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Nintendo's New System Announced
January 21, 2004

Nintendo surprised everyone late last night by announcing their latest hardware platform, the Nintendo DS.  A portable gaming system, the DS will feature a dual-screen setup (hence the DS) that Nintendo plans to use in new and innovative ways. 

According to Nintendo, this will allow players to "manage their game progress from two different perspectives".  For example, in a soccer game one screen can view the whole field while the other focuses in on an individual player's actions.

Nintendo also revealed a little of the system's specifications, including the dual 3" TFT LCD display panels (same as the GBA SP, although .1" larger), dual processors, and memory of up to 1 Gigabit.  Nintendo promises that the system will have other features and enhancements, which will be revealed in full at E3.

It should be noted that the DS is not intended to replace the GBA or GameCube.  Instead, it will be a separate product all its own similar to the Virtual Boy (although hopefully more successful than that).  The Nintendo DS is scheduled to launch by the end of 2004.

The full press release is below:

REDMOND, Wash., Jan 20, 2004 – An unprecedented approach to video game play —holding two separate game screens in the palm of your hand — hits the scene later this year when Nintendo introduces a new portable game system, code-named Nintendo DS.

From information made available today, players can look forward to being able to manage their game progress from two different perspectives, enhancing both the speed and strategy of the challenge. For example in a soccer game, users can view the whole game on one screen while simultaneously focusing on an individual soccer player's tackle or goal on the other screen.

Players will no longer be forced to interrupt game play to shift perspective, such as moving from a wide shot to a close up, or alternating between a character's ongoing battle and a map of the environment. Nintendo DS makes it possible to perform the tasks in real time by simply glancing from one screen to the other.

Today's announcement is but a glimpse of the additional features and benefits that will be shown in full at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles in May. Once fully revealed, players will see innovative advances in game interaction.

"We have developed Nintendo DS based upon a completely different concept from existing game devices in order to provide players with a unique entertainment experience for the 21st century," explains Satoru Iwata, Nintendo president.

Nintendo DS features two separate 3-inch TFT LCD display panels, separate processors, and semiconductor memory of up to 1 Gigabit. It's scheduled to launch worldwide before the end of 2004.

In addition to Nintendo-developed software, the company is in discussions with third-party game developers around the world.

Nintendo DS will be marketed separately from the company's existing Nintendo Game Boy® Advance portable system and Nintendo GameCube™ home console.

Reported By: Jared Black
 

 



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