Nintendo DS Lite
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The Nintendo DS Lite (sometimes abbreviated DSLite) is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It is a slimmer, brighter, and more lightweight redesign of the Nintendo DS, designed to be aesthetically sleeker while taking styling cues from the Game Boy Advance SP, and to appeal to broader commercial audiences. It was announced on January 26, 2006, more than a month before its first launch in Japan on March 2, 2006 due to overwhelming demand for the original model. It has been released in Japan, Australia, North America, Europe, New Zealand, Singapore, and defined regions in South America, the Middle East and Korea. As of December 31, 2007, sales of the DS Lite have reached 45.97 million units worldwide.
Differences in the DS Lite over the original DS
Colors and limited editions
On February 18, 2006, Nintendo revealed the color schemes of the Nintendo DS Lite set for launch in Japan: Crystal White, Ice Blue and Enamel Navy. However, due to manufacturing problems only the Crystal White was available at its launch; the other two colors arrived on March 11, 2006. Nintendo released a Noble Pink version in the region on July 20, 2006, and a Jet Black version on September 2, 2006. On May 30, 2007, during a retail conference, Nintendo announced two new colors for Japan: Metallic Rose and Gloss Silver, which were launched on June 23, 2007. These new colors have also been launched in South Korea on July 7, 2007. There are no plans to release these two colors in other regions.
In Australia, the DS Lite was also only available in white (Polar White) at launch. On September 21, 2006, the Jet Black (Onyx) color was released. On October 16, 2006, Nintendo Australia announced that the Coral Pink color (renamed Pink Nintendo DS Lite) would be released on November 2, 2006, alongside Nintendogs: Dalmatian & Friends. On May 22, 2007, Nintendo Australia stated that the Ice Blue color would be released in the region for a limited amount of time, starting on July 19, 2007.
In North America, the Nintendo DS Lite was only available in white (renamed "Polar White" for the region) at launch. On August 24, 2006, Nintendo of America announced two new model colors, Onyx (Jet Black) and Coral Pink (Noble Pink). They were released in North America on September 12, 2006. On August 21, 2007, a Crimson/Onyx DS Lite was released in a bundle with Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day!. Nintendo confirmed this bundle after it was listed by Canadian retail outlet Future Shop. The listing was picked up and featured on many major online gaming websites such as IGN. As of October 2, 2007, the Crimson/Onyx DS Lite is available for purchase individually. The Crimson/Onyx DS Lite was supposedly discontinued only a few months after its release in January 2008.On February 2, 2008, Nintendo of America announced that the Cobalt/Black DS Lite will be released on February 10, 2008 in North America.
In Europe, in addition to the white version, a black version (named "Smart Black") was available at launch, a color unique to the region at the time. On October 27, 2006, the Coral Pink (Noble Pink) edition was released in Europe. On 12 October 2007, a silver (Platinum) DS Lite was released in Europe.
The Nintendo DS Lite was released on March 2, 2006 in Japan, with the suggested retail price of JPĄ16,800, but due to lack of supply and excessive demand of Nintendo DS systems at retail price following the Nintendo DS Lite's launch in Japan, many Asian electronics distributors raised the retail price of the redesigned handheld console to JPĄ23,300. On some Japanese auction sites it was being offered for prices as high as JPĄ40,000. Even though Nintendo managed to release 550,000 units in March 2006 (which was above their initial projections), many excited Japanese gamers were left empty-handed soon afterward. The shortage was supposed to be eased after Nintendo released 700,000 Nintendo DS Lites during April 2006. However, retailers in Tokyo sold out yet again by late May 2006. This shortage would last for most of 2006 and 2007 with retailers all around the country having permanent ads apologizing for the shortage and announcing the ignorance of when a restock would arrive. When the product arrived, it would sell out within days. Since restocking was erratic, looking for the product often involved several visits to different retailers, and most of the time without finding the product. This was still the case in Japan as of April 25, 2007, with stores turning away potential customers every day and selling out quickly.
The Nintendo DS Lite was released in Australia on June 1, 2006, for AU$199.95.
The Nintendo DS Lite was released on June 11, 2006, for US$129.99 in the United States, and CA$149.99 in Canada.
There have been various reports of North American Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Meijer stores having sold Nintendo DS Lite units as early as May 30, 2006, breaking the official launch date.
On June 12, 2006 GameSpot reported that North American Nintendo DS Lites had sold out at major online retailers, as well as several brick-and-mortar stores.
On June 13, 2006 Nintendo announced that 136,500 units were sold in two days since the DS Lite went on sale in North America, and seemed to be on pace to the 500,000 sold by the original Nintendo DS in its first ten days.
