Picking The Perfect Nintendo DS

A Nintendo 3DS Galaxy Edition
A Nintendo 3DS Galaxy Edition

The Nintendo DS has been the number one selling system is many countries of the world for years. It’s no surprise that the DS has had many special editions come out as well as 100’s of games. The DS might even hold the record for most exclusive on a platform at this point. Many parents want to start their kids off by giving them a handheld system, but just don’t know which to pick. This article will walk you through the multiple DS systems and how they are best used with your kids.

Let’s Talk Age Groups

The DS has games available for kids around 4 years old and up. Many companies decided to target the DS to sell games to younger children. This also means that you can find many female target games on the system as well. There are plenty of learning games you can buy and even games that will help your kids speak a second language. This is one of the most diverse handhelds Nintendo has ever made. Depending on what system you get the older DS’s can even play Gameboy advanced games, expanding your library even farther.

DS systems are also known for being pretty sturdy meaning they can last a long time. Most of the systems are pretty durable against falls and the screens are hard to crack. Cartridges are also a lot more durable than discs as long as you don’t literally try and crush them. This makes the handheld great for homes with energetic pets or kids who like to experiment with their electronics. The interface of all DS systems are also extremely simple and can be memorized easily for young children. The only issue you may find is keeping up with DS styluses is pretty much impossible at times. This means you should always keep a spare pack around the house

The First Line

A Nintendo 2DS
A Nintendo 2DS

The first line of DS’s are the ones that can play DS games as well as Gameboy advanced games. These DS’s went from the bulky first model to the slimmer DSI model that had a built-in camera. The basic DS library hosts 100’s of games ranging from E to M Some of the top RPG’s even exist on the original DS handhelds making it hold several top-tier games you can’t get anywhere else. These systems don’t have an e-shop or anything to buy digital games from meaning you will have to order them in or go to your nearest game store.

The good news is most game stores still carry DS cartridges. The games don’t generally go about $20 and the games for small children cost around $1.99. There are also a lot of lots on eBay you can buy for around $50 with a good supply of games for your little one. This is the cheapest you can go out of our suggestions and will be the best for kids 7 and under. The only downside is you will have to get one-second hand since their production has ended. If you want to find them either cheaper check around local yard sales or pawn shops to get a great deal.

Next, you will need to pick which model of the DS you want. If you have younger kids you may want to go for the original since it has a tough shell and is bulky making it pretty shock resistant. The DS Lite, on the other hand, is sleek and a lot less of a pain to carry around with you. If you have a child who’s into photography, however, then the DSI’s camera may be just what you are looking for in a model. There is also the DSI Xl model which has a bigger screen built into it. This model may be better for teenagers or adults.

The 3D line

There are quite a few differences in the first line of DS handhelds and the 3DS line. For starters on 3DS and 2DS systems come with a built-in camera. This camera is integrated into a lot of the games you can buy for the console. The E-shop is also a major player in the 3DS and demos are easily downloadable with most games you want to try out. At times Nintendo even gives away free games that you can choose to invest money in if you fancy them enough. There is also the introduction of Street Pass, a mode that lets you connect with other players and play mini-games using the Mii’s you have met while walking around.

The game library for the 3DS titles is, unfortunately, a lot smaller than the first DS. It does make up for it with its digital library and its ability to play basic DS games. The 3D effect isn’t all that great and will be a drain on your battery power. It’s also hard to use the effect properly since you have to look at the screen from an exact angle. 3D is also damaging to young children under the age of 7.

With these things in mindless discuss the models of 3DS First you have your basic model that is small, compact, and sturdy. After that, we have the New 3DS which boasts an even more powerful processor and a few New 3DS only titles such as Xenoblade. If you want to save some cash and don’t think your kid has any use for the 3D then you have the 2DS. This system comes in both a New version and a standard version. The standard version currently comes bundled with Mario Kart 7 and will only cost you ~$90.

I have multiple kids

If you have multiple kids then never fear the 3DS family has a feature called share play. While this may not work for every game, you can use one cartridge for both kids to play off of for games like Mario Party. This can be a huge help to parents who want to save money and think it’s a waste to buy multiple copies of the same game. If your kids are Pokemon fans then just get them opposite versions so they can trade the exclusive Pokemon between themselves. This way everyone’s happy and you won’t end up spending an arm and a leg.

If you have different ages in your home then consider pre-owned. Pre-owned systems can save you some money and give you more cash to spend on games. A lot of the more popular 3DS titles are now Nintendo Select picks which means they all retail for just 19.99 a piece. One of the most popular time sinks, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, has become a Nintendo Select. This is a game that your kids can play together to help progress in the game faster. Be sure to take advantage of Buy 2 get 1 deals to make sure everyone gets a game they like while you save some extra cash.

You can pick up a 2DS here or a 3DS here.

Jessica has been working with the gaming industry for about two years now. She enjoys playing quirky Japanese games and learning about the newest trivia in the industry. When not working with games you may find her chilling with her naked cat Prince Noko... he's pretty cool we guess.