So you're interest is piqued in a DS lite? Thinking of getting one? Well this is the thread for you! The Hardware Itself The DS lite was released in Japan on the 2nd March 2006. It was available in three different colours – crystal white, ice blue, and enamel navy. Subsequently the white version was released in Australia on 1st June 1st, and Canada and the United States on 11th June. The European release will include both a white and black version on June 23rd. There is currently no word on when additional colours will appear in different countries. As of 29th June a pink DS lite has been released in Japan. The main improvements over the original DS include a smaller form factor, brighter screens, a larger stylus, and improved battery life. One of the enticements for many is a much-lauded aesthetic overhaul. You be the judge…. There are three very good video reviews made by Cabel from 'shockingly good' mac software available on youtube. Well worth watching - Video 1, video 2, and video 3. The reviews include a good comparison between the original and the lite as well as some practical lite tips. Here's BrianSalts' Macrumors Review and RaggedJimmi's Black DS lite photo 56k killer thread. What Comes With the DSlite? This varies from country to country. The common basic package includes a DSlite, two stylus, and a wall charger. Australia received a trial version of brain training, and in Japan a wrist strap was included that has been omitted on other continents. It's well worth shopping around for the best deal as some retailers are including a free game or doing attractive bundle deals. Screens The DS lite consists of 2 LCD screens with the lower being touch-sensitive. There are four brightness settings with the brightness of the original DS equalling setting 2. Nintendo apparently has a zero dead-pixel policy on the DS lites and generally most retailers will honour this. If not it's best to contact Nintendo directly in your country. Screen protectors are a good prophylactic against scratches. Your stylus is unlikely to scratch the screen although any dust/grit entering the equation can lead to undesirable results. Hori (Nintendo officially authorised) screen protectors come highly recommended due to their lack of adhesive which can leave a residue with other products. Battery The battery included with the DS comes partially charged and you can play it straight out of the box if you're a renegade. Arguably it is better to fully charge the battery first (as recommended by Nintendo). The DSlite will achieve 5 – 8 hours gameplay on the highest brightness, and 15 – 19 hours on the lowest setting. The battery takes on average 3 hours to charge, longer if you simultaneously play it whilst charging. Following an initial full-charge/full discharge cycle you are free to recharge your system at you whim. Nintendo's battery FAQ can be found Here. Connectivity *Playing games over the Nintendo Wifi connection is completely free - There are no subscription or access fees to play*. All you need is a compatible wireless router and access through a normal ISP. There are also plenty of free hotspots which can be found at the Nintendo wireless page link below. The DSlite supports 802.11b/g wireless networking with an appropriate router such as Apple's airport express. Nintendo also maket their own USB wireless router although it is NOT Mac compatable at this point. Alternatively you can use your Apple Airport Card as a wifi DS access point, as outlined in this MacOSXHints has a walkthrough here. Unfortunately at this stage the DSlite only supports WEP security. More information on compatable routers, free Wifi hotspots, and configuration guides can be found at http://www.nintendowifi.com/. Nintendo have also stated on the record that the DS will also be able to connect with the Wii when it is released. How this will be implemented is unknown at this stage. You're also be able to wireless communicate locally up to a range of about 10 meters (30 feet). Many games are local multiplayer with one cartridge, which makes random meetings with DSlite weilders on public transport a pleasure. This feature is also leveraged with DS download stations at retailers where users can obtain trial versions of games. Backwards Compatability The DS lite plays all GBA games, but does not support gameboy or gameboy colour games. With the smaller form factor of the DSlite, GBA cartridges protrude from the unit slightly. This is also true for the rumble packs. As with the original DS there are two distinct slots so you can have a DS and a GBA game in the machine at the same time. The DSlite also comes with a colour-matched dust cover to protect the GBA slot and contacts when not in use. Importing/Region Restrictions There is no restriction on the importation of the machines (or games). There DS uses no region encoding of any kind, and you are able to toggle between languages (for the DS operating system) via the main menu when you first boot up and personalise your machine. The included power supply does vary with the configuration of the domestic sockets of the country of origin, so you may have to pick up an additional wall-charger or a third-party USB charger if importing. Accessories *Cases*. There are quite a number of Nintendo and third party cases available. It's a worthy investment to retain the luster of your DS as it has a finish similar to the G4 ibooks and iPods. This Macrumors thread outlines a few. *Rumble Packs*. There are a couple of Nintendo brand rumble-packs available for the DS lite which can be purchased seperately or may come bundled with supporting games such as Metroid Pinball. The original DS rumble pack will fit the DSlite, although it will protrude in a similar manner to a GBA cartridge. Recently a smaller DSlite rumble pack has been released that fits flush with the DSlite, although take note that it isn't colour coded to your DSlite. Although fairly effective (for its size) the rumble pack is a fairly noisy addition. Games supporting the rumble feature are still scarce (detailed in second post) although hopefully in the future more titles will incorporate it. *Play-Yan Micro*. Got PSP multi-media envy? Well you can play MPEG4 video and MP3 files on your DSlite with the Play-Yan micro. This product is marketed by Nintendo in Japan and surprisingly hasn't had a release elsewhere. It is also compatible with the Gamboy Advance, Gameboy Advance SP, and Gameboy Micro if you've a larger handheld Nintendo family. You'll need the Play-Yan micro, an SD media card, and conversion software to use it, the details of which you can find in ddrueckhammer's posts here and here. Is it Better Than the PSP? It may be better for some, it may not be for others. Not everyone likes tofu. It's a personal choice. There's a thread here if you feel the need to expound one machine's features over another.