News Article

The Nintendo DS Celebrates its 8th Birthday in Europe Today

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Blow into the mic to put out the candles

Eight years ago today, Europe became the last major territory to get its hands on the original DS, that now known as the "phat". It can be easy to forget that it was a handheld that truly innovated the concept of mainstream handheld gaming, incorporating a clamshell two screen design famously pioneered in the Game & Watch handhelds, while throwing in an intuitive touch screen to match the additional buttons on offer.

Since the phat model it's seen two major iterations with the rather gorgeous DS Lite and the DSi, which included Nintendo's first handheld download game service; naturally there were plenty of colours, bundles and the XL model, too. It's a system that's succeeded due to creativity and fun rather than raw power, with its various models making it the biggest selling handheld games console of all time, with over 150 million unit sales. It also has a games library that can be argued as one of the best collections available, with plenty of classics to choose from.

So here's to Nintendo's most successful console in its illustrious history, and you can also check out our feature — Hardware Classics: Nintendo DS Lite — if you want to know what made that model so special.

Whether you're in Europe or elsewhere in the world, let us know your abiding thoughts on the DS in the comments below.

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User Comments (32)




I remember buying mine from Virgin Megastore in Glasgow, I got the DS with a Nintendo DS t-shirt, Super Mario 64 DS and WarioWate Touched! for £124.98! Ridiculous!



AyeHaley said:

I remember importing mine from the US when I was at highschool. Haha showing everyone how "fun" (and awkward) it was to play Mario 64 with that thumbcap.



SheldonRandoms said:

@Five-seveN It was 8 years ago in Europe, but 9 years ago in the U.S, but still, I had many great memory's with the DS, out of all the DS models, my favorite was the Dsi/Xl, not because of the cameras or the Dsi shop, or the improved battery life, or the better design, but because of Flipnote Studio, it was because of that app, I created Sheldon and Mr.Randoms, I made many friends and fans, I even improved my drawing skills, and I hope to continue to do this, with the Dsi/Xl and 3DS.



Gavin_Rozee said:

Picked mine up at the midnight launch from GAME with Super Mario 64 DS and of course Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt. I then went round the corner and traded some junk in to get WarioWare: Touched! from Gamestation. Then I rode home on my bike, and it all began.

I have more DS games than for any other system I've owned (Over 100 games not counting DSiWare).

I was also a big fan of the original DS. It's clunky and toy-ish but that adds to the charm for me.



Dpishere said:

I recieved my phat ds back in 2004 and snatched up Super Mario 64 DS with it and at the time, I thought the graphics of that game was incredible for a handheld system. Though after that I didn't purchase too many more games for it but I intend to rectify that since my 3ds can play ds games as well and they have probably gone down in price to dirt cheap.



Randomname19 said:

It's the console that got me into Nintendo and SEGA.Before that I mostly played Crash Bandicoot or similar Playstation games.



Monsti said:

I remember that I couldn't wait. Got it from the US as well. ^^ My Dsi was still in use til I got the 3DS Xl recently because its screen was bigger than the they DS and DSi can rest. ^^



WolfyWardark said:

I remember getting the DS while on the way to college one afternoon. All my class-mates huddled round to watch me play Mario Kart, It was awesome! ^_^



Haywired said:

Ah, good memories. Got mine on launch day in GAME (though I had already played on one as my cousins had imported US ones). Got mine with Wario Ware Touched. Then shortly after; Mr Driller: Drill Spirits, Yoshi Touch & Go and Pac-Pix in the launch window. Ah, happy times. I wish I could go back.



Peach64 said:

I never followed the development of the DS at all. My only previous handheld was a GBA which I'd bought about 3 games for, and I had no intention of picking up a DS. However, I was out shopping the Saturday after it came out and played Warip Ware on a demo unit. I loved it so much I picked one up right there and then, total impulse buy! I got Wario Ware with it, and Yoshi Touch and Go soon after. Most of my early games were imports. Band Bros, Ouendan, Electroplankton from Japan, and Nintendogs from the US.



DarkCoolEdge said:

@Five-seveN I find DSiXL (chocolate brown) better. Obviuosly the 3ds is much more powerful but dsi is nicer and its touch is better.

The exterior of DSiXL plus 3ds' capabilities would be awesome. To be even better it should have a second circle pad, that would be perfection.



nintendobeat said:

Ah, remember I got it for christmas together with animal crossing. One of my best christmas memories, and also one of my favorite systems. So many good memories from animal crossing, to getting into pokemon again after years of not playing it. The DS is really the system that got me truly into gaming, post-childhood.



gavn64 said:

i remember buying it on launch day and absolutely hammering away on the metroid prime hunters demo never thinking at all that this little thing was gonna turn everybody's perception of the videogame industry upside down an epic machine showing nintendo at there best my DS top 3 are
1. Zelda phantom hourglass
2. GTA chinatown wars (much better than GTA IV )
3. Advance wars dual strike
happy birthday DS



luminalace said:

The DS and I were such close friends but he didn't even bother inviting me to his birthday...maybe it's because I'm closer with his brother 3DS?



Pj1 said:

I bought one after seeing mario kart, I then traded in my ds in for a ds lite with New super Mario bros. Then I bought my wife an ice blue one from Playasia! great times playing the ds.



Wonder_Ideal said:

Come to the castle Mario, I've made you a cake.
Anyways, happy 8th birthday DS! You've been a fantastic system for many years.



Mk_II said:

A few weeks before the official DS launch i was approached by Nintendo Benelux and asked if i would be interested in buying a limited edition DS VIP Pack with two game demo's, a copy of SM64 DS and a special T Shirt. That was the easiest decision i ever had to take



NESguy94 said:

I saved up and bought mine a little more than 7 years ago along with Super Mario 64 DS and Nintendogs. I have had 5 DSs now. An original that I sold to get a DS lite, that broke and I bought a new lite for $20! I then bought another lite that was opened but new for $10! After that I fixed an original for a friend who then gave it to me. I still have 2 of them (one of each) and a 3DS.



ueI said:

Europe got the DS in March? It sucks that they had to wait so long.



Wheels2050 said:

I was late to the DS party (I got one in, I think, 2010) but it's quickly become my favourite console. Also, with my pile of shame, I'm pretty sure it will keep me going for the foreseeable future!

A fantastic little system.



Spooky said:

I got mine pre-launch from club nintendo with metroid prime hunters: first hunt and warioware touched demo. It had t-shirts and other goodies bundled too. I upgraded to DSlite on launch day, sad to see it traded in but was well worth it.



Henmii said:

Happy birthday! The DS was great, I am still playing on it! By the way: Awesome picture!



Xjarnold said:

Aww... memories, my first pokemon games (never got into the gb titles) first 3d mario on a handheld, wi-fi, Sonic on a nintendo handheld... wait WHAT!

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