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Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS Logo.svg
An original DS
Manufacturer Nintendo
Product family Nintendo DS
Type Handheld game console
Generation Seventh generation era
Retail availability NA November 21, 2004
JP December 2, 2004
TW December 13, 2004
KOR December 29, 2004
AUS February 24, 2005
EU March 11, 2005
CH July 23, 2005
Units sold Worldwide: 125.13 million, including DS Lite and DSi units (as of December 31, 2009)[1] (details)
Media Game Boy Advance cartridge
Nintendo DS Game Card
CPU One 67.028 MHz ARM946E-S[2] and one 33.514 MHz ARM7TDMI
Storage capacity Cartridge save, 4 MB tRAM
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Online services Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Best-selling game Nintendogs, 22.27 million, all versions combined (as of March 31, 2009)[3]
New Super Mario Bros., 19.94 million (as of September 30, 2009)[4]
Game Boy Advance (Original and Lite iterations only)
Successor Nintendo DS Lite (redesign)

The Nintendo DS (ニンテンドーDS?, sometimes abbreviated to DS or NDS) is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was released in 2004 in Canada, the United States, and Japan. The console features a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP, with two LCD screens inside—with the bottom one being a touchscreen. The Nintendo DS also features a built-in microphone and supports wireless IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standards,[5] allowing players to interact with each other within short range (10–30 m, depending on conditions) or online with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, which launched later in the console's lifespan. This was the first Nintendo console to be released in North America before Japan.

The system's code name was Nitro,[6] and this can be seen in the model number that appear on the unit (NTR-001).[7] The console's name officially refers to "Developers' System", in reference to developers of new game designs the system was meant to inspire, and "Dual Screen", the system's most obvious and distinct feature.[8]

On March 2, 2006, Nintendo released the Nintendo DS Lite, a redesign of the Nintendo DS, in Japan. It was later released in North America, Europe, and Australia in June 2006. The DS Lite is a slimmer and lighter version of the Nintendo DS and has brighter screens. Nintendo of America refers to the older model as the "original style" Nintendo DS.[7] It is often affectionately referred to by fans as the "DS Phat."[9] On October 2, 2008, Nintendo announced the Nintendo DSi, another redesign of the Nintendo DS, at the Nintendo Fall Media Summit.[10] It was released in Japan on November 1, 2008. It was later released in North America, Europe and Australia in April 2009. The DSi's codename has been changed to "TWL" due to it being a substantial hardware upgrade including a faster CPU and more RAM, and requiring new development kits.


Development and launch

On November 13, 2003, Nintendo announced that it would be creating a new console for release in 2004.[11] Nintendo stated that it would not be the successor to either the Nintendo GameCube or the Game Boy Advance,[11] but rather it would be considered a "third pillar" alongside the other two consoles.[12] On January 20, 2004, the console was announced under the codename "Nintendo DS"[13] (which stands for Dual Screen). Nintendo released a few details at that time, only saying that the console would have two separate 3-inch TFT LCD display panels, separate processors, and up to 1 gigabit of semiconductor memory.[13][14] Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said, "We have developed Nintendo DS based upon a completely different concept from existing game devices in order to provide players with a unique entertainment experience for the 21st century."[13] In March, the codename was changed to "Nitro" and a document containing most of the console's technical specifications was leaked.[15] In May, the codename was changed back to "Nintendo DS" and the console was shown in prototype form at E3. All of the features of the console were released by Nintendo at E3.[16] On July 28, 2004, Nintendo revealed a new design, one that was described as "sleeker and more elegant" than the one shown at E3. Also, the codename "Nintendo DS" became the official name of the console that day.[17]

The Donkey Kong version of the Game & Watch

The Nintendo DS bears a striking resemblance to the company's first handheld, the Game & Watch, specifically the multi-screen versions such as Donkey Kong.

On September 20, 2004, Nintendo announced that the Nintendo DS would be released in North America on November 21, 2004 for US$149.99.[18] It was set to release on December 2, 2004 in Japan (¥15000);[19] on February 24, 2005 in Australia ($199.95);[20] and on March 11, 2005 in Europe (£99.99/€149.99).[21] The console was released in North America with a midnight launch event at Universal CityWalk EB Games in Los Angeles, California. The console was launched quietly in Japan compared to the North America launch; one source cites the cold weather as the reason.[22] Regarding the European launch, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said:

Europe is an extremely important market for Nintendo, and we are pleased we can offer such a short period of time between the US and European launch. We believe that the Nintendo DS will change the way people play video games and our mission remains to expand the game play experience. Nintendo DS caters for the needs of all gamers whether for more dedicated gamers who want the real challenge they expect, or the more casual gamers who want quick, pick up and play fun.[23]


Input and output

The original DS stylus

The lower display of the Nintendo DS is overlaid with a touchscreen, designed to accept input from the included stylus, the user's fingers, or a curved plastic tab attached to the optional wrist strap. The touchscreen allows users to interact with in-game elements more directly than by pressing buttons; for example, in the included chatting software, PictoChat, the stylus is used to write messages or draw.

Traditional controls are located on either side of the touchscreen. To the left is a D-pad, with a narrow Power button above it, and to the right are the A, B, X, and Y buttons, with narrow Select and Start buttons above them. Shoulder buttons L and R are located on the upper corners of the lower half of the system. The overall button layout is similar to the controller of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super Famicom in Japan). When playing a GBA game on the DS, buttons X and Y are never used (because the GBA itself only had buttons A and B).

The Nintendo DS features stereo speakers providing virtual surround sound (depending on the software) located on either side of the upper display screen. This is a first for a Nintendo handheld, as the Game Boy line of systems has only supported stereo sound through the use of headphones or external speakers.

A built-in microphone is located below the left side of the bottom screen. It has been used for a variety of purposes, including speech recognition (Nintendogs, Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day!), chatting online between and during gameplay sessions (Pokémon Pearl, Diamond, and Platinum), and minigames that require the player to blow or shout into the microphone (including WarioWare: Touched!, for example).

