Nintendo fanatics snap up DS Lites following delay

OSAKA (Kyodo) Game enthusiasts snapped up two new models of Nintendo Co.’s DS Lite portable gaming consoles Saturday after manufacturing problems delayed their launch by more than a week.

The DS Lite is the upgraded version of the popular DS portable game system launched in December 2004. Nintendo originally intended to launch them in three colors — ice blue, enamel navy, and crystal white — but had to settle for one. The white models hit store shelves as scheduled on March 2.

On Saturday, game fans showed they were still hot for the new models. One electronics store in downtown Osaka stocked some 2,100 of the gadgets but sold out in only 2 1/2 hours after opening at 6:45 a.m., three hours earlier than usual.

“I couldn’t buy on March 2 even though I took the first train to line up,” said Tamotsu Aritome, a 13-year-old middle school student from Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture. “I’m happy I can finally show off the game machine to my friends.”

Aritome said he got in line Friday night, joining more than 2,000 other eager customers.

The two new models are priced at about 16,800 yen.

Domestic sales of the Nintendo DS passed 4 million units in 2005, according to game magazine publisher Enterbrain Inc.