Mario Kart DS is a Nintendo DS racing game developed and published by Nintendo. It is the fifth installment of the Mario Kart series and the second game for a handheld console. It was released first in North America, in November 14, 2005, being the first and only mainstream Mario Kart game to be released first in North America. Unlike its predecessor, Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, it retains the traditional single-driver kart racing elements in the Mario Kart series, where players race against seven competitors in obstacle tracks, using item-based weaponry to gain further advantages over their opponents. It is the first handheld Mario Kart title to use live-rendered 3D graphics for most of the objects in the game, including characters, vehicles, and race-tracks.