History of the DS – How it Became Nintendo’s Flagship Handheld Console

Since its explosion into the gaming world in 2004, the Nintendo DS has remained at the forefront of the handheld market. From the original DS to the DSi XL, there have been several incarnations of this much-loved console over the years.

Nintendo DS

The dual screen DS was an instant bestseller when it was released in 2004. It revolutionised handheld gaming and opened up the world of playing on the move to a whole new audience. The touch-screen allowed gamers to interact with the console in exciting new ways and opened up a world of possibilities. A built-in microphone offered yet more flexibility and appealed to traditional gamers and a new audience alike.

The original DS included a slot for Game Boy Advance games, ensuring gamers could continue to play their old favourites and adding to the console’s already broad appeal.

Perhaps the biggest selling point of the DS and one that made it hugely popular among non-gamers was the wealth of interactive, self-improvement titles aimed at an adult audience, such as Brain Trainer. People who had never purchased a console before were suddenly won over by this new handheld gaming device that definitely was not just about the games.

Over 130 million Nintendo DS units were sold worldwide, making this the most popular handheld console ever.


Nintendo DS Lite

Nintendo DS Lite

Two years after the DS came the DS Lite. Smaller, lighter and using less power than its predecessor, the DS Lite was another instant hit and sold out globally for several months after release. Popular with young children, due to its manageable size for small hands and with adults, due to its increased battery life, the DS Lite confirmed Nintendo’s dominance of the handheld market.

The DS Lite is still hugely popular with casual and younger gamers and the second-hand market has experienced huge growth in recent years. If you have a console you no longer use, sell your Nintendo DS today whilst demand is still growing.

Nintendo DSi

2009 saw the third generation DS hit the shops. The DSi came equipped with not one, but two built-in cameras and was aimed at an audience who had become passionate about all things multimedia. The console had a brand new SD memory card slot, making it easy to transfer data between different devices. Users could also now connect directly to Nintendo Shop and download games and other software directly onto their console. The DSi was perfect for gamers on the move who demanded instant access to new titles.



Nintendo DSi XL

In 2010 Nintendo added the DSi XL to their stable. The newest model featured the same functions as the original DSi, but its dual 4.2-inch screens offered a wider viewing angle. Larger and heavier than the DSi, the XL was less portable but provided the gamer with a more satisfying experience.

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