Nintendo DS Lite gets new LCD screens. Not for the better unfortunately.

So after having seen 3 of the new red/black DS Lite systems (aka Brain Age 2 bundle) it has come to my attention that Nintendo has almost definitely changed the LCD screens in either some or all DS Lite systems. Apparently, I'm the only one noticing this (which is pretty odd..) and it's even possible that these new LCD screens have been making their way into DS Lite systems for many months now. If they are making their way in now then it should only be a matter of time before they all have this new screen.

Oh, did I mention the new screens aren't as good as the old ones? Whoops.

So whats going on at the Big N? Cutting cost to maximize profit for the holiday season? Are the 3 I've seen simply from a bunk batch of DS Lites? Hard questions to answer. Previously I was posting my findings in the Brain Age 2 topic where it obviously wasn't getting the attention it needed to answer these questions.

So here I go again presenting the flaws of the new screens:

Viewing Angle

This is what I noticed right away. These new screens have a very diminished viewing angle. I suppose this is the easiest way to find out if you've got new screens or old..



Note the following:
1) It is most important to note that while the red/black DS Lite screens appear much darker they are not. This is merely an effect of the colors inverting themselves much more quickly than my older black DS Lite. At a normal viewing angle the screen appears equally as bright.
2) The red at the top screen is quickly muted and most all colors have inverted themselves much more quickly like the calendar/clock in particular. (at extreme angles the older DS Lite will appear to have these same colors)



Ghosting

Here is a hard test to repeat with outstanding results since so many GBA/DS games have those bright cheery colors everywhere. However, I just happened upon to the perfect candidate that immediately presents the problem. That being Max Payne on the GBA, plenty of black and other dark shades here. As everyone should know these are the colors that bad LCDs begin to barf on.

Unfortunately, my camera is pretty naff and I couldn't get it to focus in on the screen properly. Despite this, the difference can still be seen. Though some of the more atrocious effects are virtually invisible due to the blur (or frame rate too perhaps) like the brown-ish border on the leftmost wall that really loves to ghost into a pretty bad after image.

Ghosting test for a launch day Red/Black DS Lite

Ghosting test for a launch day Black DS Lite

Simply pay attention to the black area on top of the pillar just to the right of the character. You'll see the black DS Lite has a very minor amount (I don't think any ever said the DS Lite had zero ghosting..) trailing behind it as it moves quickly, but on the red/black DS Lite this black trail is quite large in comparison.





So, in conclusion, these new screens (to me) are obviously not as good as the old ones. How much worse they are to everyone else will depend. For me, it was enough to return my system as I've already got a black DS Lite with very nice screens that works great. It is unfortunate that these are side effects of the LCD technology that still linger, and it is even more unfortunate that you don't need DS Lite systems side by side to tell the difference.

Doesn't that just beg the question: Did Nintendo to knowingly make the switch to screens that aren't at least equally as good as the older ones? In a handheld where you have no choice but to use the built in screens? Ugh.

But thats beside the point. The point here is to figure out how widespread this is. Does this affect only the red/black DS Lites? If so, how many does it affect? Have systems manufactured within the last few months also been given these screens? Is it only affecting systems being produced at a certain location? Am I just crazy?

Well, that's the call. So if you have purchased a DS Lite recently (better yet, the new red/black one) compare it with an older DS Lite (or from memory I suppose) and report your findings. We live in an age where hardware revisions mean something more than just cosmetic looks, aaaand it blows.
 
Oct 16, 2005
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I also noticed in the DS Lite I bought for my brother in law a few weeks ago that the touch screen had a sort of yellow-ish tint. Don't know how that happened.
 

shuri

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Jun 8, 2004
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very interesting post my friend, this is what the gaming forum should be about. Props. I'll warn my friends about this.
 

jooey

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Jun 10, 2004
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shuri said:
very interesting post my friend, this is what the gaming forum should be about. Props. I'll warn my friends about this.
:lol
 

Jetku

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Dec 1, 2005
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My Red/Black DS has a yellowish tint on the touch screen, but my Navy one does not. I called Nintendo, and they said it was normal...still annoying..
 

d0x360

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Sep 1, 2006
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This isnt good news, Guess I wont be buying my Son one for xmas, he can just share mine if needed
 

WickedLaharl

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i bought a ds in june and the fucker had that tinted yellow touchscreen. i exchanged it 3 times at different walmarts and got the same thing. yay nintendo quality.

