Handheld gaming

Column “Dork Talk” published on Saturday 23rd August 2008 in The Guardian “Dork Talk” – The Guardian headline

Stephen Fry has a lot of affection for Nintendo’s DS, which he finds much more engaging than Sony’s PSP

Poor Nintendo. Those clever little handheld games in the 80s: small, orange, plastic “Game & Watch” devices that opened up like a book. A gorilla threw barrels down at you while you leapt about a beeping LCD world. Then came the NES Game Console, followed by the highly successful Game Boy. After that, things began to go wrong: the Nintendo 64 and its successor, the GameCube, failed to penetrate what was now an enormous market. The oldest video games company of them all was in trouble: Donkey Kong and the Mario Brothers seemed destined to go the way of Atari and Sega, Pong and Sonic the Hedgehog, while the big boys would be left to slug it out with their PlayStations and Xboxes. That was Sony and Microsoft’s plan, and no one doubted it would be so. Nintendo, as a games brand, was about as hot as Waddingtons.

Nintendo-DS460.jpg
“I Nintendo live for ever, or die trying” – Mario Marx.

And then came its “seventh generation” offerings, the DS and the Wii (pronounced “wee”). The assumption made by Sony and Microsoft was that awesome processing power, state-of-the-art graphics, smooth animation and voluminous storage would make their big beasts market leaders. Nintendo staked all on cheaper devices that stressed a personal relationship between player and machine. The DS was all about a highly portable, stylus-driven environment, while the Wii – well, the Wii changed the rules completely.

The DS and its more streamlined successor, the DS Lite, reached out to women and the middle-aged, and managed to do this without alienating the core gaming audience. Games for teenage girls, games for sudoku-playing commuters, “brain trainer” games for fortysomethings – whole new audiences were being reached, and the units sold in their millions.

My DS Lite is pink. There was so much demand earlier this year that they couldn’t be had for bribes, sexual favours or worse. Unless you accepted girly pink. The moment you open it, you are taken back to the old Game & Watch days but can see why the DS has succeeded so well with the middle class, the middle-aged and the Hello Kitty/My Little Strawberry Shortcake Pony set. You set up in a twinkle and then play on two screens, one of which accepts stylus input and touches.

As well as being backwardly compatible with the Game Boy Advance, there are hundreds of DS-specific games to choose from, some available on all platforms, such as Lego Star Wars; others proprietary and particular, such as Mario Kart. Fashion Dogz, Hannah Montana: Music Jam and Imagine Girl Band look after the all-important little girl sector, while Call of Duty, Race Driver: Grid and endless sports implementations show that your classic boy gamer isn’t left out either. He will prefer the versions on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, of course, but Nintendo’s whole strategy is to encourage crossover. Adults are turned on to the joys of shoot ‘em ups and RPGs, the young discover Space Invaders and Scrabble. That’s the theory, and more than 100m units sold make it hard to disprove. The DS is nothing like as feature rich as the PlayStation Portable, but it isn’t trying to be. The philosophy seems so counterintuitive at first blush: surely today’s digital devices demand the Swiss Army knife approach? If the DS has a touch screen, speakers and controls, then it should offer USB connections, AV and HDMI in and out sockets, memory cards, MP3 and movie playback, Wi-Fi and texting. Convergence is all, no? Well, we humans can be so ornery. A simple pocket knife can be more appealing and usable than a bristling Victorinox, and a dedicated little games machine like the DS can engage us far more than the sleek power of the PSP. You can feel admiration and even awe for the big power boxes, but for the DS you feel affection – and that, in marketing terms, is worth a whole heap more.

Next wiik, wii’ll take a wii look at Nintendo’s other phenomenally successful platform…

Acronym of the week

HDMI High Definition Multimedia Interface. Says it all, really. Neat single cable attachment for HD TVs, Blu-ray players and modern gaming consoles.

This blog was posted in Guardian column

41 comments on “Handheld gaming”

  1. Microangelo says:

    Stephen Fry writing about gaming? And with no less wit and insight than he would write about any other subject? Will (pleasant) wonders never cease?

  2. I must admit to having been tempted to wish I could afford a DS by the sneaky appeal of those Brain Training things they’ve been pushing. I mean, obviously they’re just games, but who doesn’t want to be smarter?

    The Wii advertising has been less successful in our household. Somehow the slogan “Only ennui” puts us off…

  3. littlefish says:

    Quoting from the article:
    “If the DS has a touch screen, speakers and controls, then it should offer USB connections, AV and HDMI in and out sockets, memory cards, MP3 and movie playback, Wi-Fi and texting.”

