Analyst: Nintendo plans a new DS with on-board memory

A Pacific Crest Securities analyst has indicated that Nintendo is sitting on a new DS design that includes on-board storage.

Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson has issued a report speculating on the existence of a newly-designed Nintendo DS system. He says the company's contacts indicate that a thinner, larger-screened version with on-board storage is already complete, but will not be announced until global sales for the DS Lite and Wii begin to taper off.

The system is said to lack a Game Boy Advance cartridge slot, helping it to facilitate the smaller profile. Unfortunately, this omission means the current Opera browser - which utilizes the GBA port for an expansion slot - could be incompatible, assuming an embedded version were unavailable.

Third-party devices such as SD card readers, which typically rely on both DS and GBA slots together, may also be rendered unusable. But the presence of on-board memory - a luxury the DS has not enjoyed - may likely prove far more advantageous for the new system than a second cartridge slot. There are no indications yet of how much memory will be available.

A re-design of the DS would continue the handheld release pattern that Nintendo has followed since 1987, when the first Game Boy system was released in Japan. That system saw enough success to warrant design upgrades which came in the form of the Game Boy Pocket, a smaller, larger-screened version of its popular device. This was followed by the lesser-known Game Boy Light before the handheld received a color upgrade.

Here is where the pattern began: Nintendo releases a system, releases the same system with upgraded design, then releases a backwards-compatible next generation.

Wilson's report was met with a stiff rebuttal from Nintendo, dismissing it as rumor and speculation. But failure to confirm or deny the rumors could be construed as an indirect confirmation from the company. After all, Christmas 2008 is just around the corner.

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