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Nintendo redesigns DS handheld console

And the official ship name is... er... DS

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Nintendo's DS handheld console will indeed be called the 'Nintendo DS' when it ships later this year, the Japanese company confirmed today.

It also revealed the unit's final design - a sleeker, more elegant look than the more old-style shape shown at the E3 show earlier this year.

At that time, Nintendo maintained that the DS name - simply standing for 'dual screen' - was just a codename, no more. But the name has stuck, and with World+Dog happy with and continuing to use the 'Nintendo DS' moniker, the console maker has decided to use it on the final version.

"Nintendo DS, originally chosen as the code name, has been selected as the official product name," it said today. "The Nintendo DS name evokes the idea of a portable system with dual screens, providing the rationale for the final name."

 
The Nintendo DS now...
New Nintendo DS

... and at E3
Old Nintendo DS

The DS is set to ship in the US and Japan by the end of the year, with the console's European debut scheduled for Q1 2005. We have heard 4 and 11 November for the US and Japanese release dates, respectively.

Sony's rival handheld, the PlayStation Portable (PSP), is set to appear in Japan in Q4 2004, and North America and Europe in Q1 2005.

Nintendo has already said the handheld will be powered by twin ARM-based processors running at 67MHz and 33MHz, respectively. It will contain 128MB of RAM. The two displays - the lower of which is touch-sensitive - 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.

The unit will support wireless Internet access and multi-player gaming across an 802.11b WLAN. ®

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