Gaming

The new Game Boy for $200?

A preview page at Walmart.com reveals expected pricing and availability for Nintendo's DS handheld game player.

Nintendo's new handheld game player will cost $200 and arrive in stores in plenty of time for Christmas, according to a Wal-Mart Web page that appears to spill the beans.

Walmart.com recently posted a preorder page for the Nintendo DS, the advanced handheld game player the Japanese game giant announced earlier this year.

Though Nintendo has yet to reveal pricing or an on-sale date for the device, Wal-Mart says it will cost $199.82 and be in the hot little hands of gamers around Nov. 30.

A Nintendo representative called those specifics rumors and said the company has not yet settled on a price or availability date for the DS.

The DS is Nintendo's attempt to extend its lead in the portable gaming market, long dominated by the company's Game Boy players. The DS is intended to be a more technologically advanced device than the current Game Boy Advance, with dual touch-sensitive screens, support for 3D graphics and wireless connectivity for multiplayer gaming and text messaging. The device will play both Game Boy Advance cartridges and games developed specifically for the DS on a new, higher-capacity media format.

The DS will arrive as Nintendo faces its most serious competition to date for the handheld gaming market, with Sony preparing to deliver its PlayStation Portable, a mobile complement to its market-leading home console. The PSP will sport an advanced screen, fast processor and a new 1.8GB media format adaptable to movies and music.

Schelley Olhava, an analyst for researcher IDC, said she expects the PSP to arrive on the market early next year priced between $200 and $250. If that happens, it could make the DS a tough sell at $200.

"I think that's really high," she said of the Wal-Mart price, if correct. "Nintendo has always come in as the lower-cost, mass-market option, and in this case they're going to be compared to the PSP."

Nintendo earlier this month trimmed the price of the Game Boy Advance, a move seen as helping prepare the market for the DS.