Analyst: Nintendo DS Lite Lite… coming soon!

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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.

Nintendo DS Successor Ready [EDGE via Crunch]

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6 Responses to Analyst: Nintendo DS Lite Lite… coming soon!

  1. Agies says:

    With the fairly large number of accessories that use the GBA slot it seems unlikely that they would remove it from any future DS Lite like upgrade.

    I’m not certain that a cosmetically new DS would increase sales in Japan anyway. It has gotten to the point where the market has reached saturation and everyone that wants a DS has one. While some people may upgrade more would probably rather buy software.

  2. hohum says:

    @4, While I agree with you about a download delivery method (a pretty big fan of where WiiWare is going), I don’t think it’s fair to say that “there are some games which are worth playing but not worth paying $40 or so…” Most DS games are at the $30 price point, the pricier ones tend to be $35, and a lot seem to be coming out in the $20 range now (more casual games, but not all shovelware…) I think $40 DS games are exceptionally rare, and that $10 difference is a big one, in my book. I would probably only own one or two DS games if $40 was the norm.

  3. acb says:

    @5: My error; I live in the UK, where £20-25 ($40-50) is the norm.

  4. Emily (daturazoku) says:

    I’m fairly skeptical they’re going to release anything more drastically different than the DS. They’re still heavily advertising DS products here and while they might not be flying off the shelfs the way they were, people still buy them up regularly.

    One thing they may try to sell is some form of a DS that is more compatible with the product the DS has become in Japan. Originally marketed as a gaming system plus, really the DS is much more a lifestyle product in Japan and the push in software has been towards how to, training and educational software. Schools are starting to adopt the DS in classrooms and recently DS TV was released as well so if anything I think we would see a model more readily adapted towards this kind of usage.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There has been scuttlebutt since slightly before last years E3 about a DS ‘ultra-lite’.

    Supposed ‘leaked’ design mock-ups were slightly smaller length and width wise (while maintaining the same screen size), but were much thiner in depth (the bottom side being only as thick as the top side on the DS Lite), due to the removal of the GBA cartridge slot, and (one assumes) internal hardware for GBA Emulation.

    Mind you, this is all supposition and rumor within the Nintendo Fanboy community.

  6. acb says:

    Simple: ditch the card slot, and fit it with some onboard Flash memory. Or, alternately, a MicroSD card slot (akin to the Wii’s SD slot). Because the homebrew/warez cards (not to mention Apple’s iPhone/iPod games) are eating their lunch.

    Having electronic delivery would cut costs for Nintendo, the game companies and the consumer, and facilitate new business models. There are some games which are worth playing but not worth paying $40 or so and keeping track of another bit of plastic. With electronic distribution, they could sell small one-off games for appropriate prices, or even allow games to be given away as promotional tie-ins.

    This wouldn’t be hard. The DS has WiFi, and Nintendo has an online download store for the Wii. If they wanted to be adventurous, they could put a GSM/3G modem into the thing and get into the phone/mobile data market (perhaps with a focus on social software; imagine if the DS2 came preloaded with optimised Facebook, MySpace and last.fm clients, as well as some kind of Mii-based real-world Animal Crossing.)

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