Technical specifications

  • Mass: 300 grams (9.7 oz.)
  • Physical dimensions: 148.7 mm x 84.7 mm x 28.9 mm (5.85 in. x 3.33 in. x 1.13 in.)
  • Screens: Two 3-inch TFT LCDs, 18-bit depth (262,144 colors), resolution of 256 x 192 pixels, dimensions of 62 mm x 46 mm and 77 mm diagonal, and a dot pitch of 0.24 mm. The gap between the screens is approximately 21 mm, equivalent to about 92 "hidden" lines. The lowermost display of the Nintendo DS is overlaid with a resistive touchscreen, which registers pressure from one point on the screen at a time, averaging multiple points of contact if necessary.
  • CPUs: Two ARM processors, an ARM946E-S main CPU and ARM7TDMI coprocessor at clock speeds of 67 MHz and 33 MHz respectively. The ARM946E-S CPU processes gameplay mechanisms and video rendering while the ARM7TDMI processes sound output, Wi-Fi support and additionally, when in Game Boy Advance mode, processes what the other processor used to do.
  • RAM: 4 MB of mobile RAM, expandable via the Game Boy Advance slot (The expanded memory is officially only used by the Opera web browser.)
  • Voltage: 1.65 volts required.
  • Storage: 256 kB of serial flash memory.
  • Wireless: Built-in 802.11 Wireless Network Connection (802.11b compatible with WEP encryption support only).[24]

The system's 3D hardware performs transform and lighting, texture-coordinate transformation, texture mapping, alpha blending, cel shading, and z-buffering; however, it uses point (nearest neighbor) texture filtering, leading to some titles having a blocky appearance. Unlike most 3D hardware, it has a set limit on the number of triangles it can render as part of a single scene; the maximum amount is about 6144 vertices, or 2048 triangles per frame. The 3D hardware is designed to render to a single screen at a time, so rendering 3D to both screens is difficult and decreases performance significantly. The DS is generally more limited by its polygon budget than by its pixel fill rate. There are also 512 kilobytes of texture memory, and the maximum texture size is 1024x1024 pixels.

The system has 656 kilobytes of video memory[25] and two 2D engines (one per screen). These are similar to (but more powerful than) the Game Boy Advance's single 2D engine; however, the cores are divided into the main core and sub core. Only the main core is capable of vertex 3D rendering.

The Nintendo DS has compatibility with Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b). Wi-Fi is used for accessing the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, compete with other users playing the same Wi-Fi compatible game, Pictochat[26] or with a special cartridge and RAM extension, browse the internet.

Media specifications

Nintendo DS games use a proprietary solid state mask ROM in their "game cards", which resemble smaller, thinner versions of gaming cartridges for past generation portable gaming consoles as the Game Boy or Game Gear.[27] The mask ROM chips are manufactured by Macronix and have an access speed of 150 ns.[28] Cards currently range from 64 mebibits to 4 gibibits (8–512 MiB) in size (although the maximum capacity is unknown)[29][30] The cards usually have a small amount of flash memory or an EEPROM to save user data such as game progress or high scores. However, there are a small number of games that have no save memory such as Electroplankton. The game cards are 35.0 mm × 33.0 mm × 3.8 mm (about half the breadth and depth as Game Boy Advance cartridges) and weigh around 3.5 grams (1/8 oz.).

Based on an IGN blog by the developer of MechAssault: Phantom War, larger (such as 128 MiB) cards have a 25% slower data transfer rate than the more common smaller (such as 64 MiB) cards; however, the specific base rate was not mentioned.[31]


Nintendo's own custom firmware boots the system. A health and safety warning is displayed first, then the main menu is loaded, similar to the Wii console. The main menu presents the player with four main options to select: play a DS game, use PictoChat, initiate DS Download Play, or play a Game Boy Advance game.

The firmware also features an alarm clock, several options for customization (such as boot priority for when games are inserted and GBA screen preference), and the ability to input user information and preferences (such as name, birthday, favorite color, etc.) that can be used in games.

Battery life

The Nintendo DS contains a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 850 mAh. On a full four-hour charge, the factory 850 mAh battery lasts about 10 hours. (This decreases the more you charge it.) They last up to 22 hours on minimum brightness and 5 on maximum. The DSi lasts 18 hours minimum brightness and 3 hours maximum brightness.[32] Battery life is affected by multiple factors including speaker volume, use of one or both screens, back lighting, and use of wireless connectivity. The biggest effect on battery life is caused by using the backlight, which can be turned off in the main menu screen, or in selected games (such as Super Mario 64 DS). The battery is designed to be removed only when it expires.

To sustain battery life in the midst of a game, users can close the Nintendo DS system, putting the DS in sleep mode that also pauses the game that is being played; however, closing the system while playing a Game Boy Advance game will not put the Nintendo DS into sleep mode; the game will continue to run normally, including the back light. Certain DS games (such as Animal Crossing: Wild World) also will not pause but the backlight, screens, and speakers will turn off. When saving the game in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Zoo Tycoon DS, SimCity DS, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Mega Man Battle Network 5, or The Legendary Starfy, the DS will not go into sleep mode.[33]


Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection

The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection is a free online game service run by Nintendo. Players with a compatible Nintendo DS game can connect to the service via a Wi-Fi network using a Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector or a wireless router. The service was launched in North America on November 14, 2005 with the release of Mario Kart DS. Various online games and a web browser (see below) are now available.

Download Play

With Download Play it is possible for users to play multiplayer games with other Nintendo DS systems using only one game card. Players must have their systems within wireless range (up to approximately 65 feet) of each other and the guest system to download the necessary data from the host system.

Some Nintendo DS retailers feature DS Download Stations that allow users to download demos of upcoming and currently available DS games; however, due to memory limitations, the downloads are erased once the system is powered off. The Download Station is made up of 1 to 8 standard retail DS units, with a standard DS card containing the demo data. On May 7, 2008, Nintendo released the Nintendo Channel for download on the Wii. The Nintendo Channel uses Nintendo's WiiConnect24 to download Nintendo DS demos through the Nintendo Channel. From there, a user can select the game demo he/she wishes to play and, similar to the Nintendo DS Download Stations at retail outlets, download the demo (until the user turns off the console) to their DS' 4MB RAM.

In collaboration with fast food restaurant chain McDonald's, a service called "Nintendo Zone" will start in the Kanto, Chūkyō and Kansai regions of Japan. It is an extension of the DS Download Station that offers exclusive content to each area and demos of upcoming and currently available DS games. The DSi has the necessary software built-in to detect and use these zones, while previous versions require downloading the "Nintendo Zone Viewer."[34][35]


PictoChat allows users to communicate with other Nintendo DS users within local wireless range. Users can enter text (via a small on screen keyboard), handwrite messages or draw pictures (via the stylus and touchscreen). There are four chatrooms (A, B, C, D) in which people can go to chat. Up to sixteen people can connect in any one room.

On Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite systems users can only write messages in black. However, the DSi includes a new function, letting users write in either black or rainbow coloured pen.


The Nintendo DS is backwards compatible with Game Boy Advance (GBA) cartridges. The smaller Nintendo DS game cards fit into Slot 1 on the top of the system, while Game Boy Advance games fit into Slot 2 on the bottom of the system. The Nintendo DS is not compatible with games for the Game Boy Color and the original Game Boy, due to a slightly different form factor, voltage requirements, and the absence of the compatibility mode. The Sharp Z80 compatible processor used in the older systems is still included, and indeed necessary for some GBA games that use the older sound hardware.[citation needed]

The handheld does not have a port for the Game Boy Advance Link Cable, so multiplayer or GameCube-Game Boy Advance link-up modes are not available in Game Boy Advance titles. Only single player mode is supported on the Nintendo DS.

The Nintendo DS only uses one screen when playing Game Boy Advance games. The user can configure the system to use either the top or bottom screen by default. The games are displayed within a black border on the screen, due to the slightly different screen resolution between the two systems (256 × 192 px (approx. 0.05 megapixels) for the Nintendo DS, and 240 × 160 px (approx. 0.04 megapixels) for the Game Boy Advance).

Nintendo DS games inserted into Slot 1 are able to detect the presence of specific Game Boy Advance games in Slot 2. In many such games, either stated in the game during gameplay or mostly explained in the games' instruction manuals, extra content can be unlocked or added by starting the Nintendo DS game with the appropriate Game Boy Advance game inserted. Some of the content can stay permanently, even when the GBA game has been removed after content has been added.

Additionally, Slot 2 can be used to house expansion paks, such as the Rumble Pak, the Nintendo DS Memory Expansion Pak, and the Guitar Grip for the Guitar Hero: On Tour series. The Nintendo DSi does not have a second cartridge slot and does not play Game Boy Advance games.

Regional division

The Nintendo DS is region free in the sense that any console will run a Nintendo DS game purchased anywhere in the world; however, the Chinese version games can only be played on the Chinese iQue DS, whose larger firmware chip contains the required Chinese character glyph images. Although the Nintendo DS of other regions cannot play the Chinese games, the iQue DS can play games of other regions. Also, as with Game Boy games, some games that require both players to have a [Nintendo DS game card] for multiplayer play will not necessarily work together if the games are from different regions (e.g. a Japanese Nintendo DS game may not work with a North American Nintendo DS game, even though some titles, such as Mario Kart DS and Pokémon Diamond and Pearl versions are mutually compatible). With the addition of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, certain games can be played over the Internet with users of a different region game.

Some Wi-Fi enabled games (e.g. Mario Kart DS) allow the selection of opponents by region. The options are "Regional" ("Continent" in Europe) and "Worldwide", as well as two non-location specific settings. This allows the player to limit competitors to only those opponents based in the same geographical area. This is based on the region code of the game in use.[citation needed]

The Nintendo DSi, however, will have region block for the DSiWare downloadable games, and perhaps DSi-specific cartridges. It will still run older DS games of any region.


Game Boy Advance game slot on Game Boy Advance (above) and Nintendo DS (below).

Although the secondary port on the Nintendo DS does accept and support Game Boy Advance cartridges (but not Game Boy or Game Boy Color cartridges), Nintendo has emphasized that its main intention for its inclusion was to allow a wide variety of accessories to be released for the system, the Game Boy Advance compatibility titles being a logical extension.

Nintendo announced at E3 2005 that it would launch "headset accessories" for voice over IP (VoIP) enabled games. (This will plug into the VoIP plug next to the Ear Phone jack, not the Game Boy Advance slot.)

Rumble Pak

The Rumble Pak was the first official expansion slot accessory. In the form of a Game Boy Advance cartridge, the Rumble Pak vibrates to reflect the action in compatible games, such as when the player bumps into an obstacle or loses a life. It was released in North America and Japan in 2005, as a separate accessory and bundled with Metroid Prime Pinball.[36] It is not compatible with the DSi, due to the lack of GBA slot.

In Europe, the Rumble Pak was first available with the game Actionloop, and later Metroid Prime Pinball. The Rumble Pak was also released separately.


The Nintendo DS Headset is the official headset for the Nintendo DS. It plugs into the headset port (which is a combination of a standard 3.5mm(1/8-inch) headphone connector and a proprietary microphone connector) on the bottom of the system. It features one earphone and a microphone, and is compatible with all games that use the internal microphone. It was released in Japan on September 14, 2006.[37] The headset was released in North America on April 22, 2007, alongside Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, two games that have built-in voice chat. Other communication headsets not made by Nintendo will also work as the mic. It was released in Australia on June 21, 2007, also alongside Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.


On February 15, 2006, Nintendo announced a version of the cross-platform web browser Opera for the DS system.[38] The browser can use one screen as an overview, a zoomed portion of which appears on the other screen, or both screens together to present a single tall view of the page.[39] The browser went on sale in Japan and Europe in 2006,[40][41] and in North America on June 4, 2007.[42] Browser operation requires that an included memory expansion pak is inserted into the GBA slot. As a result, it is not compatible with the DSi. However, the DSi has an internet browser available for download from the DSiWare shop for free.[43]

Wi-Fi USB Connector

This USB-flash-disk-sized accessory plugs into a PC's USB port and creates a miniature hotspot/wireless access point, allowing a Wii and up to five Nintendo DS units to access the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service through the host computer's Internet connection. When tried under Linux, it acts as a regular wireless adapter, connecting to wireless networks, an LED blinks when there is data being transferred. There is also a hacked driver for Windows XP/Vista to make it function the same way. The Wi-Fi USB Connector has been discontinued from retail stores.

MP3 Player

The Nintendo MP3 Player (a modified version of the device known as the Play-Yan in Japan) was released on December 8, 2006 by Nintendo of Europe at a retail price of £29.99/€30. The add-on uses removable SD cards to store MP3 audio files, and can be used in any device that features support for Game Boy Advance cartridges; however, due to this, it is limited in terms of its user-interface and functionality, as it does not support using both screens of the DS simultaneously, nor does it make use of its touch-screen capability. It is not compatible with the DSi, due to the lack of the GBA slot, but the DSi includes a music player via SD card. Although it stated on the box that it is only compatible with the Gameboy Micro, DS and DS Lite it is also compatible with the GBASP and GBA.

