Nintendo Releases the DS to the North American Market
The Nintendo DS (ニンテンドーDS, Nintendō Dī Esu, sometimes abbreviated to DS or NDS) is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo.
It was released in 2004 in Canada, the United States, and Japan. The console features a clamshell design, similar to the Game Boy Advance SP, with two LCD screens inside—with the bottom one being a touchscreen. The Nintendo DS also features a built-in microphone and supports wireless IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standards, allowing players to interact with each other within short range (10–30 m, depending on conditions) or online with the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service, which launched later in the console's lifespan. This was the first Nintendo console to be released in North America prior to Japan.
The system's code name was Nitro, and this can be seen in the model number that appear on the unit (NTR-001). The console's name officially refers to "Developers' System", in reference to developers of new game designs the system was meant to inspire, and "Dual Screen", the system's most obvious and distinct feature.
On March 2, 2006, Nintendo released the Nintendo DS Lite, a redesign of the Nintendo DS, in Japan. It was later released in North America, Europe, and Australia in June 2006. The DS Lite is a slimmer and lighter version of the Nintendo DS and has brighter screens. Nintendo of America refers to the older model as the "original style" Nintendo DS. It is often affectionately referred to by fans as the "DS Phat." On October 2, 2008, Nintendo announced the Nintendo DSi, another redesign of the Nintendo DS, at the Nintendo Fall Media Summit. It was released in Japan on November 1, 2008 and in North America, Europe and Australia in April 2009.