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The Nintendo DS is a handheld gaming system released by Nintendo and the successor to the Game Boy Advance. It was released on November 21, 2004 in North America, December 2, 2004 in Japan, February 24, 2005 in Australia, and March 11, 2005 in Europe. It features two 3" (7.62 cm) screens, (one of which being touch-sensitive). It also introduces many new features to the Nintendo handheld lineup such as stereo sound, audio input (microphone) and 3D graphics. As with the previous major Nintendo handhelds, the DS and DS Lite also provide backwards compatibility for Game Boy Advance games (though this does not support multiplayer.) Unfortunately, the DSi and DSi XL removed GBA support. However, like the Game Boy Micro, the DS and DS Lite cannot play original Game Boy and Game Boy Color games because the Sharp Z80 compatible processor is not included and the console has physical incompatibility with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. With 154.9 million units (as of 22 Mar 2021), Nintendo DS is the best-selling handheld console, the best-selling Nintendo console and second best-selling console overall, after PlayStation 2, which had sold 157.68 million units as of 22 Mar 2021.


The Nintendo DS is the first Nintendo handheld to feature built-in wireless connection, without any add-ons. The Nintendo DS is also the first Nintendo system to feature online play, by using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The successors to the Nintendo DS line, Nintendo 3DS (released in 2011), are handhelds similar in appearance that can produce 3D graphics without the need for glasses, but are also backwards compatible with DS games except for some games that require the GBA slot for use.


Nintendo DS Lite

A black Nintendo DS Lite.

The Nintendo DS Lite is a newer, thinner, and lighter remake of the Nintendo DS.[12] It retains all the functions of the original model, but adds brighter backlight. The microphone is placed on the center hinge, rather than the bottom right like the original. It is smaller and has the ability to fit in smaller cases. The Nintendo DS Lite gives the player more opportunity to work on the player's profile. It is the final handheld to play GBA games.

Nintendo DSi

A black Nintendo DSi.

Main article: Nintendo DSi

The Nintendo DSi was announced by Nintendo on October 2, 2008.[13] It is brighter, thinner, and lighter than the DS Lite, having removed the Game Boy Advance slot, causing disappointment when the Nintendo DSi released.[14] Two cameras, one on the outside and one on the inside, were added, as well as music playback functions, larger screens, an SD card slot, and the DSiWare shop, an online shop much like the Wii Shop Channel, where original games can be bought.

Nintendo DSi XL

A green Nintendo DSi XL.

The Nintendo DSi XL (originally called Nintendo DSi LL in Japan) was first announced on October 29, 2009. It is a larger version of the DSi and the brightest, heaviest, and largest of the four models. The only difference is that it comes with 2 games: Brain Age Express Math, and Brain Age Express Reading. It also comes with a larger and thicker version of the stylus. Like its predecessor, it is not backwards compatible with GBA games.

DS Download Play

DS Download Play is a multiplayer feature used in most Nintendo DS games. In the Mario series, it only appears in Mario Kart DS. In the game, there are two ways to play with more than one player. There is Normal mode when multiple game cards wirelessly play, and Simple mode, or Download Play. In this mode, the gameplay is very restricted, allowing only the courses in the Mushroom and Shell cups. You cannot change the Engine Class. In addition, only the Nintendo DS, Tart Top, and Pipe Plaza stages may be used. Also, players who don't own a game cartridge can only use Shy Guy. Download Play is also used to describe the single-card play in other games for the Nintendo DS.

In Mario Kart DS


The Nintendo DS (ニンテンドーDS Nintendo DS?) appeared on Mario Kart DS as a battle stage. Hence the name, the stage strongly resembles the original Nintendo DS, similar to how the Nintendo GameCube stage in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! resembles the Nintendo GameCube. The stage takes place outer space.

Mario games released for the Nintendo DS


  • Surprisingly, the original Nintendo DS was released nearly a year before the Game Boy Micro, a second revision of the GBA and the last model in the Game Boy family, but was also discontinued after that model.
  • The full Nintendo DS Line was discontinued in 2013 and are the seventh generation of video game consoles.