Guitar grip controller

The "Guitar Grip" fits into the GBA slot on the Nintendo DS Lite to simulate the guitar controller.

The Guitar grip controller comes packaged with the game Guitar Hero: On Tour and is plugged into the GBA game slot. It features four colored buttons just like the ones that can be found on regular Guitar Hero guitar controllers for the stationary consoles, though it lacks the fifth orange button found on the guitar controllers. The DS Guitar Hero controller comes with a small "pick-stylus" (which is shaped like a guitar pick, as the name suggests) that can be put away into a small slot on the controller. It also features a hand strap. The game works with both the DS Lite and the original Nintendo DS as it comes with an adapter for the original DS.[44] It is not compatible with the DSi, due to the lack of GBA slot. The Guitar Grip also works with its sequels, Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades and Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits.

Hacking and homebrew

Since the release of the Nintendo DS, a great deal of hacking has occurred involving the DS's fully rewritable firmware, Wi-Fi connection, game cards that allow SD storage, and software use. There are now many different emulators for the DS such as NES, SNES, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Neo-Geo Pocket, Neo-Geo MVS (arcade), as well as many other older consoles like Game Boy Color.

There are a number of cards which either have built-in flash memory, or a slot which can accept an SD, or MicroSD (like the DSTT and R4) cards. There are several versions of the R4 card in existence, leading to the coining of the term "fake" card.[45] These cards allow the user to play music, movies, and load homebrew and commercial games.[46] Skins can also be changed[47] although this process appears to be different for different cards.

In South Korea, many video game consumers exploit illegal copies of video games, including for the Nintendo DS. In 2007, 500,000 copies of DS games were sold, while the sales of the DS hardware units was 800,000.[48] Many users, however, use their DS cards for legitimate and homebrew purposes, which is not illegal in most countries.[49]

Another hacking device called Action Replay unlocks things (levels or points, for example) in compatible games.


See also: Nintendo DS emulation

Marketing and sales


The system's promotional slogans revolve around the word "Touch" in almost all countries, with the US slogan being "Touching is good." The Nintendo DS is currently seen by many analysts to be in the same market as Sony's PlayStation Portable, although representatives from both companies have said that each system targets a different audience.[citation needed] At the time of its release in the United States, the Nintendo DS retailed for US $149.99. The price dropped to US$129.99 on August 21, 2005, one day before the anticipated North American releases of Nintendogs and Advance Wars: Dual Strike. At one point, Time magazine awarded the DS with a Gadget of the Week award.[50] Nine official colors of the Nintendo DS were available through standard retailers. Titanium (silver and black) were available worldwide, Electric Blue was exclusive to North and Latin America. There was also a red version of the DS which was bundled with the game Mario Kart DS. Graphite Black, Pure White, Turquoise Blue, and Candy Pink were available in Japan. Mystic Pink and Cosmic Blue were available in Australia and New Zealand. Japan's Candy Pink and Australia's Cosmic Blue were also available in Europe and North America through a Nintendogs bundle, although the colors are just referred to as pink and blue; however, these colors were only available for the original style Nintendo DS; a different and more-limited set of colors have been used for the Nintendo DS Lite.


Life-to-date number of units shipped (DS and DS Lite combined), millions
Date Japan Americas Other Worldwide
2004-12-31[51] 1.45 1.36 0.03 2.84
2005-03-31[52] 2.12 2.19 0.95 5.27
2005-06-30[53]  ?  ?  ? 6.65
2005-09-30[54] 3.63 2.87 2.34 8.83
2005-12-31[55] 5.70 4.63 4.10 14.43
2006-03-31[56] 6.91 5.11 4.71 16.73
2006-06-30[57] 9.24 5.90 6.13 21.27
2006-09-30[58] 11.52 7.51 7.79 26.82
2006-12-31[59] 14.43 10.18 11.00 35.61
2007-03-31[60] 16.02 11.74 12.52 40.29
2007-06-30[61] 18.11 14.14 15.03 47.27
2007-09-30[62] 19.71 16.06 17.88 53.64
2007-12-31[63] 21.66 20.18 22.94 64.79
2008-03-31[64] 22.38 22.39 25.82 70.60
2008-06-30[65] 22.97 25.11 29.47 77.54
2008-09-30[66] 23.71 27.63 32.99 84.33
2008-12-31[67] 25.67 31.93 38.62 96.22
2009-03-31[68] 26.39 34.46 40.93 101.78
2009-06-30[69] 27.00 36.97 43.78 107.75
2009-09-30[70] 28.12 39.35 46.01 113.48
2009-12-31[1] 29.92 44.99 50.23 125.13
  • On October 3, 2006 Nintendo announced a 20.5% raise in net profit forecast partially attributed to strong DS sales.[71] The company also raised its estimated DS sales forecast by 18%.[71]
  • On July 25, 2007 Nintendo announced in its first quarter financial report that it had increased DS hardware shipments from 22 million to 26 million.[72] Nintendo also raised its DS software sales projection from 130 million units to 140 million.[72] On October 26, 2007, Nintendo announced an increase in DS hardware shipments to 28 million and software to 165 million.[citation needed]
  • As of September 26, 2007, the Nintendo DS had sold over 50 million units and is therefore the fastest-selling handheld game console of all time.[73] On October 30, 2007, Chart-Track reported DS sales of over 4 million in the United Kingdom.[74][75] In November 2007, Media Create reported DS sales of 20 million in Japan.[76][77]
  • During the week of November 18 to November 24, Nintendo of America set a new Nintendo sales record by selling over 653,000 DS units in one week, breaking the previous record held by the Game Boy Advance, which sold 600,000 units.[78][79]
  • On November 27, 2007, Nintendo announced that the DS had set a new weekly hardware sales record in the UK, with over 191,000 units sold, according to Chart-Track; breaking the previous record held by the PSP, which sold 185,000 units in its first week of availability in the UK.[80]
  • As of December 27, 2007, the DS had sold over 1 million units in South Korea, according to Nintendo of Korea.[81][82]
  • In 2007, the DS was the best-selling game console in the US and Japan with 8.5 million and 7,143,702 units sold respectively, according to the NPD Group and Enterbrain.[83][84][85][86] In Europe, the DS sold 6.4 million units in 2006 and 8.7 million in 2007, according to estimates by Electronic Arts.[87][88] In 2008, the DS was the best-selling game console in Japan with 4,029,804 units sold, according to Enterbrain.[89][90][91]
  • On January 24, 2008, Nintendo Europe revealed that the DS had sold over 20 million units in Europe.[92] Months later in June 2008, The Nintendo DS had sold over 20 million units in the United States, according to NPD Group.[93]
  • In Japan, the original style DS had sold 6,449,206 units as of October 1, 2008, according to Famitsu/Enterbrain.[94] As of December 22, 2008, the DS Lite and DSi had sold 17,348,252 and 1,062,416 units in Japan, respectively, according to Enterbrain.[95] As of December 28, 2008, the DS, DS Lite, and DSi combined to sell 25,135,276 units in Japan, according to Enterbrain.[89][96]
  • In the United Kingdom, the Nintendo DS had sold 8.8 million units as of January 3, 2009, according to GfK Chart-Track.[97]
  • According to the NPD Group, 3 million Nintendo DS Lites have been sold in the United States for the month of December 2008, breaking the record for the most video game hardware sold in a single month. This record was previously held by the PlayStation 2, which sold 2.7 million units in December 2002.[98]
  • In Australia, sales have been strong. On January 30, 2008, Nintendo Australia announced that the DS had sold over 1 million units in Australia.[99] Over a year later on 28 May 2009, Nintendo Australia announced that DS sales in Australia have reached 2 million in a record of 221 weeks, and is the best selling gaming console for the three past years.[100]
  • On March 6, 2009, Nintendo announced that it had shipped its 100-millionth Nintendo DS system.[101]

