A recent WalMart faux pas showed that the Nintendo DS is releasing at the end of November with a retail price of $199.99. Regardless of the validity of this specific information, several industry analysts agree the Nintendo DS is launching by the end of the year.
The trouble is, in this most crowded of Christmas seasons, Nintendo hasn't brought the hype. There's no "gotta-have" flagship title announced that tend to drive these sort of launches. (Then again, the last Nintendo system to have one was the N64's Mario 64.) The noise generated from E3 has subsided and there has been an acute silence on the PR front for one of Nintendo's most important hardware launches to date.
Sending a clear message to gamers that the DS is cool and desirable will be difficult to convey with the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent by other game companies through the typical media formats this Christmas season. Convincing gamers that they should spend $200+ on new hardware with so many anticipated games coming now will be even more difficult.