NOTE: We at NintendoCosmos DO NOT claim any of this info from Wikipedia as of ours:

{Nintendo DS Introduction:}

by Omega Mario

The new generation of portable gaming, where the pen stylus is either your sword, character, or cursor. No longer do you aim with the fussy control pad, and shoot with the A button. Now you can actually interact with the game using it's new Touch screen. Bored of playing games alone? use the Nintendo Wi-Fi connection to play anyone in the world. Possibilities are endless with the Nintendo DS.


Aside from how and you play the games, and with whom, lets talk about the graphics. The graphics are great for a two inch screen, and are most similar to the graphics of the N64. Not only do you have great graphics, but you also two screens to admire the great graphics! Who would ever know in the 90's that you could shrink that classic Mario 64 game in one two inch screen? I sure didn't...

One of the greatest additions to the Nintendo DS is it's Nintendo Wi-Fi connection. Play with anyone in the world at any time in the world. To get Wi-Fi, you need either a Nintendo Wi-Fi usb connector (Most recommended) or any other working access point. Though not all games have Wi-Fi, so make sure to look for the Nintendo Wi-Fi logo on your Nintendo DS gamepak to see if it's Wi-Fi compatible. Some of these game include Mario Kart DS, Metroid Prime Hunters, and Tetris. Learn more about Wi-Fi at

The touch screen will forever be the feature that changed portable gaming. By using the pen packed with your Nintendo DS, use the touch screen to guide Link on his quest, lasso a goomba, or guide Kirby to save dreamland. Whatever your playing, the touch screen will make gaming great for gamers of any age.

Want to play all of your classic game from the Game boy advance? Don't take the time to dust off your Gameboy advance just yet, because those games are compatible with the Nintendo DS as well. With another game slot under your Nintendo DS, you can play all you Gameboy advance games on either the Touch screen or Top screen (Not touch controlled). After inserting your Gamebuy advance game into your Nintendo DS, go to the main menu and select the GBA option.

Want to chat with friends and family wireless? Well the new feature, "Pictochat", makes that possible. Using four separate chat rooms, you can chat with up to four people using a digital keyboard, and a drawing pad for doodling. Though the Nintendo DS signal can only reach about 30 feet, it's still a blast using the Nintendo DS as a chat room and send your doodles to friends!

A smart addition to the Nintendo DS is "DS download play". If you want to take a test drive of a certain game you may want to play, use DS download play to test it out. You can find download stations in participating stores, where you can get a free demo of a Nintendo DS game. The free demo ends when you shut down the Nintendo DS. This allows for smart shopping, and you find out if the game you want to buy is really for you. This feature also allows for easy multiplayer with friends.


The old Nintendo DS look

The size of a Nintendo DS game pack

Comparing the size of the old Nintendo DS to the new Nintendo DS lite.

The pen stylus recommended for the touch screen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Nintendo DS

Manufacturer Nintendo
Product family Nintendo DS
Type Handheld game console
Generation Seventh generation era
First available NA November 21, 2004
JP December 2, 2004
AUS February 24, 2005
EU March 11, 2005
CPU One 67 MHz[1] (ARM) and one 33 MHz ARM7TDMI
Media GBA cartridges
Nintendo DS game cards
System storage Cartridge save, 4 MB RAM
Connectivity Wi-Fi, LAN
Online service Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Units sold Worldwide: 64.79 million, all versions (as of December 31, 2007)[2] (details)
Best-selling game Nintendogs, 17.79 million (as of December 31, 2007)[3]
Successor Nintendo DS Lite (redesign)

The Nintendo DS (sometimes abbreviated NDS or DS) is a handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. It was released in 2004 in Canada, U.S., and Japan. The console features a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP, with two LCD screens inside - one of which is a touchscreen. The Nintendo DS also features a built-in microphone and supports wireless IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standards,[4] allowing players to interact with each other within short range (10–30 m, depending on conditions) or online with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, which launched later in the console's lifespan. This was the first Nintendo console to be released in North America prior to Japan.

