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About Judy

As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games.

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European NDS Will Launch In March For £99

by Judy on Jan. 27, 2005 @ 8:55 a.m. PST

Today at a press conference in Paris, Nintendo announced that this innovative new console will be available to buy in the UK on 11 March at the estimated retail price of around £99 and will be supported by a strong software line up. The Nintendo DS has been received exceptionally well in the US and Japan, having sold 2.8 million units by the end of 2004, and is expected to have the same response when it launches in the UK.

Satoru Iwata, President of Nintendo Co., Ltd, comments on the new handheld console: "Europe is an extremely important market for Nintendo, and we are pleased we can offer such a short period of time between the US and European launch. We believe that the Nintendo DS will change the way people play video games and our mission remains to expand the game play experience. Nintendo DS caters for the needs of all gamers whether for more dedicated gamers who want the real challenge they expect, or the more casual gamers who want quick, pick up and play fun."

At launch in the UK, there will be a total of 15 games available for the Nintendo DS. The strong software launch line-up includes games such as Super Mario 64 DS, Polarium, WarioWare Touched! and Pokémon Dash from Nintendo, plus great titles from the world's top Publishers such as Rayman DS (Ubisoft), Project Rub (SEGA), The URBZ: Sims in the City (EA) and Spider-Man 2 (Activision). And with over 120 games being developed for the system, there will be plenty to keep gamers busy throughout 2005. With a battery life of up to 10-hours, there is ample time between recharges to enjoy these great titles.

Nintendo DS will come with a free software feature called PictoChat. This allows users to write text or even create their very own drawings to send to friends within a radius of up to 100ft. The Nintendo DS, when in sleep mode, will spring to life if it senses another DS transmitting in range, altering users that someone wants to chat or play games with them! The initial shipment of Nintendo DS for launch will also be bundled with a playable demo version of Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt.

Once again Nintendo's innovation will redefine video game play. The Nintendo DS incorporates advanced touch-screen technology, with breathtaking 3D graphics, all in a sleek silver design. The touch screen feature allows players to get closer to the games by giving them a far more direct, faster control. Upon opening the Nintendo DS, gamers are greeted by not one, but two three inch 260,000 colour TFT screens, the bottom of which is touch sensitive. Instead of having to use the buttons and d-pad to control games, players can use the stylus, thumb strap included with the console or finger, to rub and tap their way through games.

Games can easily be played with friends thanks to the revolutionary wireless functionality provided by the Nintendo DS. Up to 16 players can communicate using PictoChat, or play multiplayer games at distances of up to 100ft. Want to play multiplayer Mario but only have one copy? Don't fear! The wireless connection even allows a group of gamers to play Nintendo DS with only one copy of a game by using the DS download play option.

The Nintendo DS comes complete with stereo speakers and an microphone built in, setting the mood and adding to the overall interactive experience. Launch titles such as Sega's Project Rub already use this microphone in a variety of ways, for example with games that require players to blow at the screen in order to proceed.

The Nintendo DS features two separate game slots, one for Nintendo DS games and one for Game Boy Advance games. The Nintendo DS is fully backwards compatible with all Game Boy Advance titles, and with over 550 titles, it means you can play all of your old favourites. The new format for games also means that the Nintendo DS has no moving parts that can be misaligned if the unit is dropped.

The Nintendo DS will launch in the UK on 11 March 2005 at the estimated retail price of around £99. Software will be available at selected retailers at the estimated retail price of around £29 and £19, depending on the specific title.

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