Nintendo has unveiled a new look for the Nintendo DS handheld console and confirmed the final product name, with the console is still on track for release in North America and Japan late this year, and Europe in Q1 2005.
In a release issued early this morning, the company wrote: "Nintendo DS, originally chosen as the code name, has been selected as the official product name. The Nintendo DS name evokes the idea of a portable system with dual screens, providing the rationale for the final name."
The new design, which you can see on this page, is the result of Nintendo's search for "a slimmer, sharper look", and one more in tune with an older audience - echoing the company's design for the GBA SP in many ways. It's certainly more akin to the PSP than it is to the unit which was unveiled at E3.
The DS now sports a thinner, black base and angular platinum flip-top cover, with larger face and shoulder buttons than the E3 unit, some of which have been "reconfigured for optimum use". The unit also gains a storage slot for the stylus, which was missing from the E3 unit, and we're told that the speakers now broadcast in stereo, with or without headphones.
Earlier this month, we reported [claims from Japanese retail sources] that the system would be out in Japan on November 4th priced around 140 Euro, following in the US a week later on the 11th for the equivalent of 145. Euro The same sources projected five or six launch titles.
Nintendo has yet to officially confirm a date or pricing for the system's launch later this year, but is expected to do so shortly. As for the launch line-up, all we know for certain is that "more than 120 Nintendo DS games [are] in development" with more than 100 companies signed up, and that "Nintendo alone is developing more than 20 titles."
Click the images below for a larger view of the new design...