Which DS family console is the best for me?

The Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo 3DS, and Nintendo 2DS consoles are all capable of running in DS(i) mode, as well as GBA games. To help decide which console is best for you, please read this page.

Features Nintendo DS Nintendo DSi Nintendo 3DS/2DS
Max RAM 4MB (up to 36MB with RAM expansion) 16MB 32MB
Max CPU Speed 67mhz 133mhz1 133mhz1
Camera No Yes Yes
Screen type TN(?) TN (Regular), IPS (XL) TN or IPS (varies by model)
Screen scaling No No Yes2
Brightness levels 2 (On/Off for Phat), 4 (Lite)3 5 5
GBA Compatiblity Native, Near-Perfect4 Great Native, Near-Perfect5
DSiWare Support Yes, Partial6 Yes7 Yes7
  1. DS games will run at 67mhz, but most can be configured to run at 133mhz, though certain games will have issues.  2

  2. When launching in DS(i) mode, the screens are not properly scaled, and will not appear pixel-perfect. Holding START or SELECT button will disable screen scaling, but will reveal black borders around the screen images. 

  3. Later Phat models have the same brightness levels as the Lite model, but will require FlashMe to be installed in order to use those levels (at least in the original menu). 

  4. The only game known to have a compatibility issue, MegaMan Battle Network 3 crashes after the Capcom logo. 

  5. Large GBA Video ROMs (above 32MB) will not work. Gyro and rumble features will also not work. 

  6. Majority of supported titles do not require the camera. See this page for which titles are supported. TWiLight Menu++ is required to be installed on your flashcard. 

  7. If you’re using TWiLight Menu++ with either DSiWare Booter setting set to nds-bootstrap or if using a 3DS/2DS, then compatibility is near-perfect.  2