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Nintendo DS line

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Title: Nintendo DS line  
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Subject: Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance family, Nintendo 3DS, Video game consoles, JXD 1000
Collection: Electronics Lists, Nintendo 3Ds, Nintendo Consoles, Nintendo Ds
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Nintendo DS line

Nintendo DS line
Developer Nintendo
Type Handheld game console
Generation Seventh generation
Retail availability 2004-present
Units shipped Worldwide: 154.01 million
(as of December 31, 2014)
Best-selling game New Super Mario Bros., 30.75 million
(as of December 31, 2014)
Game Boy Advance (DS, DS Lite only)
Predecessor Game Boy line
Successor Nintendo 3DS line

The Nintendo DS line (often called the DS family) is a line of handheld game consoles developed and sold by Nintendo from 2004-present. It succeeded the Game Boy Advance line and was succeeded by the Nintendo 3DS line in 2011.

Initially released as an experimental platform ancillary to the Game Boy line, the Nintendo DS line soon replaced it as Nintendo's flagship handheld device family. Featuring and interacting with many of the game series that are seen on the company's home console lines, the DS line has often represented the bulk of the company's unit system sales throughout the course of its history.

Throughout its lifetime, Sony's PlayStation Portable has been the main market competitor. There have been four different models of the Nintendo DS line on the market: the original Nintendo DS, the Nintendo DS Lite, as well as the Nintendo DSi and its XL variant. The Nintendo DS line has been highly successful, continuing the trend of its predecessor, the Game Boy line. With over 154 million units sold worldwide, the DS models are the best-selling handheld consoles, and second best-selling console overall behind the Sony PlayStation 2.


  • History 1
    • Timeline 1.1
  • Nintendo DS family 2
    • Nintendo DS 2.1
    • Nintendo DS Lite 2.2
    • Nintendo DSi 2.3
    • Nintendo DSi XL 2.4
  • Comparison 3
  • Accessories 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6


Timeline of release years
2004 Nintendo DS
2006 Nintendo DS Lite
2008 Nintendo DSi
2009 Nintendo DSi XL


Nintendo DS family

Nintendo DS

An Electric Blue Nintendo DS in its opened position.

The Nintendo DS (abbreviated to DS) is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and released by Nintendo. The device went on sale in North America on November 21, 2004. The DS, short for "Developers' System" or "Dual Screen",[1] introduced distinctive new features to handheld gaming: an LCD screen working in tandem with a touchscreen, a built-in microphone, and support for wireless connectivity.[2] Both screens are encompassed within a clamshell design similar to the Game Boy Advance SP. The Nintendo DS also features the ability for multiple DS consoles to directly interact with each other over Wi-Fi within a short range without the need to connect to an existing wireless network. Alternatively, they can interact online using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service.

Prior to its release, the Nintendo DS was marketed as a "third pillar" in Nintendo's console lineup, meant to complement the Game Boy Advance and GameCube. However, backward compatibility with Game Boy Advance titles and strong sales ultimately established the new handheld console as the successor to the Game Boy series.

Nintendo DS Lite

A black Nintendo DS Lite in its opened position.
The Nintendo DS Lite (abbreviated to DS Lite) is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It is a slimmer, brighter, and more lightweight redesign of the original Nintendo DS. 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.[3] 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 December 31, 2013, shipments of the DS Lite have reached 93.86 million units worldwide, according to Nintendo.[4]

Nintendo DSi

A black Nintendo DSi in its opened position.

The Nintendo DSi (abbreviated to DSi)[5] is a dual-screen handheld game console released by Nintendo. The console launched in Japan on November 1, 2008, and worldwide beginning in April 2009. It is the third iteration of the Nintendo DS, and its primary market rival is Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP). Development of the DSi began in late 2006, and the handheld was unveiled during an October 2008 Nintendo conference in Tokyo. Consumer demand convinced Nintendo to produce a slimmer handheld with larger screens than the DS Lite. Consequently, Nintendo removed the Game Boy Advance (GBA) cartridge slot to improve portability without sacrificing durability.

While the DSi's design is similar to that of the DS Lite, it features two digital cameras, supports internal and external content storage, and connects to an online store called the Nintendo DSi Shop. Nintendo stated that families often share DS and DS Lite consoles. Its new functionality was intended to facilitate personalization, so as to encourage each member of a household to purchase a DSi. The handheld supports exclusive physical media in addition to DS games with DSi-specific features and standard DS titles. The only exception to its backward compatibility are earlier DS games that required the GBA slot. As of September 30, 2014, Nintendo had sold 41.37 million DSi and DSi XL units combined.[4]

Reviews of the Nintendo DSi were generally positive; although IGN and bit-tech decried the console's lack of exclusive software and removal of the GBA cartridge slot, its added functionality caused many journalists to recommend it to those who had not purchased a previous DS model. Numerous critics were disappointed with the limited resolution of DSi's cameras, though others such as Ars Technica and GameSpot agreed they were adequate for the handheld's display. CNET and PCWorld considered the DSi Shop to be the most important buying incentive for current DS owners.

Nintendo DSi XL

A burgundy Nintendo DSi XL in its opened position.

