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Surprise: Nintendo DSi launching in Japan Saturday

The latest handheld gaming system from Nintendo hits the shelves in Japan tomorrow for about $192 just weeks after being announced.


Rumor had it the Nintendo DSi, a new, slimmer version of the DS Lite, would ship first in Japan in early summer of next year. But in a surprise move, Nintendo has said the recently announced handheld game system is ready to ship.

According to Michelle Wyman, a spokeswoman for Nintendo, the DSi goes on sale Saturday in Japan for 18,900 yen, which is about $192.16.

The device does away with the Game Boy Advance card slot to make room for a smaller footprint and new features like a VGA camera and an external camera rumored to be 2 megapixels. All told, though, it's pretty similar to the current version of the DS Lite. We should expect to see it in America sometime next year, though how much it will cost, we don't yet know.