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New, improved DS likely to arrive later this year

Will Mario still be celebrating when the new DS goes up against the big boys?

We all knew it had to happen sooner or later and now the cat appears to be definitively out of the bag – Nintendo will be launching a new version of the DS within a few weeks.

The influential and almost-never-wrong Nikkei business newspaper reported this morning that the new DS will arrive before the end of the year and that it will come with a built-in digital camera and the ability to play music.

Whole new ball game

The Nikkei even went so far as to pin down a price for the DS2 – it says it will cost around ¥20,000 (£102), which is just over 20 per cent more than the existing DS Lite model.

If the rumour turns out to be correct – and you can put your house on this one, trust us – Nintendo will thus be competing with not just Sony's PSP, but also a whole new class of devices, including iPods and digital cameras.