Nintendo DS – Did You Know Gaming? Feat. Dazz
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Nintendo DS – Did You Know Gaming? Feat. Dazz

September 17, 2019


Dazz: Did You Know? Although the DS was very profitable for Nintendo, the system’s games are one of the most pirated products in gaming history. In 2010, Japan’s Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association published a list of Japan’s most pirated DS games. CESA’s findings showed that the 20 best-selling DS games were downloaded almost 20 million times collectively in Japan. Pokemon Platinum was illegally downloaded almost 2.1 million times. It figured that nearly matched the game’s 2.7 million regional sales. Most of this piracy can be attributed to flash cartridges such as the R4, which allowed users to play DS ROM files using a micro SD card. Nintendo took measures to combat piracy on their platforms, but with limited success. In 2008, Nintendo teamed up with 54 other video game companies to take legal action to halt sales of R4 units. Their lawsuit used Japan’s unfair competition prevention law, and ask that all companies involved with the R4s to stop importing, selling, and advertising the devices. Unfortunately, Nintendo’s actions had little effect, and consumers continued to buy R4 devices online. In 2009, Nintendo publicly called out the governments of China, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and Paraguay. A statement was made about each country and how piracy was negatively affecting Nintendo in each region, in hopes of the governments cracking down on pirates. This, too, seemed to have little effect. The system has a fairly interesting history. The DS wasn’t originally intended to be the successor to the Game Boy line of handheld consoles. At the time of its release, Nintendo was still supporting both the Game Boy Advance and GameCube, and the DS was planned to launch as a third pillar, alongside these systems. Most likely, this was due to the fact that the DS was a more experimental piece of hardware, and Nintendo didn’t want to risk devaluing the Game Boy brand, should the new system fail. The DS also marked a major turning point for Nintendo as a company. While speaking about the upcoming release of the DS, former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi stated that Nintendo’s goal at that time was to help lift Japan out of economic depression. They plan to do this by re-energizing the game market, though they were uncertain about the future of their own company. Yamauchi even went so far as to state that… “If the DS succeeds, we will rise to heaven, but if it fails we will sink to hell.” Despite all concerns, the Nintendo DS proved to be a massive success. As of 2018, it is officially the number one best-selling game system in the United States and the second best-selling system in the world, after Sony’s Playstation 2. The DS went through several different code names while in development. Its earliest iteration was known as “Iris”, a name that predates the system’s dual screens. The official Nintendo DS emulation software was called “Ensata”, named after the Iris Ensata flower commonly known as simply the Japanese Iris. As former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata described Iris was just the codename of next generation hardware designed to succeed the Game Boy Advance. It’s often speculated that the Ensata emulator was developed by Intelligent Systems. However, there is little evidence to prove this. The code of Ensata only has copyrights relating to Nintendo, which implies it was developed in-house. The source of this confusion may have been the fact that Intelligent Systems developed the hardware tools for the DS. Before the handheld was officially revealed, leaks indicated that its final name kept going back and forth between the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Nitro. In an Iwata Asks interview, Iwata confirmed that Nitro was one of the code names used for the device. As a holdover from when it was codenamed the Nitro, the serial numbers printed on DS game cards all begin with the letters NTR. The final name for the system, the Nintendo DS, actually has two meanings. On the surface, it stands for dual screen, however, according to Nintendo, it also stands for developer system, as it was meant to give game creators brand new tools which will lead to more innovative games. In 2004, Nintendo filed a trademark for game hardware under the name “City Boy,” suggesting that this might have been another name considered for the DS. According to games journalist Emily Rodgers, the City Boy name was meant to help market Nintendo’s handheld systems to a younger more modern demographic. It was also chosen to compete against the growing mobile phone game industry. The Nintendo DS also has the unique distinction of being physically carried to the highest point on Earth. Mountain climbers Neil Mueller and Chris Grubb brought their DS systems with them during their ascent of Mount Everest. While most of the team’s electronics were ruined during the climb, their DS systems survived the entire ascent. The devices managed to endure the bitter cold, fierce winds, and having curry spilled directly on them while the team’s Sherpa guides played them in the kitchen. A large part of the DS’s international appeal was its lack of region locking, as all DS systems can play any game from any region. The only exception to this is the Chinese version known as the iQue DS. This version of the DS can still play games from any region, but games released specifically for the iQue DS are region locked and cannot be played on regular DS systems. Attempting to do so will simply trigger a message that says, “Only for iQue DS”. Oddly, this region locking only functions on the original DS, as all versions of the DSi and 3DS can play iQue DS games without issue. Only six games were released for the iQue DS; Super Mario 64 DS, New Super Mario Bros., Yoshi Touch & Go, WarioWare Touched, Polarium, and a version of Nintendogs that came pre-installed on the upgraded iQue DSi. Another region specific quirk can be found while setting up the DS’s Wi-Fi connection settings. Japanese DS systems have an option to connect to the Internet using a portable Wi-Fi router. Because these routers are used almost exclusively in Japan, the option to use it was removed internationally. However, there is a workaround for users to access the option outside of Japan. In order to do so, the user has to specifically calibrate the touchscreen incorrectly by touching the bottom right corner of the screen when asked to touch the middle. While on the Wi-Fi setup menu, this option can then be accessed by touching the very top left corner of the touchscreen. This is still possible to do, even in the 3DS’s version of the menu. The Nintendo Wi-Fi connection instruction booklet included with the DS also contains an interesting secret. One page of the booklet explains the steps to input a WEP key, in order to connect to a wireless router. In the example picture, the code used for the WEP key is 8675309. This is a reference to the 1981 pop song 867-5309/Jenny by Tommy Tutone. This isn’t the only easter egg for the DS system. If the player starts up their DS on their birthday, the boot-up sound will have a slightly higher pitch. [DS’s original boot-up sound] [DS’s higher pitch boot-up sound] And if they continue into the Pictochat application and go to a room, they will receive a happy birthday message. Although having multiple brightness levels was an advertised feature of the DS Lite, later shipments of the original DS actually had support for multiple brightness levels as well. However, there was no way to actually take advantage of it outside of Homebrew applications. The DS and DS Lite eventually received a significant hardware overhaul in the form of the DSi, which included new features such as cameras and SD card support. The system’s name was inspired by the Nintendo Wii with the single “i” meant to convey individuality and emphasize the idea of players personalizing their own systems. The sound editor was included as a last second addition at the insistence of Shigeru Miyamoto, which actually contains an interesting easter egg. While on the sound selection menu, if the player highlights one of their recorded sounds and waits for about a minute, the sound editor will start playing a rendition of the Super Mario Brothers theme, composed from the highlighted sound. [Super Mario Bros. theme playing, slightly changed] The DSi’s cameras were a key component to the system’s redesign. Satoru Iwata compared the device’s microphone and touchscreen as its ears and sense of touch, so the cameras were intended to give the system eyes. The DSi included two cameras, one on the front of the system and one on the back. These cameras actually take pictures at a resolution two and a half times greater than the resolution of the DSi screen, so the pictures could be zoomed in without losing detail. Originally, the design team only intended to include one camera and make the top screen able to swivel around, in order to take pictures both in front and behind the system. However, the swivel mechanic was deemed too expensive and impractical, so the decision was made to include a camera on both sides. Another feature that had to be cut was a second game slot, something that had been heavily requested by both fans and Nintendo employees. Upon the first presentation of the DSi prototype, however, company executives expressed concern at the system’s bulk and the second game slot had to be removed in order to make the DSi smaller. Did you also know that the Game Boy Advance was planned to have Internet access? Or that the Advance was designed by a French man? For more facts, check out our video on the Game Boy Advance.

