Nintendo of America has announced that the Nintendo DS will launch in the USA on November 21st and Japan on December 2nd, and will cost just $149.99 (£85 / 123) when it hits retail. Apparently the US' reaction to the console prompted them to launch it there first. The DS will be released in Europe and Australia in Q1 2005 as previously announced.
The system will ship with an embedded version of PictoChat, wireless communication software that allows players to doodle with the stylus or write messages with the on-screen keyboard and then transmit them to nearby DS users, whose handhelds will snap out of sleep mode when they sense your console.
Nintendo is planning to announce the complete launch line-up "in the near future" - possibly at the press conference it's holding in Japan on October 7th, presided over by president Satoru Iwata and designer Shigeru Miyamoto - but the company was quick to remind everyone that the DS will be capable of playing any of the Game Boy Advance's more than 500 titles thanks to its backwards compatibility.
Meanwhile, USA Today reports, "Nintendo's price will include a pack-in game called Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt as well as PictoChat," although we have been unable to confirm that report and haven't seen it repeated anywhere else for now.