Nintendo DS

Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS logo
An open, electric blue original Nintendo DS system.
An electric blue original Nintendo DS.
Developer Nintendo
Manufacturer Foxconn
Product family Nintendo DS
Generation Seventh generation era
Release date
  • NA November 21, 2004
  • JP December 2, 2004
  • AUS February 24, 2005
  • EU March 11, 2005
Retail availability 2004 — 2007
Units sold Worldwide: 149.00 million, all models combined (as of September 30, 2011)[1] (details)
Media Nintendo DS Game Card
Game Boy Advance cartridge
CPU One 67.028 MHz ARM946E-S[2] and one 33.514 MHz ARM7TDMI
Storage capacity 4 MB RAM
Cartridge save
Connectivity Wi-Fi
Online services Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Best-selling game New Super Mario Bros., 26.21 million (as of December 31, 2010)[3]
Game Boy Advance (DS & DS Lite only)
Predecessor Game Boy Advance (Game Boy line)
Successor Nintendo DS Lite (redesign)
Nintendo DSi (redesign)
Nintendo DSi XL (redesign)
Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo DS (ニンテンドーDS Nintendō DS?, abbreviated to DS or NDS) is a portable game console produced by Nintendo, first released on November 21, 2004. A distinctive feature of the system is the presence of two separate LCD screens, the lower of which is a touchscreen, encompassed within a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP. The Nintendo DS also features a built-in microphone and supports wireless standards,[4] allowing players to interact with each other within short range, or online with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. The Nintendo DS is the first Nintendo console to be released in North America before Japan.

On March 2, 2006, Nintendo released the Nintendo DS Lite, a redesign of the Nintendo DS, in Japan. It was released in North America, Europe, and Australia in June 2006. The DS Lite is a slimmer, smaller, and lighter version of the Nintendo DS; it also has brighter screens. Nintendo of America refers to the older model as the "original style" Nintendo DS,[5] but it has also been nicknamed by fans and the media as the "DS Phat."[6] On November 1, 2008, Nintendo released the Nintendo DSi, another redesign of the Nintendo DS. The DSi possesses more powerful hardware than the original DS, including a faster CPU and more RAM. Unlike previous models, it does not feature a slot for Game Boy Advance games, but instead features a slot for SD cards. On November 21, 2009, Nintendo released the Nintendo DSi XL, a model featuring larger screens, and a greater overall size, than the original DSi.

The Nintendo DS is the successor to the Game Boy Advance series of portable consoles, with the DS and DS Lite models featuring single-player backwards compatibility with Game Boy Advance games. The console's name officially stands for "Developers' System", an expression of Nintendo's hope that the system would inspire innovative game design from developers. "DS" also stands for "Dual Screen", the system's most obvious and distinctive feature.[7] As of September 30, 2011, all Nintendo DS models combined have sold 149.00 million units,[1] making it the best selling handheld game console to date, and second best selling video game console overall, behind the PlayStation 2.



On November 13, 2003,Nintendo announced that the company would be creating a new console for release in 2004.[8] Nintendo stated that it would not be the successor to the Nintendo GameCube,[8] but rather it would be considered a "new Game Boy".[9] On January 20, 2004, the console was announced under the codename "Nintendo DS"[10] (which initially stood for Developer's System). 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.[10][11] 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."[10] In March, the codename was changed to "Nitro" and a document containing most of the console's technical specifications was leaked.[12] In May, the codename was changed back to "Nintendo DS" and the console was shown in prototype form at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). All of the features of the console were revealed by Nintendo at E3.[13] 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.[14]

The Nintendo DS bears a striking resemblance to the multi-screen games such as Donkey Kong and Zelda in the company's Game & Watch line, their first handhelds. The system's code name was Nitro,[15] which can be seen in the model number that appears on the unit (NTR-001).[5]


On September 20, 2004, Nintendo announced that the Nintendo DS would be released in North America on November 21, 2004 for US$149.99.[16] It was set to release on December 2, 2004 in Japan (¥15000);[17] on February 24, 2005 in Australia ($199.95);[18] and on March 11, 2005 in Europe (£99.99/€149.99).[19] 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.[20] 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.[21]


Styli for the DS Lite

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, draw, or interact in game.

The handheld features four lettered buttons (X, Y, A, B), a directional pad, and Start, Select, and Power buttons. On the top of the device are two shoulder buttons, a game card slot, a stylus holder and a power cable input. The bottom features the Game Boy Advance game card slot. The overall button layout resembles that of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System controller. When using backwards compatibility mode on the DS, buttons X and Y and the touchscreen are not used as the Game Boy Advance line of systems do not feature these controls.

