Nintendo DS

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This article is about the original Nintendo DS models. For the second model of the handheld, see Nintendo DS Lite. For third model, see Nintendo DSi.
Nintendo DS

A standard model of the original Nintendo DS
Also known as Nintendo Dual Screen
Developer(s) Nintendo
Manufacturer(s) Foxconn
Type(s) Handheld
Generation Seventh
Release date 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]
Connectivity Wi-Fi (802.11b, WEP)
Introductory price US$149.99
Discontinued 2009[citation needed]
Units sold 18,802,000 (worldwide)[2]
154,020,000 combined (worldwide)[2]
(both as of June 30, 2016)
Media Nintendo game card, ROM cartridge
Display Two TFT LCDs, 256 × 192 pixels
Best-selling game New Super Mario Bros (30.80 million)[3]
Predecessor Game Boy Advance
Successor Nintendo 3DS
Pick up and play.
— European advertisement slogan for the Nintendo DS
Touching is good.
— US advertisement slogan for the Nintendo DS

The Nintendo DS is a handheld game system released by Nintendo in 2004. The Nintendo DS is Nintendo's fourth handheld system; its predecessor is the Game Boy Advance. It features two 3-inch (7.6 cm) screens. "DS" stands for "Dual Screen".[4] 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. As with previous major Nintendo handhelds, the DS and Nintendo DS Lite provides backwards compatibility for Game Boy Advance games (though this does not work with the Nintendo DSi family), although only limited to single-player experiences as the Game Link Cable and Wireless Adapter support are missing. Like the Game Boy Micro, the DS and DS Lite are not backwards compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. The charger provided with the first generation DS is the same connection as the Game Boy Advance SP. In 2011, the Nintendo DS and its models were succeeded by the Nintendo 3DS.

The Nintendo DS is the first Nintendo system to have wireless functions, allowing it to link up with other DS's without any wires or add-ons. It is also Nintendo's first system to have online capabilities, which was done through their Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service before its discontinuation on May 20, 2014. Select games were compatible with the service (Mario Kart DS being the first). Both the original DS and the DS Lite do not support connection to WPA encrypted networks.

The Nintendo DS retains the A Button, B Button, L Button, R Button, Start Button and Select Button buttons from the Game Boy Advance, as well as two added buttons: X Button and Y Button, giving Nintendo DS units all of the same buttons as a Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Before the official name's release, Iris was the first codename for the handheld that would be the successor of the Game Boy Advance. Later, it was called Nitro[5] when the new device created had two screens. Originally, "DS" was short for "Developer's System".[citation needed]

As of March 31, 2020, the Nintendo DS and its later models sold 154.02 million units combined, making it Nintendo's best-selling video game console, the highest-selling handheld console in the world, and the second highest-selling console overall worldwide behind the PlayStation 2.[6]

The graphical capability of the Nintendo DS is said to be on par with the Nintendo 64, albeit with enhanced 3D modeling, but more pixelated textures due to lack of texture filtering.


The original Nintendo DS received three later models, making there a total of four Nintendo DS models.

Nintendo DS Lite[edit]

Main article: Nintendo DS Lite

The second model, the Nintendo DS Lite, was released in 2006 and contains all the features of the original Nintendo DS with some new features such as a significantly brighter screen (with four adjustment options), a lighter weight, and a smaller overall size (having the negative side effect of a regular Game Boy Advance cartridge protruding out from the bottom, similar to playing a Game Boy or Game Boy Color cartridge in the Game Boy Advance). The Nintendo DS Lite sold 89.19 million units as of 2010.[citation needed] It was also the final handheld system to have backwards compatibility with Game Boy Advance games.

Nintendo DSi[edit]

Main article: Nintendo DSi

A third model, called the Nintendo DSi, was released in Japan in 2008 and in other regions in 2009. It is thinner, lighter, and brighter than the Nintendo DS Lite, having removed the Game Boy Advance slot. However, this means that the Nintendo DS Rumble Pak cannot be used. Two cameras, music playback functions, Wi-Fi, internet browser, larger screens, and a Wii-like channel interface were added. Additionally, the console supports WPA encrypted networks. The DSi's front has a camera lens, and another, smaller lens is located where the mic was positioned on the Lite, allowing for photos to be taken with the DSi. From the Nintendo DSi Shop, users could download games and other software to store on either an SD Card or in the internal memory. On March 31, 2017, the Nintendo DSi Shop was closed, making it no longer possible to purchase any titles from it, with the exception of the Nintendo 3DS Transfer Tool.

Nintendo DSi XL[edit]

Main article: Nintendo DSi XL

In 2009, Nintendo released the Nintendo DSi XL, which is a larger version of standard DSi units. The "XL" stands for "Extra Large."


Nintendo DS Stylus[edit]

Main article: Nintendo DS Stylus

The Stylus Nintendo DS Stylus is a pencil-like accessory that comes included with the Nintendo DS system. The instrument is often used in conjunction with the touch screen. Usually, the stylus is used to make menu selections, which the player can do by bringing the stylus in contact with their selection on the touch screen. In most games, the stylus is either required or a control option during gameplay.

On the DS, the stylus slot is located on the back, and is inserted downwards, relatively to the DS itself. On the DS Lite and DSi, however, it was relocated to the right side of the system, and is inserted from right to left, relative to the DS Lite or DSi. The stylus for the DS is noticeably thinner than the stylus for the DS Lite. A DS generally comes with two styluses, and extras can be purchased from stores or special ones from promotions.

Nintendo DS Rumble Pak[edit]

Main article: Nintendo DS Rumble Pak

This accessory is shaped like a Game Boy Advance game pak, which it plugs into the bottom of the Nintendo DS. Because of this, it is incompatible with the Nintendo DSi and the Nintendo 3DS.

Appearances in other media[edit]

This section is a stub. You can help the Nintendo Wiki by expanding it.

This list also includes appearances of the Nintendo DS Lite. An individual list of said model found on its respective article.

Mario franchise[edit]



  • If the DS or DS Lite is powered on on the date that the user has set as their birthday, a high pitched chime plays. This feature was removed from the Nintendo DSi.
  • The Nintendo DS is Nintendo's only handheld system to have neither a Player's Choice or Nintendo Selects label on select video games.