    It’s an interesting point you make, since the DS does offer wi-fi, and has its own text messaging app between other DS handhelds within wi-fi range. The DS is also technically capable of playing video and MP3, from memory cards if you are willing to hack it a little. (google for moonshell DS). I’m fairly certain there was even an officially sanctioned version, but can’t find it now.

    I agree with the central idea that a device should do one thing, and do it well. However, since these gadgets are really quite general purpose computers, they can be reprogrammed with software to do pretty much whatever you tell them to.

  4. robertas says:

    Heavens… Stephen Fry talking about games? And Hello Kitty in the same article?
    And DS Lite in pink? :)))) Ha, no wonder I’m so fond of the man :)

  5. hob says:

    That’s what I love about the DS. It’s got Wi-Fi, but you wouldn’t really know it. It’s used for the multiplayer functions and stuff. So yes, it can have a browser and stuff – but who needs it? It’s not what the device is for!

  6. TheWetNoodle says:

    What Nintendo did most of all was revolutionise the way us users interface with the games. They’ve basically attempted to do away with buttons altogether and letting us operate these games in alternative, inventive ways (through movement; whether that is a stylus or a remote). Zelda on the DS can be played without ever touching a single button (except the on/off one).

    This new way of playing games took some getting used to (the DS en the Wii had a relatively slow start, sales-wise), but judging on recent sales numbers, we’ve definitely gotten the hang of it.

  7. Rev-Views says:

    I’m still part of the old target demographic for the 360/PS3 and I must admit I do indeed have a 360. But I have the most fun when I play on the Wii around a friends house or around my parents (my mother has a DS and adores it).

    You have to give it to Nintendo, they’ve not only managed to reinvent themselves but they’ve also managed to open up whole new markets of people for gaming. When you see four generations of a family all playing on the same game console or passing around the DS so they can all have a go at brain training you really can’t do anything but admire it.

    Along with the advent of Rock Band video gaming has become a social exercise again and it’s brilliant. But on that note it’s time for me to leave as my own fake plastic band needs their drummer.

  8. monochromeprincess says:

    Whereas the Wii tries to take you into a strange world where all the rules are based on the increasingly ludicrous ways you can move your arms – there is no escape from the famous ‘Wii elbow’ from playing Wii Sports tennis, and also the crippling truth provided by Wii Fit (‘You are overweight. You need to use Wii Fit every day to burn off # calories or death by fatness is imminent’) – the DS on the other hand, as you correctly point out, is a much more personal experience. You can hide away in a corner and play it, you can lose yourself in fantasy worlds while on the bus: it is the traditional escapism that gaming brings, brought closer to you, in a way that you can actually touch. Whereas I think so many games on the Wii (enabled by the format of the console) aim to bring gamers more into real life, by attempting – near enough – to replicate actual exercise. Maybe the Wii is just more conscious of the stereotypical image of the slobby gamer, but I still prefer the DS. I can’t stand waving my arms around like that.

    Fantastic article as always; I (and I’m sure everyone else here) await hungrily any further products of your genius :)

  9. tangojulietdelta says:

    Another great thing about the DS that some people don’t realize: its ability to adapt its gaming environment to the outside world. There are tons of hidden extras that can be had on the DS simply by taking yours to the appropriate hotspot. For example, the latest Pirates of the Caribbean game has a secret that can be unlocked if you take your DS on the Pirates ride at Disney.

    I can’t wait to hear Mr. Fry’s take on the Wii. It truly has changed gaming from something expensive and steep-learning-curve-ish to something personal and adorable.

    This comment has earned me: +2 agility. +1 obscure knowledge. Level up!

  10. gjhsu says:

    I admit, I am one of those sterotypical 20-somethings in the world that aims to experience all of the modern gaming platforms. Fortunately (or stupidly), I have done such that. 8-bit NES, Playstation, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, XBox, XBox360, Wii, DS, and PSP.

    Stephen has it right. I had a PSP. And I sold it. It was great for what it wasn’t. Had every doodad you could want in a portable media device (aside from that GHASTLY proprietary disc format which Sony attempted to trick you into buying doubles of your movies of), but it just didn’t strike a chord. I’ve kept my DS. Not because it’s the best or most advanced gaming system available, but because every so often, when I get tired of the awe-inspiring realism of the 360 and PS3, I can kick back and relax to some Mario Kart ‘fun.’ And that’s just it. It’s ‘fun.’

