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Nintendo DS

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Nintendo DS
Nintendo DS.png
Manufacturer Nintendo
Type Handheld game console
Generation Seventh generation
Release date Nintendo DS:
USA November 21, 2004
Japan December 2, 2004
ROC December 2, 2004
South Korea December 29, 2004
Australia February 24, 2005
Europe March 11, 2005
HK April 21, 2005
China June 15, 2005[1]
Nintendo DS Lite:
Japan March 2, 2006
Australia June 1, 2006
USA June 11, 2006
Europe June 23, 2006
China June 26, 2006[2]
South Korea January 18, 2007
Nintendo DSi:
Japan November 1, 2008
Australia April 2, 2009
Europe April 3, 2009
USA April 5, 2009[3]
China Decemeber 15, 2009
South Korea April 15, 2010[4]
Brazil July 26, 2011[5]
Nintendo DSi XL:
Japan November 21, 2009
Europe March 5, 2010
USA March 28, 2010
Australia April 15, 2010
South Africa October 8, 2010[6]
Brazil July 26, 2011[7]
CPU One 67 MHz (ARM) and one 33 MHz ARM7TDMI
Media GBA cartridges Nintendo DS game cards
System storage Cartridge save, 4 MB tRAM
Online service Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Units sold 154.02 million worldwide (as of June 30, 2016)[8]
Best-selling game New Super Mario Bros., 30.80 million (as of September 30, 2016)[9]
Predecessor Game Boy Advance
Successor Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo DS (ニンテンドーDS Nintendō DS?) is a two-screened portable game system created and manufactured by Nintendo as the successor to the Game Boy Advance. It was originally released in 2004 in North America, Japan, and some Asian regions and in 2005 in Australia, Europe, Hong Kong, and China. The system introduces many new features to the Nintendo handheld lineup, including a resistive touchscreen, visible operating system GUI (in the form of the main menu), stereo sound output/audio input via microphone, and wireless connection capabilities. It is also the first Nintendo handheld to support 3D polygonal graphics as opposed to only sprites.

The first revision of the Nintendo DS is the Nintendo DS Lite, released in 2006, and its main selling point was backlit screen. The second revision is the Nintendo DSi, which features an entirely different HOME Menu and unique downloadable applications known as DSiWare. It was released in Japan in 2008, then in North America, Europe, and Australia in 2009, and in South Korea in 2010. Unlike earlier Nintendo DS models, the Nintendo DSi does not feature a second cartridge slot for Game Boy Advance titles. It can take pictures using two cameras, one on the outside and the other facing the user, as well as listen to music and connect online via Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. It is also 12% thinner than the Nintendo DS Lite. The Nintendo DSi itself has a remodel with a larger screen size, the Nintendo DSi XL (titled Nintendo DSi LL in Japan), which released in 2009 in Japan and in 2010 in other countries.

In 2011, a successor to the Nintendo DS was released, the Nintendo 3DS, which includes the main hardware features of the Nintendo DS, but its main gimmick is the ability to display three-dimensional graphics. Nintendo 3DS units were also backward compatible with Nintendo DS titles, and most DSiWare titles were ported to its Nintendo eShop.


The lower display of the Nintendo DS is overlaid with a touch screen, 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 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 Button, B Button, X Button, and Y Button buttons, with narrow Start and Select buttons above them. The L Button and R Button shoulder buttons are located on the upper corners of the lower half of the system. The overall button layout is similar to a Super Nintendo Entertainment System controller.

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 Diamond and Pearl Versions), and minigames that require the player to blow or shout into the microphone (Mario Party DS).


There are two unique Metroid games for the Nintendo DS, both of them being Metroid Prime series titles: Metroid Prime Hunters and Metroid Prime Pinball. The former game has a demo version, Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt, that was bundled with early Nintendo DS consoles.

During the mid to late-2000s, Metroid Dread was being developed for the Nintendo DS on two different occasions. It was eventually developed into a game for the Nintendo Switch, and was released in 2021.

Cameos and guest appearances