The Nintendo DS, launched in March 2005 across Europe has officially become the fastest selling handheld console. It has reached 10 million sales across Europe, and somewhere around 34 million worldwide. 1.7 million units were sold in December alone.
This is what NOE’s Marketing Director had to say: “This landmark figure of 10 million Nintendo DS gamers cements the console’s position as undisputed leader of the handheld market, bringing gaming to a whole new audience – something that was unimaginable a few years ago!”
If that is the case, then the console’s clamshell design, with two LCD screens inside – one of which is a touch-sensitive screen-seem to have done the trick. Also, the console has a built-in microphone located below the left side of the bottom screen for minigames that require the player to blow or shout into the microphone (Feel the Magic: XY/XX, Wario Ware: Touched, etc).
DS games use a proprietary solid state ROM “Game Card” format resembling the memory cards used in other portable electronic devices such as digital cameras. It currently supports cards up to 1 gigabyte in size. The cards always have a small amount of flash memory or an EEPROM to save user data, for example, progress in a game or high scores. This is also one of the reasons why it is so popular, as some don’t like the fuss of plugging in all sorts of flash memory cards or connecting wires to the TV/monitor, or power outlets.