Nintendo DS

Nintendo DS Originally Codenamed “Iris”



Did you know the DS was originally referred to as “Iris” within NCL? In a recent Iwata Asks covering WarioWare: D.I.Y., SPD producer Gorou Abe mentioned how the development of the game dates all the way back to 2003, when documentation pertaining to the series referred to a system codenamed “Iris.” Iwata went on to to explain:


The “Iris” Abe-san mentioned isn’t widely known, so I will explain. Iris was the codename of a next-generation device we were exploring to succeed the Game Boy Advance—in other words, before development of the Nintendo DS. Eventually, it became a two-screen device with the codename Nitro, which went out into the world as the Nintendo DS. So, broadly speaking, Iris was the foundation for the Nintendo DS. You might say that Abe-san carried out his original objectives across five and a half years.


Originally, the concept of being able to create your own microgames using WarioWare was meant to be limited to making small changes to the existing games included in the package. Over time, however, as the DS and Wii came about, Abe and his team were able to fully realize the concept thanks to the stylus and inter-console connectivity.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.