The Retro Guide To Nintendo DS
With its double-screen design, the DS wasn’t necessarily destined to be a mega-hit, but thanks to games like these it took the world by storm How many did you play?
WHEN Nintendo first announced its innovative handheld, it was heralded as a “third pillar”, a system that would complement both the Gamecube and the Game Boy Advance. History had other plans for the handheld, however, and it went on to become Nintendo’s most popular console of all time, selling over 154 million units in the process.
the success of Nintendo’s machine seems obvious with the help of hindsight, but on release it seemed ludicrous. the machine itself seemed to be on the same power level as the N64 (Super Mario 64 DS was actually a launch game), and was facing stiff competition from sony’s incoming PSP, which was (wrongly) seen at the time as being on the same power level as the Ps2. Many felt the stylus controls of the ds were nothing more than a gimmick, and a large host of shovelware lent credence to that, but that was only half the story.
A strong advertising campaign with well-known celebrities like Patrick stewart and Beyonce helped capture the all-important mass market, while a new wave of games like Brain Training and Nintendogs made us reconsider what games could actually be. it also proved to be a fertile breeding ground for many popular genres, with puzzle games and Japanese rpgs doing particularly well on the system. the ds may not have been cutting edge, but it was fresh and exciting, and also acted as a portent for the later popularity of mobile games. it’s an astonishing system that everyone needs to experience.