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#8 of 13 from My Favorite Consoles by
“I was unsure of the DS's future. When it first came out it seemed so gimmicky. But after a year the developers finally got it down and realized that there's a lot of potential for
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Nintendo DS
About this video game console


In a surprising number of ways, the Nintendo DS is quite unlike any video game system that's come before. First, there's the two screens, one above and one below. The idea might seem like a gimmick -- the screens are far enough apart that you won't be able to see them as one long screen -- but the format works in a complementary way. Depending on the game, the DS serves action in one screen and details, maps, stats, or alternate views in the other. Switching your eyes between screens takes a little getting used to, but quickly becomes automatic, like checking a rear-view mirror while driving. Both screens are back-lit and a little larger than that of the Game Boy Advance SP, so they'll be easy to see in most conditions.

Nintendo DS used with a stylus Players can control games using the touch-sensitive bottom screen of the DS. The bottom screen also functions as a PDA-style touchpad. It comes with a small stylus, as well as a stylus that attaches to your thumb. This touch screen might be both the best and worst feature of the DS. One one hand, it brings the freedom of PC-style mouse control into gaming, but using it also tends to block what's going on in that screen. For example, while playing the Metroid Prime: Hunters, you could use the left thumb pad to move, the left shoulder button to fire, and the touch screen to look and jump. As you track foes on the bottom-screen map, however, your view will be partially obscured by your own right thumb.

The good news is that ...

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Brand: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: November 21, 2004

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