On Nov. 21, just in time for the holidays, gamers across North America will begin snapping up the most innovative game platform in a decade, the Nintendo DS. Boasting dual screens, touch-screen and voice-recognition interfaces and two forms of wireless connection, the 1 million Nintendo DS units available in North America already are expected to be depleted by year's end.
Nintendo DS comes embedded with the PictoChat communication feature and bundled with a playable demo of the upcoming Metroid Prime Hunters. In addition, the system will have a dozen titles available during its launch window, spanning every genre, including Super Mario 64 DS from Nintendo, Madden NFL 2005, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR Golf and The Urbz: Sims in the City from EA, Spider-Man 2 from Activision, Ping Pals from THQ, Feel the Magic: XY/XX from SEGA, Rayman DS and Asphalt Urban GT from Ubisoft and Ridge Racer DS and Mr. DRILLER: Drill Spirits from Namco.
By the end of March, the Nintendo DS game library will include 20 to 25 games. More than 125 games remain in development worldwide, from Nintendo as well as every major third-party developer. And because Nintendo DS is backward compatible with Game Boy Advance SP games, it already has a library of more than 550 games.
Nintendo DS will sell at an MSRP of $149.99. Its clamshell design protects both screens, and its rechargeable battery allows for six to 10 hours of play on a single charge.
Nintendo DS launches in Japan on Dec. 2. By the end of 2004, Nintendo will ship 2 million units worldwide and another 2 million by the end of March.
* Size (closed): 5.85" wide / 3.33" long / 1.13" tall
* Upper Screen: Backlit, 3-inch, semitransparent reflective TFT color LCD with 256x192 pixel resolution and .24 mm dot pitch
* Touch Screen: Same as upper screen, but with transparant analog touch screen
* Color: Capable of displaying 260,000 colors
* Wireless Communication: IEEE 802.11 and Nintendo's proprietary format; wireless range is 30 to 100 feet, depending on circumstances; multiple users can play multiplayer games using just one DS game card
* Controls: Touch screen, embedded microphone for voice recognition, A/B/X/Y face buttons, plus control pad, L/R shoulder buttons, Start and Select buttons
* Input/Output: Ports for both Nintendo DS game cards and Game Boy Advance Game Paks, terminals for stereo headphones and microphone
* Other Features: Embedded PictoChat software that allows up to 16 users to chat at once; embedded real-time clock; date, time and alarm; touch-screen calibration
* CPUs: One ARM9 and one ARM7
* Sound: Stereo speakers providing virtual surround sound, depending on the software
* Battery: Lithium ion battery delivering six to 10 hours of play on a four-hour charge, depending on use; power-saving sleep mode; AC adapter
* Languages: English, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian
* Color: Silver and black