redesigned DS handheld console, the DS Lite, is already available in Japan. Now the DS Lite is coming to North America — the company announced Thursday plans to release it on June 11, 2006. The DS Lite will cost $129.99.
Nintendo’s DS handheld video game system first debuted in November, 2004. The system features a clamshell case design and a two-screen design — one screen is used to control the action, along with a stylus and buttons. Built in Wi-Fi wireless networking capabilities allow players to participate in online gaming through Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection service. What’s more, the DS Lite is backward-compatible with games for older Game Boy systems.
Although the DS has been widely successful and has even outsold competitor Sony’s PlayStation Portable (PSP) system, it hasn’t been without criticism — criticism Nintendo has largely addressed with this new redesigned system.
Molded in “Polar White” with a raised DS logo on its hood, the DS Lite — so called because of its size — has all of the same capabilities and functionality as its larger ancestor, but it’s two-thirds the size of the original, and 20 percent lighter.
It also features the ability to adjust the two backlit LCD screens to four different levels of brightness, to help compensate for different lighting conditions, and to extend battery power. Nintendo’s designers also reoriented the DS Lite’s microphone to the center of the unit, and its LEDs are now clearly visible even if the case is closed. The stylus used to control action on the second screen is a bit longer and a bit thicker, too. The Start and Select buttons have been repositioned, and a removable dust cover keeps the cartridge slot free of dust and debris.