Officials from Nintendo Australia have announced that the black colored version of the Nintendo DS Lite will be launched in the region on September 21st, 2006 for a price of AU$199.95 (US$153).
The new color will be launched just in advance of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team on September 28th (well before the European launch of the game on November 10th). The press release also indicates that both versions of the Nintendo DS hardware have sold in excess of 300,000 units since the format's launch in February 2005 and the release of the Nintendo DS Lite on June 1st. Nintendo claims that this continues to sustain the Nintendo DS as the highest selling handheld console in Australia, ahead of both the Game Boy Advance and Sony PSP.
If accurate, the strong performance of the Nintendo DS runs contrary to Nintendo's usual reception in Australia which, even more so than the UK, is not a traditionally strong market for the company. The success of the console in these two countries, and elsewhere in the world, would appear to fully justify the company's gamble in releasing such an atypical console and largely dropping the Game Boy brand in its marketing.
Regarding the new color announcement, Rose Lappin, director of sales and marketing commented: "We are very pleased to introduce Black to the range. I think the color lends well to the overall design and offers a sharp elegance to the unit. Until now, consumers have really embraced the clean sophistication of the Polar White look - now they have an option."