Nikkei — a rather venerable financial newspaper, most famous outside of Japan for a series of blistering exposes on the economic blunders that followed the Gojira-prompted Tokyo Housing Crisis of 1986 — seems certain of the latest iteration of the refreshed Nintendo DS rumor. They claim that Nintendo will launch a new version of the DS later this year featuring a built-in camera, music playback and better wireless for around $190.
This rumor makes a bit more sense to me than the dual touchscreen DS being floated about by my friend Brian “LOL” Ashcraft at Kotaku: dual touchscreens would seem to imply a major revision of the current DS’s specs, but the DS is still a thriving platform in the middle of its life span. A more incremental upgrade aimed at converging some commonly touted items in a consumerist appeal to pocket space is a safer bet.
One interesting aspect of this rumor is that it means Nintendo would be packing storage into a DS. That means PSP style hacking. Playing pirated ROMs on the DS is already trivial, but it does require sending $30 to shady Taiwanese companies across the pond. If the new DS does have storage space and does get custom firmware, it should prove an interesting case to test Sony’s claims about piracy killing the PSP: a once vibrant platform that becomes a ghost town’s video game arcade because of custom firmware. That’s not going to happen, of course, but maybe it’ll shut Sony up about it.