Difference Between NDS and NDS Lite

Nintendo DS (NDS) and Nintendo DS Lite (NDS Lite) were two ground breakers in the industry of handhelds. They took the world by storm with several hardware revisions and more than 150 million in sales.


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However, because of the number of different versions that were released, it can often be difficult to tell each one of them apart.

NDS vs NDS Lite

The difference between NDS and NDS Lite is that NDS was the original version that was released in the series of DS consoles with up to 10 hours of battery life whereas NDS Lite was a sleeker design released much later. It had around 19 hours of battery life. NDS did not have as many features as the latter.

NDS vs NDS Lite

NDS is a gaming console launched by the company Nintendo in 2004. The ‘DS’ in its name stands for Developers’ System’. However, people also infer it to be ‘Dual Screen’.

As the acronym suggests, the handheld came with two LCD screens, an incorporated microphone as well as wireless connection capabilities.

Meanwhile, NDS Lite was a slimmer and lighter console launched in 2006. Like NDS, it had two LCD screens, but they were much brighter than the former and could even be adjusted as per the user’s preference.

An upgraded feature in its design was that it used an AC power Adapter with a larger port for connection.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonNDSNDS Lite
LaunchNDS was launched in 2004.NDS Lite was launched in 2006.
DesignIt has a bulky and heavy-weight design.It has a sleeker and lightweight design as compared to NDS.
Battery LifeIt has up to 10 hours of battery life.It has up to 19 hours of battery life.
BrightnessThe screen has relatively less brightness which is not adjustable.The screen has more brightness which is adjustable.
PriceNDS is more expensive than the latter.NDS Lite is cheaper than NDS.

What is NDS?

The console Nintendo DS (NDS) entered its development phase in 2002. Then, it was just an idea by Hiroshi Yamauchi, the former president of the company.

He envisioned a dual-screen console but was certain that it would not supervene Game Boy Advance or GameCube. The console was announced in 2003 and launched in 2004.

On its release, the company only shared a few details about the handheld. They claimed that it would provide a new gaming experience to users with a completely new concept.

NDS came with two 3-inch LCD screens, set apart panels and 1 GB memory. Specifications such as these helped players have a more intuitive involvement in games.

At the time of launch, different countries had different games made available to them. Japan and America had Resident Doctor Tendo, Daigasso! Band-Brothers, Pokémon Dash, Polarium, Rayman DS, etc.

Europe had Asphalt Urban GT, Feel The Magic: XY/NDS, Tiger Woods PGA tour, Spider-Man 2, Super Mario 64 DS and much more. The list was far more diversified than other regions.

Regardless, the company promoted the device with the slogan ‘Touch’. This was for the touch screen that enhanced gaming in many ways.

One of the biggest competitors of the console at that time was Sony’s PlayStation Portable.

What is NDS Lite?

The NDS console did exceedingly well in terms of sales. To continue the legacy, Nintendo launched NDS Lite in 2006. This was a slimmer and lighter console that had many additional features.

The most notable one was adjustable levels of brightness, which the former lacked. It even had a longer battery life of up to 19 hours.  

The newer version of the handheld had a wider screen that measured 3.8 inches. It had a DS slot on its crown and a Game Boy slot at the base. The port for connection was much wider as compared to NDS.

The Lite version even had wireless connection capabilities. It could receive Wi-Fi signals from other Nintendo systems. Moreover, it was available in a plethora of colours and limited editions.

Yet, the console could not supersede NDS in sales. NDS sold 154.02 million units across the world whereas NDS Lite only sold 93.86 million units.

Regardless, people found its design to be much better looking and even easier to handle. One of the best-selling games for the console was the New Super Mario Bros.

 There were many larger models in line after the release of NDS Lite. However, since the sales of the console were pretty strong, the company decided to hold their release.

Newer versions including the Nintendo DSi and DSi XL were launched much later.

Main Differences Between NDS and NDS Lite

  1. NDS was launched in 2004 whereas NDS Lite was launched in 2006.
  2. NDS has a relatively bulkier design and is heavy-weight whereas NDS Lite has a sleeker and light-weight design.
  3. NDS has a 10-hour battery life whereas NDS Lite has a 19-hour battery life.
  4. The screen of NDS does not have adjustable brightness whereas that of NDS Lite has this feature.
  5. NDS is relatively expensive whereas NDS Lite is affordable and much cheaper.


  1. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/4809471/
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9781137396594_2
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