    Oh, and if Stephen ever actually reads these comments, I highly recommend the Cooking Mama series. Absolutely great game.

  11. First and foremost, I dig it for gaming… but we’ve found another use for it. If we go down to the cinema and wait for our screening, it’s a great way to pass the time whilst chatting. It’s even more fun if we bring games that allow us to play against each other.

    We sometimes also bring them to rock concerts that have multiple opening acts. We pictochat sometimes and if the band is not up to snuff, well you’ve brought something to while away the time.

    And lastly, it’s red and black, like my hair :D

  12. RubyCosmos says:

    Possibly only important to a medium-to-small demographic, but don’t forget that the DS is region-free. Seeing as my Japanese games outnumber my American games 2-to-1, this is great for me. Playing anything Japanese on a PS2 involves (in my case) buying a swap disk set, performing minor surgery on the box, and tricking it into thinking it’s Japanese. A fun party trick if a friend’s never seen it before, but otherwise a bit silly.

    The game I use to show off everything I like about the DS at once is called ‘Zekkyo Senshi Sakeburein,’ which is a takeoff on the sentai (Power Rangers) genre. For one thing, Japanese — so I can show people the region-free-ness. For another, it requires that you use the multiplayer function … have to have a team. Also, more than half the game controls are vocal: you have to shout into the microphone — and shout *specific* things into the microphone. We discovered you can’t cheat by just blowing into it or clapping near it.

    As for colour … I’m the only female I know who doesn’t own a pink one. I wanted a red one, and I ended up having to buy a black one and scout around for the one person I knew who had a red one and wouldn’t mind something else. And I only got mine a few months ago. I’m always well behind the curve on game systems.

  13. SteveC says:

    Another DS fan here, though not used Brain Age (US version) for a while. No doubt the Dr will say ‘thought you had died’ on the next power up.

    I do need to start taking my DS out a little more just to reinforce the geek label I have.

    Will look forward to the thoughts on the Wii. Hopefully with a better TV now I’ll start using this a bit more as well.

    Not managed to find Wiifit yet (has anyone?). I guess they are being stockpiled by ebay traders ready for the Christmas rush.

  14. Fryphile says:

    Last Christmas, I gave both my parents (who are in their 50s) Nintendo DS games as presents.

    BTW, Mr. Fry playing with a pink DS has got to be the cutest thing ever.

  15. bbusschots says:

    I love the way the big guys didn’t get the Wii. They belittled it and poked fun at it but despite their ridiculing of it’s teeny specs, it’s the best selling console of the lot!

    Looking to the future, I can’t help but think that the iPhone/iPod Touch will be the next big thing in mobile gaming. I never played games on the go, now I’d be lot without them, and it’s all thanks to the iPod Touch. Like the Wii the iPhone brings new interaction mechanisms to the table leading to a much more direct interaction with your games than you could ever get by hammering buttons or moving joysticks. Games like Cro-mag rally where you steer by tilting the iPhone are insanely intuitive, great fun, and rediculously engaging. The PSP can’t stand up to that either, and I’m sorry to say the DS’s stylus seems pointlessly complex when the iPhone just lets you use your finger!

    Bart.

    Bart.

  16. HeidiW says:

    My younger brother lives in his DS. The minute we get into the car, that little thing comes out. We drove from Texas to Colorado a couple months ago, but I’m not sure that he knew it — he was playing the whole time.

    I’m happy to see that he’s made the Fry-approved gaming decision, and I can’t wait for your article next week on the Wii.

    Wait a second… did I just see the name Hannah Montana in your article? Stephen, you encourage such things?

  17. dark_maylee says:

    OH YES. NINTENDO. My lover. My soulmate. My whore. I love Nintendo. People scoff when I say I prefer Wii over Playstation and Xbox. They may have fun games, but it’s Nintendo that makes me feel like a child. I don’t play the game feeling as if I’m playing a video game. When I play with a Wii, I feel… involved. My DS is with me nearly all the time.

    I wonder if you’ve played Ace Attorney – one of the most bizarrely fun games ever for the DS. Your character doesn’t move and he doesn’t run about. It’s a text based game about LAWYERS but my god… so much fun. Stephen Fry, if you’ve never played Ace Attorney, GO DO IT. It’s probably a required taste but I promise you, you will love it. My ultimate favourite game however, will always be Legend of Zelda. Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Link to the Past etc. and yes I do have Phantom Hourglass for the DS. Even though people say ‘All Zelda games are alike’ because they do follow the same formula… it just works. The Legend of Zelda was with me since I was 11. It may be adventure based with little Link running with a sword but holy crap. Seriously, I can go for hours just talking about Zelda – analyzing, discussing, criticizing, imagining, exploring. And of course, Mario is just classic.

    I’ve got a crimson and black DS Lite because… well the picture on the box just looked cool. It wasn’t as crimson as one the box, but man I love it. I put such value into this piece of plastic. :(

    P.S. Happy birthday! I was supposed to write you another letter but I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t found one minute to sit down and just write.

  18. I forgot to add that I wonder what games he plays on HIS pink DS?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

  19. amyl_nitrate says:

    Wow this was a delightful suprise this week. It’s great to see you’ve embraced the DS and Wii. I love my shiny black DS to bits. The brain training games are fun and the amount of board and card games available for the DS is a bonus and I totally second those who recommend the Cooking Mama games. To anyone reading I highly recommend WarioWare Touched. I love the WarioWare games and it was the original one that re-ignited my love of gaming and encouraged me to upgrade from my classic ‘brick’ GameBoy. The wi-fi facility enabling two player games without the need for a cord and two cartridges is brilliant as is the backlit screen so you can always see what you’re doing without the need of a reading lamp or a bright sunny day (so bright they make for excellent torches during powercuts!). To me enjoyable, fun and addictive gameplay will always be more important than state of the art graphics and the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ approach and so the DS is more appealing to me than the PSP. I’ve got both a PS1 and PS2 but it’s the Wii that I’ve fallen in love with. Never before in my life have I ever been interested in sporty games but now I can’t keep away from them thanks to the Wii. I look forward to your article on the Wii next week.

    ….and a very happy birthday to you too. Have a very squishy and fluffy day and don’t work yourself too hard. ^_^

  20. Mike Tidmus says:

    A lovely post on a lovely blog. And happy birthday Mr Fry !

  21. torenheksje says:

    Nothing to do with the article at hand, but this was the only place I could think of to post a “Happy Birthday” message to Mr. Fry. Here’s to another lovely (non-arm-breaking) year!

  22. hannah-mae says:

    I admit, I’ve never really seen the attraction with handheld gaming devices… but then, I’ve never really seen the attraction with computer games in general. I think it’s mostly because I see how addictive it can be, and worry that I’ll waste hours upon hours trying to get a pink spherical blob through a castle or something similarly pressing (that’s my overriding memory of Nintendo’s Kirby!) What I always think to be few hours playing around on The Sims always turns out to be a few days! But I liked using my brother’s DS to watch films before I knew the wonders of my gorgeous video-playing iPod.

    I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the Nintendo Wii next week. Wii sport is something I’ve considered – although it’d inevitably get discarded after about a fortnight, along with all the Ministry of Sound exercise DVDs! I’m sure it’s a great idea for some people, though…

    Oh, by the way – happy birthday, Stephen :]

  23. Momgoth says:

    My daughter loves her DS. Yes, her pink DS with the Hello Kitty stickers all but blotting out the screen. A couple of her friends at school also have them, but so far haven’t discovered that they could use them to text each other if they wanted to. But they’re 6, so I’m guessing that in another year or so they’ll have figured that out. Not looking forward to that day…

  24. Momgoth says:

    Oh, and have a very happy birthday!

  25. Bianca_Icaras says:

    I have a PSP. And i have to say, it is really disappointing how much really nice games there are for this thing. I fell in love with it’s shininess, the widescreen display, they way it felt in my hand (compared to the DS, which is really for me another Gameboy), and Patapon. Someone showed me the game, and i was hooked. Many trainrides long i have had the pleasure of annoying the passengers with my tapping, in return for their talking on the phone, not being quiet in a silence zone (i’m Dutch, we have silence zones in our trains. To let you work in quiet, or just sleep after a short night and an early trainride), and other annoyances that come with not having another mode of transportation over longer distances. And the game is really addictive.

    But now i’m coming to the end of all the pata-pata-pata-pon, and finding no real replacement. Ok, there is Poco Roco, but my motorskills are really too awful for controling a collection of balls on that screen.

    And i have to say, the enormous rack with DS was allready starting to look really temping, but now i have to give in. Although it will make me look like an 6-year old (no offence, there have to be some of those in the world, right? ;-) ) sitting in the train with an DS, when Stephen Fry says that he’d rather have a DS than a PSP, i should give in to the temptation of selling my PSP and getting a DS.

    Right after i’ve finished the coolest game, with the weirdest heros i’ve ever seen, off course. ;-)

    PS. I hope you’ve had a very nice birthday Mr. Fry, and have a fun and arm-breaking free next year!

  26. amazonia says:

    Absolutely agree about the DS/DS Lite.. I find the PSP’s strength is in its ability to play films, this is especially useful on long journeys or holidays with small children and is a much cheaper alternative to in-car DVD systems/portable DVD systems. In handy handbag size so remains mobile! Although they stopped selling PSP films in the shops (apparently they weren’t selling well), they are still selling online and are much cheaper than the shop ones would have been anyway. I’ve bought all my films for PSP online!

  27. zfiledh says:

    I for one prefer the PSP. RIVETING.

    Happy Birthday, good sir!

  28. tomh says:

    Lovely Mr Fry, you forgot one thing about the DS – it is hackable. Very hackable. Modifying the DS to play copies of games, and homebrew software is a cinch, requires no soldering, no chipping, or any unpleasantness – that is one of the reasons that they have sold so well.

    And you really should do a column about the dark underbelly of modchips, tweaks, and unofficial hacks… Jailbroken your iPhone yet? Me neither – too scared…

    I really look forward to your posts – not just the dork talks!

  29. obo says:

    Nintendo offers an official MP3 player, and formerly offered a video player, and consequently for the DS, in a Gameboy Advance cartridge that took an SD memory card. It’s not an easy find, though. The MP3 player had a European release under the clever moniker “Nintendo MP3 Player.”

    The DS also has Wi-Fi, and the Opera Web brower available on a cartridge.

    The key, perhaps, is that they’re not built in. They don’t add to the expense, while power users can add them as an option without sacrificing the device’s wonderful simplicity.

  30. kenjara says:

    Nice article, it sums up Nintendos position in the handheld market well. Look forward to reading what you have to see about the wii.I think that the main advantage of having a pink DS is no one will want to steal it. ;)

  31. Backspace says:

    I love my PSP. It plays me music while I’m on the bus, shows me movies while I’m on the train, and plays the podcasts to me on my lunch break. It’s always there at those moments when I wish I had a camera.

    It plays games, too, but its control ergonomics are awkward and cumbersome. Actually, it’s awkward and cumbersome at everything it does. It’s huge by mp3 player standards, it’s not very gracious as a camera and the screen becomes a mirror in anything but the perfect lighting. I love it anyway, because it’s there to entertain me at those times of the day when I could do with being entertained the most. And because I’m awkward and cumbersome too.

    It’s my sidekick, and I miss it when it has to stay home to charge. I disagree that one device can earn more affection than another – you have to pair the device with the person, in the same way that people’s pets reflect them.

  32. NintendoGal says:

    I just want to post that I am happy you’re pleased with the DS and it’s capabilities. However, Nintendo at no point were in danger of going the way of the console manufactures you listed in your article. Though this might be a bit too geeky, if you look through sales data released by various entities, you’ll notice that Nintendo has never lost money on any console they’ve released. Their strategy indeed is to stick to lower tech items and maximize profit. Thus why they’ve never really been in danger of going 3rd party.

    Just thought I’d chime in with my thoughts since I didn’t see anyone else make a mention of this anywhere.

  33. Marionnn says:

    Ah yes, Ace Attorney is indeed very very good.
    And I recall that just a few days ago, staying in Italy, I was sitting in a restaurant (with my DS – of course) and literally all of the children in the restaurant had DSes (what is the plural for DS anyway?) and were playing them! There was even a baby in a pushchair playing with one! And not a PSP in sight. Proof (if any was needed) that DSes are amazing :)

    And of course i got myself a flashcart so i can watch Black Books on it ;)

  34. Jonas says:

    For some very, very strange reason, this article has totally made my day.

    On the other hand, now I wish I had a DS… damn you, Fry, damn you!

    (I wonder – is it still legal to use your DS in the subway? Or do you get taken down as a terrorist, just in case?)

  35. digitaledge says:

    Well said Mr Fry.

    I have been championing Nintendo and their strategy on many sites. I grew up with Nintendo and have supported them throughout all their consoles. I’ve put up with their failures and basked in their successes. I also am fortunate enough to own all 3 current consoles as well as having 3 DS Lites in my household.

    For me, the Wii and the DS have brought families and friends together in gaming. Before it used to be a thing that you did alone, or played with strangers over the Internet. Now I can play Mario and Wii Sports with my own children. Everybody gets a chance to be involved in games now, and it can be a fun as well as educational experience.

    There is room in this world for all 3 consoles. Each one has their own flaws and failings and each one has their own unique experiences. For me, I play the Wii when I want to engage the whole family, and I play my 360 when I want to play alone. My PS3 unfortunately sits gathering dust as the most expensive ornament in my house, but I pray that more engaging games come out for that.

    I’m looking forward to reading your Wii blog, and I’m curious what games you play? What’s your brain weight on Big Brain Academy? ;)

  36. LynxLuna says:

    I’ve been a Nintendo follower practically since I was born. I was four years old when my parents bought my brother a SuperNES and a Game Boy. Since then, Nintendo and I have been into some kind of disturbing love affair.

    I was on Nintendo side when the war between SuperNES and Master System began (what the hell was with Spanish kids? There where Master Systems everywere!!) and I bought a Nintendo 64 when everybody thought that Playstation was a better choice. It may be so, but Sony (or any other platform) will never have Zelda: Ocarina of Time (or any other Zelda). Sorry for them.

    Now I have both a DS and a Wii. I love them. My DS is classic model, on metal blue. Love it. I don’t need top graphics or realism, I want… oh, heck, what is the word in english? Playfulness?? That sounds horrid, but you get the point. I like it because the posibilities are infinite. It’s a fun, wit and cheerful machine, and it makes me laugh a lot. PsP on the other hand, has that serius, hell’s angel look I will never like. Bloke stuff, I think.

    I could talk hours about Nintendo but I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’ll wait until next wiik to talk about the wii. Something else, I would say.

    Anyway, thanks for your words, Mr. Fry!!

  37. ficklefiend says:

    Love the DS big time. I was playing the new Guitar Hero on the train the other day and people on the way past couldn’t help but lean in for a better look!

    The truly brilliant thing Nintendo has managed to do is make me proud of this. I’ll give them so much free endorsement when someone says “Oh, that’s one of those Nintendo thingies, what’s it like then?”.

    (Also have an M3simply and moonshell. I love the fact you can play with homebrew, and why not?)

  38. jean says:

    One of the three things I use my DS for: DSLibris
    http://rhaleblian.wordpress.com/dslibris-an-ebook-reader-for-the-nintendo-ds/

    It’s the best little ebook reader ever. Just flip it open anywhere and read on where you left off. It rests in your hand like a little duodecimo. Yes, you hold it just like a book.

    It reads XHTML, so it’s easy to prepare books for reading. So far, I’ve read books by Benjamin Franklin, Virginia Woolf, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ambrose Bierce, Edgar Rice Burroughs .. hmm that’s all I remember now.

  39. I called my ice blue DS Lite Nancy. I have no idea why. I’ve never given a name to an appliance before, but this one is too cute to remain nameless. “Playing with Nancy” sounds like a horrid double entendre but anyone who’s played a DS will know that’s perfectly innocent. Unless you import that Japanese “witch touching” game Doki Doki Shinpan or whatever.

    I have around eight games for my DS Lite, and I play a wide variety of them when I’m in different moods. Half of the games are J-RPGs, but I have New Super Mario Bros. and Zelda Phantom Hourglass too. The GBA backwards compatibility is a boon because of the light up screen as well. I’d never sell my DS Lite, even if I don’t get to play it as much as I used to because of study commitments.

  40. CallieO says:

    I have both black and pink versions by proxy obviously, but the game consoles are portable and substantial.

    Has no one found Spore yet?

    That has kept us all in stitches – its about an evolutionary process….oh hell go Google it I am off to mutate……..

  41. hydrokinetic says:

    I used to love games when I was a kid in the 80’s (Amiga, C64) but grew out of it when I was 17ish. After that I dipped my toe into the gaming world now and again, owning a PS1, then some years later a Ps2.
    This summer, with the release of GTA4 I ended up buying a 360, and as much as I love it and its capabilities, I find it hard to justify spending time on it over other things (friends, girlfiend, work etc) and sometimes feel anti-social.
    It wasn’t until someone bought my mum a Nintendo DS that I realised I didn’t have a clue about handhelds. I had just assumed they were all crap without even seeing them, but the DS had a certain charm about it. Part of that appeal is its total ‘pick up and play’ accessability, and virtually no load times. It’s the perfect answer for someone like me with time constraints.
    It’d be interesting to know peoples different playing habits, wheather they play handhelds over cosoles or vice versa? Can you play a DS in the sun whilst getting a tan or is the screen too reflective?

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