Edit: here is an email i got from nintendo when i contacted them about a repair.


Hi,

No problem. All of the repair orders will remain active for 90 days. After 90 days with no activity, the repair order will be deleted from our files.

By the way, a slight color difference when comparing the upper and lower screens is normal. This is due to refraction of light through the touch sensitive layer on the lower screen.

Nintendo of America Inc.
**** ********
 

Evlar

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Dec 22, 2006
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They source their screens from a number of manufacturers. I doubt this marks a change to the entire lineup; it's one particular manufacturer pushing out these inferior screens out of several they use, meaning it's probable this problem only affects a limited number of DS's rolling out the assembly plants.

The other possibility is Nintendo is buying cheaper components which may presage a pricedrop. God help us all.
 

Stumpokapow

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May 21, 2006
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Like I mentioned in the Brain Age 2 thread, I have a launch white DS Lite and a black-red Brain Age 2 DS Lite. I do not experience a yellow tint on the black-red DS lite. I do not experience ghosting on the black-red DS Lite. I do experience a reduced viewing angle, but it's not anywhere near as bad as the picture posted by the OP.

I have reasonably sharp eyes and I'm generally sensitive to ghosting. I run my PC monitor (a CRT) at 85hz because anything lower hurts my eyes. I work in magazine publishing and as such am at least a little bit accustomed to working on calibrated screens that were purchased for their ability to display color as close as possible to print.

This is just my experience and I'm in no way denying anything anyone else has experienced.
 

Takeda Kenshi

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Feb 27, 2007
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Would be great if we could get some more people to post about their Red/Black DS Lites... Hopefully this is somewhat isolated.

Really wanted one, but if this is the case you just saved me 150 bucks.
 

dynamitejim

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Wow, I already considered the vertical viewing angles of the current DSL screens to be pretty poor. Can't believe they made them worse. Can you compare them for a game played "book" style?
 

Vic

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Mar 2, 2006
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The ghosting is really bad like PSP bad? The viewing angle suck :(
 

Vic

Please help me with my bad english
Mar 2, 2006
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painey said:
oh excellent.. you brought the PSP into a DS thread. Good job.
both use lcd screens and their response time is important. why I can't compare them? the screens of the PSP-1001 model have terrible ghosting issue and if the new ds screens will have the same problem, I'll need to rebuy a ds very soon. and when I was talking about the viewing angle, I was talking about the new ds screen, not the 1001 psp but hey i don't care about that since the screens are directly aiming at me.
 

Femmeworth

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Aug 4, 2006
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_leech_ said:
They had to cut costs somehow, it's not like the DS turns a profit or anything.
:lol Nintendo needs to get their act together. Crap like this shouldn't happen. I'm already pissed at them for the dpad fiasco.
 

mj1108

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Jun 8, 2004
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The Sphinx said:
The other possibility is Nintendo is buying cheaper components which may presage a pricedrop. God help us all.
Yeah, they need to drop the price so people will finally start to buy them.
 

ucdawg12

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Feb 21, 2005
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damn, I still dont have a DS Lite, but I was going to get one soon. I don't want a gimped version :(
 

Lindsay

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Jul 21, 2004
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I heard people complaining about this months ago like back in April so it's not new to me. It really sucks but I'm still happy with my "classic" DS for the most part and now its certain I'll never upgrade.
 

parathod

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Jan 19, 2006
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Lindsay said:
I heard people complaining about this months ago like back in April so it's not new to me. It really sucks but I'm still happy with my "classic" DS for the most part and now its certain I'll never upgrade.
Same here. I almost did the trade in deal that Gamestop is running. No chance of that now.
 

MGrant

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May 6, 2006
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So...

Does this mean I should upgrade to a Lite now, to avoid getting shitty screens in the future?
 

