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Nintendo cuts price of its DS gaming device

Nintendo cuts price of its DS gaming device

NEW YORK: Japanese game maker Nintendo is cutting the price of its portable game device Nintendo Dual Service by 10 per cent across Europe. From 7 October, the model will be available for 89.99 per cent, 10 pounds lesser than its prevailing off-the-shelf price. In the Euro countries, it will carry a price tag of 129 euros.

Nintendo is also introducing its Nintendogs game in the European market. Along with the DS device, the game will cost 99 pounds or 149 euros. There are three versions, each having a choice of five different dogs including Labradors, corgis, Chihuahuas and King Charles spaniels. Each dog has its own personality and can learn about 120 tricks. The dogs remain as puppies, although they become more controllable with age.

Nintendo, which has sold over 1.5 million copies of Nintendogs in Japan and North America, said it is an adaptation of its earlier Tamagotchi cyberpet. But, the dogs are more realistic with looks and feel and they are immortal. They demand food and water and walk and tend the owner with affection, even catch balls, meet other dogs and can participate in dog shows. They defecate on the pavements and if the owner fails to clean up, other dog owners can shun the defaulters. They can be afflicted with fleas, be moody and even hide in order to catch the owner’s attention.

Nintendo’s Robert Saunders said the game does not have a beginning or end and it can be played for a few minutes or even hours. The dogs keep themselves happy on their own for hours. If the dog is put in sleep mode, it will start barking when it is in range of another person playing the game.

Although Nintendo has dominated the portable video games market for long, it has seen its market share reducing after Sony came out with its PlayStation Portable, in August in Europe. Sony has kept the price of PSP at 179 pounds or 249 euros, maintaining that it is targeted at an older game-playing section.

Nintendo is planning to launch its wireless gaming service, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, later this year and the Mario Kart DS will be the first game to work with the wireless connection.

The Nintendo DS, which came into Europe this spring has had encouraging response from online game enthusiasts. Its dual screen facilities, touch-screen technology, wireless gameplay, microphone input and Wi-Fi compatibility, available in a small device, has indeed spurred people and the company could achieve a sales of $ 1 million in Europe in three months. It has some 30 software titles.

Nintendo intends to bring in a number of other gaming devices before the end of 2005, which include Advance Wars: Dual Strike, Pac ‘N’ Roll, Nintendo Touch Golf: Birdie Challenge and Kirby Power Paintbrush.

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