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, chatting online between and during gameplay sessions, and minigames that require the player to blow or shout into the microphone.

Technical specifications

  • Mass: 275 g (9.7 oz)
  • Physical dimensions: 148.7 mm × 84.7 mm × 28.9 mm (5.85 in. × 3.33 in. × 1.13 in.)
  • Screens: Two TFT LCDs
    • 18-bit depth (262,144 colors)
    • Resolution of 256 × 192 pixels
    • Dimensions: 62 × 46 mm (2.4 × 1.8 in); 77 mm (3.0 in) diagonal, and a dot pitch of 0.24 mm.
    • Gap between screens: approximately 21 mm; equivalent to about 92 "hidden" lines.
    • The lower display 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
    • 32 bit ARM946E-S main CPU; 67 MHz clock speed. Processes gameplay mechanisms and video rendering.
    • 32 bit ARM7TDMI coprocessor; 33 MHz clock speed. Processes sound output, Wi-Fi support and takes on second-processor duties in Game Boy Advance mode.
  • RAM: 4 MB of mobile RAM, expandable via the Game Boy Advance slot (expansion only officially used by the Opera web browser).
  • Voltage: 1.65 v required.
  • Storage: 256 kB of serial flash memory.
  • Wireless connectivity: Built-in 802.11b Wireless Network Connection (WEP encryption support only).[22]

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 1024 × 1024 pixels.

The system has 656 kilobytes of video memory[23] 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[24] or with a special cartridge and RAM extension, browse the internet.

Media specifications

The front and back of a Nintendo DS game card

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.[25] The mask ROM chips are manufactured by Macronix and have an access time of 150 ns.[26] Cards currently range from 64 Mb to 4 Gbs (8–512 MB) in size (although data on the maximum capacity has not been released).[27][28] 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 35×33×3.8 mm (1.4×1.3×0.15 in) (about half the breadth and depth of Game Boy Advance cartridges) and weigh around 3.5 g (18 oz).

Based on an IGN blog by the developer of MechAssault: Phantom War, larger (such as 128 MB) cards have a 25% slower data transfer rate than the more common smaller (such as 64 MB) cards; however, the specific base rate was not mentioned.[29]


Nintendo's own 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 main menu also has some secondary options such as: date and time, GBA screen, and touch screen calibration.

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, Nintendo claims the battery lasts a maximum of 10 hours under ideal conditions. 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 user-replaceable using only a phillips head screwdriver. After about 500 charges the battery life starts dropping.

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,Digimon World Dawn, Mega Man Battle Network 5, or The Legendary Starfy, the DS will not go into sleep mode.[30]


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 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".[31][32]

Multi-Card Play

Multi-Card Play, like Download Play, allows users to play multiplayer games with other Nintendo DS systems. In this case, each system requires a game card. This mode is accessed from an in-game menu, rather than the normal DS menu.


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 and DSi XL includes a new function, letting users write in either black or rainbow colored pen.


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

The Nintendo DS is backwards compatible with Game Boy Advance (GBA) cartridges. The smaller Nintendo DS game cards fit into a slot on the top of the system, while Game Boy Advance games fit into a slot 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 the top slot are able to detect the presence of specific Game Boy Advance games in the bottom slot. 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, GBA slot 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 and the DSi XL do not have a second cartridge slot and cannot 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, has a region lock for the DSiWare downloadable games, as well as DSi-specific cartridges. It still runs normal DS games of any region, however.


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.[33] 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.[34] 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.[35] 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.[36] The browser went on sale in Japan and Europe in 2006,[37][38] and in North America on June 4, 2007.[39] 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 Nintendo DSi shop for free.[40]

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 Game Boy Micro, Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite, it is also compatible with the Game Boy Advance SP and Game Boy Advance.

Guitar grip 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.[41] It is not compatible with the DSi or 3DS, due to the lack of GBA slot. The Guitar Grip also works with its sequels, Guitar Hero On Tour: Decades, Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits, and Band Hero.

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,R4 and ez-flash V/Vi) cards. These cards typically enable DS console gamers to use their console to play MP3s and videos, and other non-gaming functions traditionally reserved for separate devices.[42]

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.[43]

Another modification device called Action Replay, manufactured by the company Datel, is a device which allows the user to input cheat codes that allows it to hack games, granting the player infinite "health", power-ups, access to any part of the game, etc.

