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ニンテンドーＤＳ Nintendo DS
Official render of the Platinum Silver Nintendo DS
|| December 2, 2004
| North America:
|| November 21, 2004
|| March 11, 2005
|| February 24, 2005
| South Korea:
| Hong Kong:
- Two 256×192 LCD screens, the bottom touch-sensitive, capable of displaying 262,144 colors.
- Two ARM processors, ARM946E-S for DS-native gameplay and video rendering, and ARM7TDMI for sound rendering, Wi-Fi functions, and GBA processing.
- 4 MB RAM, expandable through GBA slot.
- Full list
The Nintendo DS (Japanese: ニンテンドーＤＳ Nintendo DS) is Nintendo's fifth series, seventh generation handheld game console. Released on November 21, 2004 in North America and Japan, and on March 11, 2005 in Europe, the Nintendo DS represented an experimental new era for Nintendo's game consoles.
Unlike previous consoles, the Nintendo DS was not given the "Game Boy" moniker, likely because Nintendo did not want to tarnish the brand name in case of bad sales, as had happened with the earlier Virtual Boy. Marketed as a "third pillar" to Nintendo's console lineup, the DS was initially said by Nintendo not to be a replacement for the Game Boy Advance, but a partner to it.
Despite this initial strategy, however, and perhaps because of the inclusion of the secondary Game Boy Advance slot on the console itself, the DS did in fact serve as the replacement of the Game Boy Advance, and as of 2010, the end of the Game Boy line. Developers and gamers alike flocked to the console, which featured a significant difference from any previous gaming console: a second screen. This second screen, which doubled the real estate that developers had to work with for displaying menus and gameplay, was also touch-sensitive, and could be used to select items without pressing buttons. In addition to this, the more "standard" upgrades, such as the addition of a second speaker for true stereo sound and a microphone, were included with the console.
Most enjoyed by gamers, however, are the DS's wireless DS-to-DS and Wi-Fi capabilities, which allow gamers in close proximity to play with each other without the need for the link cable that the Game Boy line required, and for the first time, allow players to compete around the world with each other through the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
Game Boy Advance games can be played on the system, with players able to set in the DS's firmware menu whether the GBA game should be played on the top or bottom screen. The GBA game will be windowboxed on the DS screen, as its resolution is slightly smaller than that of the DS. Multiplayer functions for GBA games are not supported, as the system's native wireless is different from the technology included in the wireless adapter that came included with Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. Game Boy and Game Boy Color games are unplayable on the system, as the processor that runs them is not included in the system, and the GBA cartridge slot will not accept them.
Like previous handhelds, the Nintendo DS later received a revised form in the smaller and sleeker Nintendo DS Lite, which shares its overall design with the Wii, and features a stronger backlight that can be set on varying brightnesses, rather than the simple on-off light the ordinary DS, called by fans the "DS Phat", has. In early 2007, the original DS was discontinued, leaving the DS Lite as the only DS on the market, until late 2008, when a second revision, the Nintendo DSi, was released. It featured a redesign of the system's menus, removed the GBA slot in favor of a smaller design, and added the ability to play music, take pictures, and more. The DSi's own revision, the Nintendo DSi XL, returns the system to the size of the DS Phat, at the same time increasing its screen size to nearly double that of the DS and DS Lite.
As of September 2008, combined sales of Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite have reached more than 84 million units worldwide. By the end of January 2010, that number increased to over 125 million units sold worldwide, making it Nintendo's best selling console of all time.
All releases listed are the year in which the Japanese version was released.
By backwards compatibility
Due to the second slot, all Game Boy Advance games can be played on the Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite; however, they are not compatible with Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. Game Boy Advance games cannot be played on the Nintendo DSi or later versions due to the lack of second slot.
Special Pokémon editions
PokéPark DS box.jpg
Special PokéPark edition boxart
- The Nintendo DS, like its predecessors (the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance), is not region-locked. This means that a player could theoretically play a DS game from any region on their own locally purchased console. However, games released in the People's Republic of China, which contain Chinese characters, will only run on DS systems with the iQue brand, as other versions do not have the larger microchip that supports these characters.
- In the Pokémon Adventures manga, Team Aqua used a DS as a way for communication.
- In the Phantom Thief Pokémon 7 manga, Rocco whipped out a DS and began to play it when he began to get bored during Drifblim's ride.
- The Nintendo DS is the only Nintendo handheld to have Pokémon games from two separate generations developed during its lifespan. While both Generation I and Pokémon Gold and Silver were playable on the Game Boy, the latter were designed for the Game Boy Color. The only other console that features multiple-generation Pokémon games developed during its lifespan is the Nintendo 64, featuring Generation I's Japanese Pokémon Stadium and English Pokémon Stadium, along with Generation II's Pokémon Stadium 2.