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Nintendo has unveiled its dual-screen portable game system, the Nintendo DS. The new system folds up much like the Nintendo Game Boy SP, but its most striking feature is its pair of screens, one on its top segment and one on its bottom segment. The bottom screen is a touch-screen that can be used with an included stylus or a fingertip.
In addition to its screen configuration, the Nintendo DS boasts wireless connectivity (IEEE 802.11), the ability to share games wirelessly (multiple players using multiple systems to play a game from a single card) with games that allow it, 3D capabilities "that can surpass images displayed on the Nintendo 64" (those are Nintendo's words; the lower resolution of the Nintendo DS's screens makes that claim somewhat dubious), sixteen-channel sound, a rechargeable battery, sleep and standby modes, a stereo headphone port, a microphone port, and ports for two kinds of media: Nintendo DS cards and Game Boy Advance cartridges. That's right, the Nintendo DS can play Game Boy Advance games too!
The Nintendo DS's complete button configuration is not yet clear, but its face does feature what appear to be four gameplay buttons in the typical diamond configuration. Also unclear is whether Nintendo DS systems will be able to network existing Game Boy Advance games wirelessly.
Amongst the software demos Nintendo is showing at E3 are "Metroid Prime: Hunters", "Super Mario 64x4", and "PictoChat", which allows users to chat and share drawings made with the included stylus, so the Nintendo DS has the potential to be much more than just a gaming machine.
Whether "Nintendo DS" will be the final name of Nintendo's new portable system is not yet clear; Nintendo's Web site refers to that moniker as the system's "code-name", so a name change before the system's release is certainly plausible.
Specific pricing and availability details are not yet clear (not officially confirmed details, anyway), but keep reading Game Buzz for the latest information about the Nintendo DS.
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Posted by Brian Sexton at 1:35:00pm on Tuesday, May 11th, 2004 (PDT)