Redesigned Nintendo DS models

Nintendo DS Lite

The Nintendo DS Lite (ニンテンドーDS Lite Nintendō Dī Esu Raito?) is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It is a slimmer, brighter, and more lightweight redesign of the Nintendo DS, designed to be aesthetically sleeker, while taking styling cues from the Game Boy Advance SP, and to appeal to broader commercial audiences. It was announced on January 26, 2006, more than a month before its initial release in Japan on March 2, 2006 due to overwhelming demand for the original model.[44] It has been released in Australia, North America, Europe, New Zealand, Singapore, and defined regions in South America, the Middle East, and East Asia. As of September 30, 2011, shipments of the DS Lite have reached 93.53 million units worldwide, according to Nintendo.[1]

Larger model

A larger model of the DS Lite was an unreleased alternative to the DS Lite.[45] It was ready for mass production but Nintendo decided against its release as sales of the DS Lite were still strong. Instead Nintendo prepared the DSi and released an "XL" version of that console a year later.

This larger DS Lite featured an increased screen size of 3.8 inches (9.7 cm) (slightly smaller than the DSi XL's 4.2-inch (11 cm) screens) and lacked the wide viewing angle of the DSi XL.

Nintendo DSi

The Nintendo DSi (ニンテンドーDSi Nintendō DSi?) is a handheld game system created by Nintendo and launched between 2008 and 2009 in Japan, Australasia, Europe, North America, China and other regions. It is a seventh-generation console and the third iteration of the Nintendo DS; its primary market rival is Sony's PlayStation Portable. A larger model, entitled Nintendo DSi XL, was launched between 2009 and 2010 in Japan, Europe, North America and other regions.

Development of the DSi began in late 2006, and it was unveiled during an October 2008 Nintendo conference in Tokyo. While the DSi's design is similar to that of the DS Lite, it features two 0.3 megapixel digital inner and outer cameras, and it also supports internal and external content storage, and connects to an online store called the Nintendo DSi Shop. This new functionality was intended to facilitate personalization, so as to encourage each member of a household to purchase an individual DSi.

Reviewers were generally positive in their reception of the Nintendo DSi; although they decried the console's lack of exclusive software, its added functionality caused many to recommend it to non-owners of prior DS models. and PC World considered the DSi Shop to be the largest buying incentive for current DS owners. Critics believed the DSi XL is not an essential upgrade, but those in need of a handheld to use primarily at home should consider it.

Nintendo DSi XL

The Nintendo DSi XL (DSi LL in Japan) was announced on October 29, 2009: it features larger screens, and a greater overall size, than the original DSi.[46][47] It is the fourth model of Nintendo DS, and the first to be available as a size variation of the same model.[48][46] Iwata said that cost restraints had, until then, limited the screen size and multiplayer aspects of portable game consoles, and that the DSi XL offers "an improved view angle on the screens," which makes it the first "portable system that can be enjoyed with people surrounding the gamer."[48] He argued that this introduces a new method of playing portable video games, wherein those "surrounding the game player can also join in one way or the other to the gameplay."[48] While the original DSi was specifically designed for individual use, Iwata suggested that DSi XL buyers give the console a "steady place on a table in the living room", so that it might be shared by multiple household members.[48]

