According to the lazy, know-nothing bloggers of consultancy — analysts — Nintendo's going to release a DS successor by the end of the year.
We think that the timing of a new product introduction will depend upon the sales profile for the DS, and believe that lower than expected DS hardware sales could trigger an earlier launch for the new device,” Pachter said in an investor note.
“DS sales are solid worldwide, but are weak in Japan, leading us to expect an introduction of a new device in Japan before the end of the calendar year.”
He said that Japanese DS demand will likely continue to decline. He adds, “We think that Nintendo has a new handheld device ready for launch in [Japan] before the end of the calendar year.”
He may be right. He's probably not talking about a radically different device, though: Nintendo loves releasing the same device in a smaller form factor every few years, tempting people to buy the same console all over again. The Gameboy to the Gameboy Pocket to the Gameboy Color. The GBA to the GBA SP to the GBA Micro. And the DS had only been out a year before Nintendo replaced the clunky, Soviet-style first gen system with the Lite, which is what the DS should have been in the first place. The DS Lite is so perfect, though, it's hard to see how they could slim it down much more without slashing features.