Nintendo DS Lite (DISCONTINUED—Used units typically sell for $50+ USD) -- The Nintendo DS Lite first hit the market in 2006, and with over 90 million units sold worldwide, it remains one of the most successful gaming handhelds of all time. It’s a pretty basic machine: it can play Nintendo DS games, and it has some limited online functionality that lets you play certain games online. It’s worth noting, however, that the DS Lite also features backwards compatibility with the Game Boy Advance, which other iterations of the Nintendo DS (aside from the original style DS, released in 2004) does not.
Most major retailers no longer carry the Nintendo DS Lite, though you may find one if you look around. Used Nintendo DS Lites are abundant. Expect to pay anywhere in the neighborhood of $50 through $100 USD, and significantly more for special edition DS Lites.
- What is the Nintendo DS Lite?
- List of Limited Edition DS Lites
- Should You Buy the DS Lite or the DSi?
Nintendo DSi ($99.99 USD) -- The Nintendo DSi can be regarded as a sleeker, more modern take on the Nintendo DS Lite—but it still plays the Nintendo DS library, and is not a separate system. The Nintendo DSi boasts more online functions than the DS Lite, however: users can surf the Internet, access the Nintendo DSi Shop, and download DSiWare. DSi owners can also take photos with the system’s camera, edit them, and upload the results to Facebook. Particularly creative individuals can also record sounds with the DSi’s microphone and edit them with built-in software, or import AAC-format music.
Unlike the Nintendo DS Lite, the DSi can’t play Game Boy Advance games. Keep that in mind while shopping!
- How to Set Up Wi-Fi on the DSi
- What Does the DSi Transfer Tool Do?
- How to Download Games From the DSi Shop
Nintendo DSi XL ($129.99 USD) -- The Nintendo DSi XL boasts all of the DSi’s features, but with one important difference: its screens are bigger than the DS Lite’s or DSi’s. 93% bigger than the DSi’s, to be exact. This makes the DSi XL a fantastic option for anyone whose eyesight is a little on the dim side. The DSi XL is also great for families, since the system’s wide viewing angle makes it easy for anyone to look in on a gaming session.
Like the DSi, the DSi XL cannot play Game Boy Advance games.
Nintendo 3DS ($169.99 USD) -- Though there’s sometimes some confusion over the classification of the Nintendo 3DS, it’s its own system, and a full-blown successor to the Nintendo DS. It has its own game library, and Nintendo 3DS games can’t be played on the Nintendo DS (though Nintendo DS games are in fact backwards compatible with the Nintendo 3DS). For the sake of comparison, though, the 3DS’s price is listed here along with its cousins’ price tags.
Aside from having its own game library, the Nintendo 3DS can also display 3D images without the aid of glasses. It can go online, play mp3 and AAC music files, edit sound files, download original games and retro games from the eShop, and much more.