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Official Nintendo DS console pic appears on Web

Dual-screen Gameboy in all its glory

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Nintendo's new handheld games console will ship in the Autumn, the company will announce today.

However, the videogame pioneer couldn't wait to see its new baby in print, so offered the story early to USA Today, which dutifully announced the spec. Don't forget: Sony may launch the PlayStation Portable this week, too.

Nintendo DSThe anticipated clamshell case sports the DS' dual-screen system: a main 3in game display and a secondary unit that's also 3in in size and is touch-sensitive. Alongside the lower screen is the usual Nintendo X-shaped joypad and buttons, but some games will use the touch-screen and a stylus.

Like Nokia's N-Gage and upcoming N-Gage QD, the DS uses Bluetooth to maintain device-to-device wireless networks for multi-player gaming.

The DS will sport its own game library, but the device contains a second game-card slot to allow it to play today's GameBoy Advance titles. The DS cards are smaller.

Nintendo has already said the handheld will be powered by twin ARM-based processors and 128MB of RAM. However, an spec. sheet which appeared in March, allegedly having leaked out of Nintendo, noted that the device will ship with 512MB of RAM. While the document contain the first mention of a touch-screen, it also claimed the DS's wireless capability would be based on Wi-Fi and not Bluetooth as the apparently Nintendo-sanctioned USA Today story suggests.

The spec. sheet also mentions an ARM-9 CPU running at 67MHz and an ARM-7 unit running at 33MHz. The two displays operate at 256 x 192, a little better than the GBA's 240 x 160 panel. The DS will possess decent 2D capabilities, but it also has a 3D graphics system which, the spec. claims, is capable of drawing 120,000 polygons per second, representing a fill-rate of 30 million pixels per second.

Just how accurate those figures are we should learn later today. ®

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Nintendo preps dual-screen portable console
Leaked Nintendo DS specs reveal touch screen, Wi-Fi, 3D graphics
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