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Nintendo DS Launches

On Nov. 21, 2004, Nintendo launched its new handheld videogame platform, Nintendo DS. Boasting dual screens, touch-screen and voice-recognition interfaces and two forms of wireless connection, the one million Nintendo DS units available in North America already are expected to be depleted by year's end.

"Retailers began calling for more Nintendo DS units even before the first ones arrived," said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's evp of sales & marketing. "They're reflecting the demands of game players for entirely new ways to enjoy games - not just playing the same old games on a different platform. It really comes down to delivering a new experience and that's what we're doing."

Nintendo DS comes embedded with the PictoChat communication feature and bundled with a playable demo of the upcoming METROID PRIME HUNTERS. In addition, the system has a dozen titles available during its launch window, spanning every genre, including SUPER MARIO 64 DS from Nintendo, MADDEN NFL 2005, TIGER WOODS PGA TOUR GOLF and THE URBZ: SIMS IN THE CITY from EA, SPIDER-MAN 2 from Activision, PING PALS from THQ, FEEL THE MAGIC: XY/XX from SEGA, RAYMAN DS and ASPHALT URBAN GT from Ubisoft and RIDGE RACER DS and MR. DRILLER: DRILL SPIRITS from Namco.

By the end of March, the Nintendo DS game library will include 20 to 25 games. More than 125 games remain in development worldwide, from Nintendo as well as every major third-party developer. The Nintendo DS is also backward compatible with Game Boy Advance SP, which has a library of more than 550 games.

"Interest in Nintendo DS is very high as we head into the holidays," says Jeff Griffiths, ceo/president of Electronics Boutique. "This is a must-have item for a wide variety of people, older and younger, this holiday season."

Nintendo DS will retail for $149.99. Its clamshell design protects both screens, and its rechargeable battery allows for six to 10 hours of play on a single charge. The launch is being supported by an aggressive, multifaceted marketing program, which includes the "touching is good" campaign.

Nintendo DS launches in Japan on Dec. 2. By the end of 2004, Nintendo will ship two million units worldwide and another two million by the end of March.

Additional information about Nintendo DS is available at www.nintendods.com.

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Rick DeMott
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