Nintendo trumpets DS support

Over 100 companies worldwide scratching their heads over dual screen concepts.

Japanese giant Nintendo has fired the opening salvo of its E3 publicity assault for the forthcoming Nintendo DS handheld, releasing a list of publishers supporting the device which includes most of the industry's biggest names.

Over 100 companies worldwide have been sent development kits for the Nintendo DS, the company claims, including most of the industry's biggest publishers - both in Japan and in the west.

THQ, Electronic Arts, Activision, Atari, Ubisoft and Majesco are named as western publishers throwing their weight behind the DS, while in the Far East, Capcom, Sega, Konami, Hudson Soft, Namco, Bandai, Koei and Square Enix will all be developing for the new platform.

That's an impressive line-up of support by anyone's reckoning, although it's not clear exactly how many titles will be forthcoming from each of those publishers in the early days of the console's life. Electronic Arts, for example, has committed to DS but has not said what its exact plans for the system are - in contrast to the PSP, for which it plans to have four titles at launch in the USA.

Interestingly, Nintendo's statement today clearly refers to the Nintendo DS name as a code-name, rather than a final product name - which is bound to rekindle speculation that the device will actually be called something different when it hits retail shelves later this year. The name "Nitro" has been connected to the system in the past, although it's thought to be an internal development codename (similar to the GameCube being called Dolphin in development) rather than a final product name.

All will presumably become clear next Tuesday, when Nintendo hosts a major press conference in Los Angeles ahead of the E3 trade show. The Nintendo DS is set to be unveiled in public for the first time at that event, and the console and several of its titles will be playable on the floor show during the expo itself.

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