Bloomberg.com have reported on comments by analyst of the Nikki exchange Soichiro Fukuda about Nintendo’s future. One of these specific comments was;

Nintendo may announce a model change for its DS handheld video-game players in June next year, triggering an improvement in the company’s earnings

This can be construed like some reporting outlets have as a DSi like enhancement to the system for a small time gain in sales that happened in similar revisions in the past with both the DSlite and DSi. But as I have personally commentated on I firmly believe this as an expectation of a new handheld device coming from Nintendo to replace the DS. Announced in 2003 and released in 2004 the DS has now been on the market for almost 5 years, if this announcement goes down in June or anytime during 2010 the likely release date will be late 2010 going into 2011 or later, this would mean that the DS has been available of more than 6 years. For comparison sake the Gameboy advance launched in 2001, through 2 redesigns (SP and Micro) the Advance was available on market for 3 years before another device was launched and was available for sale on market up until 2006 if my memory serves me correct.

So it seems an appropriate time to announce a next gen handheld. Though we cannot write off the possibility that Nintendo will do another DSi like enhancement to the DS series, I see it as highly improbable. And as this comment states that he expects a model change not a model revision, I think Soichiro Fukuda would agree with me.

What would a successor to the DS consist of? Frankly to predict that would be a tall task, what we could hope for is another story. Im sure many people hope for dual touch screens I personally hope for larger seamless dual screens with one of them having haptic multitouch features. RAM to the balls and a brand new Nintendo online system, yes I know this isn’t to ambitious but I’ve learned as a Nintendo fan to not to ask for a lot and you wont be disappointed 😛

So can we expect to hear handheld rumblings soon enough? I expect this comment from Soichiro Fukuda to be the first of a topic that’s going to ramp up ten fold going into the next E3 if not earlier!

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