Thursday, October 2, 2008

Nintendo Launches New Revamped DS Portable Machine

Japanese video game maker Nintendo will launch its new DS portable machine that comes along with a digital camera, allowing players to mix images, scribble on snapshots and create new faces next month.

Nintendo president and chief executive Satoru Iwata told a press conference that the revamped DS would have a similar design to the DS Lite, but will be slimmer and have slightly larger screens. The dual-screen machine will go on sale in Japan from November 1 with a price tag of 18,900 yen (178 dollars), and will be available overseas next year. In addition, the revamped DS is thinner than the current DS model, and will have a larger screen.

Right now, Kyoto-based Nintendo, which also makes Super Mario and Pokemon games, claimed that one in six Japanese already own a DS. However, Iwata stated that the aim is to make the DS a must-have for ever Japanese. Iwata said, "For those households who already have a DS that they share among family members, I want them to have one for each member."

Nintendo has long dominated the market for handheld devices with its DS series and Game Boy. Recently, Nintendo has sold 77.5 million Nintendo DS handheld devices globally, nearly 23 million in Japan, far outselling Sony Corp.’s rival offering, the PlayStation Portable (PSP), at 41 million worldwide, 10 million in Japan. According to Tokyo-based Enterbrain, which publishes game magazines and tracks video game sales, data show that the PSP has been challenging the DS lately, at least in Japan. On the other hand, Microsoft Corp. does not disclose how many of the cumulative 20 million Xbox video game consoles sold globally were Japan sales. However, it has been targeting reaching a million sold in Japan sometime soon.

Right now, Nintendo is also enjoying strong sales of its Wii home video game machine, which is known for its innovative motion-sensitive controller and is targeted to people who normally would not play video games.

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