updated 10:05 pm EDT, Sun September 28, 2008
Nintendo DS Upgrade Claim
Nintendo is developing its first real update to the DS since the Lite and may be prepared to launch it soon, according to claims from alleged sources for the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri. The new upgrade would have an integrated camera and would use at least photos in games. Nintendo would also focus on expanding the handheld's role as a wireless data device and would create a more "user-friendly" look for the system. Prices would be kept under $189 in the company's home country and could see Nintendo release the new DS before the end of the year, according to the report.
Such claims come just before the beginning of the annual Tokyo Game Show, which sometimes serves as a venue for new hardware introductions, and is reportedly triggered by pressure from Sony. The latter has recently seen a spike in sales for its own PSP handheld, which just recently gained Skype voice call support and is about to receive a third-generation update with a built-in microphone and a dramatically improved screen.
Nintendo first introduced the DS in late 2004 and first started shipping the thinner, better-screened DS Lite in March 2006, but has since then maintained a conservative approach with no mention of replacements in the near future.
Company officials haven't commented on the claim.