E3 06: DS Lite hits US June 11 for $129.99

Nintendo's redesigned portable finally coming to North America; "polar white" color available at launch, others may follow.

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Nintendo's DS Lite has been hot property in Japan. The second iteration of the dual-screened handheld was released in Nintendo's home country in early March, and immediately sold out. Nintendo has struggled to meet consumer demand for the portable, which is a lighter, brighter version of its mega-successful DS.

American gamers have long wondered when they too will be able to endure long lines and wait for hours on end to get their hands on the new portable, and the struggles to make enough DS Lites for Japan has done nothing to get their hopes up. However, with production of the portable recently ramped up, Nintendo fans can finally let out a collective sigh of relief.

The DS Lite will make its debut in North America on June 11. [UPDATE] The unit will be priced at $129.99, the same price as the current DS, not $149 as previously reported. (GameSpot regrets the error.) Though the DS Lite has been released in white and two shades of blue in Japan, the handheld will only be available in "polar white" for the US launch. This doesn't necessarily mean it will be long until DS Lite owners get the blues--Japan's DS Lite launch was also restricted to one color, with the blue hues following one week later.

Many gamers had speculated that the DS Lite would be released alongside a high-profile DS game. Some targeted the launch of New Super Mario Bros., now scheduled for May 15, as a good opportunity for Nintendo to spur sales of the handheld and the game, but that isn't the case. In fact, no DS games are presently scheduled for release during the week. However, the DS Lite launch will occur one week after two potentially big sellers are released--THQ's Cars and Nintendo's Big Brain Academy.

Nintendo UK would not comment on release dates for the DS Lite outside the US.

Nintendo has not yet revealed the fate of the current DS model. But, like previous Nintendo handhelds, collectors should take note that it will likely be phased out in the near future.

Those who can't decide whether to wait or not can get some advice from GameSpot's Buyer's Guide on the DS versus the DS Lite.

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