The Nintendo DS handheld will launch in Australia on February 24th at a price point of AU$199.99 (116 Euro), with Nintendo's official announcement this morning fuelling fresh speculation over the European launch.
As with the US launch of the device, a demo of Metroid Prime: Hunters will be bundled with the system, and Nintendo is promising the largest initial hardware shipment in its history in the country.
The unexpected Australian announcement has led to new speculation over the European details for the system, which are expected to be revealed at a conference event in Paris towards the end of this month.
Although Australia, as a PAL territory, is generally lumped in with Europe by games companies, a Nintendo spokesperson this afternoon warned that anyone basing expectations on the Australian details could be "disappointed", and pointing out that the Australian Dollar is currently very weak.
The announced price for Australia translates into just over UKP 80, and retail sources today indicated that the DS could sell for as little as UKP 89.99 in this territory - although Nintendo's official SRP is expected to be higher, around the UKP 99.99 mark.
The late February launch date is also earlier than expected, and while Nintendo has confirmed that the European date will be different, it does suggest that the console will arrive a few weeks earlier than previously anticipated in Europe, giving it a head start on the planned launch of the PlayStation Portable in late March.
The Nintendo DS has already shipped 2.8 million units in the USA and Japan, and Nintendo hopes to bring the worldwide total to five million by the end of its financial year on March 31st.