Murmurs are starting to show up in Japan about the release date and pricing of Nintendo’s upcoming DS handheld. Looks like the Japan launch might happen on November 4, 2004, with a U.S. launch just a week later on November 11. Rumored U.S. price will be $179. Better than the $199 that EBGames.com and other online retailers are charging for pre-orders, but not as nice as the $149 that was speculated on around the unit’s introduction at E3 in May.
The DS plays next-generation games that look to be about N64 quality. The novelty of the DS centers around the Dual Screens – one of which is touch-sensitive, like a PDA. The games incorporate this second touch screen in different ways, potentially providing new and innovative ways to play. Or potentially being useless. Time will tell. The DS is also backwards compatible with GBA games (though not GameBoy or GameBoy Color games).
I’m tempted to trade in my GBA SP when the DS becomes available, because I’ll still be able to play most of my current games, as well as the new DS games. We’ll see what happens. The release date coincidentally falls within 2 days of Halo 2’s release date on November 9, so something tells me my gaming brain cells might be otherwise occupied during the month of November.