Nintendo DS – Japan: November 4th, US: November 11th

It looks like Nintendo’s hotly awaited DS handheld console will be in stores in Japan on November 4th, and in US shops a week later, if reports from Japanese retailers are anything to go by.

The console is likely to be priced at US$180 – which is about €145, but expect it to be about €180 in Europe and nearer UK£180 in Britain when it appears in early 2005.

Four games are expected to launch with the console in Japan, with a total of eleven on the market by the end of the year. The first games for the DS will feature many of Nintendo’s most successful characters and intellectual properties – titles include Metroid Prime: Hunters, Super Mario 64×4 and the rather exciting Animal Crossing DS. Animal Crossing DS is the prime reason I’ll be buying the new console, and don’t expect any sense from me for a few weeks afterwards.

Nintendo aims to sell three million DS consoles by March 2005. Whilst the DS currently has a “less cool” image than the PSP that it’ll be competing with, Nintendo’s unbeatable intellectual properties coupled with the DS’s wide range of features and lower price mean that they might well achieve that goal.

Nintendo on the DS

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?