Nintendogs[a] is a real-time pet simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS handheld video game console. It was released in Japan, and was later released in: North America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and other regions. It was originally released in three different versions: Dachshund & Friends, Lab & Friends (Shiba & Friends in Japan) and Chihuahua & Friends. It has been re-released twice, first as a bundled release with a special edition Nintendo DS with a new version called Nintendogs: Best Friends and later as Nintendogs: Dalmatian & Friends.
Nintendogs uses the DS's touchscreen and built-in microphone. The touch screen allows the player to pet a dog, as well as to use various items that can be found or purchased. These range from balls and frisbees, to toys, to grooming supplies to keep the dogs happy. The microphone is used to call to the player's dog by speaking the name given to the dog in the beginning of the game as well as to teach the dog tricks such as "sit" or "roll over". Players can bring their dogs on walks and to the park if they so choose. They may interact with other players in multi-player by using the DS's wireless linkup. It also uses the DS's internal clock and calendar to allow the dog to grow hungrier or dirtier based on the elapsed time.
Nintendogs received critical acclaim and won many awards, including the 2006 Innovation Award from PC World and Best Handheld Game from the Associated Press. All versions of Nintendogs have sold a combined 23.96 million copies worldwide, making it the second highest-selling game on the Nintendo DS, behind New Super Mario Bros. Because of Nintendogs' success, Nintendo has made several related products, including Nintendogs toys and a series of Nintendogs trading cards. A sequel, titled Nintendogs + Cats, was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2011.