The Nintendo DS ("Dual Screen" or "Developers' System" is the market-ese being given) was presented today at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles.
As the "DS" suggests, the Nintendo DS comes with two 3" LCD screens mounted one above the other in a clamshell design similar to the Game Boy Advance SP. One of the screens is a touch screen and can be interfaced via your fingertip or with the included stylus.
Nintendo DS will include two processors, 3-D capabilities on both screens, 16-channel sound, a microphone, wireless connectivity, and a rechargeable battery that features a low-energy-consumption design. One media bay handles new DS game cartridges that can hold over one gigabit of information. The second media port allows for compatibility with Game Boy Advance games, as well as possible future accessories.
More than 100 companies worldwide have received software development kits. Games in development by Nintendo include a new Super Mario
game, a Metroid
game, a WarioWare
game and PictoChat, software that lets players send instant text and picture messages. Third-party publishers also have announced games in development, including a Spider-Man 2
title from Activision, a Rayman
game from Ubisoft, a SpongeBob SquarePants
title from THQ, a Yu-Gi-Oh!
game from Konami, a Sonic
title from Sega, a Bomberman
game from Hudson Soft, a Need for Speed
game from Electronic Arts and a Pac-Man
title from Namco.
The Nintendo DS is slated to launch in Japan and North America before the end of the year, and in Europe during the first quarter of 2005. Exact specs for the system have not yet been released. The "Nintendo DS" name is not final. Industry analysts speculate a price point of $150.