Nintendo refuses to comment on rumour of new DS redesign

Nikkei Net, the online arm of Japan’s foremost economic newspaper has reported that Nintendo will shortly be announcing a new version of the Nintendo DS hardware. This new model will apparently launch this year in Japan and include a camera and MP3 playback functions.

Also rumored is that the new DS will have larger screens than the present model, and it will also have the ability to transfer data from a Wii or SD Card. Apparently the machine’s wireless communication functionality will also be strengthened by allowing it to connect to “information terminals,” possibly allowing a user to find nearby train stations or restaurants using his or her DS.

If these reports are true then this move would see Nintendo moving away from their solely gaming-centric focus (as they have done to some extent with the Wii Channels) and competing more directly with products like the PSP and iPhone. Also, the article points out that the camera could be integrated with gameplay, allowing games to use the photos taken with the hardware, like the brilliantly-fantastic GameBoy Camera. Or was I the only one who bought that?

Nikkei Net says that Nintendo will offer several hundred thousand units in Japan initially, before thinking about overseas sales. The new DS will apparently be priced around 20,000 yen (£105), currently the DS Lite retails for 16,800 yen (£88) in Japan.

Nintendo’s official line on these rumours is “We are always developing new products. However, since nothing has been announced officially, we are unable to comment at this time.”

Nintendo will be holding media briefings in both Tokyo and San Francisco this Thursday 2nd October, so this would probably be a good time to make such an announcement, hopefully along with some decent games too..