Thursday, June 12, 2008

DS2 : theories?

Given that I talked about the age of the Nintendo DS in the first take on the Forbes claim that Apple would cut into Nintendo's mobile marketshare, I was asked what did I think Nintendo was going to do for the follow-up?

My gut reaction is the standard I don't know. I don't work for Nintendo, I generally don't talk with Nintendo, and I've been pretty much wrong about everything but how well the Wii was going to succeed. I do have a few factoids in mind about what the possibilities could be. I am aware that the DS was not intended to be a primary platform for Nintendo. I am aware that various comments and information from ATi revealed that ATi was contracted to work on a successor to the Gameboy Advance in providing both the graphics and the system LSI. As I understand the history Nintendo wasn't expecting the DS to be a sales phenomenon. Rather, what I've seen indicates that Nintendo probably didn't even expect to clear one million units worldwide, and that Gameboy Advance compatibility was only introduced as a potential selling point so that Gameboy Advance Development could stay in the market as the Gameboy Advance 2 was completed and brought to market.

Instead, Nintendo had a run away hit on their hands. The DS took off as the primary platform for Nintendo, and the Gameboy Advance 2 faded away.

Given the success of the DS I highly doubt that Nintendo would go back to a traditional handheld without touch input. I'd also be very doubtful of Nintendo not following up with another dual screen system.

Rather, I think the DS2, but it probably won't be called that, will probably be a slight bit bigger than the DS Lite. I'm guessing it will probably have larger screens, and I'm willing to bet that both screens will be touch sensitive.

So when's it coming out? Well, let me put it this way. Even Microsoft is getting behind the DS platform... so I honestly don't expect Nintendo to update the DS platform until late 2009... and I really wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a follow-up until 2010.
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