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  1. Fun fact; I predicted the existence of the DS when I was 6 years old (five years before it was released). I literally had a dream about a "two-screened touch-screen Gameboy" and told ALL my friends about the dream I had back then. Needless to say, I flipped out when the DS was announced.

  2. Really? I always thought it mean "Dimensional system" mainly because it makes sense for the 3ds with the "3 Dimensional System"

  3. Didn't you guys just cover the whole "Nintendo DS's Piracy problem" before? Didn't you also mention the DS's original Code Name before as well?

    Yeah, this is a problem I have with your videos. How you guys keep on repeating info that you've already spread before.

  4. Piracy made me buy doom(1993),gta 5, enter the gungeon, smash bros(3ds) made me buy a 3ds xl(the console aint cheap here in România) and mother fucking super mario bros (1985)

  5. I wanted to by actually ds games but my dad bought me one of those
    I still want to go to a store and by offical games

  6. Oh I thought it meant demensional system because it would make sense for the 3DS see: Nintendo 3 demensional system

  7. This dude clearly hasn’t ever heard that song by Tommy Tutone before. They don’t say 867-53 ZERO 9… it’s 3 oh 9, but that’s British folk for ya, not giving a shit about how anything is pronounced but boy will they get pissy when you mispronounce any of their stupid words, like Thames or aluminum.

  8. I love my switch, but there's something about the ds consoles that make me just want to take it everywhere instead of the switch

  9. I have an R4 cart, my family was poor and wanted to give me a ds, but couldn’t afford Games for it, so I have an R4

  10. Damn… And people wonder why Nintendo is so uptight about protecting their IP. 2.7 milsales vs 2.1 downloads. Thats alot of money there

  11. I love how Nintendo systems can survive a lot. I dropped my Nintendo 2DS on the bus and it was fine. The bus driver freaked out though!

  12. DS games have such small file sizes so they're convenient to pirate. A 32GB SD card can pretty much fit all the games you will ever play on the DS.

  13. The DS was launched for fear of the PSP. It's one of the reasons why it was backwards compatible with GBA. Also, sales didn't pick up until the DS Lite was released.

  14. I have a DS emulator on my phone and downloaded a Pokèmon Black ROM but my Pokèmon woulden't get XP.
    I later found out that that was one of theoose anti-piracy measures.

  15. Do people not get that when pirates download games they most lolly wouldn't have bought the games they download. When something is free they download alot more. So pirates don't cost anybody anything.

  16. Who else thought dsi was called the dsi because the camera was like an eye really who else was it just me

  17. How can you calibrate the touchscreen wrong like this? Where do you have to tap when asked for the other points?

  18. My DS lite fell from my hand a few inches from the ground and snapped in half… It took me a few hours to actually believe it happened.

  19. “If the ds succeeds, then we rise to heaven. If the ds fails then we fall to hell” sounds like something said in a bioshock game XD

  20. My friend bought a ds lite at a garage sale recently for $10 including a few (bad) games. She bought a charger and Pokémon platinum, and it works like a charm.

  21. funny how the DSi was meant to be about individuality or whatever, but the commercials shown in this video show everyone in a featureless blank room wearing the same plain white outfit

  22. Not that I support Piracy because I don't. But $39 and $59+ for a game is robbery. 1 million people buy it and they make 59 million dollars? On top of the cost of the system? If games were not so expensive people might be able to buy more. As it is working full time I would have to give up certain things to afford a few games. They are just too expensive. Movies cost a crap load of money to make with paying actors and creatives. They don't charge that much money. AND you can watch most on Netflix etc.

  23. I still love my Ds and wii. I have all the Ds. I also the black and white game boy, and game boy color. Love them and still play them. August 2019.

  24. Honestly, whenever my ds lite made that high pitched sound, I always thought it was because something was wrong with the system until now

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