knows how to hype a system. We have all learned that
by now. The hype on this new touch dual screen system
had a few of us saying, "Okay it looks nice but
how is it really going to work"? After writing
previews and some hands on time with the system prior
to the launch my attitude changed a bit. After all,
if anyone could pull off something like this Nintendo
was the company to do it. So off I went to pick up
my unit and games. As some of you may know, the only
thing that went slightly wrong with the launch was
the fact Nintendo did not have enough units as they
first announced for the launch date. It happens and
they tried to take care of those who missed out on
the launch date.
next units are being shipped by early December and
pre-orders for the system are sold out through February.
Those who had to wait for the next shipment seemed
annoyed but everything went smooth. I had to kill
a little time while at the mall. So I started up the
system and had the system set up in less than 5 minutes.
I also was surprised when I clicked on the chat program.
There were a ton of people in rooms. It seems people
were sitting around playing with it waiting to get
the units home. I enjoyed talking to a few people
and it works just as Nintendo promised.
got the unit home and I noticed that the Stylus was
smaller than the ones that were at the demo units
in the stores. It was even smaller than the ones they
gave out at E3. When I popped in the first game and
started to play, my fingers just could not get used
to the small size of the stylus. So I called Nintendo
and asked if using another stylus would hurt the unit.
I was told no as long as it had the soft rubber tip.
A quick adjustment in the settings and recalibrating
the touch screen to the new stylus and it worked like
a charm. The touch screen responds great and works
just as Nintendo claimed all these months leading
up to its release. When I started playing the games,
I was very surprised at the sound quality. For a handheld
system this thing has great sound. I was also impressed
with the graphics of most of the games available at
launch. Although some are better than others, it looks
good. Spider-Man looks fantastic and a few others
really stand out in the graphics area. The games that
used both screens to show off their opening intros
to the games were very cool. The unit itself is well
built and feels pretty comfortable overall. I will
say that it will take some longer to get used to the
new design and the way it controls.
noticed that the system had the slot for the GBA games.
Of course we already knew that this would be included.
I then noticed that every game box had a slot for
a GBA game. Leave it to Nintendo to throw in a few
surprises. We are finding out with certain games for
the DS if you have another GBA cart in the slot it
unlocks some special goodies. The spring loading DS
carts are very nice but the small size makes them
very easy to lose if you do not return it to its case
after playing. Nothing a little common sense can't
cure though. The average learning curve on the first
6 launch games I would say will take the average gamer
less than 30 minutes to get used to and an hour to
get really get the hang of it. Nintendo even thought
of adding a calendar and a clock for use as a travel
alarm. It can also be set to go off on special occasions.
The mike built in works great and will certainly be
used more in upcoming games and other surprises Nintendo
has in mind for the DS. The new extra buttons and
the D-pad respond very well. You may have to get used
to the new layout though. I personally think they
are well-made and it's nice to have the extra buttons.
The 2 side triggers work just like the GBA SP and
also respond well.
was also impressed that even right out of the box
I was able to play non-stop for almost 6 hours before
having to plug it in to recharge it. The average time
of the battery when fully charged is about 10 hours.
The adapter and batter charger is the exact same one
as the GBA SP; it is compact and has the same flip
out plug out. It looks like Nintendo DS will be a
handheld to be reckoned with. I also got the chance
to test out the Wi-Fi wireless system with someone
who has one right up the street and the transfer took
less than 30 seconds for Super Mario 64. It's simple
to use and I am sure Nintendo has more plans for this
in the very near future.
I have a few tips for those who got a DS yesterday
or are getting one for Christmas. The dual screens
are almost like the GBA SP. It is a lint magnet! You
may want to get or ask your parents to go to a local
camera shop and pick up micro-fiber cleaning cloth.
Professional camera people use these to clean their
lenses. It's made specially to remove the lint and
clean fingerprints without scratching the surface.
If you find the stylus too small as I did, Nintendo
is releasing larger ones in a few weeks. I am using
one made by Belkin. They are larger and have a metal
outside giving it just enough weight. I did go back
to the one that came with the DS unit and it felt
fine. I only added this to help people get the best
use out of their new purchase. My closing thoughts
about the DS are simple. The dual screen and the touch
controls are different but so far I am very impressed
and can't wait to see what else Nintendo and the other
developers have in store for us.