Unconfirmed reports from Japanese retail sources suggest that Nintendo is planning to roll out the DS handheld on November 4th priced at 19,000 Yen (140 Euro), followed by a US launch on November 11th at $179.95 (145 Euro).
The same sources indicate that the Japanese launch of the handheld will be accompanied by five to six software titles, with Nintendo aiming to have 11 titles on the market by the end of 2004.
Nintendo reportedly aims to sell three million units of the Nintendo DS worldwide by the end of fiscal 2005 next March - a period which should encompass both the Japanese and US launches before Christmas, and the European launch in early 2005.
While these figures certainly seem plausible, it should be noted that Nintendo has issued no official confirmation of the launch date, price or software support for the Nintendo DS as yet; in fact, we're still not even sure what the DS will be called at retail, since Nintendo DS is still officially a codename, not a final product name.
The retail prices suggested in this report would almost certainly make the NDS significantly cheaper than the PlayStation Portable, which is expected to cost well over 30,000 Yen (220 Euro) when it arrives in Japan later this year, ahead of a US and European launch in 2005.
Earlier this week, a Nintendo spokesperson criticised the PSP in an interview with Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, arguing that the handheld could not be classified as a true video game system because of its integration of music and movie playback functions.