JKBii

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I was going to sell my DS and buy a new custom one from Nintendo World, but I'm going to wait until Nintendo addresses this.
 

drohne

hyperbolically metafictive
Jun 6, 2004
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hahahaha classic nintendo

'we have a phenomenally successful product -- people want more of them than we can possibly make, so there's obviously no need to cut into our tidy profit margin. what do we do here? USE SHODDY NEW PARTS! SLASH! BURN! CUT!'

how long til wii loses its component video output i wonder
 

blame space

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drohne said:
hahahaha classic nintendo

'we have a phenomenally successful product -- people want more of them than we can possibly make, so there's obviously no need to cut into our tidy profit margin. what do we do here? USE SHODDY NEW PARTS! SLASH! BURN! CUT!'

how long til wii loses its component video output i wonder
I see your point, but the Wii just has one video output, so they couldn't pull a Gamecube even if they wanted to. Man, what a horrible decision that was...
 

Crisis

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Feb 12, 2006
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blame space said:
I see your point, but the Wii just has one video output, so they couldn't pull a Gamecube even if they wanted to. Man, what a horrible decision that was...
You doubt Nintendo's ability to do that? Dude, they might just cut the component cable altogether. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
 

drohne

hyperbolically metafictive
Jun 6, 2004
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they could simply drop compatibility with component video cables while maintaining the current port -- iirc the revised snes couldn't output s-video. not that i seriously think they'll do so...or then again...
 

Starchasing

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drohne said:
hahahaha classic nintendo

'we have a phenomenally successful product -- people want more of them than we can possibly make, so there's obviously no need to cut into our tidy profit margin. what do we do here? USE SHODDY NEW PARTS! SLASH! BURN! CUT!'

how long til wii loses its component video output i wonder
classic drohne !!!
 

cvxfreak

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drohne said:
they could simply drop compatibility with component video cables while maintaining the current port -- iirc the revised snes couldn't output s-video. not that i seriously think they'll do so...or then again...
They would have to modify the firmware and maintain two slightly different versions (for each region) since you have to modify the settings to correctly use the cables. Makes little sense to do that.

Crisis said:
See above.
No you!
 

1-D_FTW

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Jun 14, 2006
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blame space said:
I see your point, but the Wii just has one video output, so they couldn't pull a Gamecube even if they wanted to. Man, what a horrible decision that was...
They did it with the redesigned SNES. That used the one standard port. The original SNES allowed you to use s-video cables that Nintendo sold. The redesigned version that was sold at the end of it's life didn't support s-video. I was getting a black screen when I tried s-video cables, so I e-mailed them. And they sent back a reply that included market research of how few people used s-video, so yes, my SNES was not defective. It had the s-video capability removed from the hardware to reduce costs.

I'm sure the Wii is in no danger, but never underestimate Nintendo's ability to find ways to squeeze blood from the stone.

EDIT: Thought I read the whole thread, oh well.
 

Christine

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Apr 2, 2007
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I know this isn't actually being seriously discussed, but it would be quite simple for Nintendo to remove the component output from (i.e., gimp) the Wii without any drastic modification. All they need to do is remove one of the signal pins on the output port and it becomes impossible to switch the video output into component mode.

No firmware changes necessary, it's just impossible to go into 480p mode because you can't activate component output.

But this would not reduce costs. Ever.
 

drohne

hyperbolically metafictive
Jun 6, 2004
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They would have to modify the firmware and maintain two slightly different versions (for each region) since you have to modify the settings to correctly use the cables. Makes little sense to do that.
uh...or they could write a unified firmware that knows which hardware revision it's running on and offers the appropriate options. you know, like every other console with upgradeable firmware. i guess that might require more coding hours than nintendo wants to pay for

of course the more likely explanation occurred to me when i was typing that first reply -- nintendo have probably sourced screens from new manufacturers so they can build more of these things. there may not be any cost savings at all. but where's the fun in that
 

ucdawg12

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Feb 21, 2005
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Is there any way to get this thread back on track and help those of us who would like a DS Lite but want to avoid getting one with this new lcd screen?