Those of you old enough to remember the release of the original Nintendo DS will likely remember the frenzy that came with its release. Trying to find one was difficult enough, but trying to find one in the color that you wanted was harder still. It has been almost a decade since the first DS hit the shelves, and there have several advances made to the system that make the original seem positively old school. That said, the DS that started the whole ball rolling still remains as popular as ever.
While there have been rumors of the demise of the DS, especially on the heels of the 2DS release, it is still possible to find some of the old units sitting on the shelf at your local gaming store. You probably think that the store has had them sitting there forever, just collecting dust, but Nintendo does still in fact make a few of the units, which means the ones that you see are probably actually brand new. The question that you are likely asking at this point is why they would do so, especially when they are actively trying to sell the more recent models like the 3DS.
The answer to that question is fairly simple in that there is still a real demand for the original Nintendo DS systems. One of the biggest reasons the DS still sells is because of the price. You can get your hands on a new one for less than $100, which makes it a great gift for a kid just getting started in the world of handheld games. Parents don’t really want to drop down $200 to $300 bucks on a gaming system they hope their kids will like.
It also helps that there is a massive library of games to be had, which means there is always something new to discover, oftentimes in the second hand bin at your local game store. The Nintendo DS had made it this long and has remained popular because it’s just an incredibly fun, portable gaming system that kids, and adults, of all ages get a kick out of. When you consider that over 150 million units of the DS family have been sold since the original hit the market in 2004, you get a little idea of just how popular it is.
Just as they did with Game Boy Advance games at the launch of the original DS, Nintendo has made older games compatible with the newer units. If you go out and buy a DS for your kid and find that they love it, you don’t have to buy a whole new library of games when you upgrade to a newer model. The day when Nintendo permanently stops making the DS is likely just around the corner, but until the demand for the little system that started it all fades and dies, they will just keep churning them out for a new generation to enjoy.
Top Grossing Games For The DS Platform
There is no denying the success of the Nintendo DS family of gaming systems, especially when you consider that it has sold over 150 million units since it arrived on the scene back in 2004. During that time, literally thousands of different games have been released, with some obviously achieving much more success than others. What may come as a surprise to many is that no less than 10 different titles have achieved sales in excess of 10 million units. If you have owned a DS since the early days, there is a better than average chance that you own at least one of these titles. If not, what are you waiting for? Here’s the Top 10 all-time best-selling titles for the Nintendo DS:
- New Super Mario Bros. – Mario and Luigi have played a major role in the success of all the Nintendo gaming systems, with this particular title far and away the most popular title for the DS. It adopted the standard side scrolling game play of previous Mario games, giving it an air of familiarity that fans loved to the tune of over 30 million units.
- Nintendogs – This was a much cheaper, and let’s face it, cleaner way to give the kids the family pet they had been yelling for. The game has sold almost 24 million units and was the perfect companion for kids who wanted to raise and play with a virtual puppy.
- Mario Kart DS – Instead of jumping on mushrooms and bashing turtles over the head, Mario, Luigi, and the rest of the gang get behind the wheel for some fun racing action on this game that has sold a little over 23 million units.
- Brain Age – Puzzle games have always been part and parcel of the DS library, with Brain Age proving to be the most successful of them all with 19 million units sold. This was one game that had people lying about their age.
- Pokemon Diamond and Pearl – The popular card game and animated series proved to be a major hit on the DS gaming system. A number of Pokemon games were released, but this was the most popular with over 17 million units sold.
- Pokemon Black and White – Did we already mention that Pokemon was a major hit in the world of Nintendo? This title fell in behind Diamond and Pearl with over 15 million units.
- Brain Age 2 – It was obvious that people couldn’t get enough of the puzzles found in the first version, or perhaps they just hoped this one would be easier. Whatever the case, the puzzle sequel sold just shy of 15 million units.
- Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver – Yet another entry from Pokemon, albeit the last on this list. While not as big as the other two on here, it still came close to selling 13 million units.
- Animal Crossing: Wild World – It seems that cute and cuddly animals were popular on the DS, as this one proves, selling a very impressive 11 million units plus.
