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Nintendo today announced that it has redesigned the enclosure of the forthcoming Nintendo DS and that the system will retain its code name—"Nintendo DS"—as its official name when it is released in North America and Japan later this year. That should silence all of the critics who suggested that the Nintendo DS would be renamed "Nintendo Interim Portable to Compete with the PSP While the Next Game Boy is Being Finished" or "Nintendo's Most Gimmicky Hardware Since Virtual Boy" or, if nobody has actually suggested those names before, today's announcement should at least prevent such speculation in the future.
The new design dispenses with the silvery gray plastic enclosure in favor of a thinner black base with what appears to be a silver-colored metal face and cover, all of which have been reshaped. Nintendo calls the metal—if indeed it is metal rather than painted or otherwise colored plastic—"platinum", but the price of platinum and the color of the Nintendo DS's metal parts (somewhere between an unpainted steel hospital bedpan and a De Lorean) make such liberal use of that particular metal dubious; Nintendo is probably just referring to the color.
The new design also includes larger buttons (some of which have been repositioned), a new storage slot for the stylus, and stereo speakers. As a whole, the redesign seems to be a well-considered functional and aesthetic improvement over the prototype design unveiled at E3 in May.
Pricing, availability, and game library information remain unannounced, but when I have such information, you know where I will post it.
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Posted by Brian Sexton at 11:38:00pm on Wednesday, July 28th, 2004 (PDT)