The system's code name was Nitro,[5] and this can be seen in the model codes that appear on the unit. The console's name officially refers to "Developers' System", in reference to the new game design the system was meant to inspire, and "Dual Screen", the system's most obvious feature.[6]

On March 2, 2006, Nintendo released the Nintendo DS Lite, a redesign of the Nintendo DS, in Japan. It was later released in North America, Europe, and Australia in June 2006. The DS Lite is a slimmer and lighter version of the Nintendo DS and has brighter screens. Nintendo of America refers to the older model as the "original style" Nintendo DS.


 Development and launch:

On November 13, 2003, Nintendo announced that it would be creating a new console for release in 2004.[8] Nintendo said that it would not be the successor to either the Nintendo GameCube or the Game Boy Advance SP,[8] but rather it would be considered a "third pillar" alongside the two consoles.[9] On January 20, 2004, the console was announced under the codename "Nintendo DS".[10] Nintendo released very few details at that time, only saying that the console would have two separate 3 in. TFT LCD display panels, separate processors, and up to 1 gigabit of semiconductor memory.[10][11] Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said "We have developed Nintendo DS based upon a completely different concept from existing game devices in order to provide players with a unique entertainment experience for the 21st century."[10] In March, the codename was changed to "Nitro" and a document containing most of the console's technical specifications was leaked.[12] In May, the codename was changed back to "Nintendo DS" (DS standing for Dual Screen)[6] and the console was shown in prototype form at E3. All of the features of the console were released by Nintendo at E3.[13] On July 28, 2004, Nintendo revealed a new design, one that was described as "sleeker and more elegant" than the one shown at E3. Also, the codename "Nintendo DS" became the official name of the console that day.

The Donkey Kong version of the Game & Watch.
The Donkey Kong version of the Game & Watch.

The Nintendo DS bears a striking resemblance to Nintendo's first handheld, the Game & Watch, specifically the multi-screen versions such as Donkey Kong.

On September 20, 2004, Nintendo announced that the Nintendo DS would be released in North America on November 21, 2004 for US$149.99.[15] It was set to release on December 2, 2004 in Japan and in the first quarter of 2005 in Europe and Australia. The console was released in North America with a midnight launch event at Universal CityWalk EB Games in Los Angeles, California. The console was launched quietly in Japan compared to the North America launch; one source cites the cold weather as the reason.[16] In January 2005, the Australia release date of February 24, 2005 and the Europe release date of March 11, 2005 were announced. Regarding the European launch, Nintendo President Satoru Iwata said:

Europe is an extremely important market for Nintendo, and we are pleased we can offer such a short period of time between the US and European launch. We believe that the Nintendo DS will change the way people play video games and our mission remains to expand the game play experience. Nintendo DS caters for the needs of all gamers whether for more dedicated gamers who want the real challenge they expect, or the more casual gamers who want quick, pick up and play fun.


 Input and output

The lower display of the Nintendo DS is overlaid with a touchscreen, 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, the included chatting software, 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, B, X, and Y buttons, with narrow Select and Start buttons above them. Shoulder buttons L and R are located on the upper corners of the lower half of the system. The overall button layout is similar to the controller of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Super Famicom in Japan).

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, etc.), chatting online between and during gameplay sessions (Pokemon Diamond and Pearl), and minigames that require the player to blow or shout into the microphone (Feel the Magic: XY/XX, WarioWare: Touched!, Mario Party DS, etc.).