- Super Mario 64 DS – What list would be complete without another Mario title? While this one fell far off the pace of the most popular Mario title, it still managed to move over 10 million units.
The Game System That Mario Built
If you are someone that is even casually into gaming, you probably know that Nintendo and Super Mario Bros. are completely joined at the hip. Mario and Luigi are a pair of plumbers who navigate the gaming world in a side scrolling fashion, with mushrooms and turtles seemingly always in their way. What is amazing is that a game that looks so basic can actually be one that is considered a game changer in the industry, as well as being the one that can most be credited with putting Nintendo on the map.
Gaming websites and publications the world over agree that Super Mario Bros. is one of the most influential games ever made, and it has been at the heart of every single gaming console that Nintendo has ever put out. The game took on a whole new life when handheld gaming systems started to pop up, and while the Game Boy Color helped transport Mario off the TV screen and into the hands of the player, it wasn’t until the Nintendo DS arrived on the scene that the world of Mario really came to life in the smaller screen format.
What’s astounding is that the game was almost 20 years old when the Nintendo DS was released in 2004, yet the demand for Mario games was still at an all-time high. Nintendo cashed in on the demand by not only porting the title to every one of their systems, but by creating new games that better explored the world in which Mario and Luigi existed. New games came out for the DS that saw the boys driving cars, playing sports, and doing a host of things other than running sideways along the screen avoiding stuff and collecting coins.
AS mentioned earlier, Mario helped shepherd in the Nintendo DS handheld system, but he got his real reward when the 25th anniversary of the game was approaching. By this time, Nintendo had upgraded the DS to the DSi, and were taking that a step further by making a system that had larger screens, called the DSi XL. To mark he special anniversary, a red, Mario themed version of the system was released.
Super Mario Bros. remains one of the top selling games of all-time, while the other games that feature Mario have also been a big hit for Nintendo. If you look at the top 10 best-selling titles for all variants of the DS system, you will find no less than three in there that bear the Mario name. Systems and games tend to come and go, but Super Mario Bros. is one that looks like it will be around forever.
Nintendo And The Handheld Revolution
People of a certain age will remember the excitement of seeing those massive video game arcade machines suddenly start popping up on the scene. Board games, coloring books, and every other toy was cast aside in favor of these loud, blinking machines that allowed you to kill aliens, dodge falling barrels, and get on the run from ghosts. The machines became so popular, arcades starting popping up all over the country, allowing kids to play all of their favorite games in one place. The makers of those games saw the revolution and started thinking of ways to improve it.
The next logical step was to put them in the home, which is exactly what they did with the first gaming consoles. The world seemed poised to have a system in every home, but the release of poor quality games and an oversaturation of the market saw the industry implode on itself in the early 80’s. By 1985, it looked as though in-home video gaming might be an idea that was dead in the water. The system that changed everything and brought the industry back to life was the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). This console restored faith in the industry and paved the way for others to follow.
With the industry back on stable ground, the next step became trying to find a way of delivering something new. A few tentative steps were made in delivering a handheld system that was durable and which could play all the top games. Once again, Nintendo led the way in that market with the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance quickly becoming the standard that others had to meet. The game changed even further in 2004 when Nintendo introduced the DS, which just happened to have dual screens, as well as being the first system to allow touch screen action.
The release of the Nintendo DS set off a shopping frenzy that made it the hottest ticket in town. The fact that the system was released in different colors made the chore of finding the exact one all the more difficult. Nintendo eventually released the DS Lite, a more streamlined version, in hopes of meeting the high demand, but that just seemed to make it worse, as the demand for both systems reached critical mass. It is a trend that has continued with the release of each new member of the DS family.
That little family no stands as the second most successful gaming console in the world, with combined sales over 150 million units. The gaming industry is now a multi-billion dollar venture, making the bust from the 80’s seem like a long distant memory. There may be newer consoles that are currently selling better that anything Nintendo currently has to offer, but all of those companies will surely concede that they would not be around today where it not for what Nintendo did for the industry as a whole.