Special editions and promotional packages

Many special editions and promotional packages have been available for the Nintendo DS, starting with the first Nintendo DS bundle of a Metroid Prime Hunters demo version, which was included in the first lineup of US and European shipments. Other adjustments have been made to the DS/DS Lite including color and laser engravings made for promotional events. For example, during the release of Mario Kart DS in North America, a "Red Hot DS Bundle" was available, which was a red Nintendo DS, with the game Mario Kart DS packaged along with it.

The first Nintendo DS Lite promotional package was released in a very limited run as a promotional item at the world premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End on May 23, 2007. This package included a DS console with pirate graphics on the case, and the game pack of the same name. The first Nintendo DS Lite retail bundle became available in North America on August 21, 2007; it included Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day!, a DS Lite carrying case, and an exclusive color DS Lite. The DS Lite has a crimson top outer casing, and the rest of the DS is matte black.[102]


Nintendo DS Lite

The Nintendo DS Lite is a slimmer, lighter redesign of the original Nintendo DS model. It was announced on January 26, 2006, more than a month before its first territorial launch in Japan on March 2, 2006.[103]

The features and capabilities are the same as the original style DS, but the DS Lite has four levels of LCD screen brightness; however, the four levels do not include a level where the backlight is off. Despite having four brightness levels, even the lowest brightness setting on the Nintendo DS lite is in fact brighter than the Nintendo DS's original screen, which had one brightness setting and an off setting. Unlike the casing of the original style DS, the DS Lite has a shiny glossy semi-transparent outside casing. The LED battery and charging light indicators have been moved to the upper right-hand corner of the unit, making it viewable regardless of whether the system is open or closed. The "start" and "select" buttons have been moved to the lower right-hand side of the touchscreen, the microphone has been moved to the direct center of the opened device, and the A, B, X, Y, and D-Pad seem to have been designed to match the Wii and Game Boy Micro.[104] The power button above the D-pad was removed and replaced with a switch placed on the right side of the unit. Another improvement is the larger stylus, with the stylus holster moved from the top of the unit to the right side. Although a loop for a wrist strap was retained on the top of the unit, the DS Lite does not ship with a wrist strap. Along with the other advancements, the Game Boy port of the DS Lite is shallower than the original style DS's port. When inserted, the Game Boy Advance cartridge protrudes out approximately 1 cm from under the unit. Also, the charger connector is smaller, so a different charger must be used. Although the connector is similar in form factor to the Game Boy Micro, their AC adapters are not cross compatible. It comes with a dust-protector for the GBA slot which also provides a seamless surface.

Nintendo DSi

The DSi is thinner, has larger screens than the DS and DS Lite (.25 inches larger to be exact), with the Game Boy Advance cartridge slot replaced by an SD card slot, AAC playback capability, and two cameras, one embedded in the interior hinge, and one on the exterior shell (both 0.3 megapixels, or VGA resolution). Included with the cameras is photo editing software.[10] It also features a "DSi Shop" (similar to the Wii Shop Channel) where customers can purchase DSi-exclusive games and applications, and a web browser. The audio playback and recording software is built in to the device, but AAC music must be stored on an SD card.

The console now boasts an ARM9E CPU at 133 MHz (in place of the original ARM9 at 67 MHz) and has 16 MB of RAM—four times as much as previous models. The unit has an internal storage capacity of 256 MB flash memory for DSiWare downloaded to the system. The updated Wi-Fi also supports WPA/2.

Nintendo DSi XL

A larger version of the DSi with bigger screens (0.95 inches / 25mm bigger than DSi screens, 1.2 inches / 30mm bigger than DS and DS Lite), known as the DSi XL (DSi LL in Japan), was announced on October 29, 2009[105] and was released in Japan on November 21, 2009. It was released in Europe on March 5, 2010. The release date for the North American DSi XL is March 28th, 2010. It will cost $189 and come in Burgundy and Bronze. [106][107]

Software development

To be accepted into Nintendo's official developer support program, companies must have a game development team and adequate experience in certain areas. Additional information is available from the Nintendo Software Development Support Group.

Alternatively, anyone can use publicly available knowledge from sites such as NDSTech,[108] and tools to create their own programs. A popular SDK and compiler toolchain for creating DS software, known as DevKitPro,[109] can be used for DS software development on many platforms, including Linux, Windows, and Mac. When writing software, there are two routes to being able to run your creations on actual DS hardware. One requires a method for running Nintendo DS programs from the Game Boy Advance port. At least six methods are available for this option: PassMe, PassMe2, WiFiMe, FlashMe, NoPass, and the use of a storage device.


