Nintendo releases the Nintendo
DS handheld videogame system in Japan
and the U.S.
The system features two screens, a touch screen, wireless and wi-fi network
linking capabilities and a microphone. The system was created to open up new
opportunities for unique games to be created.
Nintendo announced the
Nintendo DS on 20th January 2004 and unveiled the system and software at E3 in
May, along with several demo games. The portable system was a step away from
the Game Boy Advance: it has two screens (the lower screen is touch sensitive),
capable of 2D or 3D graphics, a microphone, wireless multiplayer communication
for up to 16 players and the ability to join a wireless online network.
Nintendo's aim for the
system was to change the way games are played, and to allow for all-new games
to be created. The touch input is immediately intuitive, and allows for direct
game manipulation, menu selection, "virtual" analogue control, or
indeed anything a developer can imagine.
The system was released in
the United States in
November 2004, closely followed by Japan in December and European the
following March (though a limited early release for members of Nintendo
Europe's VIP scheme was available in January).
The Nintendo DS Lite was
announced on the 26th January 2006 for release in Japan on March 2nd. The redesigned
system is smaller, lighter and much more stylish - fending off the criticism
that the original DS (while a massive hit worldwide) was bulkier and uglier
than other handheld systems.