Nintendo DS (2004)
The Nintendo DS came at the perfect time, long before mobile games such as Angry Birds and Candy Crush sold millions to just about anyone who carried a cell phone. From 2004 to 2011, the Nintendo DS dominated mobile gaming by introducing distinct new features including two LCD screens working in tandem (the bottom one featuring a touchscreen), a built-in microphone, and support for wireless connectivity. It was the also the first device of any kind to effectively introduce touch controls, something we now take it for granted. The DS is capable of displaying 260,000 colors and both the screens are backlit and easy to see outside and indoors, something the Game Boy Color couldn’t get right. To date, it’s the second-best-selling platform on this list; in fact, all Nintendo DS models combined have sold 154.01 million units, making it the second best-selling video game console of all time period (beaten out by the PlayStation 2 which sold 155 million units).
With the DS, Nintendo began to market to demographics beyond typical young adult males. The DS featured a strong library, introduced online play, and catered to both the hardcore and casual gamers alike. The DS gave us the Professor Layton franchise, WarioWare, a new Animal Crossing game, a brand-new 2D Super Mario title and even a Grand Theft Auto game. Add on three excellent Castlevania titles, Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time, a ton of Pokemon games and you’ve got a library that justified the cheap 150$ price tag.
So why does it rank so low on our list? The DS era was sort of an experimental phase for Nintendo that would eventually bring us the much-improved 3DS. In truth, many DS games have not aged well and although the system introduced some excellent new features, we simply prefer other consoles over this. (Ricky D)