 Technical specifications

The system's 3D hardware performs transform and lighting, texture-coordinate transformation, texture mapping, alpha blending, anti-aliasing, cel shading, and z-buffering. However, it uses point (nearest neighbor) texture filtering, leading to some titles having a blocky appearance. The system is theoretically capable of rendering about 120,000 triangles per second at 60 frames per second, which is comparable to the Nintendo 64.[citation needed] Unlike most 3D hardware, it has a set limit on the number of triangles it can render as part of a single scene; the maximum amount is about 6144 vertices, or 2048 triangles per frame. The 3D hardware is designed to render to a single screen at a time, so rendering 3D to both screens is difficult and decreases performance significantly. The DS is generally more limited by its polygon budget than by its pixel fill rate. There are also 512 kilobytes of texture memory per screen, and the maximum texture size is 1024x1024 pixels.

The system has two 2D engines, one per screen. These are similar to (but more powerful than) the Game Boy Advance's single 2D engine. However the cores are divided into the main core and sub core. Only the main core is capable of vertex 3D rendering. There is also 656 kilobytes of video memory.

The Nintendo DS has compatibility with Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11. The unit also supports a special wireless format created by Nintendo and secured using RSA security signing (used by the wireless drawing and chatting program PictoChat for the DS). Wi-Fi is used for accessing the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, where users can use the internet or compete with other users playing the same Wi-Fi compatible game.

 Media specifications

Nintendo DS games use a proprietary solid state ROM "game card" format resembling the memory cards used in other portable electronic devices such as digital cameras. It currently supports cards up to 2 gigabit (2048 Mb or 256 MB) in size,[21] which is four times the amount of memory that the largest Nintendo 64 cartridge was able to store (512 Mb or 64 MB). The cards always have a small amount of flash memory or an EEPROM to save user data such as game progress or high scores. The game cards are 33.0 mm × 35.0 mm × 3.8 mm (approximately half the width and half as thick as Game Boy Advance cartridges) and weigh around 3.5 g (1/8 ounce).

Based on an IGN blog by the developer of MechAssault: Phantom War, larger (such as 128 MB) cards have a slower data transfer rate than the more common smaller (such as 64 MB) cards. However the specific rates were not mentioned.[22]

The system's code-name was Nitro, resulting in the letters "NTR" appearing in the serial number written on the back of game cards and the system itself. NTR-XXX indicates the model numbers found on the original style Nintendo DS and its accessories.


Nintendo's own custom firmware boots the system. A health and safety warning is displayed first, then the main menu is loaded. The main menu presents the player with four main options to select: play a DS game, use PictoChat, initiate DS Download Play, or play a Game Boy Advance Game.

The firmware also features an alarm clock, several options for customization (such as boot priority for when games are inserted and GBA screen preference), and the ability to input user information (such as name, birthday, favorite color, etc.)

 Battery life

The Nintendo DS contains a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 850 mAH.[citation needed] On a full four-hour charge, the factory 850 mAH[citation needed] battery lasts about 10 hours.[23] Battery life is affected by multiple factors including speaker volume, use of one or both screens, back lighting, and use of wireless connectivity. The biggest effect on battery life is caused by using the backlight, which can be turned off in the main menu screen, or in selected games (such as Super Mario 64 DS). The battery is designed to be removed only when it expires.

To sustain battery life in the midst of a game, users can close the Nintendo DS system, putting the DS in sleep mode that also pauses the game that is being played. However, closing the lid while playing a Game Boy Advance game will not put the Nintendo DS into sleep mode; the game will continue to run normally, including the back light.[citation needed] Certain DS games (such as Animal Crossing: Wild World) also will not pause but the backlight, screens, and speakers will turn off. When saving the game in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Zoo Tycoon DS, and SimCity DS, the DS will not go into sleep mode.


 Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection

The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection is a free online game service run by Nintendo. Players with a compatible Nintendo DS game can connect to the service via a Wi-Fi network using a Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector or a wireless router. The service was launched in North America on November 14, 2005 with the release of Mario Kart DS.

A web browser, the Nintendo DS Browser, was later released on June 4, 2007 in North America to allow for web surfing on the handheld device.

