Nintendo DS

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Nintendo DS
ニンテンドーDS Nintendo DS
Official render of the Platinum Silver Nintendo DS
Release dates
Japan: December 2, 2004[1]
North America: November 21, 2004[2]
Europe: March 11, 2005
Australia: February 24, 2005[3]
South Korea: December 29, 2004
China: July 23, 2005
Hong Kong: April 21, 2005
Taiwan: December 2, 2004
Technical specs
  • 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
Related information
Console generation: Seventh generation
Pokémon generations: III*, IV, V
Console type: Handheld
Platinum Silver
Electric Blue
Red Hot
Turquoise Blue
Graphite Black
Candy Pink
Pearl Pink
Pure White
Mew PinkSp
External links

The Nintendo DS (Japanese: ニンテンドーDS Nintendo DS) is Nintendo's fifth series, seventh generation handheld game console. It was released on November 21, 2004 in North America, on December 2 in 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 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.

A DS card of Pokémon Diamond (right) compared to a GBA cartridge of Pokémon Ruby (left)

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 Game 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.[4] 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.[5]

Pokémon games

All releases listed are the year in which the Japanese version was released.

Title Genre Release
Pokémon Dash Racing game 2004
Pokémon Trozei! Puzzle game 2005
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team Dungeon crawler 2005
Pokémon Ranger Action RPG 2006
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Core series RPG 2006
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness Dungeon crawler 2007
Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia Action RPG 2008
Pokémon Platinum Core series RPG 2008
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky Dungeon crawler 2009
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver Core series RPG 2009
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs Action RPG 2010
Pokémon Black and White Core series RPG 2010
Learn with Pokémon: Typing Adventure Typing 2011
Pokémon Card Game: How to Play DS Card game 2011
Pokémon Conquest Turn-based strategy 2012
Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 Core series RPG 2012

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 incompatible 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.

Title Genre Release
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire Core series RPG 2002
Pokémon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire Pinball 2003
Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen Core series RPG 2004
Pokémon Emerald Core series RPG 2004
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team Dungeon crawler 2005

Game Boy Advance Video

Several Pokémon titles were released on Game Boy Advance Video, a series of GBA cartridges that play videos.

Title Genre Release
Pokémon GBA Video: For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll! Video playback 2004
Pokémon GBA Video: Johto Photo Finish Video playback 2004
Pokémon GBA Video: Pokémon—I Choose You Video playback 2004
Pokémon GBA Video: Beach Blank-Out Blastoise Video playback 2004

Special Pokémon editions


Nintendo DS in Pokémon Adventures
  • 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 Nintendo 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 Nintendo DS as a way for communication.
  • In the Phantom Thief Pokémon 7 manga, Rocco whipped out a Nintendo DS and began to play it when he began to get bored during Drifblim's ride.
  • The Nintendo DS is the best selling handheld console of all time.
  • Currently, the Nintendo DS is tied with the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch for having games from the most number of generations released for it: the Generation IV and Generation V games, as well as four side games from Generation III.

External links


  2. Official Nintendo DS Launch Details | IGN
  3. Nintendo of Australia (archive)
  4. "Consolidated Financial Highlights" 11. Nintendo (2008-10-30). Retrieved on 2009-01-07.
  5. "" (2010-01-28). retrieved on 2010-05-12.

Game systems with Pokémon games
Nintendo handheld consoles
GB (Pocket · GBL · SGB · SGB2) • GBCminiGBA (SP · GBm · GBP)
DS (Lite · DSi · DSi XL) • 3DS (XL · 2DS · New 3DS · New 3DS XL · New 2DS XL)
Switch (Lite · OLED)
Nintendo home consoles
SNES (BS-X · SGB · NP · SGB2) • N64 (DD) • GCN (GBP)
Wii (Family Edition · mini) • Wii U
Switch (OLED)
Sega consoles