Nintendo has unveiled a new look for the Nintendo DS handheld console, first demonstrated at E3 in prototype form, and finalised the product name. The console is still on track for release in North America and Japan late this year, and Europe in Q1 2005.
In a release issued early this morning, the company wrote: "Nintendo DS, originally chosen as the code name, has been selected as the official product name. The Nintendo DS name evokes the idea of a portable system with dual screens, providing the rationale for the final name."
The new design, which you can see on this page, and find more images of here, is the result of Nintendo's search for "a slimmer, sharper look", and one more in tune with an older audience, we'd hasten to add. It's certainly more akin to the PSP than it is to the unit we saw at E3.
The DS now sports a thinner, black base and angular platinum flip-top cover, with larger face and shoulder buttons than the E3 unit, some of which have been "reconfigured for optimum use". The unit also gains a storage slot for the stylus, which was missing from the E3 unit, and we're told that the speakers now broadcast in stereo, with or without headphones.
Earlier this month, Japanese retail sources reported by GamesIndustry.biz claimed that the system would be out in Japan on November 4th priced around 140, following in the US a week later on the 11th for the equivalent of 145. The same sources projected five or six launch titles.
Nintendo has yet to announce a date or pricing for the system's launch later this year, but is expected to do so in due course. As for the launch line-up, all we know for certain is that "more than 120 Nintendo DS games [are] in development" with more than 100 companies signed up, and that "Nintendo alone is developing more than 20 titles." For more specifics, feel free to consult the list Nintendo handed out at E3.