Now I may be behind on the times, but recently I received a Nintendo DS from a friend. He was looking to get rid of his original since he had a DS Lite. I know what you're going to say, "But Migishu, the Nintendo DS has been out for ever, why didn't you just go buy a new one?". Well, not only am I a poor college student who will take what he can get for cheap, but the original NDS being larger fits in my hand more comfortably.
The Nintendo DS has been out on the market for almost 4 years now, and it has taken the gaming industry by storm. Originally not set to replace the Game Boy Advanced, its overwhelming popularity has made Nintendo change their minds, retiring the GBA.
Anywho, enough about the history lesson.
The Nintendo DS (Dual Screen) is a hand held, portable, video gaming system. It has a clamshell design, 2 screens (one of them being a touch screen), plays GBA games (but unfortunately not the original Gameboy games) and the new NDS games (obviously). The clam-shell case design allows the gamer to play games in the original top/bottom screen set up, or left/right screen set up (like holding a book). Games have been designed to function in both ways.
Graphically, the quality is ok. It's not going to wow you with crystal clear, high definition, sharp, quality. What it will do, however, is display an image that you'll be able to look at without too many problems. One thing they could have improved upon would have been the ppi (pixels per inch) of the screens. If you look closely enough, you'll be able to see how far apart the pixels of the screen are. Compared to TVs and other hand held devices (Playstation Portable for example), you'll see that the pixels look farther apart. At least, to me they do.
Soundwise, the console is pretty good. The sound does buzz and hiss sometimes (mine does, yours might not), and that can get annoying at times.
The selection of games is amazing. There's everything from FPS games, to brain training excersizes, to puzzle and adventure games. If you can think of a genre, it's on the DS. Yes, even those types of games. One problem with the games though is that there's such a wide variety of good games, that you'll end up spending your entire weeks pay on new games as they get released. I know people with 30+ games, one even has 50+! I personally rent games as I finish them quickly (it's a lot cheaper).
Overall, I think you'll be very happy with the purchase of the Nintendo DS. Most electronics stores sell it for a reasonable price. If not for you, a child or friend may want one. Though to be honest, if I had a kid and gave them a Nintendo DS, they would never see it as I'd be playing it all the time.