The home of the friendly little Mario. Yes, that was the name given by many analysts and critics to the Nintendo DS, the portable console that arrived in 2004 to revolutionize the video game industry, and its 150 million consoles sold confirms it.
From its release until 2010, the Nintendo DS line has seen 4 re-releases of the console, and that’s not counting its successor line, the Nintendo 3DS. But no matter which version you had, I’m pretty sure you love these handhelds that gave us all so much fun during our childhood, adolescence, or youth.
Years after its discontinuation, the DS is still a prized commodity in today’s market, and the more time passes the more its value increases. Of course, that depends on many factors, such as the condition of the console, whether it comes with its original box, and whether it includes games…
How Much Is A Nintendo DS Worth Today?
In today’s market, a used Nintendo DS is worth around $40 to $60 depending on the version. That is the price for an original DS console in good condition.
If you want the handheld in its original box, be prepared to shell out up to $200 or even more. Now let’s take a closer look at each of the consoles and how their price varies.
Launched in 2004 the Nintendo DS was released with a starting price of $150, the original Nintendo DS was the one that started the whole phenomenon of these handhelds that dominated the market for more than 10 years.
Interactive touch screens may be in McDonald’s today, but at the time, it was this feature that got kids hooked on the DS, of course, because they could take their favorite adventures everywhere they went.
For obvious reasons, the original DS falls short of the power of its successors, but it has the nostalgia factor in its favor, plus it has backward compatibility with Game Boy games. We may not have realized it, but the DS is about to turn 20 years old since its release, so if you are interested, you better get one before the price explodes.
eBay: A refurbished Nintendo DS console in good condition ranges from $40-$60, with a game or two included. If you’re lucky enough to find one in its original box, be prepared to shell out $200.
Amazon: in acceptable condition, it’s worth $80, while near-new ones go for as much as $130.
How Much Does A Nintendo DS Lite Cost Today?
In today’s market, the cost of a Nintendo DS Lite is around $50 to $80 depending on the version. That is the price for a used DS Lite in good condition.
The DS Lite arrived on the market in 2006 with a price tag of $150 as a version that retained almost all the features of its predecessor, except for some design variations and a more modest size and weight to make it easier to carry (hence its name).
Although in technical aspects it remained the same, the improvements in its aesthetics made this revision sell many more units than the original, leading the company to maintain most of the qualities in the following models.
Apart from adding the feature to control the screen light, the size of the stylus was enlarged, making it easier to hold for more adult hands. Oh, and let’s not forget that like its predecessor, it is also backwards compatible with Game Boy titles.
Overall, a great console that perfected the formula to the point of being the basis for subsequent re-releases.
eBay: used consoles range from $50 to $80. In its original box, depending on condition and games, it ranges from $120 to $220.
New units, on the other hand, average between $400 and $500.
Amazon: Mostly renewed consoles average $150.
How Much Does A Nintendo DSi Cost Today?
In today’s market, the cost of a Nintendo DSi is worth around $40 to $80 depending on the version. That is the price for a used DSi in good condition.
Launched in mid-2009 with a price of $170, the DSi is a revision of the previous model, the Nintendo DS Lite, which integrates a series of specifications in its system that make it superior to its predecessors, since it allows smoother gameplay with a higher response speed.
The main difference from the previous ones is the elimination of the slot for GBA cartridges and the inclusion, instead, of a port for SD cards.
Although it differs little in design from its predecessor, its internal qualities make it a strong candidate for anyone interested in buying a game console.
Its screen is only a couple of millimeters larger than its predecessors and, although it is not visible to the naked eye, it represents a general change in the way in which you can now interact with its catalog of games.
Considering that its RAM is four times larger, gamers are guaranteed more hours of fun with some of the best and underrated Nintendo games made. So if you are looking for a smarter and more powerful console, the DSi is for you.
eBay: In general, consoles in good condition range from $40 to $80. Those that include their original box don’t go up in price too much, going just over $100.
Sealed DSi’s cost around $300 and $400.
Amazon: used consoles are over $80, while refurbished consoles range from $130-$150.
How Much Does A Nintendo DSi XL Cost Today?
In today’s market, the cost of a Nintendo DSi XL is around $80 to $110 depending on the version. That is the price for a used DSi XL in good condition.
Nintendo’s last offerings with its popular handheld game console has maintained a very clear philosophy: the bigger the better. Their next generation of portables such as the New Nintendo 3DS XL or the New Nintendo 2DS XL are a clear example of this.
However, if we trace the origin of this success in the market, we go back to 2010 when the Nintendo DS XL began to gain popularity among gamers.
