From the moment you look at the DS MP3 player's packet, you get the feeling that it isn't a Nintendo product. Nintendo products feel solid, white, clean. This feels like sub-standard Asian electronics at their worst.
It starts off badly – the 'batteries not included' moment here is a total lack of an SD card or built-in memory – and gets worse, too. When you crank it up, the player only uses one screen, and that screen says Game Boy. So, immediately you get the impression that this is a rebadged GBA cartridge.
Doesn't feel Nintendo
That's a recurring theme – the music navigation screen, when it comes up, is as grainy and horrible as you'd expect from the GBA. Music is organised like a PC filing system, and the fact you can make a little Picto Man or Mario dance or jump on top of your songs seems scant consolation.
Even with the mustachioed plumber in evidence, this just doesn't feel Nintendo at all. The cart juts out miles from the DS – use it on a Game Boy Micro, and it's about half the size of the console again.
On the plus side, sound quality isn't bad either through built-in speakers or the headphones – you have to shove your 'phones into the cart, not into your console. But that's a pretty limited plus side. Given that you can get MP3 players for a tenner in Woolworths, forking out for something that requires a card, an SD card reader, and looks and feels like it could have come out in 1999, isn't really a great idea.