A new model of Nintendo DS hardware will be released this year in Japan, according to reports from the websites of two separate Japanese business newspapers.
Although rumors of a new model or follow-up to the DS have been circulating for months, the latest report comes from the websites of Japanese newspapers Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun and Yomiuri Shimbun, serious outlets not known for sensationalism.
As translated by news agency Reuters
, the new hardware appears to be a variant of the current model, although exact details are lacking.
According to Reuters, the new model will feature an built-in camera and the ability to play music. It is expected to be priced below ¥20,000 ($188) – compared to a price of ¥16,800 ($158) for the current DS Lite hardware.
A translation of the original Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun article by Web forum NeoGAF also suggests a larger screen display, improved wireles connectivity, data exchange with the Wii’s SD slot and new games developed to use the built-in camera.
Analysts like Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter have long predicted a new DS
in the works, since its hardware sales recently began falling behind the PSP's in Japan. Although the DS continues to sell strongly in the West, the drop-off in Japanese demand and thinning of Nintendo’s own first-party release schedule has been seen as seen as indicative of a forthcoming change in tactics for the platform.
Nintendo denied earlier rumors
of a new DS as recently as August, but all eyes will now be on the company’s scheduled Japanese press conference
on Thursday, October 2nd.