 Download Play

With select titles (Yoshi Touch and Go, Mario Party DS, etc.), it is possible for users to play multiplayer games with other Nintendo DS systems using only one game card. Players must have their systems within wireless range (up to 100 ft) of each other and the guest systems download the necessary data from the host system.

Certain stores that sell DS games have DS Download Stations where users can download demos and videos of DS and Wii games. However, due to memory limitations the downloads are erased once the system is powered off.


PictoChat allows users to communicate with other Nintendo DS users within local wireless range. Users can enter text (via a small on screen keyboard), handwrite messages or draw pictures (via the stylus and touchscreen). There are four chatrooms (A, B, C, D) in which people can go to chat. Up to sixteen people can connect in any one room.


The Nintendo DS is compatible with Game Boy Advance (GBA) cartridges. The smaller Nintendo DS game cards fit into Slot 1 on the top of the system, while Game Boy Advance games fit into Slot 2 on the bottom of the system. The Nintendo DS is not compatible with games for the Game Boy Color and the original Game Boy, due to a slightly different form factor and the absence of the processor used in these systems.

The handheld does not have a port for the Game Boy Advance Link Cable, so multiplayer or GameCube-Game Boy Advance link-up modes are not available in Game Boy Advance titles.

The Nintendo DS only uses one screen when playing Game Boy Advance games. The user can configure the system to use either the top or bottom screen by default. The games are displayed within a black border on the screen, due to the slightly different screen resolution between the two systems (256 × 192px (approx. .05 megapixels) for the Nintendo DS, and 240 × 160px (approx. .04 megapixels) for the Game Boy Advance).

Nintendo DS games inserted into Slot 1 are able to detect the presence of specific Game Boy Advance games in Slot 2. In many such games, extra content can be unlocked or added by starting the Nintendo DS game with the appropriate Game Boy Advance game inserted. An example of this can be seen in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, which allow the user to send his or her Pokémon from a Game Boy Advance Pokémon title to the DS title.

Additionally, Slot 2 can be used to house expansion paks, such as the Rumble Pak and the Nintendo DS Memory Expansion Pak, which supplies 10 MB of extra RAM for the Nintendo DS Browser.

 Regional division

The Nintendo DS is region free in the sense that any console will run a Nintendo DS game purchased anywhere in the world. However, the Chinese version games can only be played on the Chinese iQue DS, whose larger firmware chip contains the required Chinese character glyph images. Although Nintendo DS of other regions cannot play the Chinese games, iQue DS can play games of other regions. Also, as with Game Boy games, some games that require both players to have a Nintendo DS game card for multiplayer play will not work together if the games are from different regions (e.g. a Japanese Nintendo DS game may not work with a North American Nintendo DS game, though some titles, such as Mario Kart DS, are mutually compatible). With the addition of the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, certain games can be played over the Internet with users of a different region game.

Some Wi-Fi enabled games (e.g. Mario Kart DS) allow the selection of opponents by region. The options are "Continent" and "Worldwide", as well as two non-location specific settings. This allows the player to limit competitors to only those opponents based in the same geographical area. It is unknown whether this is based on the region code of the console in use, the region of the game card, or geolocation of the IP address.


Main article: Nintendo DS accessories
Game Boy Advance game slot on Game Boy Advance (above) and Nintendo DS (below).
Game Boy Advance game slot on Game Boy Advance (above) and Nintendo DS (below).

Although the secondary port on the Nintendo DS does accept and support Game Boy Advance cartridges (but not Game Boy, and Game Boy Color cartridges), Nintendo has emphasized that its main intention for its inclusion was to allow a wide variety of accessories to be released for the system, the Game Boy Advance compatibility titles being a logical extension.

