Nintendo to launch DS with larger screen next month

The new handheld will be coming outside of Japan early next year

Nintendo will launch a new version of its handheld DS next month with a larger screen, it said Thursday.

The Nintendo DS LL will go on sale in Japan on Nov. 21 for ¥20,000 (US$220), which is only slightly more than it charges for the current version of the DS.

The device will go on sale overseas in the first quarter of next year, a company spokesman said.

Each of the screens on the new DS (the DS has dual screens) is 4.2-inches in size. That means they cover almost double the area of the 3-inch screens on the DS Lite.

They are also larger than the 3.25-inch screens on the DSi. However despite their greater size the resolution remains the same so games will appear larger but not sharper.

To accommodate the new screens the device will be slightly larger and about 50 percent heavier. It will measure 16 centimeters by 9cms by 2cms and weigh 314 grams.

At 3 hours battery life will be equivalent to the DS Lite but a half hour longer than the DSi.

Earlier Thursday Nintendo said sales of the DS during the April to September period, which is the first half of its fiscal year, were down 15 percent on the same period last year at 11.7 million units.

Overall the company saw sales drop 35 percent and net profit crash 52 percent as sales of the hit Wii console also slowed.

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