'Nintendogs' breeds new pups for U.S. players

With the U.S. version of the smash-hit pet simulator "Nintendogs" set to hit the States on Aug. 22, Nintendo is throwing a bone to North American consumers eager to take the game out for a walk.

As in Japan, the U.S. version of the sim will come in three different packages, each with six breeds of puppies. However, Nintendo announced on Tuesday that U.S. players will get to choose from three breeds--golden retriever, husky and boxer--not available in the Japanese version.

Credit: Nintendo
Bark if you agree: "Nintendogs" pups
can be pretty darn cute.

"Nintendogs" lets owners pick an incredibly realistic-looking pup, then raise and train it. Players throw flying discs and tennis balls to improve their pup's coordination, bathe it when it gets dirty and use personal voice commands to teach the dog to do tricks. If players train their pet well enough, the pup will excel in obedience and agility competitions, which will earn money that can be used to buy more supplies and puppy breeds. Once players earn enough cash, they can buy even more puppies.

Since its Japanese release in April, the game labeled "disgustingly adorable" by GameSpot has become a pop-culture phenomenon in the Asian nation, boosting Nintendo DS sales and helping turn dogs into hip fashion accessories complete with dedicated lines of jewelry and clothing.

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