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Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS Logo.svg
A blue version of the original Nintendo DS.
Also known as iQue DS
Developer Nintendo
Manufacturer Foxconn
Product family Nintendo DS family
Type Handheld game console
Generation Seventh generation
Release date Nintendo DS:
  • November 21, 2004 JP
  • AUS February 24, 2005
  • HK April 21, 2005
  • CHN June 15, 2005
Nintendo DS Lite:
  • JP March 2, 2006
  • AUS June 1, 2006
  • HK June 15, 2006
Nintendo DSi:
  • JP November 1, 2008
  • HK November 11, 2008
  • UK February 19, 2009
  • AUS April 2, 2009
  • April 15, 2010 TUR
Nintendo DSi XL:
  • November 21, 2009 (as Nintendo DSi LL) EU
  • AUS April 15, 2010
Retail availability 2004–2014
Discontinued Nintendo DS: January 31, 2014
Nintendo DS Lite: April 22, 2011
Onyx Model (exclusively):
  • JP February 10, 2009
Nintendo DSi/Nintendo DSi XL: September 30, 2014
Units sold 154.02 million worldwide (as of June 30,  2016 (2016 -06-30)) (details)
Media Nintendo game card, ROM cartridge
CPU Two ARM architecture processors
Memory 4 MB RAM
Storage Cartridge save
256 KB flash memory
Display Two TFT LCD, 256 × 192 pixels
Connectivity Wi-Fi (802.11b, WEP)
Online services Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Best-selling game New Super Mario Bros., 30.80 million (as of September 30,  2016 (2016 -09-30))
Game Boy Advance
Predecessor Game Boy Advance (2001-2010)
Successor Nintendo 3DS (2011-present)

The Nintendo DS (also known as DS, NDS, or the DS Phat) is a handheld system from Nintendo. Development began in mid-2002 and it was released in 2004/2005. It has a successor called the Nintendo 3DS, the very first 3D handheld, which also plays DS games. The DS is a small, nearly pocket-size fold-up machine that lets people play video games. The games are stored on small cartridges which are like memory card chips from digital cameras. Some games, such as Super Mario 64 DS, were released on the same day as the original DS.

For most of Nintendo's systems, there have been no load times, except for the GameCube and Wii. With the DS, a level in the game loads up quickly, just like with Game Boy games. This is because cartridges can be read a lot quicker than CDs or DVDs.

The DS also has many new features. It has a new surround sound system. The DS (as well as the DS Lite) also has backwards compatibility with the Game Boy Advance (only single-player mode). However, the DS and DS Lite are incapable of playing the Game Boy or Game Boy Color games. The DS features a touch screen, a screen often used for extra gameplay (like a PDA). The DS packaging comes with two styluses.


The Nintendo DS is one of the rivals of Sony's PlayStation Portable. However, both Nintendo and Sony state that their products were aimed at different people, so there is "technically" no competition. The DS has currently sold more units than the PSP has.

Handheld revisions

Nintendo DS Lite

DSLite white trans
A white Nintendo DS Lite.

Nintendo later developed and newer variation of the Nintendo DS, known as the Nintendo DS Lite. It was first announced on January 26, 2006 and released on March 2, 2006 in Japan, on June 1, 2006 in Australia, on June 11, 2006 in North America, on June 23, 2006 in Europe, and on January 18, 2007 in South Korea.

The DS Lite is compatible with the same games. It is smaller, lighter, and brighter and features a backlit screen. Because of its design, the Game Boy Advance games stick out in Slot 2. The second slot also features a cover for players to when not in use. The DS Lite is sold in white, black, pink, blue, red, and silver. This console even has colors such as metallic rose, metallic silver, and black with white.

Nintendo DSi

Nintendo DSi
A black Nintendo DSi.

On October 2, 2008, Nintendo announced a third model titled the Nintendo DSi. It was released in Japan in 2008 and in 2009/2010 worldwide. It is bigger and brighter than the DS Lite and the Game Boy Advance slot was removed (in place of an SD Card), which caused a lot of disappointment when it came out. Development of the DSi began in late 2006, shortly after the release of the DS Lite

Nintendo DSi XL

Nintendo DSi XL-edit
A black Nintendo DSi XL.

A year later, Nintendo announced a fourth and final model in the DS family called the Nintendo DSi XL (called Nintendo DSi LL in Japan). Announced on October 29, 2009, it was released in Japan in 2009 and in 2010 worldwide. It is a larger version of the DSi and the biggest, heaviest, widest, and brightest of the four models. Like the DSi, the Game Boy Advance slot was removed.

Bestselling games

Some of the DS's bestselling games 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. Some protective cases include the highly durable Nerf cases. Most DS systems have a screen protector and a car adapter, used to charge the DS in a car.


The DS has sold 154.01 million units as of July 14, 2015, making it the best selling handheld of all time. It has currently beat the record of its sibling console (The Game Boy/Game Boy Color), which has sold 118.69 million.

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