Model comparison

Nintendo DS Nintendo DS Lite Nintendo DSi Nintendo DSi XL
Model Nintendo DS Logo.svg
An original Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS Lite logo.svg
Nintendo DS Lite
Nintendo DSi logo.svg
An opened clamshell dual-screen handheld device. A camera is embedded in the internal hinge.
Nintendo DSi XL logo.svg
Nintendo DSi XL
In production No Yes[49] Yes Yes
Launch Price ¥15,000
Weight 275 grams (9.7 oz) 218 grams (7.7 oz) 214 grams (7.5 oz) 314 grams (11.1 oz)
Dimensions 148.7 mm (5.85 in) wide × 84.7 mm (3.33 in) deep × 28.9 mm (1.14 in) high 133 mm (5.2 in) wide × 73.9 mm (2.91 in) deep × 21.87 mm (0.861 in) high 137 mm (5.4 in) wide × 74.9 mm (2.95 in) deep × 18.9 mm (0.74 in) high 161 mm (6.3 in) wide × 91.4 mm (3.60 in) deep × 21.2 mm (0.83 in) high
Display 3.0 in (76 mm), 256 × 192 px 3.25 in (83 mm), 256 × 192 px 4.2 in (107 mm), 256 × 192 px
Backlight On/Off toggle 4 backlight brightness levels 5 backlight brightness levels
Camera None Front and rear-facing 0.3 MP sensors
Wi-Fi Integrated 802.11b (only compatible with WEP or unencrypted networks) Integrated 802.11b/g (may not compatible with WPA/WPA2 in some cases)
Stylus 75 mm (3.0 in) long × 4 mm (0.16 in) wide 87.5 mm (3.44 in) long × 4.9 mm (0.19 in) wide 92 mm (3.6 in) long × 4.9 mm (0.19 in) wide 129.3 mm (5.09 in) long × 10 mm (0.39 in) wide
Game Boy Advance slot Slot on the bottom labeled as SLOT-2 None
Storage Internal 256 kB NAND flash memory Internal 256 MB NAND flash memory
Expandable via SD card slot
Battery 6 to 10 hours
(850 mAh)
15-19 hours on the lowest brightness setting
5-8 hours on the brightest
(1000 mAh)[50]
9-14 hours on the lowest brightness setting
3-4 hours on the brightest
(840 mAh)[51]
13-17 hours on the lowest brightness setting
4-5 hours on the brightest
(1050 mAh)[51]
Memory 4 MB SRAM 16 MB PSRAM
Expandable via Game Boy Advance slot
Processor 67 MHz ARM9 and 33 MHz ARM7 133 MHz ARM9 and 33 MHz ARM7
Region Locking All Nintendo DS hardware and software is region-free Regional lockout for DSiWare and Nintendo DSi-enhanced software[52]
Preloaded applications
  • DS Download Play
  • PictoChat
  • Flipnote Studio
  • Nintendo DSi Browser
  • Nintendo DSi Camera
  • Nintendo DSi Shop
  • Nintendo DSi Sound
  • DS Download Play
  • PictoChat
  • Flipnote Studio
  • Nintendo DSi Browser
  • Nintendo DSi Camera
  • Nintendo DSi Shop
  • Nintendo DSi Sound
  • Brain Age Express: Math
  • Brain Age Express: Arts & Letters
  • Photo Clock

System sales and marketing

Life-to-date number of all DS (including Lite, DSi, and DSi XL) units shipped
Date Japan Americas Other Total
2011-09-30[1] 32.92 million 56.19 million 59.90 million 149.00 million