Nintendo announced at E3 2005 that it would launch "headset accessories" for voice over IP (VoIP) enabled games. (this plugs into the VoIP plug next to the ear phone jack)

 Rumble Pak

Main article: Rumble Pak

The Rumble Pak was the first official expansion slot accessory. In the form of a Game Boy Advance cartridge, the Rumble Pak vibrates to reflect the action in compatible games, such as when the player bumps into an obstacle or loses a life. It was released in North America and Japan in 2005, as a separate accessory and bundled with Metroid Prime Pinball.[24]

In Europe, the rumble pack is available with the game Actionloop. It is also possible to buy the rumble pack straight from Nintendo.

 Nintendo DS Headset

The Nintendo DS Headset is the official headset for the Nintendo DS. It plugs into the headset port (which is a combination of a standard 3.5 mm headphone connector and a proprietary microphone connector) on the bottom of the system. It features one earphone and a microphone, and is compatible with all games that use the internal microphone. It was released in Japan on September 14, 2006.[25] The headset was released in North America on April 22, 2007, alongside Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, two games that have built-in voice chat.

 Opera Internet browser

On February 15, 2006, Nintendo announced a version of the cross-platform web browser Opera for the DS system. The browser can use one screen as an overview, a zoomed portion of which appears on the other screen, or both screens together to present a single tall view of the page. The browser went on sale in Japan and Europe in 2006, and in the U.S. on June 4, 2007.

 Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector

This accessory plugs into a PC's USB port and creates a wireless access point, allowing up to five Nintendo DS units to access the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service through the host computer's Internet connection. The operating systems fully supported by the Wi-Fi USB Connector's software are Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista.

 Nintendo MP3 Player

The Nintendo MP3 Player (a modified version of the device known as the Play-Yan in Japan) was released on December 8, 2006 by Nintendo of Europe at a retail price of Ł29.99/€30. The add-on uses removable SD cards to store MP3 audio files, and can be used in any device that features support for Game Boy Advance cartridges. However, due to this, it is limited in terms of its user-interface and functionality, as it does not support using both screens of the DS simultaneously, nor does it make use of its touch-screen capability.

 Slide controller

The "slide controller" comes packaged with the game Slide Adventure: Mag Kid, which was released on August 2, 2007. The slide controller plugs into the GBA game slot of the DS, and is placed below the DS, on a firm surface. The DS can then be moved around to control a game, as the slide controller will pick up the motions, just as when a player would click a button. The official name for this peripheral is currently unknown.

 Hacking and homebrew

Since the release of the Nintendo DS, a great deal of hacking has occurred involving the DS's fully rewritable firmware, Wi-Fi connection, game cards that allow SD storage, and software use. Nintendo DS emulators are also in early stages of development, and only a few commercial games are playable on most thus far.[citation needed]

There are a number of cards which either have built-in flash memory, or a slot which can accept an SD, CompactFlash, or MicroSD cards. These cards allow the user to play music, movies and load homebrew and commercial games.

In South Korea, many video game consumers exploit game software copies of video game consoles, including the Nintendo DS. In 2007, 500,000 copies of DS games were sold, while the sales of the DS hardware units was 800,000.

 Marketing and sales

Life-to-date number of units sold (DS and DS Lite combined)
Date Japan Americas Other Worldwide
2004-12-31[33] 1.45 million 1.36 million 0.03 million 2.84 million
2005-03-31[34] 2.12 million 2.19 million 0.95 million 5.27 million
2005-06-30[35] 6.65 million
2005-09-30[36] 3.63 million 2.87 million 2.34 million 8.83 million
2005-12-31[37] 5.70 million 4.63 million 4.10 million 14.43 million
2006-03-31[38] 6.91 million 5.11 million 4.71 million 16.73 million
2006-06-30[39] 9.24 million 5.90 million 6.13 million 21.27 million
2006-09-30[40] 11.52 million 7.51 million 7.79 million 26.82 million
2006-12-31[41] 14.43 million 10.18 million 11.00 million 35.61 million
2007-03-31[42] 16.02 million 11.74 million 12.52 million 40.29 million
2007-06-30[43] 18.11 million 14.14 million 15.03 million 47.27 million
2007-09-30[44] 19.71 million 16.06 million 17.88 million 53.64 million
2007-12-31[2] 21.66 million 20.18 million 22.94 million 64.79 million

