Affordable; Large library of games; Touch screen is easy and fun to use; Built-in microphone; Online capacities; Many innovative games; Two LCD display panels, GBA backwards compatibility; Lengthy battery life; Free Wi-Fi service; Great stereo sound quality; Many online multiplayer features, such as Download Play and Pictochat; Many accessories like the headset and rumble pak


Poore graphics than the Sony PSP; Does not have nearly as many features as PSP; Many "shovelware" games; Uses primitive cartridges as opposed to disks; No analog stick; Web browser will cost you; Unable to connect to GameCube with the GBA games that have this ability; No accessible internal storage; Button layout can occasionally feel awkward


This affordable, easy-to-use handheld system will certainly please gamers of all types with its huge selection of games spanning many genres …


Nintendo's latest handheld console has driven gamers and non-gamers alike mad, with its unique gameplay and features. The device boasts current-generation graphics with dual screens; the bottom being a touch screen. Nintendo has been working on the system for years, and everyone can appreciate the value of their labor.

Features and Design

Of the two current handhelds, Nintendo's is definitely not the most powerful. Its graphics and audio will, to some, pale in comparison to Sony's PSP. Although the device may be technically inferior, the DS offers a unique way to play games, and has many of its own features absent from the PSP that certainly entice many to purchase it.

Perhaps the main reason one would acquire a DS would be the touch screen. The bottom display panel allows the player to interact with the game themselves, which adds a great deal of fun and creativity to most of the system's library. Although many games do not use this concept to its full potential (or exploit it too much), the touch screen is an extremely innovative idea that helped the DS sell over one hundred million units. Additionally, for those of you who prefer classic gameplay, many games allow the use of the directional-pad instead.

Another strong selling point is the Game Boy Advance slot, allowing gamers to play titles from Nintendo's previous handheld. These games can be played on either screen, complete with backlight. This feature adds a strong sense of nostalgia to the console, and all gamers will benefit from this.

The system's microphone is another interesting feature. Some games (such as WarioWare: Touched !, or Star Fox Command) implement this directly into the gameplay, while others (such as Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, or Pokémon Diamond / Pearl / Platinum), use it as a type of communication when playing online. This inclusion offers an online experience similar to that of home consoles. Also, it should be noted that the first two models of the PSP did not include any microphone at all.

As aforementioned above, the platform has compatibility with Wi-Fi, which opens up many doors in the multiplayer aspect. Using Wi-Fi to connect to Nintendo Wi-Fi connection, gamers who own a DS can connect with friends and strangers alike in many different ways. First and foremost is multiplayer in a game. In some games, players can compete against others online. The DS connects to other DS consoles across the world, so one can actually play with anyone, anywhere. You can also save friend codes, which allows you to quickly connect with people you personally are familiar with. Another interesting feature is "Download Play," which allows two DS systems to play the same game together, even if only one person actually owns the game. For example, someone who does not own Mario Kart DS can still race against a friend of their heads, if that friend owns the game. This feature is incredibly helpful and great addition to competitive gaming. Pictochat, another feature, allows up to sixteen people to enter a chat room and communicate by either typing, or drawing images on the touch screen. There are four chat rooms total. The only drawback is that players must be within sixty feet of each to access the same chat room. Finally, Nintendo offers a web browser for the system. The Opera-based internet browser is inserted into the Game Boy Advance cartridge slot, and allows one to access the internet, which is certainly a welcomed addition.

Along the main features mentioned above, the DS menu includes a customizable clock and calendar. The system, additionally, allows owners to create profiles, which can customize settings to someone's own personal taste. The DS also has multiple backlight settings and an alarm clock.

In short, the Nintendo DS is a tremendously innovative and ground-breaking platform, with a massive selection of software that is constantly growing. When you get right down to it, Nintendo has achieved their goal. They have created a console that redefines the way people play games and, quite aptly, is a load of fun. The Nintendo DS is a must-have for all gamers, whether they have been gaming for decades or are just thinking about starting. The DS will live down in history as one of the greatest consoles, let alone handhelds, ever developed.

Technical Specifications

Size (closed): 5.85 "wide / 3.33" long / 1.13 "tall

Weight: 280 grams

Upper Screen: Backlit, 3-inch, semitransparent reflective TFT color LCD with 256×192 pixel resolution and.24 mm dot pitch

Touch Screen: Backlit, 3-inch, semitransparent reflective TFT color LCD with 256×192 pixel resolution and.24 mm dot pitch with transparent analog touch screen

Brightness: Two settings

Color: Capable of displaying 260,000 colors

Memory: RAM – 4 MB; VRAM – 656 KB

Wireless Communication: IEEE 802.11 and Nintendo's proprietary format; wireless range is 30 to 100 feet; multiple players can play multiplayer games using just one DS game card

Controls: Touch screen, embedded microphone for voice recognition, A / B / X / Y face buttons, plus control pad, L / R shoulder buttons, Start and Select buttons

Input / Output: Ports for both Nintendo DS game cards and Game Boy Advance Game Paks, terminals for stereo headphones and microphone

Other Features: Embedded Pictochat software that allows up to 16 users to chat at once; embedded real-time clock; date, time and alarm; touch-screen calibration

CPUs: Main CPU – ARM 9, 67 MHz; Secondary CPU – ARM 7, 33 MHz

Sound: Stereo speakers providing virtual surround sound, depending on the software

Battery: Lithium ion battery delivering six to ten hours of play on a four-hour charge, depending on use; power-saving sleep mode; AC adapter

Languages: English, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian

Color: Silver and black



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