The Nintendo DS Lite, a hardware revision of Nintendo's "third pillar" handheld due out March 2nd in Japan, will have fewer colors available at launch than originally planned, according to Nintendo. The system was meant to be available in three colors
upon release: Crystal White, Ice Blue, and Enamel Navy, but Nintendo has since scaled that back to only the Crystal White, citing production difficulties. The other two colors will be available beginning March 11th.
According to reports on consumer site IGN, the production troubles seem to have affected the launch allocation of systems to the point where major electronics retailers are declining to take customer pre-orders for systems, due to uncertainty as to how many units each retailer will receive.
The unsure situation with the DS Lite's launch combined with Nintendo's timing for its release -- the company waited to introduce the new hardware until current DS stock was nearly depleted in Japan -- means that the DS system has become scarce despite high demand.
Thus far, no American release date for the DS Lite has been announced; when asked, Nintendo of America executive VP of sales and marketing Reggie Fils-Aime has alluded to the system's healthy stock at retail needing to be thinned before the company would introduce the DS Lite. Current speculation has the hardware revision hitting store shelves simultaneously with DS game New Super Mario Bros.
on May 7th.