Nintendo DS Lite had TV support, hackers find

Nintendo's follow up to the DS- the DS Lite - remained a staple in the handheld gaming market almost ten years, shipping 93 million units before it was discontinued in March 2014.

Featuring a more streamlined design to the slightly clumsy original Nintendo DS, this beloved console has long been forgotten as Nintendo focused its efforts on the 3DS and the Nintendo Switch.

However, thanks to a group of hackers at Lost Nintendo History, we now know that the DS Lite had even more potential...

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DS Lite supports TV output

The Lost Nintendo History group has reported that in late 2020, it found a leftover component on the DS Lite's chip that could support video output. Using custom software that goes around the retail firmware, the group was able to display the DS Lite's top screen on a TV, while the bottom screen remained active on the DS Lite.

While it required some technical knowledge and additional components, the group highlighted that "this hardware feature is present in virtually ever single Nintendo DS Lite out there."

The group also noted that this feature was only included in the DS Lite, with no such TV output available in the original DS or the DSi. However, there is one Nintendo handheld that has made use of the TV output feature..

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A Nintendo Switch feature?

It's hard not to draw comparisons here between the TV output of the DS Lite and the Nintendo Switch console. The Switch is a handheld device that, when docked, can display its output on a TV or monitor.

As Lost Nintendo History point out, the TV output on the DS Lite is different to the hardware component included in development kits that allow for developers to record gameplay prior to release. This suggests that, at least for some point, the DS Lite was a dual-handheld/home console.

Did the DS Lite walk so the Switch could run? We'll leave that up to you to decide...

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