The Nintendo DS is a dual screen, handheld 32-bit console and is the successor to the Game Boy Advance. Although it was not initially set to be the Game Boy successor, due to the bottom screen being touchscreen, Nintendo saw the handheld as a risk and doubted how well it would sell as a console. The system also features a built in microphone and support for wireless connectivity through Wi-Fi.
Though Nintendo were originally sceptical about the success of the DS, it eventually became the best-selling handheld console to date. Through its backwards compatibility with Game Boy Advance games and modern controls, the DS captured the lovable aspect of their previous console as well as taking the logical step into the future of handheld games.
The promotional slogans for the Nintendo DS focuses primarily revolves around the ‘Touch’ in most countries around the world to market the innovative feature. There were nine official colour of DS systems – some exclusive to certain countries. Titanium silver and black are widely available worldwide, Electric Blue in North America and Latin America, Red was bundled with Mario Kart DS, Graphite Black, Pure White, Turquoise Blue and Candy Pink were Japanese, Mystic Pink and Cosmic Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Finally, Candy Pink (Japan) and Cosmic Blue (Austalia) were available in the UK when bundled with the Nintendog’s game.
The Nintendo DS has spawned of series of its own that was then proceeded by the 3DS series of consoles. The first of these was the redesigned system – The Nintendo DS Lite – which featured a sleek appearance and brighter screen. Next came along the Nintendo DSi which took the next step into the future of the DS series, now including an inner and outer camera. However, this system was not made backwards compatible with the Game Boy Advance as the game slot was taken away. There was also a menu redesign to the DSi. Finally, the DSi XL was a large DSi with wider viewing angles and improved battery life.
The Nintendo DS series, alongside the Wii consoles, heavily feature and focus around their Wi-Fi connectivity. Nintendo Wi-Fi connection allowed the player to access a free online gaming service that discontinued on May 20th 2014.
DS Download Play allowed for multiplayer with one game card and other DS consoles as well as the DS featuring Multi-Card play which allowed for multiplayer with more than one game card.
Furthermore, Pictochat was another feature to the DS which allowed for communication with other DS consoles in a close range. Within this players could handwrite messages and draw pictures in a choice of 4 chatrooms which could hold up to 16 consoles to connect.