The Nintendo DS Lite was officially released in Europe on June 23, 2006, for Ł99.99 in the UK, €149.99 in the Eurozone. In Finland and Sweden, the DS Lite was released on June 22, 2006, due to Midsummer. In just 10 days, Nintendo announced it had sold 200,000 Nintendo DS Lites in Europe.
As of April 2006, the "Nintendo DS: in touch with original comedy" advertisements shown in the UK on Channel 4 have been changed to include the Nintendo DS Lite.
During October 2006, Nintendo launched a promotion of the Nintendo DS Lite in the United Kingdom which consisted mainly of bus shelter advertisements, as well as a new television promotion, which ended with the release of a pink version of the Nintendo DS Lite on October 27, 2006.
Following the wake of the Wii home console, the DS Lite has experienced a surge in popularity, more notably the black version of the system. In the run up to Christmas 2006, DS Lites were sold out in most retailers and even online, leading to marked up units being sold on eBay and Amazon's marketplace.
The same thing happened again a year after, with even more demand than the year before. Nintendo UK even considered pulling Wii TV ads as it would only increase demand which couldn't be met.
On June 12, 2006, Chinese media organization Sina.com reported that a container intended for shipment to Europe was stolen, which contained HK$18 million (US$2.32 million) worth of goods, including black Nintendo DS Lites and games. Later, GamesIndustry.biz reported that Nintendo had indeed confirmed that "A number of White DS Lite made for the UK market were stolen in Hong Kong."
On June 29, 2006, iQue company officially released the Nintendo DS Lite as the "iQue DS Lite" in China, for CN?.
Nintendo opened its latest subsidiary, Nintendo of Korea, led by Mineo Kouda, on July 20, 2006. The DS Lite is the first system to be released in South Korea by the subsidiary, being released on January 18, 2007 for ?,000. Popular Korean actor Jang Dong-gun has been enlisted to help promote the system.
Although the secondary port on the Nintendo DS does accept and support Game Boy Advance cartridges (but not Game Boy or Game Boy Color cartridges), Nintendo has emphasized that its main intention for its inclusion was to allow a wide variety of accessories to be released for the system, the Game Boy Advance compatibility being a logical extension.
Nintendo announced at E3 2005 that it would launch "Headset Accessories" for VoIP enabled games. (This will plug into the VoIP plug next to the Ear Phone jack, not the Game Boy Advance slot.)
The Rumble Pak was the first official expansion slot accessory. In the form of a Game Boy Advance cartridge, the Rumble Pak vibrates to reflect the action in compatible games, such as when the player bumps into an obstacle or loses a life. It was released in North America and Japan in 2005, as a separate accessory and bundled with Metroid Prime Pinball A specially designed Rumble Pak was released in Japan in late May 2006 for the Nintendo DS Lite The cartridge is the same size as the dust cover that comes with the DS Lite, to prevent it from protruding out of the Nintendo DS Lite as standard Game Boy Advance cartridges do.
Nintendo DS Headset
The Nintendo DS Headset is the official headset for the Nintendo DS. It plugs into the headset port (which is a combination of a standard 3.5mm headphone connector and a proprietary microphone connector) on the bottom of the system. It features one earphone and a microphone, and is compatible with all games that use the internal microphone. It was released in Japan on September 14, 2006. The headset was released on April 22, 2007 in North America, alongside Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, two of the few games to have built in voice chat. It was released in Australia on June 21, 2007, also alongside Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
Nintendo DS Browser
On February 15, 2006, Nintendo announced a version of the cross-platform web browser Opera for the DS system.[ The browser can use one screen as an overview, a zoomed portion of which appears on the other screen, or both screens together to present a single tall view of the page. The browser went on sale in Japan and Europe in 2006, and in North America on June 4, 2007. Only the DS Lite Browser will be available at retail, while the original DS Browser is only available through Nintendo.
Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector
This USB-flash-disk-sized accessory plugs into a PC's USB port and creates a miniature hotspot, allowing up to five Nintendo DS units to connect to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service through the host computer's Internet connection. The only operating systems supported by the Wi-Fi USB Connector's software are Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista (patch download needed).
The "slide controller" comes packaged with the game Slide Adventure: Mag Kid, which was released in Japan on August 2, 2007. The slide controller plugs into the Game Boy Advance game slot of the DS, and is placed below the DS, on a plain surface. The DS can be moved around to control a game, since the slide controller will pick up the motions, just as when a player would press a button.
On July 4, 2007, Nintendo unveiled a "facening scan" camera attachment for the DS Lite, which comes bundled with Otona No DS Kao Training. It was released in Japan, on August 2, 2007. The camera plugs into the GBA cartridge slot of the DS Lite, and protrudes slightly to allow the lens to be visible.