Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Micro, Lite

Although the Nintendo DS Lite was on my Christmas wish list, I was initially interested in the Nintendo (Game Boy) Micro*.

This gaming handheld was intended to tap the adult gaming market. It is as small as an Apple iPod Mini, and is extremely pocketable. It also costs only about $70.

Unfortunately it has a couple of problems and limitations:
The Micro only accepts GBA (Game Boy Advanced) game cartridges. There are supposedly 700+ games available in this format. I did some research and found a Nintendo website (Master Game List) which lists all the games for Nintendo and can be filtered by platform. A large percentage of the GBA games are aimed at the children's market (Pokemon anyone?). I also read that the GBA platform may be phased out next year or so in favor of the newer DS (Developers' System or Dual Screen) platform - "Nintendo sees at least one more Game Boy holiday" . This seemed to be confirmed by a listing of upcoming GBA game titles (on There are notably a lot more DS games scheduled for release in every category. Also, a number of games I had seen previously which appealed to me were Nintendo DS games and not Game Boy Advanced games.

The Nintendo DS Lite* on the other hand (excuse the pun!) supports both the older (GBA - Game Boy Advanced) and newer (DS) game cartridge formats. At first glance it looks like a handheld.

The bottom screen is touch sensitive, and the stylus is used for making choices and in-game control. Like the Sony PSP, the DS Lite has built in Wi-Fi, but it is primarily a gaming platform. The Opera web browser is currently available in Japan for the DS Lite, and should soon be making its appearance in the USA.

Oh, and the games... The graphics are not quite as detailed as the Sony PSP, but there are already almost 300 games available for the DS platform, and the DS Lite also plays the GBA games as mentioned previously. A number of games, like "Need for Speed:Carbon" come out for multiple gaming platforms (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Gamecube, Playstation 2 and Sony PSP), although with slight variations on the title: "Need for Speed Carbon: Own the City" is its title for the PSP.

* Articles on

No comments: