Nintendo DS – Handheld Console

Score

Sections

Key Features

  • Review Price: £95.00


Let’s get this straight out of the way. In a conventional battle of the year’s big two handheld consoles, the Nintendo DS would be mincemeat for the Sony PSP. It doesn’t look as good. It doesn’t feel as good. In terms of graphics and audio performance it’s at least half a generation behind. It won’t – for the moment at least – play movies or MP3 tracks. In direct comparison, it proves that two screens aren’t necessarily better than one. If you just want a simple answer to the question “which one is best?” you can consider it answered. Go ahead and order the PSP.


Go on. It’s the right decision. It’s just that you’re kind of missing the point. You see, the DS isn’t about having the best graphics or the fastest processor, it’s just about having fun. Even the hardcore Mario fanatics can’t pretend that the DS is perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but Nintendo hasn’t lost the magic, it’s just taken a weird new direction.


Admittedly, Nintendo hasn’t made the DS the easiest machine to love. After the slick, streamlined, pocket-sized GBA SP, the DS is a return to the cludgy old days of the first-generation GBA. It feels at least 10 per cent bigger than it ought to, and while the plastic construction feels solid enough, it’s still a little cheap and toy-like. The direction pad, four face buttons and two shoulder buttons are all within easy enough reach, but that doesn’t stop you wishing for something more slimline.


And while the two 3in, 256 x 192 resolution screens are a step-up from the GBA SP (not to mention a vast improvement on the original GBA) the PSP and most PDAs have better quality displays. On the positive side, onboard audio is better than you might expect from the twin stereo speakers, and very clear through the headphone socket at the base of the unit. Nintendo might be stretching things with talk of surround sound, but the audio capabilities are easily up there with the old Nintendo 64.


In fact, that’s a bit of a theme with the DS as a whole. If the GBA was basically the Super NES in mobile form, then this is a portable N64 with a twist. A few hours spent with Super Mario 64 DS will tell you that the ARM9 and ARM7 CPUs are perfectly capable of doing anything you would have seen from the N64’s custom hardware, and there are times when the bundled demo version of Metroid Prime: Hunters has you suspecting that it might have the potential to surpass it.

More from TrustedReviews

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’

N64oid

Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors

pokken

Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer

Int-Ball

These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3

airplane

Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones

Emojis

It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites

WhatsApp

New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money

Essential Phone

Andy Rubin’s Essential phone coming to UK, likely as a network exclusive