the PSP?

The original Nintendo DS was extremely bulky and chunky . The DS Lite ended up being lighter and smaller than the original. This allowed for a greater portability experience than the original Nintendo DS. I personally find the DS Lite easy to slide into my pocket and take with me.

The battery life on the Nintendo DS lite was superb. On average you can get 10 hours on a charge, which is increased or shortened depending on the screen brightness. It had four different levels of brightness which helped in stretching the battery life. The battery lasted for a long time, but there is a serious problem. The Nintendo DS lacks in terms of hardware and graphics, compared to its counterpart, the PSP.

The PSP offered better graphics and stronger online features. The trade-off, however, was that the PSP had a far weaker battery than the DS Lite. While the DS lite did have online capabilities, they were weak compared with the PSP’s. Online matches just felt much more polished on the PSP.

The PSP also looked far sexier than the DS Lite. While the design of the DS Lite was not bad, the PSP looked nicer. Some models could also easily pick up fingerprints (mainly the cobalt blue one that was glossy).

What are some other great things about the Nintendo DS Lite?

The idea of using dual screens was extremely cool. The concept of using a touch screen with a stylus was also cool. And as previously mentioned, the Nintendo DS lite was extremely portable thus the system felt nice and compact in the hands.

The button layout was also solid. The A, B, X, and Y buttons are on the right of the system; they have a nice circular feel to them. The D-pad is very solid, and the power and volume rocker placement were a great choice. I like the placement of the power button on the side and I like that the volume rocker is on the bottom. I have accidentally moved the volume rocker before, but these occasions were very rare. The L and R buttons are solid; however, I have had a few experiences where the buttons break and stop working completely.

This may have been because I took bad care of my stuff as a kid, yet when I have bought previously used Nintendo DS systems I have noticed that those buttons may no longer be functioning. This has always been a consistent issue I noticed so I find myself constantly having to check the functionality of these buttons.

I also appreciate that the Nintendo DS Lite is backwards compatible with Gameboy Advance games.

How does the system hold up in comparison to modern systems?

The Nintendo Switch, PS Vita, and Nintendo 3DS are the current handheld systems. You can get a Nintendo 2DS for around $50~$60. A regular Nintendo 3DS can go from $60~$80. The New Nintendo 3DS and 2DS starts at ~$110. The Nintendo Switch, being a newer console, will still be around retail price (~$300). A PS Vita can start at ~$110.

In comparison to all these consoles, the Nintendo DS Lite feels extremely dated. The Switch, 3DS, and Vita have an online store and, far superior online services. Additionally, the 3DS is backwards compatible, thus, you can play DS games on the 3DS. The graphics also look better on all these systems in comparison to the DS lite.

What do I think about the games on the Nintendo DS Lite?

The Nintendo DS line has had a very strong library of games. The DS itself had a lifespan was about six years. A great reason why the DS was out for so long was because of the great library of quality games.

Some of my favorites, and games I enjoyed, were:

  • Animal Crossing Wild World
  • Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon
  • Pokemon Platinum, Diamond, and Pearl
  • Pokemon Heartgold and Soulsilver
  • Pokemon Black, White, Black 2, White 2
  • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers of Sky
  • Sonic Rush
  • Megaman Zero Collection
  • Megaman 3 Star Force Black Ace
  • The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass
  • Metroid Prime Hunters
  • Star Fox Command
  • Ace Attorney Miles Edgeworth Investigation and all the Ace Attorney games I have played on the DS Lite.

The list can go on and on. I also still have a large backlog of video games on my DS Lite that I plan on playing through (mainly Golden Sun Dark Dawn). However, the 3DS and Nintendo Switch have an amazing library as well (I have never owned a Vita, so I do not know much about the Vita library). The strong 3DS library and backwards compatibility makes it hard to justify buying a Nintendo DS lite.

In conclusion: should you buy a Nintendo DS Lite?

It depends; however, I personally would not buy a Nintendo DS lite.

A Nintendo DS lite is about $25~$30. For double that price you can get a Nintendo 2DS. For a little more cash, you can go from a 2DS to newer Nintendo 3DS model. These systems are vastly superior and, are much more up-to-date. A Vita is not a bad choice as well.

You can also play any of the DS games on a Nintendo 3DS or 2DS. The only drawback of buying a 3DS is, not having access to Gameboy advance games. However, the Nintendo eShop has plenty of older regular Gameboy games on the store. Additionally, the Eshop offers plenty of games that cannot be accessed on a Nintendo DS lite.

The price difference between the modern handhelds and, a Nintendo DS lite makes it seem a little weird to buy a Nintendo DS lite. Nonetheless, if you are looking to save a buck and, don’t mind the limitations in comparison to modern handheld consoles, the Nintendo DS lite might not be a bad choice.

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