Society & Culture & Entertainment Games

How Does the Nintendo DS Work?

    Touch Screen

    • Nintendo's DS hand-held gaming console was released in 2004 and is a successor to the Game Boy Advance. What makes the DS unique is its dual screen layout--the bottom display is a touch screen, which the user controls with either taps from their fingers or a stylus. This lower screen contains secondary game information or alternate modes of play that the user can interact with while simultaneously enjoying the game in a traditional way from the top screen.

    Backwards Compatibility

    • While the Nintendo DS plays all of the DS software available on the market, it is also backwards compatible with games from Nintendo's Game Boy Advance system. The DS has two slots for game cartridges: Slot 1 on the top of the system, which is small and designed to take DS games, and Slot 2 on the bottom of the system that is larger and designed to take the Game Boy Advance cartridges. Due to technical limitations, however, the DS is not backwards compatible with the Game Boy Color or original Game Boy.


    • Nintendo offers a free on line multiplayer service that users can utilize to play many DS games over the internet with others. The DS can connect to the internet via an existing Wi-Fi connection with either a standard wireless router or the Nintendo Wi-Fi USB connector. Games with on line multiplayer features, such as Mario Kart DS, can then be enjoyed with others.

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