The Nintendo DS (also known as the DS Phat) is the third handheld system from Nintendo. It was released in 2004 and 2005. It has a successor called the Nintendo 3DS, the very first 3D handheld. The DS is a small, nearly pocket-size fold-up machine that lets people play video games. The games are stored on small cartridges which are like memory card chips from digital cameras. Some games, such as Super Mario 64 DS, were released on the same day as the original DS.
For most of Nintendo's systems, there have been no load times, except for the GameCube and Wii.[source?] With the DS, a level in the game loads up quickly, just like with Game Boy games. This is because cartridges can be read a lot quicker than CDs or DVDs.
The DS also has many new features. It has a new surround sound system. The DS also has backwards compatibility with the Game Boy Advance. However, the DS is incapable of playing the Game Boy or Game Boy Color games. The DS features a touch screen, a screen often used for extra gameplay (like a PDA). The DS packaging comes with two styluses.
The Nintendo DS is one of the rivals of Sony's PlayStation Portable. However, both Nintendo and Sony state that their products were aimed at different people, so there is "technically" no competition. The DS has currently sold more units than the PSP has.[source?]