Nintendo DS and Nintendo DS Lite (a redesign of the original DS) are handheld gaming devices that, in addition to individual game play, offer multiplayer online gaming and chat through a wireless local area network (LAN) or over Nintendo's Wi-Fi service.
Online Gaming (via Nintendo Wi-Fi)
Nintendo DS and DS Lite have over 60 games that can be played online using the Nintendo Wi-Fi service.
To play online with others, users need to exchange friend codes, unique twelve digit numbers generated by playing Internet-enabled games. Each Internet-enabled game generates a different friend code. To become "friends" and play online, users must manually exchange friend codes. Often times, users publically post their friend codes online in message boards and blog posts to find others to play against.
Multiplayer Gaming (via LAN)
Nintendo DS and DS Lite enable users to play multiplayer games with other DS users that are within 65 feet of them using a LAN.
PictoChat is a picture drawing and text chat application built into Nintendo DS and DS Lite that utilizes a LAN. PictoChat enables users to send picture drawings and text messages to other DS users within approximately 65 feet of each other. There is no requirement to exchange friend codes to communicate using PictoChat.
Nintendo offers web browser applications for both the Nintendo DS and DS Lite that can be purchased separately. Web filtering technology has been integrated into the browser that provides parents with the option of blocking inappropriate content. You can learn more about the browser including the filtering technology by visiting: http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/systems/dslite/browser.jsp.
Beyond the filtering technology in the optional web browser, the Nintendo DS and DS Lite have no built-in parental controls and parents should consider the following:
- Parental oversight is needed to ensure age appropriate game play and communication.
- Communication on the DS and DS Lite is not private.
- Parents should share the same general online safety tips with their children that they would for Internets chat environments including no sharing of personal information and no speaking to people they do not know.
To learn more about what Nintendo suggests to parents, visit: http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/systems/ds/dsprivacy.jsp.