It looks as if the rumors were true after all. Nintendo today announced that the DS Lite will be released in Japan on March 2, 2006. The portable is a slimmed-down version of the existing DS, measuring 133mm wide by 73.9mm high by 21.5mm deep and tipping the scales at just 218 grams--that's about 39 percent smaller and 21 percent lighter than the standard DS, which has been available in the United States since November 2004. Pricing and availability for the DS Lite outside of Japan has yet to be announced, but it's a safe bet that it won't take it long to hit U.S. shores.
The DS Lite is simply a form-factor change, not a next-generation Nintendo handheld. Still, with the bulky design of the existing DS, many gamers will welcome a more pocket-friendly version. The catch, of course, is the screen size: ideally, the DS Lite's twin screens will be larger than that of the Game Boy Micro, which is just too small for some users.
We'll have additional information on the Nintendo DS Lite--including details of North American availability--as soon as they're available.