Since its release in 2004, the Nintendo DS has become the best selling handheld video gaming system. Over the years, Nintendo has made several variations. First was the DS lite, then the DSi, and the recently released DSi XL. Next month, Nintendo is showcasing a 3-D DS at E3. With so many choices, which one is the best option for your gaming needs?
The original DS is backwards compatible with GameBoy Advance (GBA) games. It has 10 hours of use before it needs to be recharged. It is a bit bigger then the DS Lite and maybe a better option for younger players. Online play is available through a WiFi connection. Although the original DS can be difficult to find new, refurbished or used ones can be purchased online from gamestop.com and ebay. The average price is between $50.00 and $80.00.
Nintendo DS Lite
Released in 2006, the DS Lite was designed to be sleeker, smaller, and have brighter graphics. The battery gets 15 to 19 hours of play. It is available in a variety of colors including black, red, pink, silver, and lime green. Like the original DS, it can play GBA games and has WiFi connectivity. You can find one used for about $80.00. There are also numerous game bundles to pick from. Some bundles let you pick from a small selection of games, like at Walmart.com. Bundles can cost $149.99 and up.
The thin DSi was released in 2008 with larger screens, a SD slot, and 16MB of RAM. One of the biggest differences from the older DS models is the lack of a GBA game slot. The DSi is the first one with cameras, voice recording, and music playback. You can manipulate pictures as you take them with 10 different lens modes. Music manipulation is available by changing pitch. The DSi plays regular DS games and exclusive DSi games. The DSi has WiFi capabilities and can connect to the DSi online shop. The battery lasts 9-14 hours. It comes in colors like black, blue, and pink. Just the DSi can cost around $160.00 new. Game bundles average $250.00.
Nintendo DSi XL
Released in March 2010, the DSi XL is a redsign of the DSi. The screens and stylus are bigger. There are still the cameras and SD slot instead of a GBA slot. It plays all DS and DSi games. The WiFi connection lets users browse online stores for games and software. You can get 13-17 hours of battery use. The DSi XL comes in burgundy and bronze. It’s solid choice for people who don’t travel with a DS or who need bigger screens. A new DSi XL cost $189.99. Game bundles can cost around $250.00.
Nintendo 3DS(not the official name)
Set to be released in March 2011, the 3DS boasts 3-D capabilities without the need for special glasses. At this year’s E3, people will get a chance to play it. It’s supposed to feature a 3-D joystick, longer battery life, and tilt control. The 3DS will be able to play DS and DSi games. There is no price or color selection set. If you don’t own a DS, it may be worth holding out and waiting to see what is revealed at E3 in June.
With so many choices, the DS is a versatile handheld video game system. If you’re looking for a smaller child, the original DS or DSi XL might be a good choice. If you need a smaller console that’s easy to travel with, a Lite or DSi are great choices. If you want the latest technology, be sure to check out the 3DS.