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Joystiq presents

Ten reasons to upgrade to a Lite

Are you still waffling over whether or not you should hug your big ol' original DS goodbye and pick up a DS Lite? We know some of you are still clinging to the old ways, but never fear -- we're here to help! This week, we're going to look at ten reasons to make the switch ... and ten reasons to stick with what you've got. Oh, we never said we'd make the decision easy.

Of course, the minute we convince you, Nintendo's apt to completely redesign the hardware all over again! But don't worry -- you'll be armed with a list of reasons to wait on anything new ... at least, until we decide to start convincing you to upgrade again. It's the circle of Nintenfandom; you know you're used to it by now.

Ten reasons to upgrade to a Lite (in no particular order):

1. Weight
The DS Lite is more than 20% lighter (liter?) than the original model, which means you can hold it that much longer during intense play sessions without your hands and wrists screaming for mercy. If that's not an improvement, we don't know what is! Maybe if it also cooked you up some popcorn during play ... that would be pretty awesome.

2. Size
For some gamers, this might not actually be a benefit, but for those of us who don't have giant man hands of epic proportions, the DS Lite rests a little more comfortably in our mitts. Further, the DS Lite slips more easily into a pocket, which is always a plus if you find yourself sans case. And speaking of cases ....

3. Case selection
There are tons of excellent cases, from cheap to super snazzy, that only work for the Lite. Trying to squeeze the Phat model in there can get ugly fast; it's like Cinderella's stepsisters hacking off toes in their attempt to fit into the glass slipper, only with the blood and knives replaced with tears, voided warranties, and possible electrocution.

4. Other accessories
It's not just cases, though -- there's a bevy of neat accessories out there that are sized for the DS Lite only. Who can say no to a bendy stand? That would certainly be useful for those power sessions of Puzzle Quest or Clubhouse Games that make the ol' back and neck squeal from hours of hovering directly over the screen. Or you can always stick it somewhere -- to somewhere metal, that is. Who says you need Cooking Navi to display your DS on the fridge? Think outside the recipe box!

5. The look
Okay, we admit it -- the Lite is just plain hot. It looks good, it feels good, and it's 15% slicker than the original model (note: we completely made up that statistic). We don't think the new design is enough of a reason on its own for anyone to shell out the bucks -- unless you just think it's irresistible -- but luckily, it's not the only reason to finally make the jump.

6. Availability
Here's something practical to combat the rather frivolous preceding reason -- the accessories, cases, and other items we mentioned about tend to be more readily available in their Liter forms. It's not all about the extras, though; even the recent browser, which is available in two versions, is a lot easier to find for the Lite.

7. Improved battery life
This is definitely an advantage if, like us, you tend to settle down for long sessions of play. It's even more imperative if other people around you tend to hijack your DS (we keep thinking about setting up some sort of alarm system) and never think to charge it for you. For the same amount of quality time with the charger, you can get several hours more play out of your Lite. Since we don't like to be tied down to the charger very often, that is a major benefit.

8. Brighter screens
This is both an advantage and a caution. The brighter, adjustable screens on the Lite offer a nice range of customization, but if you tend to prefer the brightest settings, this one may cancel out the preceding reason. We recommend a less eye-searing setting in order to take advantage of that battery ... but isn't it nice to know that you have options?

9. Doubling your DS load
If you upgrade and keep your original DS (which we think tends to be better than turning it in for a measly amount of store credit), then you now have double the DS power you had before. This means you can strongarm people who don't have their own DS into playing with you, thanks to all the games that allow multiplayer from a single cart. Once you get them started, of course, nearly anyone will be hooked on at least a few games -- and you've just finagled yourself a new playing partner, all because you happened to have that extra DS lying around. You don't have to thank us.

10. Finally, a safer modding option
You know what else you can do with that extraneous Phat? Mod it without worrying that you will be left bereft of a working handheld. After all, there's always an inherent risk in modding that you will fry something or lose a tiny-yet-integral piece. But if you already have a second DS, in its Liter form, waiting for you -- then why not live the dream and create a showpiece?

Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg, as we could go on and on about the benefits of the DS Lite. After all, we're fans. It's what we do. But it's time for those of us on the Lite side to step out of the spotlight and make way for tomorrow's counter-argument in favor of sticking with the Phat.

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