A fond farewell to the weird and wonderful Nintendo DS

Aurich Lawson


In December 2004, my boyfriend confirmed up at my condo door carrying a field. “I introduced you a gift!” he stated, clearly excited. “Open it!”

‘Tis the season, I believed, unwrapping it. I turned the field round. “A… Nintendo… DS? Is that this, like… a Recreation Boy type of factor?”

As I fought my means by way of layers of cardboard and plastic to open my new toy, he pulled an identical unit out of his personal messenger bag, opened it up, and started to elucidate. I had by no means owned a conveyable console—I would barely ever even owned a daily console, I used to be a lifelong PC gamer—and whereas I attempted to greet the present with good cheer, I bluntly had no concept why on Earth he had given it to me.

He might inform I used to be not solely on board. “Belief me,” he stated. “It is nice for the practice.” I lived in Boston, he lived in Manhattan; we spent plenty of time on trains. “You are going to adore it.”

I hate to offer him bragging rights, however: He was proper. My relationship with the Nintendo DS outlasted my relationship with him by greater than a dozen years, and I’m unhappy to mourn its passing.

The 3DS XL line was meant for bigger hands and chunkier pixels.
Enlarge / The 3DS XL line was meant for greater fingers and chunkier pixels.

Kyle Orland

This week, we now know, marks the tip of an period: after 16 years and nearly a dozen complete fashions, the Nintendo DS household of handheld gaming methods is not any extra. Nintendo offered effectively over 200 million cumulative items of the dual-screened units through the years, however instances change.

I used to be not the one particular person to greet the launch of the Nintendo DS with extra bewilderment than pleasure. The DS was a reasonably bizarre little machine when it launched, occupying a distinct segment I wasn’t but conscious I needed it to fill.

Video video games on the go weren’t a brand new concept in 2004. The DS was in some ways merely the subsequent iteration on Nintendo’s extremely fashionable Recreation Boy line of handheld consoles, which first launched in 1989. The DS wasn’t even the primary one to fold: the final main product within the Recreation Boy line, 2003’s Recreation Boy Advance SP, featured a chargeable inner battery and flipped simply shut right into a clamshell, handy for dropping again into your pocket or purse at any time.

The DS, although, was optimized for the daybreak of the twenty first century. It had Wi-Fi assist from the beginning, primed for a world of multiplayer video games but to come back. And the “twin” in “twin display screen” was the actual promoting level. In 2004, the thought of a working, reasonably priced touch-screen machine in your pocket was a cool new idea—one which early DS video games, alas, largely used for gimmicks in the event that they used it in any respect.

I did not use my launch mannequin, “phat” DS all that a lot at first. I used to be wrapping up my final semester of grad college, and I lived shut sufficient to campus that strolling was truthfully sooner than ready for the T at the least half the time. I nonetheless most popular books on the frequent, prolonged bus or practice rides from Boston to New York—particularly as a result of, once more, plenty of it was grad college studying. Plus, enjoying Tremendous Mario 64—the one recreation I had, at first—whereas using transit gave me movement illness.

The months handed. I completed my diploma and left Boston, shifting with my boyfriend into the basement of a brownstone in Brooklyn. I wanted to make some fast money whereas I used to be attempting to find a full-time job. So when just a few weeks after I landed within the Huge Apple I discovered myself strolling previous a GameStop with a “assist needed” signal within the window, I went in.

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