The DS Lite has finally launched in North America, and some retailers opened their doors at midnight Saturday night--the very earliest that stores could legally sell the handheld. The DS Lite is a new spin on the original DS, which was released in late 2004. Smaller, lighter, and including a brighter screen, the Lite is available in the Polar White model for $129.99.
That is, if you can find one. The launch of the DS Lite is yet another example of new gaming systems selling out on day one in metropolitan areas. The major online retailers, including GameStop.com, EBgames.com, BestBuy.com, and Amazon.com (by way of GameStop.com), are currently all sold out (as of press time), as are several brick-and-mortar stores.
Availability of the unit doesn't seem to be as bad in the US as it was in Japan. Gamers determined to pick up a DS Lite today can probably do so, providing they don't mind driving an hour or two. Scouring various Web sites for in-store availability shows that the Lite is in stock in several retailers such as Best Buy and Circuit City. The two retailers are also offering a smart deal--using printable coupons from the BestBuy.com and CircuitCIty.com Web sites, customers choosing in-store pickups can get a free copy of Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day.
The big midnight madness sale was held late Saturday night at the Nintendo Store in New York City. According to Nintendo, fans began lining up as early as noon, and the first 100 in line were rewarded with a free DS Lite carrying case and a copy of Brain Age.