Ever since the DS Lite was first unveiled people in the U.S. have eagerly been asking, "When's it coming out?" Today we have that answer. The redesigned handheld will hit North American retailers on June 11 and is expected to sell for $129.99. The DS Lite will initially only come in "Polar White" with a raised DS logo on the cover, but other color schemes will likely be released in the near future.
If you aren't already familiar with the sleek handheld, the DS Lite is two-thirds the size of the original DS, 20 percent lighter, and offers four levels of brightness with much better brightness on both screens overall. The microphone has been repositioned to the center and the LED lights are now clearly visible whether the DS Lite is open or closed. The Start and Select buttons were also moved, and the unit comes with a removable cover for the GBA cartridge slot to prevent dust or debris from getting in. Also worth noting is the DS Lite's accompanying stylus which is a bit more comfortable because it's 1 centimeter longer and 1 millimeter thicker than the original.
As Nintendo points out, the DS Lite ships shortly after one of the platform's most anticipated titles, New Super Mario Bros., which is to be released on May 15. A new Mario game is likely to spur DS hardware sales, and gamers itching to try out the improved DS Lite may feel compelled to pick up the game and new hardware this June. In fact, it wouldn't surprise us if Nintendo decided to bundle the two at some point in the near future.
"DS Lite and New Super Mario Bros. represent a double shot of gaming excellence," says Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of sales & marketing. "We've got something for both lovers of beautiful, new gadgets and fans of old-school gaming."
Incidentally, the Super Mario franchise has sold more than 184 million units worldwide, making it one of the top-selling franchises of all time. Also headed to the DS this June are two titles continuing in the Brain Age tradition. On June 5, Big Brain Academy will offer players yet more mental tests designed to evaluate various skills, and then on June 26, Sudoku Gridmaster will offer up more than 400 sudoku puzzles, each one apparently sanctioned by the original creators of sudoku.