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Now got my DS. Oh God, it’s lovely!

Silver, shiny and new. It’s not really heavy, which is nice for the extended sessions and the screen quality is excellent with each one being slightly larger than an SP screen. And stereo sound in a handheld is fantastic; note: “about time too”. The game cartridges are insanely small as well – about 150% of the size of a postage stamp. They should put a “Caution! Small children can choke on cartridges!” blurb on these…

The manuals too have a rather nice touch to them too, as they open vertically, much in the fasion of the DS.

Have had a quick go on all the games and, although hard to control at first, Mario 64 (well Yoshi so far at least) via touch screen begins to feel like second nature. The demo of WarioWare is a great laugh – dragging back an arrow on the bottom screen to fire at a target on the top screen sounds a bit dumb in writing, but in the frenetic pace of the game that’s one example of some great gameplay. Metroid on the other hand is a little disappointing. Can’t you jump in the game?!? That’ll make Metroids platforming roots pretty much redundant, eh? But it sure does look nice.

The most fun I’ve had with it so far though has to be messing around in PictoChat (albeit drawing pictures and writing messages to myself…). It’ll even announce to everyone that it is your birthday upon entering a chat room (which support 16 people by the way) if your birthday date maches that of the current day. Such a top feature PictoChat is, so hopefully I’ll find someone else with a DS in the near future to experiment with it and the multiplayer features..

Also, the obvious prediction of having a ridiculously sized t-shirt has materialised. XL – you could fit a Mini Cooper into it! Though, in the t-shirts defence it does bear the strapline “Touch Me!” on the front. The ‘thank you’ poster which came with it though did indicate that Nintendo are going to send an e-mail to everyone who got a VIP pack to give the chance to “share your experiences of Nintendo DS with fellow fans”, whatever that means.

Overall, what a system – completely and overwhelmingly pleased with the DS. Fun to be had for many years to come. Kudos to Nintendo for letting me have a month early too!