The Nintendo DSi XL (abbreviated to DSi XL) features larger screens, and a greater overall size, than the original DSi. It is the fourth DS model, the first to be available as a pure size variation.[6] 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."[6] 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."[6] 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.[6]

The DSi XL is the longest, widest and heaviest DS model.[5][7] The console features two 4.2-inch (110 mm) wide-viewing-angle LCD screens with the same resolution as the smaller model.[8] It has improved battery life over the DSi on all brightness settings; for example, batteries last 13–17 hours at the dimmest setting.[5] The handheld is outfitted with identical speakers contained in larger speaker enclosures, enabling them to produce louder sound. The hinges stop the screen at 120° in addition to the original DSi's position of 155° to allow easier table-top viewing.[9] The DSi XL is bundled with two longer styli, one of which is thicker, rounded, and pen-like,[10] and does not fit inside the unit.[11]


Comparison of Nintendo DS line systems
Name Nintendo DSi XL Nintendo DSi Nintendo DS Lite Nintendo DS
Console Nintendo DSi XL An opened clamshell dual-screen handheld device. A camera is embedded in the internal hinge. Nintendo DS Lite An original Nintendo DS
In production Discontinued
Generation Seventh generation
Release date
  • JP 21 November 2009
  • EU 5 March 2010
  • NA 28 March 2010
  • AUS 15 April 2010
  • JP 1 November 2008
  • AUS 2 April 2009
  • EU 3 April 2009
  • NA 5 April 2009
  • JP 2 March 2006
  • AUS 1 June 2006
  • NA 11 June 2006
  • EU 23 June 2006
  • NA 21 November 2004[12]
  • JP 2 December 2004[12]
  • AUS 24 February 2005
  • EU 11 March 2005
Launch price ¥20,000
Current price Discontinued Discontinued Discontinued Discontinued
Units shipped Worldwide: 154.01 million (as of September 30, 2014)[4]
Best-selling game New Super Mario Bros., 30.75 million units (as of March 31, 2014)
Display 4.2 in (107 mm) 3.25 in (83 mm) 3.12 in (79 mm) 3.0 in (76 mm)
256 × 192 px (both screens)[12]
262,144 colors[14]
5 brightness levels 4 brightness levels Backlight On/Off toggle
Processor 133 MHz ARM946E-S & 33.514 MHz ARM7TDMI 67.028 MHz ARM946E-S & 33.514 MHz ARM7TDMI
Memory 16 MB PSRAM 4 MB SRAM
(expandable via Game Boy Advance slot)
Camera Front-facing and outward-facing 0.3 MP sensors None
Storage Expandable up to 32 GB via SD/SDHC card slot None
Physical media Nintendo DS Game Card (8-512 MB) Nintendo DS Game Card (8-512 MB)
Game Boy Advance Game Cartridge (2-32 MB)
Input controls
  • D-pad
  • A/B/X/Y, L/R, and START/SELECT buttons
  • Touchscreen
  • Microphone
  • Camera
  • D-pad
  • A/B/X/Y, L/R, and START/SELECT buttons
  • Touchscreen
  • Microphone[12]
Battery 1050 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 13–17 hours (on the lowest brightness setting)
  • 4–5 hours (on the brightest)[15]
840 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 9–14 hours (on the lowest brightness setting)
  • 3–4 hours (on the brightest)[15]
1000 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 15–19 hours (on the lowest brightness setting)
  • 5–8 hours (on the brightest)[16]
850 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • 6–10 hours
    (determined by screen brightness, wireless, and sound volume)[12]
  • Integrated 802.11b/g
    (only compatible with WEP or unencrypted networks while playing regular Nintendo DS games)[17]
  • Integrated 802.11 (legacy mode)
    (only compatible with WEP or unencrypted networks)[18]
Stylus 96 mm (3.8 in) long × 4.9 mm (0.19 in) wide 92 mm (3.6 in) long × 4.9 mm (0.19 in) wide 87.5 mm (3.44 in) long × 4.9 mm (0.19 in) wide 75 mm (3.0 in) long × 4 mm (0.16 in) wide
Weight 314 grams (11.1 oz) 214 grams (7.5 oz) 218 grams (7.7 oz) 275 grams (9.7 oz)

161 mm (6.3 in) W
91.4 mm (3.60 in) D
21.2 mm (0.83 in) H

137 mm (5.4 in) W
74.9 mm (2.95 in) D
18.9 mm (0.74 in) H

133 mm (5.2 in) W
73.9 mm (2.91 in) D
21.5 mm (0.85 in) H

148.7 mm (5.85 in) W
84.7 mm (3.33 in) D
28.9 mm (1.14 in) H[12]

Online services Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Preloaded applications
  • Nintendo DS/DSi Game Card launcher
  • Brain Age Reading
  • Brain Age Math
  • DS Download Play
  • Nintendo DSi Browser
  • Nintendo DSi Camera
  • Nintendo DSi Shop
  • Nintendo DSi Sound
  • PictoChat[12]
  • Flipnote Studio
  • System Settings
Regional lockout Yes No
Backward compatibility N/A Game Boy Advance Game Pak
(single-player only)


See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c
  5. ^ a b c
  6. ^ a b c d
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Nintendo 2009, p. 111.
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b Nintendo DSi/Nintendo DSi XL - Battery FAQ Nintendo - Consumer Service
  16. ^ Nintendo DS Lite - Battery FAQ Nintendo - Consumer Service
  17. ^ DSi Operations Manual Nintendo - Support
  18. ^ Nintendo Wifi Support FAQ -
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