Nintendo are well known for being innovative and reinventing themselves but to reinvent the Nintendo DS for the four times is going way too far... So thankfully we'll see a new handheld console before the year is out.
I bought the original DS on the day it came out. The Gameboy, Gameboy Advance and the Gameboy Advance SP were all great but once I started playing the DS, I started to realise that this wasn't a good experience.
It was huge, clunky and the buttons weren't comfortable at all. I sold it.
Along came the DS Lite, correcting all the original's problems I gave it another shot. I loved it.
With the DS Lite, Nintendo dominated the handheld gaming market not only catching up with Sony but overtaking them completely.
Sony are playing catch up and have since released the pointless PSP 3000 and bizarrely the PSP Go that can't run UMDs.
Nintendo's competition came from the mobile phone gaming market, mainly the iPhone, but otherwise has been enjoying success sipping wine and being fed grapes.
The evolution of the console came in the DSi that included new features such as:
- 3mp camera
- SD card slot - useful for music playback and downloads
- Slightly larger screens (3.25 inches)
- Downloadable games
All good additions and can give the DS a boost even though I thought it wasn't worth the upgrade
. Nevertheless, it added enough value for someone to plump for it over the other versions if they had not previously invested.
Suddenly I'm told that Nintendo have released a DSi XL... If you hadn't guessed, it's bigger. What's the point? Seriously, why would you bother? Bigger screen but the same graphics... meh.
But now the rumour mill has been cranked up to HEAVY with a handheld gaming console looking for an XMas 2010 release. The new DS will have an accelerometer and will also have a rumble-pack feature that sends vibrations of varying intensity through the screen corresponding to on-screen action.
The screens will also be much closer together to look like one massive screen and I'm guessing it'll probably have an analogue stick too. It should be able to run Gamecube standard games if not better.
It all sounds fantastic, all that with better graphics, sound and a bigger screen and I'm SOLD.
Little tip from me: 3D handheld gaming... the Nintendo 3DS (you heard it here first ;)