According to an interview conducted with Bloomberg News at last week's Game Developers Conference in San Jose, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has indicated that, despite recent shortages in Japan following higher than anticipated demand for their Nintendo DS handheld, the company is optimistic regarding the availability of units in the coming weeks.
"I'm hopeful in the latter half of April we can get rid of the terrible, terrible shortage situation that we are facing with the Nintendo DS right now," commented Iwata in the interview conducted on Thursday.
Since the system was introduced in Japan in December 2004, Nintendo has sold more than 6 million Nintendo DS handhelds, including 2 million during last December alone. Earlier this month the company released a redesign of the system in Japan called the DS Lite.
But consumer hopes that the shortage situation would be resolved with the launch of the DS Lite have not been realized in Japan. Nintendo has confirmed that the company will be able to ship only 450,000 units of the new console and 200,000 of the old during March, according to recent reports
The newly redesigned DS Lite handheld is around 25 percent smaller than the original model, features brighter screens with selectable brightness settings and a more stylish design.
Iwata did further comment that Nintendo has plans to release the DS Lite in North America, but he was not ready to disclose a street date or price. Current, unconfirmed speculation has the hardware revision hitting store shelves simultaneously with DS game New Super Mario Bros.
on May 15th.