The Nintendo DS is a handheld gaming system released by Nintendo. 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" 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 also provides backwards compatibility for Game Boy Advance games (though this does not support multiplayer).

It appeared on Mario Kart DS as a battle stage.

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.

The original DS was discontinued in January 31, 2014, while the DS Lite was discontinued on March 31 of that year, and the DSi and DSi XL were discontinued on September 30 of that year.

Nintendo DS Lite

Nintendo DS Lite - Black Model

A black Nintendo DS Lite.

The Nintendo DS Lite is a newer, thinner, and lighter remake of the Nintendo DS. It retains all functions of the original, 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 you more opportunity to work on your profile. It is the final handheld to play GBA games.

Nintendo DSi

Nintendo DSi - Black Model

A black Nintendo DSi.

Main article: Nintendo DSi

The Nintendo DSi was announced by Nintendo on October 2, 2008. It is brighter, thinner and lighter than the DS Lite, having removed the Game Boy Advance slot, which caused alot of disappointment when it came out. 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

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

This is a multiplayer feature used in many games. In the Mario series, it appears only 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, 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 single-card play in other games for the DS.

Mario Games released for the DS


  • Surprisingly, the original Nintendo DS was released nearly a year before the Game Boy Micro (which is also backwards compatible with GBA games), the last model in the Game Boy family, but was also discontinued after that model.
  • All the four models were discontinued in 2014 and are the seventh generation of video game consoles.


  1. iQue Press Release
  3. IGN: US DSi Release Detailed, accessed 2009-02-18
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