Celebrating Ten Years of the Nintendo DS

As we celebrate the anticipated launches of new Pokémon remakes, Super Smash Bros. on Wii U, and the amiibo toy line, lest we forget November 21st also holds a special place in Nintendo history.  This was also the North American launch date of the Nintendo DS on November 21st, 2004. It marked the first time that a Nintendo system launched outside of Japan first.

While the launch line-up may not have been strong in retrospect, with Super Mario 64 DS being the stand-out, people were still excited to witness the birth of Nintendo’s dual screen curiosity. This in spite of the wide skepticism that the DS was only a gimmick. Was it only good for small mini games where you blew into the microphone and scribbled on the touch screen? Fortunately, the best was yet to come for the system.

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Thanks to high-caliber games and the slick DS Lite redesign in 2006, the DS became the highest selling handheld in gaming history, topping the original Nintendo handheld, the Game Boy. Not only that, but the DS also played an important role in Nintendo’s “Blue Ocean Strategy” to create new markets with radical ideas.

A decade ago Nintendo channeled iOS gaming with the DS, and we never knew what was to come. Wide audience games like Nintendogs and Brain Age predated the iOS mobile craze of today, with casual play sessions all you needed to enjoy these games.

Today, the DS is quietly being sent off into the sunset, as Nintendo no longer gives sales estimates for the platform in their financials. That’s a shame to let their most important platform in the last decade end its legacy like that, but at least it did good on this world. The DS captured the world’s imagination, expanded the market, and led Nintendo to reclaim industry leadership once again.

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The DS was so successful, it birthed its own meme

What are your thoughts on the most auspicious anniversary of the DS? What are your favorite memories and favorite games?

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Editor-in-Chief (Former)

A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.