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Rumours shine Lite on new DS Western launch

Net reports point to a mid-May US release for the DS Lite - but no word on a European date as yet

The minute we heard the announcement from Nintendo that it plans to release its newly svelt DS Lite handheld on March 2 in Japan, we hit up our favourite importer in a desperate bid to make sure we were in the pre-order queue (look, we like shiny things, what can we say?). Largely, the reason for the frantic rush revolved around Nintendo's reticence to set down a solid release date for the handheld's US and European launch.

Now however, website has word from one of those "inside source" types which might give some indication of when we can expect to see the DS Lite over here - sort of. Apparently, according to the aforementioned whistleblower, the dinky interation of Japan's favourite console is set to hit US stores some time in mid-May.

Although Nintendo's more recent release practices - which saw the GB Micro land in the US and Europe mere weeks after its Japanese debut - might suggest a two month wait for the US is unlikely, it's worth remembering that the company's struggling to keep up with demand in its home territory. We'd imagine that ten week difference will give Nintendo enough time to restock Japanese shelves and pump out enough units for the US market.

As for us Europeans though, the company's still remaining tight-lipped with regards to an official release date for the DS Lite. However, with the PSP and DS still roughly neck and neck in the handheld stakes in the West, it's unlikely demand for the Lite will be so intense. Whether this means we can look forward to a the redesigned console's European debut mere weeks after its US launch - as was the case with the Micro - remains to be seen. But it would be nice.