By Chris Eckerdt
Nintendo first introduced the DS in 2004, and it has since become one of the most popular handheld gaming systems since the original GameBoy. Like Apple, when you have something revolutionary on your hands, you don't just stick with one, you improve and reinvent. The Nintendo DS now has five different iterations. Here's how to figure out which one you have:
Nintendo DS (the original):
When you open up the original DS, you'll notice that the body seems bulky and not that streamlined, especially since the screens seem so small against it. The easiest way to tell (besides its bulky body) are that the "start" and "select" keys are on the top right part of the bottom half, and look like rectangles.
Nintendo DS Lite:
Nintendo slims down the form, and adds a glossy coating for that extra shine! This DS looks like a small rectangle with the "start" and "select" buttons turned into circles, and moved to the lower left of the bottom half of the handheld. There is also no camera on this DS.
The DSi adds additional functionality to the DS line with a front and back camera. The paint job goes switched to a duller matte coating. Unlike the previous two DSes, there is no second slot to play gameboy advance games.
Nintendo DSi XL:
Nintendo wasn't kidding when they used the term "XL;" this thing is huge. At 4.2 inches, the screen is more than an inch bigger than its predecessors. The paint job goes back to being glossy, but the camera is still there. The easiest way to tell if you have the DSi XL is if it's difficult to wrap your hand around it.
This is the current DS from Nintendo, and you can play games in 3D without even having to use glasses! The science behind it is a little hard to explain, but put simply, instead of wearing 3D glasses and watching a screen, the 3DS puts the glasses against the screen so you don't have to wear them. The easiest way to tell if you have this device (besides the eye-popping action) is that there's a little slider switch on the right side of the top section. This slider actually adjusts the effect of the 3D that you see, and can even turn it off.
The Nintendo DS has had a long life, and it still continues to be a gaming powerhouse. With more technologies to add on, who knows how far it'll go?