It has been reported that a successor to the DS and DSi, known as the 'DS2' is in development. Development kits are said to have been given to a number of third-party studios as well as first-party studio 'The Pokémon Company' for feedback.[110] During the Game Developers Conference 2010, more information regarding the DS2 was reported by RPad.[111] It was said that it will be as powerful as the Gamecube, which complements information that was leaked by Nvidia insiders late 2009 that they were awarded a contract by Nintendo to provide the Nividia Tegra graphics chip to their next handheld console.[112]

See also


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External links

Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to Category:Nintendo DS article)

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Nintendo DS
The console image for Nintendo DS.
Manufacturer Nintendo
Active 2004—present
Total Games 468 (255 present)
← Game Boy Advance (none) →
Popular guides
  1. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
  2. Chrono Trigger
  3. Spectrobes
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  5. Animal Crossing: Wild World
  6. Super Mario 64 DS
  7. Metroid Prime Hunters
  8. Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland
  9. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness
  10. Mario Kart DS

The Nintendo DS is Nintendo's current generation high-end handheld. It features dual screens arranged vertically, the lower of which is touch-sensitive for input, with 3D graphics approximately on par with the Nintendo 64, and backwards compatibility with Game Boy Advance games. It also has a microphone and wireless Wi-Fi for local and Internet multiplayer play.

Nintendo DS Lite
The console image for Nintendo DS Lite.
Manufacturer Nintendo
Active 2006—present
Nintendo DSi
The console image for Nintendo DSi.
Manufacturer Nintendo
Active 2008—present

The Nintendo DS Lite is the lighter, sleeker version of the DS. It also has brighter screens than the original, with different levels of brightness.

Nintendo has released new DS, the DSi, which has a web browser and a slot for an SD card. It is also 12% slimmer than the DS Lite and has larger screens. It also plays downloadable DSiWare games.

See also

  • DS-Play, a Nintendo DS community website.
  • FriendCodes, a website dedicated to finding players over Wi-Fi for the Wii an DS.
  • DS Linux, a group trying to put the Linux operating system on the DS.

(previous 200) (next 200)


This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.



Pages in category "Nintendo DS"

The following 198 pages are in this category, out of 253 total.


  • Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
  • Advance Wars: Dual Strike
  • Ancient Land of Ys
  • Animal Crossing: Wild World
  • Animal Paradise
  • Anno 1404
  • Another Code: Two Memories
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
  • Asphalt: Urban GT
  • Asphalt: Urban GT 2
  • Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles
  • Avalon Code






  • 2006 FIFA World Cup
  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
  • Fashion Designer: Style Icon
  • Fashion Dogz
  • Feel the Magic: XY/XX
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time

F cont.







  • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
  • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night
  • The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  • Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures
  • Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
  • LostMagic
  • Luminous Arc
  • Lunar Knights


M cont.






(previous 200) (next 200)


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

This section/page requires a cleanup. Discuss this issue here.

Issue: Needs Screenshots. Needs to follow format that other console pages use.

Nintendo DS
Manufacturer Nintendo
Type Handheld
Release Date November 21, 2004 NA

December 2, 2004 JP
March 11, 2005 EU

Media DS Card, Cartridge (GBA)
Save Format Save to game card
Input Options Touch screen, voice recognition
Special Features Wi-Fi capabilities
Units Sold Over 16 Million Wordlwide
Top Selling Game Nintendogs
Variants Nintendo DS Lite
Nintendo DSi
Competitor(s) Sony PlayStation Portable
Predecessor N/A
Successor TBA

The Nintendo DS is a dual-screen portable handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. The name "DS" is short for Dual Screen, although Nintendo has also promotionally said it to be short for Developer's System, due to the manufacturer's claim of the "sheer joy" of developing games for the handheld. Its code name was Project Nitro. The DS has a vertical clamshell design, similar to some Game & Watch video games, and the Game Boy Advance SP.

The handheld is unique in that it has two screens (almost all games consoles have one) and also that it incorporates a touch screen (the first console to feature this since Tiger's Nintendo hopes that the new features present in the machine will provoke unique game development, attract developers, appeal to both older gamers and non-gamers alienated by normal input methods, and allow Nintendo to retain its status as leader of the handheld game console market.

Nintendo is currently competing against Sony with their PlayStation Portable, although representatives from both companies have denied this, stating that each system targets a different audience. The Nintendo DS is currently the leader of the two in total unit sales.

On June 11, 2006, Nintendo released a sleeker, smaller, lighter and brighter variant/upgrade of the DS called the Nintendo DS Lite. This variant retailed for $129.99 USD, and is similar to the Game Boy Advance SP redesign of the Game Boy Advance.



The Nintendo DS's primary function is as a video games console; no multimedia support is included, although Play-Yan, a special Game Boy Advance cartridge that can read an SD memory card and play movies and music, is available in Japan. The system is hoped to provoke more original development of titles in an industry that Nintendo perceives as being stagnant. Nintendo believes that the unit's unusual dual screen format will inspire creative game design by developers, both its own and third parties. While the most obvious unique selling point is the pair of screens, the system also includes some unexpected input devices: a microphone and touch screen functionality on the lower screen. To date, many games have used the touchscreen to emulate analogue joystick or mouse. The DS also supports wireless connectivity, using 802.11b (Wi-Fi) [1]. As of March 2008, a few games have implemented online functionality, including Mario Kart DS and Animal Crossing: Wild World.

Developing software for the DS

Nintendo only accepts official companies with a game development team, and sufficient experience in certain areas for their official developer support program. Additional information is available here. An alternative method is to use publicly available knowledge from sites such as this one and use the tools available to create your own programs. This development route requires a method for running programs not digitally signed, such as a PassMe chip (which plugs in to the DS slot with the main DS cart sticking out underneath), a modified firmware or WiFiMe, a downloadable application.


North America and Japan

The system was launched in North America for $149.99 USD on November 21, 2004, in Japan for 15,000 yen ($135) on December 2. Well over three million preorders were taken in North America and Japan; preorders at online stores were launched on November 3, and ended the same day as merchants had already sold their allotment. Initially Nintendo planned to deliver one million units combined at the North American and Japanese launches; when it saw the preorder numbers, it brought another factory online to ramp up production. Nintendo originally slated 300,000 units for the US debut; 550,000 were shipped, and just over 500,000 of those sold through in the first week.

