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Nintendo DS Game Helps Women Maximize Skin Care

Japanese women may soon be tapping on the hit Nintendo DS handheld game machine for beauty tips, such as taking extra fluids and monitoring skin tones.

"Dream Skincare" is part of recent efforts by Nintendo Co. to attract newcomers to gaming. Until recently, the gaming crowd has largely been young men fond of shooting and sports games.

But the Nintendo DS — which comes with two screens, including a touch panel — has been a big hit with older people and women, with new kinds of games such as brainteasers and virtual pet games.

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Players input their daily body temperature and weight by marking a graph that shows up on the touch panel, according to Konami Corp., which made the software.

The "beauty navigation software," as the company describes it, asks questions that the player answers regarding criteria such as skin tone and smoothness, as well as exposure to sunlight and hours of sleep.

Advice on a daily regimen for healthy skin pops up on the screen, including directions to drink more water, or to eat apples and ginger, food that had a reputation for warming up the body.

Hormonal balance is key for avoiding wrinkles and age spots, and body temperature and weight fluctuations are good indicators for any hormone swings, which can get awry from overwork and stress, according to Konami.

Overseas sales for "Dream Skincare" are undecided. It's set to go on sale in October in Japan for 4,500 yen ($37).

"Many women want to maintain forever young and beautiful skin," Konami said in a statement.

The game shows video clips of Chizu Saeki, a Japanese beauty expert, giving tips on facial massages and skin-checkup techniques.

It also gives recipes designed to keep women looking good, and advice on womanly manners, said Konami, which has tended to make less feminine games like "Metal Gear Solid."

Nintendo, the Kyoto-based company behind the Super Mario and Pokemon games, has shipped more than 40 million Nintendo DS machines worldwide.

The company is also widening the appeal of gaming with its Wii home console, which comes with a wandlike remote for virtual tennis and other easy-to-play games.