With a starting price of $190, this console laid the foundations for a larger design that would be the preferred choice for those adult gamers who were not entirely comfortable with the smaller versions (original DS or DS Lite).
With a host of technical improvements and its enlarged dimensions, it is a perfect console for adults to comfortably hold the top buttons and triggers more easily.
This was a frequent problem with previous models, to the point that many of the critics considered them to be equipped only for youngsters and children. This has been left in the past and the later versions of XL portable video game consoles that maintained this philosophy vindicated the company’s proposal.
The Nintendo DSi XL is a perfect portable console for those who are making their first forays into the world of video games.
eBay: prices vary a bit more, but in general, between $80 and $110 are the best condition consoles. There are not many copies available with their original boxes, although they average $130-$200.
Amazon: the used ones in very good condition are over $100, while the renewed ones range from $150-$180.
Limited Editions Of Each DS Console
For the most part, you’ll find variants of this type for the DS Lite and DSi, although if you’re lucky, you might stumble across a DSi XL. (All prices below are according to eBay).
- Pokepark: in good condition and its box is worth up to $400. On its own, it’s worth less than $200.
Nintendo DS Lite:
- Yellow Pikachu: this limited edition console in its sealed box is over $1200
- Mario/Bathing Ape Baby Milo: around $700
- Red Dragon: up to $400
- Pokemon Giratina: ranges from $700 to $900
- Dialga & Palkia: between $400 and $600
- Pokemon White: between $150 and $200 used consoles
- Black: good condition copies average $150, while with the original box, they cost over $300
- Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days: used consoles go for up to $100. With its original box, it ranges from $350 to $400. Brand-new versions go for up to $700
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time: on their own, they average $100. In their box, they range from $200 to $300
Nintendo DSi XL:
- Mario 25th Anniversary: in good condition, it costs just over $100. With its original box, it goes up to $300, while there is a completely sealed edition valued at $2360
A Brief Comparison Between Nintendo DS Family Of Consoles
If you want a DS but don’t know which one to choose, here are the main differences between each console to help you decide:
Original Nintendo DS (2004)
Compared to the newer models, it is thick and clunky. While it was a reasonable size for a portable system, it is almost twice as wide as the new model and heavier too.
What really differentiates the two systems, however, is that the original DS lacks a backlight, although it is backward compatible with Game Boy games. If what you want is nostalgia and to show it off in your collection, the “DSfat” should be your purchase, although I don’t recommend it if you want to enjoy the games at their best.
Nintendo DS Lite (2006)
If you are going to buy a new DS, this is the one you will probably finally choose. The DS Lite is thin, light, and with redesigned buttons, the new version of the Nintendo DS is more comfortable than the previous one.
It features a backlit display with four different brightness levels that allow you to play games even in the darkest of nights, in exchange for an increased battery consumption. And of course, you can also play Game Boy games on it.
Nintendo DSi (2009)
The newest Nintendo DS model is a kind of mix between a camera and a portable gaming system. It is ten percent thinner than the slim Lite, but its DSi screen size is slightly larger than previous DS models and with new features.
It is also made of materials that ensure its integrity (especially at the hinges), although its higher illumination sacrifices a bit of battery life, which lasts around 9-14 hours in optimal operation.
At the time, this console had a somewhat cold reception, but it is an excellent choice if you want to access the immense catalog of the DS with excellent mechanics and gameplay.
Nintendo DSi XL (2010)
As its name suggests, Nintendo DSi XL is a larger version of Nintendo DSi. It has a larger screen measuring 4.3, compared to the 3.25 of the Nintendo DSi.
The console itself is bigger and heavier. But speaking of differences, there’s not much to talk about. The screen isn’t any sharper or brighter, and both operate on the same platform. Both have 256MB of flash memory, 2 low-resolution cameras on the front and back, and built-in Wi-Fi.
One point to note is that its battery lasts a bit longer, from 13 to 17 hours, and its stylus for obvious reasons is longer. So if you are looking for the ultimate gaming experience with a better view (especially if you have big hands), the DSi XL is your perfect console.
Summary On The Price Of A DS In Today’s Market
As we’ve seen, the DS market today is accessible if you just want a good handheld console for gaming. Sure, if you are a collector and only want the best, you will have to shell out a bit, but considering they are consoles from the last decade, their prices have not fully exploded.
I should also note that the 3DS that arrived after the DS is compatible with the entire DS library, There are a lot of differences and its a big decision but to some, it is worth considering a 3Ds instead of a DS.
But if it’s within your means, don’t hesitate to buy a DS, either to relive old favorites or because you couldn’t have it before. It will guarantee you hours of retro gaming fun with a huge catalog of great titles with some of the best adventures of Mario, Pokemon, Link, and the rest of the legendary Nintendo characters.