Nintendo letting the dogs out this spring

Virtual pet game loses its leash on April 21; game simulates raising a puppy without the chewed up slippers and stained carpets.

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TOKYO--Nintendo announced today that it will release Nintendogs for the DS in Japan on April 21. The game will be priced at 4,800 yen ($46). In America, Nintendogs is set to be released under the working title of Puppy Times.

Nintendogs is a virtual pet game where gamers play around with one of 15 different dog breeds. The DS will use its unique functions in the game. Owners can play with their pooches using the DS's touch-screen pad, call out their puppy's name by yelling into the microphone, or even issue commands such as "sit" and "stay" by barking at the handheld. The game features more than 150 items that can be used to entertain cybercanines.

Nintendo is taking a very unique method in publishing Nintendogs. The company will release the game in three different packages, which will each start off with five different puppies. You'll be able to unlock the remaining 10 puppies that aren't available by default for your cartridge by playing the game and communicating with other owners of Nintendogs, like in a virtual dog park. Another feature sees the game communicating with other Nintendog owners and virtual dogs even in the DS's sleep mode.

The three Nintendogs packages and their virtual kennels are:

Nintendogs: Shiba & Friends
- Shiba
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Toy Poodle
- Welsh Corgi Pembroke
- Miniature Pinscher

Nintendogs: Miniature Dachshund & Friends
- Miniature Dachshund
- German Shepherd
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Pug

Nintendogs: Chihuahua & Friends
- Chihuahua
- Beagle
- Shih Tzu
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Labrador Retriever

For more information on Nintendogs, fetch GameSpot's previous coverage.

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