The system's promotional slogans revolve around the word "Touch" in almost all countries, with the North American slogan being "Touching is good." The Nintendo DS was 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 It is now currently US$99.99. At one point, Time magazine awarded the DS with a Gadget of the Week award.[53] 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.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Consolidated Sales Transition by Region" (PDF). Nintendo. 2011-10-27. Retrieved 2011-10-27. 
  2. ^ "ARM946E-S". 
  3. ^ "Supplementary Information about Earnings Release" (PDF). Nintendo. January 28, 2011. p. 6. Retrieved February 6, 2011. 
  4. ^ Darkain (2005-01-21). "Nintendo DS - WI-FI vs NI-FI". Archived from the original on 2005-02-17. Retrieved 2006-04-02. 
  5. ^ a b "Nintendo DS customer service". Nintendo. Retrieved 2008-09-08. 
  6. ^ "Ten reasons to stick with your Phat". Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  7. ^ "Nintendo DS Frequently Asked Questions". Nintendo. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  8. ^ a b "Nintendo Going Back to the Basics. Full story about the company offering a new system in 2004.". IGN. 2003-11-13. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  9. ^ Glen Bayer (2004-03-01). "Various Satoru Iwata comments regarding the Nintendo DS". Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  10. ^ a b c "Nintendo Announces Dual-Screened Portable Game System". 2004-01-20. Archived from the original on 2004-04-02. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  11. ^ Billy Berghammer (2004-01-21). "GI Online Interviews NOA's Beth Llewelyn About The Nintendo DS". Archived from the original on 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  12. ^ Kavanagh, Rich (2004-03-13). "More Nintendo DS (or Nitro?) specs leaked". Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  13. ^ Kent, Steve (2004-05-05). "Nintendo unveiling new portable". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  14. ^ "Nintendo keeps 'DS' codename, tweaks hardware". USA Today. 2004-07-28. Retrieved 2007-07-13. 
  15. ^ Casamassina, Matt (2004-03-10). "N-Query: DS... No, Nitro. Wait, it's DS!". IGN. Retrieved 2007-09-19. 
  16. ^ Harris, Craig (2004-09-20). "Official Nintendo DS Launch Details". Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  17. ^ "IGN: NDS Japanese Launch Details". Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  18. ^ "PALGN: Australian DS Launch". Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  19. ^ "Nintendo claims most successful launch ever for DS in Australia". Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  20. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (2004-12-01). "NDS Launches in Japan". Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  21. ^ Harris, Craig (2007-01-27). "Europe DS Launch Title Details". IGN. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  22. ^ "Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite - Wireless Router Information". Nintendo - Customer Service. 
  23. ^ "A guide to homebrew development for the Nintendo DS". Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  24. ^ Nintendo DS ni-fi protocol information
  25. ^ Vuijk, Rafael (2006-10-11). "First Nintendo DS cartridge information". Dark Fader (Rafael Vuijk). Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  26. ^ "Nintendo: NDS Disassembly". GainGame's Blog. 2010-01-31. Retrieved 2010-02-10. [unreliable source?]
  27. ^ Ni no Kuni: The Another World is the first DS game to use a 4-gigabit card "GoNintendo: Level 5's press conference - massive info roundup (Fantasy Life announced, Ninokuni's massive DS cart, and much more!)". 
  28. ^ Adam Riley (2007-07-15). "E3 2007 News|Archaic Sealed Heat (Nintendo DS) RPG Details". Cubed³. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  29. ^ Sara Guinness (2006-06-16). "MechAssault DS Developer Diary". IGN. Retrieved 2007-11-04. 
  30. ^ Nintendo DS Fitting Guides, NDSL Repair Guides
  31. ^ Satoru Iwata (2008-10-02). "Nintendo Conference Fall 2008". Nintendo. p. 5. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  32. ^ "Nintendo Zone test service will be available at the Nintendo World store beginning November 14, 2008". Nintendo of America. Redmond, Washington: Nintendo. 2008-11-14. 
  33. ^ "Nintendo Online Store". Retrieved 2006-04-02. 
  34. ^ "Official DS Headset – Pics of New Must-Have". Spong. Retrieved 2006-11-26. 
  35. ^ "Giving gamers two windows to the Web: The Opera Browser for Nintendo DS" (Press release). Opera Software. 2006-02-15. Retrieved 2006-04-02. 
  36. ^ Berit Hanson (2006-02-16). "Opera for Nintendo DS". Berit's Blog. Retrieved 2006-07-03. 
  37. ^ "Mark your calendars: Opera announces Nintendo DS browser release date in Japan" (Press release). Opera Software ASA. 2006-06-21. Retrieved 2006-06-21. 
  38. ^ Chris Playo. "Japan: Nintendo DS Press Conference". NintendoDS Advanced. Retrieved 2006-04-02. 
  39. ^ Craig Harris (2007-03-07). "GDC 2007: Nintendo DS Browser US Bound". IGN. Retrieved 2007-09-19. 
  40. ^ "Nintendo DSi Browser at Nintendo :: Games". Nintendo. Retrieved 2009-06-19. 
  41. ^ Brian Ekberg (2008-04-14). "Guitar Hero: On Tour First Look". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  42. ^ "What Are Nintendo DS and DSi Cards?". Nintendo DS Cards. 2010-06-27. Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  43. ^ "ニンテンドーDSの違法コピーにご注意!" (in Japanese). The Chosun Ilbo. 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  44. ^ Rojas, Peter (2006-02-20). "The Engadget Interview: Reggie Fils-Aime, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Nintendo". Engadget. Retrieved 2006-06-01. 
  45. ^ "DSi XL Was Once DS Lite XL". Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  46. ^ a b Tor Thorsen (2009-10-29). "DSi XL hits US & EU Q1 2010, DS sales top 113 million". GameSpot. San Francisco: CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  47. ^ Christopher Dring (2009-10-29). "Nintendo reveals DSi LL". Market for Home Computing and Video Games. United Kingdom: Intent Media. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  48. ^ a b c d "Corporate Management Policy Briefing / Semi-annual Financial Results Briefing". Minami-ku, Kyoto: Nintendo. 2009-10-30. pp. 9–10. Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  49. ^ Tor Thorsen (2011-05-31). "DS Lite $100 on June 5, DS family sells 48.9 million in US". CNet. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  50. ^ Nintendo DS Lite - Battery FAQ Nintendo - Consumer Service
  51. ^ a b Nintendo DSi/Nintendo DSi XL - Battery FAQ Nintendo - Consumer Service
  52. ^ DS News: Nintendo: "DSi software is region locked" CVG
  53. ^ Rothman, Wilson (2006-06-14). "Time Magazine: Gadget of the Week".,8599,1204187,00.html. Retrieved 2007-02-01. 

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