The DS was a dual-screen handheld game console introduced by Nintendo in 2004 in the US, with a European launch in 2005.
Originally designed to complement the Game Boy Advance, backward compatibility with Game Boy Advance titles and strong sales ultimately established the new handheld console as the successor to the Game Boy series. The smaller Nintendo DS Game Cards fit into a slot on the top of the system, while Game Boy Advance games fit into a slot on the bottom of the system.
The DS Lite, a slimmer and lighter redesign, was launched in 2006, followed by the DSi, another redesign that no longer included a slot for Game Boy Advance cartridges, in 2008. A small number of game cards were ‘DSi-exclusive’ and will not work on earlier DS versions. Nintendo DS Game Cards can have from 8 MB to 512 MB in ROM capacity, and usually have a small amount of flash memory or an EEPROM to save user data.
The DS is the best selling handheld game console to date, and the second best selling video game console of all time.
The success of the DS paved the way for its successor, the Nintendo 3DS, a handheld gaming console with a similar dual-screen setup, that can display images on the top screen in 3D. The 3DS was introduced in 2011 and the DS family was finally discontinued in 2014.