The Nintendo DS has a clamshell design featuring 2 LCD screens. The Nintendo DS is much like the Gameboy Advance in appearance. Of the two LCD screens, the bottom is the touch screen. A built in microphone and wireless system allow DS players to interact with each other in close range.
Following usual custom, the original version was soon followed by “Lite”. Lite was a sleeker version of the Nintendo DS, and also has a lighter screen. Following Lite was Nintendo DSi. The DSi features AAC playback and two cameras.
The launch of the DS came after much Hype from Nintendo claiming that its new release would not just be similar versions of the Gameboy or Gameboy advance. Few other details were revealed at the time.
Prior to the Nintendo DS launch, Nintendo released the following statement:
“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.”
• RAM: 4 MB of Mobile RAM
• Voltage: 1.65 volts required
• Storage: 256 kB of Serial Flash Memory
• Wireless: 802.11 + Nintendo Original Protocol
• Wi-Fi: Built-in
The system is compatible with WiFi and supports a special wireless format. There is also downloadable play available. With Download Play 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 approximately 30 feet) of each other and the guest system to download the necessary data from the host system.
Some Nintendo DS retailers features DS download stations that allow users to download demos of upcoming and currently available DS games; however, due to memory limitations, the downloads are erased once the system is powered off. The Download Station is made up of 1 to 8 standard retail DS units, with a standard DS card containing the demo data. On May 7, 2008, Nintendo released the Nintendo Channel for download
on the Wii. The Nintendo Channel uses Nintendo’s WiiConnect24 to download Nintendo DS demos through the Nintendo Channel. From there, a person can select the game demo they wish to play and, similar to the Nintendo DS Download Stations at retail outlets, download the demo (temporarily) to their DS.
The Nintendo DS is backward compatible with the Gameboy Advance. Only single-player game is supported on the DS.