Unconfirmed gossip from Japan suggests a significant change of tack for Nintendo's DS redesign, indicating a cellular phone-inspired design will be accompanied by voice-driven functionality.
Another clamshell design is expected, with the DS slimmed down significantly in all directions. The new DS is expected to be '...an opening square' with the side-buttons and D-pad barely fitting.
Of course, regular readers will have known for sometime time that the DS was being designed. We spoke exclusively with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata last year, an interview that dropped the first hints at what Nintendo's design teams might be planning.
Speaking to SPOnG, Iwata said, “Hardware developers at Nintendo are always looking for what comes next and what will be the new direction as soon as they finish the design of any particular piece of hardware,” he explained. “Some of them are actually working on improved functionality of the existing machine, with some working on a rework of the exterior design exactly in the same way they did with the transition from Game Boy Advance to Game Boy Advance SP.”
You can read the full interview piece here.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the mooted redesign will be the function forcing the form. It is believed that the excellent Nintendo Wi-Fi service will see voice over IP calls between DS users. The machine will look like a cellular telephone because it will be used as one. For around $100 Nintendo hopes to deliver a cracking games machine with full Internet access and free calls to any other user when in-range of any Wi-Fi hotspot.
We expect the new DS hardware to be showcased at this May's E3.