Nintendo DS

Nintendo handheld game console

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.

Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS Logo.svg
An electric blue Nintendo DS
Also known asiQue DS (China)
Product familyNintendo DS family
TypeHandheld game console
GenerationSeventh generation
Release date
  • NA: November 21, 2004
  • JP: December 2, 2004
  • AU: February 24, 2005
  • EU: March 11, 2005
Introductory priceUS$149.99[1]
Units sold154.02 million worldwide (as of June 30, 2016)[3] (details)
MediaNintendo game card, ROM cartridge
Memory4 MB RAM
StorageCartridge save
256 KB flash memory
DisplayTwo TFT LCDs, 256 × 192 pixels
ConnectivityWi-Fi (802.11b, WEP)
Online servicesNintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Best-selling gameNew Super Mario Bros., 30.80 million (as of September 30, 2016)[4]
Game Boy Advance
(DS and DS Lite only)
PredecessorGame Boy Advance
SuccessorNintendo 3DS

For most of Nintendo's systems, there have been no load times, except for the GameCube and Wii.[source?] 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 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.[5] In 2011, the DS briefly held the record for best-selling game console overall.[6][7]

Handheld revisionsEdit

Nintendo DS LiteEdit

A white Nintendo DS Lite

Nintendo later developed a newer version of the Nintendo DS, known as the Nintendo DS Lite.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 DSiEdit

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, thinner, 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 XLEdit

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.

Best-selling gamesEdit

Some of the DS's best-selling games are Nintendogs, Super Mario 64 DS, 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.


In total, the DS family has sold 154.9 million units as of July 15, 2021, making it the best-selling handheld of all time, the best-selling Nintendo console, and overall, the second best-selling system behind the PlayStation 2. It has currently beat the record of its sibling console (the Game Boy/Game Boy Color), which has sold 118.69 million.[8][9][10]

Other websitesEdit


  1. "The Real Cost of Gaming: Inflation, Time, and Purchasing Power". October 15, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  2. Langshaw, Mark (April 21, 2013). "Nintendo: '2013 is the year of the 3DS'". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
  3. "Consolidated Sales Transition by Region" (PDF). Nintendo. April 27, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  4. "Sales Data — Top Selling Software Sales Units — Nintendo DS Software". Nintendo. March 31, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2014.
  5. "Platform Totals". VGChartz. Retrieved 2021-07-15.
  6. Guinness world records 2012. Gamer's edition. London: Guinness World Records. 2012. ISBN 978-1-904994-76-3. OCLC 745979823.
  7. Craig Glenday (2012). Guinness World Records 2013. London: Guinness World Records, Ltd. ISBN 978-1-904994-87-9. OCLC 785068931.
  8. Consolidated sales
  9. The News Team (2010-01-29). "Wii sales best NES totals, DS sales beat Game Boy". GoNintendo. Archived from the original on February 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
  10. JC Fletcher (2010-01-28). "DS sells 125 million worldwide, Wii up to 67 million". JoyStiq. Archived from the original on January 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-16.