The Nintendo DS has launched across the UK today starting what will ensue a handheld gaming war in the coming months.

The console, which is already available in Japan and America launched with a price tag of £99.

However with an announcement due from Sony from about the launch date of its PSP expected any day, Nintendo is hoping that it can take the initiative and steal the march before the PSP eventually does launch in the UK.

The PSP although without a launch date at current is hotly tipped to become the gadget of the year beating the iPod and other gadget must haves in many magazine polls.

Sony's PSP is expected to be more expensive than the Nintendo DS - costing between £130 and £200 - but more focused on movies and music rather than just as a games console.

Gizmondo, the UK entrant will be launching next week although it is unlikely to make a dent in either of the big two sales drives.