Both launches proved to be successful, but it is interesting to note that Nintendo chose to release the DS in North America prior to Japan, a first for a hardware launch from the Kyoto-based company. This choice was made to get the DS out for the largest shopping day of the year in the US ("Black Friday" a.k.a. the day after Thanksgiving). [2] Perhaps partly due to the release date, the DS met unexpectedly high demand in the United States, selling 1 million units by December 21, 2004. As of the end of December, the total number shipped worldwide was 2.8 million, about 800,000 more than Nintendo's original forecast. [3] At least 1.2 million of them were sold in the US. Some industry reporters are referring to it as "the Tickle Me Elmo of 2004". [4] In mid-December 2004 Nintendo raised its estimates of sales by March 31, 2005 (the end of the company's fiscal year) to 5 million units worldwide.

As is normal for electronics, some were reported as having problems with dead pixels (the correct term for this is "fixed pixels", as they "fix" themselves on a single or select group of colors) in either of the two screens. Return policies for LCD displays vary between manufacturers and regions, however in North America, Nintendo has chosen to replace a system with fixed pixels only if the owner claims that it interferes with their gaming experience. There are currently two exchange programs in place for North America. In the first, the owner of the defective DS in question must provide a valid credit card number and, afterwards, Nintendo will ship a new DS system to the owner with shipping supplies to return the defective system. The second is as follows: the owner of the defective DS in question must ship his/her system to Nintendo for inspection. After inspection, Nintendo technicians will either ship a replacement system or fix the defective system. The first option allows the owner to have a new DS in 3-5 business days. Policies followed by Nintendo in Japan are believed to be somewhat stricter.

North American launch games

The following games were released within the system's launch period (the 30 days starting from November 21, 2004).

At launch there was one pack-in demo, in addition to the built-in PictoChat program: Metroid Prime: Hunters - First Hunt (published by Nintendo). It is no longer bundled with the system as of May 2005.

Japanese launch games

The following games were released at the same time as the system's first release (December 2, 2004).

In the launch period, the following titles were released.


The DS was released in Europe on 11th March 2005, for £99.99 in the United Kingdom and €149 in the rest of Europe. Prior to this, a limited supply of DS units were available in a package with a promotional T-shirt, Metroid Prime: Hunters - First Hunt, a WarioWare Touched! demo, and a pre-release version of Super Mario 64 DS, through the Nintendo Stars Catalogue; the bundle was priced at £129.99 for the UK and €189.99 for the rest of Europe, plus 1000 of Nintendo's 'star' loyalty points. On January 24, 2008, Nintendo Europe has revealed the DS has sold over 20 million units in Europe.

European launch games

Australia/New Zealand

The DS launched in Australia and New Zealand on the 24th of February. It retailed in Australia for $199 AUD and in New Zealand for $249 NZD. Like the American launch, it includes the Metroid Prime: Hunters - First Hunt demo.

Australian/New Zealand launch games

Design and specifications


The handheld unit has a mass of approximately 275 grams. It features two separate 3-inch TFT LCD screens, each with a resolution of 256×192. The lowermost display of the DS is overlayed with a touch screen, utilizing a stylus or the user's fingers, a first for a games console. The DS has a wrist strap that doubles as a thumb cover for use in place of a stylus. The console uses two separate ARM processors, an ARM9 main CPU and ARM7 coprocessor at clock speeds of 67 MHz and 33 MHz respectively, with 4 MB of main memory. The system's 3D engine is theoretically capable of drawing 120,000 polygons per second, with a fill-rate of 30 million pixels per second.

Games utilize a proprietary solid state flash card format resembling the memory cards used in other portable electronic devices such as digital cameras; this semiconductor technology is said to be far cheaper than conventional cartridges and can be used within a system without moving parts to jar out of place when dropped. It is currently capable of supporting cards of up to 1 gigabit (128 MB) in size. The unit features wireless networking capabilities for multiplayer games or chat using Wi-Fi. The current software does not use IP, therefore preventing Internet play features and use of Wi-Fi routers with the DS. Future online games will presumably implement an IP stack to make their online game modes possible.

Inputs and outputs

The DS is the first portable console from Nintendo to incorporate stereo speakers. In addition to the touch screen, the DS has, to the left of the lower display, a traditional four-way control pad (with a narrow Power button above it), while to the right are four action buttons (with narrow Select and Start buttons above) A B Y X, following in the footsteps of the SNES controller. On the back there are the L (Left) and R (Right) buttons, also following the style of the SNES controller. Perhaps the most innovative use of the touch screen is for the emulation of other controls. For example, with use of the previously mentioned "thumb stylus", it can emulate an analog joystick, or with the conventional stylus, its behavior can replicate a computer mouse. The system also includes a built-in microphone. While it has only been used for simple volume measurements, Nintendo has suggested will be used for communication over a wireless network and controlling games programmed for speech recognition.

Operating system

Nintendo's own custom firmware boots the system: from here, the user chooses to run a DS or Game Boy Advance game, use PictoChat, or search for downloadable games. The latter is an adaptation of the Game Boy Advance's popular "single cartridge multiplayer" feature, adapted to support the system's Wi-Fi link capabilities: players without the game search for content, while players with the game broadcast it. In November 2004, Nintendo announced its entry into the feature animation business, suggesting that theatres showing these features could install kiosks to broadcast game content to Nintendo DS units via this same feature. In March 2005, Nintendo tested broadcast kiosks in Japan, allowing players to download a demo of Meteos or extra songs for Daigasso: Band Brothers. (A similar download kiosk was at Nintendo's booth at E3 2005, and had downloadable demos and trailers.). On February 9 at the DICE 2006 summit, Nintendo announced that the wireless broadcast kiosks will be introduced in North America, allowing players to access demos, videos and trailers.

The PictoChat program, which is permanently stored on the unit, allows users to communicate with other DS users over the wireless network by text, handwriting, or drawings, using the DS's touch screen and stylus for input; an on-screen keyboard partially covers the touch-sensitive area while using this mode, allowing for typed, as well as written, messages.

The DS's main menu also features an alarm clock and the ability to set preferences for boot priority (booting to games when inserted, or always booting to the main menu), GBA game screen usage (top or bottom), and user information (name, date of birth, favorite color, time, etc.).

There is currently an ongoing project aiming to bring the Linux operating system to the DS [5]. As of May 2005, this project had successfully mounted a Linux-based kernel and the sash shell.


