Partly because it’s a remarkable piece of technology and mostly because I’m weak, I am now the proud owner of a Nintendo DS-Lite. And I’ve got to say, holy crap; the DS-Lite is just a recklessly, irresponsibly awesome piece of portable fun.
- Touchscreen: hot. Totally natural gameplay after you’ve played with it for a few minutes.
- The two screens: also hot. They’re both nice, bright and crisp, and put to very good use in the games I’ve tried.
- Being able to play your old Gameboy games, with no problems at all: hot.
- The wifi: way hot. People who sell DS games will probably also have a demo station set up, and you can download demo versions of games from within thirty feet or so of the store just by opening the thing up and clicking yes. And the Wii, when it’s released, will be able to do the same thing as the demo stations. The real killer is that a lot of games will actually let the device act the same way for multiplayer – one person has the cartridge, and your fellow players can join up to that game wirelessly, and without needing their own copy of the game. Which is so goddamned hot for a piece of inexpensive pocket-portable technology that it’s difficult to believe.
- Close the lid to pause, resume exactly where you left off, seamlessly. Entirely expected, but nevertheless hot.
- The DS is also going to be an accessory for the Wii in the same way that the GBA was accessible for the Gamecube: hook them up, and you get an entirely new game experience. Tres hot. Hotter still is the fact that you don’t need to “hook them up”, per-se; that’ll all happen wirelessly.
- And, it’s worth saying, it’s going to do all of this for around half of the price of everything else in its space. It’s also worth saying that the feature-set we’re talking about here isn’t even on the horizon on any other system – the PSP doesn’t add any value to the PS2, and there isn’t an Xbox-related portable at all.