The system's promotional slogans revolve around the word "Touch" in almost all countries, with the US slogan being "Touching is good." The Nintendo DS is currently seen by many analysts to be in the same market as Sony's PlayStation Portable, although representatives from both companies have said that each system targets a different audience.[citation needed] At the time of its release in the United States, the Nintendo DS retailed for US$149.99. The price dropped to US$129.99 on August 21, 2005, one day before the anticipated North American releases of Nintendogs and Advance Wars: Dual Strike. At one point, Time magazine awarded the DS with a Gadget of the Week award.[45]

Eight official colors of the Nintendo DS were available through standard retailers. Titanium (silver and black) were available worldwide, Electric Blue was exclusive to North and Latin America. Graphite Black, Pure White, Turquoise Blue and Candy Pink were available in Japan. Mystic Pink and Cosmic Blue were available in Australia and New Zealand. Japan's Candy Pink and Australia's Cosmic Blue were also available in Europe and North America through a Nintendogs bundle, although the colors are just referred to as pink and blue. However, these colors were only available for the original style Nintendo DS; a different and more-limited set of colors have been used for the Nintendo DS Lite.

On October 3, 2006 Nintendo announced a 20.5% raise in net profit forecast partially attributed to strong DS sales.[46] The company also raised its estimated DS sales forecast by 18%.[46]

On July 25, 2007 Nintendo announced in its first quarter financial report that it had increased DS hardware shipments from 22 million to 26 million.[47] Nintendo also raised its DS software sales projection from 130 million units to 140 million.[47] On October 26, 2007, Nintendo announced an increase in DS hardware shipments to 28 million and software to 165 million.[citation needed]

As of September 26, 2007, the Nintendo DS has sold over 50 million units and is the fastest-selling handheld game console of all time.[48] On October 30, 2007, Chart-Track reported DS sales of over 4 million in the United Kingdom.[49][50] In November 2007, Media Create reported DS sales of 20 million in Japan.[51][52]

During the week of November 18 to November 24, Nintendo of America set a new Nintendo sales record by selling over 653,000 DS units in one week, breaking the previous record held by the Game Boy Advance, which sold 600,000 units.

On November 27, 2007, Nintendo announced that the DS has set a new weekly hardware sales record in the UK, with over 191,000 units sold, according to Chart-Track; breaking the previous record held by the PSP, which sold 185,000 units in its first week of availability in the UK.

As of December 27, 2007, the DS has sold over 1 million units in South Korea, according to Nintendo of Korea.

As of January 1, 2008, the Nintendo DS has sold 17.65 million units in the United States according to NPD Group and 21,105,472 in Japan according to Enterbrain.

On January 24, 2008, Nintendo Europe has revealed the DS has sold over 20 million units in Europe.

On January 30, 2008, Nintendo Australia announced the DS has sold over 1 million units in Australia.

 Special editions and promotional packages

Main article: Special versions of the Nintendo DS

Many special editions and promotional packages have been available for the Nintendo DS, starting with the first Nintendo DS bundle of a Metroid Prime Hunters demo version, which was included in the first line-up of US shipments. Other adjustments have been made to the DS / DS Lite including color and laser engravings made for promotional events. For example, during the release of Mario Kart DS in North America, a "Red Hot DS Bundle" was available, which was a red colored Nintendo DS, with the game Mario Kart DS packaged along with it.

The first Nintendo DS Lite promotional package was released in a very limited run as a promotional item at the world premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End on May 23, 2007. This package included a DS console with pirate graphics on the case, and the game pack of the same name. The first Nintendo DS Lite retail bundle became available in North America on August 21, 2007; it included Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day!, a DS Lite carrying case, and an exclusive color DS Lite. The DS Lite has a crimson top outer casing, and the rest of the DS is matte black.