The console was released in North America with a midnight launch event at Universal City Walk EB Games in Los Angeles, California.
The console was launched quietly in Japan compared to the North America launch; one source cites the cold weather as the reason.
Nintendo released only a few details at that time, saying that the console would have two separate, 3-inch TFT LCD display panels, separate processors, and up to 1 gigabit (128 Megabytes) of semiconductor memory.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said, "We have developed Nintendo DS based upon a completely different concept from existing game devices in order to provide players with a unique entertainment experience for the 21st century." Following lukewarm Game Cube sales, former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi stressed the importance of its success to the company's future stating, "If the DS succeeds, we will rise to heaven, but if it fails we will sink to hell." President Iwata referred to Nintendo DS as "Nintendo's first hardware launch in support of the basic strategy 'Gaming Population Expansion'" because the touch-based device "allows users to play intuitively".
Nintendo DS caters for the needs of all gamers whether for more dedicated gamers who want the real challenge they expect, or the more casual gamers who want quick, pick up and play fun.
The Nintendo DS was seen by many analysts to be in the same market as Sony's Play Station Portable, although representatives from both companies have said that each system targets a different audience.
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