GADGETS

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Nintendo unveils TV,browser features for DS












Japanese fans of Nintendo Co. Ltd.’s dual-screen DS portable game machine may soon be able to surf the Web and watch high-definition television programs on their devices in addition to playing games.


Taking another step in its strategy to develop features that will appeal to more than just hardcore game fans, the Japanese company said on Wednesday it plans to begin selling a Web browser in June and launch a card with a digital television receiver by the end of the year.

“These products propose a different use for the DS in entirely new fields,” Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told a news conference.

The Web browser, developed with Norway’s Opera Software, will be sold as a DS card in June for 3,800 yen ($32). Users will be able to insert the card into the DS, which has Wi-Fi wireless networking capability, to browse the Internet in areas with connectivity.

The company said last month it planned to launch a thinner, lighter version of the DS device, called “Nintendo DS Lite,” in Japan on March 2 for 16,800 yen ($143), compared with the current model’s retail price of 15,000 yen ($128).

Nintendo is widely expected by analysts to raise its earnings forecast for the full year to March 31 after its third-quarter results in late January showed it has already nearly achieved its current annual estimate.

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