Nintendo of Japan has announced that it will release the previously European-exclusive Jet Black DS Lite in Japan on September 2 for ¥16,800 ($145).
In addition, the company also announced that it has partnered with Square Enix to release a Final Fantasy III
branded DS Lite in Japan on August 24 for ¥22,780 ($198). In addition to the handheld, the special package will include the anticipated DS role-playing game in the box.
While only the Polar White color is currently available in North America, the Jet Black DS Lite marks the fifth color to be released in Japan, including Ice Blue, Enamel Navy, and Ceramic White. The previously announced Noble Pink version is still scheduled to ship in Japan on July 20.
Although it has no new functionality, the DS Lite is around 25 percent smaller than the original model, features brighter screens with selectable brightness settings and a more stylish design. The handheld, which went on sale on March 2, is still difficult to obtain in Japan. However, in early June, Nintendo noted
that it had stepped up production of the handheld from 1.6 million units per month to between 2 and 2.2 million units per month.
That said, a recent poll by Japanese website ITMedia confirmed the continued scarcity of the DS Lite in Japan. The report included an informal poll of consumers interested in the DS Lite to find out if they had bought the handheld yet. Of those surveyed, only 44 percent noted that they had been able to buy the DS Lite. The report also noted that 39 percent indicated that they had not yet been able to find one to buy, while 16 percent said that they had given up.