Initially, the console was reported to be incompatible with games designed for Nintendo's present Game Boy Advance (GBA) handheld, but details announced at the E3 trade show in Los Angeles in May 2004 revealed the opposite; while the new DS cartridges are smaller and fit in their own port, the machine has a separate cartridge port accepting Game Boy Advance games (including Majesco's Game Boy Advance Videos), although Game Boy Color and original Game Boy games are incompatible with the DS, due to a slightly different form factor and its lack of the Z80 processor used in these systems. This may be an attempt to separate the DS and Nintendo's established Game Boy line of handheld consoles; the GBA, for example, included the aging processor primarily to run legacy Game Boy games. It may also simply be to keep the DS's price down; including another chipset would likely have significantly added to the cost of producing the unit.

Though the DS no longer has the Z80 processor, several projects have started to emulate this platform. One such product is the freely available Goomba emulator[6].

The handheld does not have a port for the GBA Link Cable, so multiplayer or GBA-GameCube link-up modes are not available in GBA titles. Similar connectivity, using the DS's wireless capabilities, will, however, be implemented in the GameCube's succesor, Wii. It was officially announced with the game, Pokémon Battle Revolution, which can connect to the DS games, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.


Although the secondary port on the Nintendo DS does accept and support Game Boy Advance cartridges, Nintendo has emphasized that its main intention for its inclusion was to allow a wide variety of accessories to be released for the system, the compatibility to Game Boy Advance titles being only a logical complementation due to the similar architecture of the two systems. Theorized accessories include GPS receivers or television tuners, as well as a variety of accessories already included in certain Game Boy Advance cartridges such as tilt-sensors, solar-sensors, and vibration generators. The vibration generator has been said to have appeared with the E3 demo of Metroid Pinball.

Nintendo has released the Play-Yan, an adaptor which will allow the Game Boy Advance SP and Nintendo DS to play MPEG-4 videos and MP3 music from SD memory cards. The adaptor bears a superficial resemblance to the AM3 player (which allowed playback of pre-recorded movie files from read-only memory cards on a GBA); the memory card slots into the right hand side of the adaptor, which then plugs into the cartridge slot of the parent console. The adaptor has its own integrated headphone port, but uses the parent console's power supply, controls, and display. It is estimated that it will offer over 15 hours of MP3 playback and 4 hours of MPEG-4 playback from a fully-charged GBA SP.

The adaptor will launch in Japan in February of 2005 for approximately 5,000 yen ($47.47). As of 2004, Nintendo did not announce plans to sell the unit outside of Japan.

Wi-Fi Connection

Main article: Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection

To bring the DS online, Nintendo unveiled the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Users at public venues, such as coffee shops and libraries can connect at designated hotspots (such as WiFi enabled McDonalds) to connect online. Users at home can connect to the Wi-Fi Connection with most home wireless router or through Nintendo's USB Wi-Fi Adapter. Titles currently using for such online compatibility include Animal Crossing: Wild World, Mario Kart DS, and Tony Hawk's American Sk8land. In March 2006, Japan got an online RPG, Contact, in addition to Tetris DS and Metroid Prime: Hunters. As of August 2008, all three have been released outside of Japan.


Key first-party titles

Major third-party titles

Major Upcoming Releases

Sample Screenshots

  • Coming Soon

To see a complete list of upcoming games, scroll down to the List of Nintendo DS Games article. Some of these titles may be temporary.


The Nintendo DS comes in six colors: Silver, Charcoal/Black, White, Turquoise, Pink, and Electric Blue. Silver is available worldwide. However, White is exclusive to Japan; and Electric Blue is exclusive to North America.

All of these new colors are similar to those for the Game Boy Advance SP.

In Japan, a Mew themed DS is expected to be released in June. No date for North America has been confirmed by Nintendo.

Price history

  • US $149.99 (November 2004, Launch Price)
  • US $129.99 (August 21 2005)
  • JP 15,000 yen
  • EU 149.99 euros

External links

  • Nintendo DS on Wikipedia
  • Nintendo - Official Nintendo Company Homepage
  • Official Nintendo DS website (English) (requires Macromedia Flash Player)
  • Nintendo's DS homepage (Japanese), with images of the DS in closed and opened condition (requires Macromedia Flash)
  • DS channel on
  • Compatibility of NDS with GBA Flash Cards - Article discussing the DS and GBA Flash memory linker carts.
  • Linux port for the Nintendo DS
  • Touching is Good - Nintendo of America's DS advertising campaign

See also

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Simple English

A Nintendo DS

The Nintendo DS is the third newest handheld game system from Nintendo. It was released in 2004 and 2005. Their newest handheld game system is the Nintendo DS Lite, a smaller version of the DS. The DS is a small, nearly pocket-size fold-up machine that lets people play video games. The games for the Nintendo DS are stored on small cartridges called "carts", which are kind of like memory card chips from digital cameras. They are small and may be easy to lose. However, they are quite sturdy, even if they are dropped. New games, such as Super Mario 64 DS, came out on the release date, and come free with the blue DS in North America.

The games' graphics are a little better than on the Nintendo 64. For most of Nintendo's systems, there have been no load times (except for the GameCube). With the DS, a level in the game loads up quickly, just like the Game Boy systems. This is because memory cards can be read a lot faster than CDs or DVDs.

The DS also has many new features. It has a new surround sound system. It not only works with games designed for the DS, but also for games designed for the Game Boy Advance. But the DS cannot play the oldest Game Boy games, or Game Boy Color games. It also features a touchscreen, a screen that, when touched with the included stylus, will cause something to happen in the game (like a PDA). There are two styluses with it, but more can be bought if they get lost.



The Nintendo DS is a rival competitor with Sony's PlayStation Portable. However, both Nintendo and Sony said that their products were aimed at different people, so there is "technically" no competition. At this time, the DS is enjoying good sales and has sold more units than the PSP has.

DS Lite

In addition, Nintendo also developed and released a similar version of the DS. Known as the "DS Lite", it was first released on March 2, 2006 in Japan, and June 11, 2006 in North America.

The DS Lite plays the same games. It is smaller and lighter in size and weight and also has brighter screens. The console is so small that the Game Boy Advance games stick out when the player puts it into Slot 2. It also features a little cover so players can cover Slot 2 when it is not in use. The DS Lite is also sold in white, black, pink, blue, red, and silver. Also, the nintendo DS lite now has colors such as metallic rose, metallic silver, and black with white.


Some games for the DS are Nintendogs, Mario Kart DS, New Super Mario Bros, Brain Age, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, and Advance Wars: Dual Strike.


There are many accessories for the Nintendo DS, including different coloured styluses and protective cases. Most consoles come with a screen protector and a car adaptor that charges the battery with a car's cigarette lighter.

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