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Sims 3 for consoles and handhelds lands this week

Electronic Arts may have launched The Sims 3 for PCs earlier this year, but console and handheld games have been left out in the cold—at least until this week. The Sims 3 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS is due to launch at retailers worldwide this week, bringing platform-specific features to the game, achievement-based play, and—for the first time—full life simulation on the Nintendo DS.

The Sims fans have been anxiously awaiting the next generation release of console and handheld games for the series, and we’ve been working hard to give them the most robust The Sims experience to date,” said EA executive producer Ben Bell, in a statement.

On the Xbox 360 and PS3, players will be able to create their own Sims and control their lives through and achievement-based guided gameplay system, and—once they accomplish something particularly noteworthy—share their success with friends via Facebook and/or Twitter. Achievements also earn players Karma Points, which can be traded for Karma Powers that player can use to benefit everyone—or make everyone’s lives just that much more annoying—including an “epic fail” that shuts down all all their Sims’ motivations. Players can also design and share their own in-world creations with players around the world, and download content created by other players without having to leave the game.

On the Nintendo DS, players can not only style up their Sims, but use tools to draw up walls and floors and customize objects. Nintendo DS players will also have comprehensive Create a Sim features, including the ability to choose hair and clothing, dictate personalities, and craft facial features using the stylus. A Story Mode enables players to control a whole family of Sims, and for the first time the DS version offers a whole town full of Sims and additional prizes and challenges.

The Sims 3 is rated T for “Teen” on the Xbox 360 and PS3, and E for “Everyone” on the Nintendo DS—they’ll ship to retailers in the U.S. on October 26 and in Europe on October 29. A rated-T version will also be launching on the Nintendo Wii in mid-November.