Friday, April 11, 2008

RUMOR: New DS at E3

It's certainly not unheard of for Nintendo to release revised hardware for their portables. They've been doing it since 1996 when the Game Boy Pocket was released and on average release a new revision every 2 years.

In keeping with this tradition, Hirokazu Hamamura, president of Japan's well-known weekly gaming magazine Famitsu, claims that Nintendo will reveal the latest DS revision at this year's E3 in Japan.

If true, the big question is: will this be a simple hardware revision or the actual successor to the DS? Let's not forget that the original DS, despite Nintendo's assertions that it was a "Third Pillar" intended to exist alongside the Game Boy Advance, was released less than 4 years after the succesful GBA and less than 2 years after the even more successful GBA SP. This Fall will mark the 4th Anniversary of the DS and the DS Lite has already been available for 2 years.

My take is that the current DS platform is way too successful for Nintendo to go rushing into a brand new system, even if it is fully backwards compatible with current DS games. If this new DS is real, it's likely just a more compact DS Lite that does away with the GBA port (although, how would you ever play Guitar Hero: On Tour!?) and maybe has better battery life. It'll be more of a cost-saving revision so they can start charging under $100 for the system. I don't think it'll be intended as an upgrade to the DS Lite, just an alternative for those who haven't bought one already. Kind of like the Game Boy Micro was to the GBA SP.

What an announcement it will be if Nintendo really does drop a brand new portable on us though...

[via Destructoid]

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