After weeks of denials, Nintendo in Japan has confirmed that the company will be launching a slimmer “Lite” version of its handheld console the Nintendo DS.

The redesign comes 14 months after the console was first launched in Japan in December 2004.

The new model, titled the DS Lite, shaves almost a third off the size of the device and 20% off the weight giving it new dimensions of 133mm x 73.9mm x 21.5mm and a new weight of 218grams compared to the current 275grams.

According to the Japanese press release -

the new model will be launching in Japan on the 2 March 2006 for 16,800 YEN (£81).

The company has yet to announce when it will be coming to the UK or America.

We will keep you posted.

Earlier this month, Nintendo UK announced that it has sold 1 million Nintendo DS handheld consoles since its launch in March last year.