The DSi was one of the latest changes to the regular DS platform.
Nintendo’s mooted 3DS handheld will be a whole new platform as opposed to a tweaked version of the existing DS, according to Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime. Speaking in an interview with BusinessWeek
Fils-Aime said the launch will be the company’s biggest since 2004, when the original Nintendo DS first hit shops.
“We have ideas of what we want to bring to the consumer that we can’t do with the current DS model”, he said. “The Nintendo 3DS for us is our next handheld platform.”
Little is known about the upcoming 3DS at present – other than the fact that it will display 3D images without the need for glasses and will be backwards compatible with regular DS games. More information is expected at this year’s E3 conference, due to take place in mid-June, with a launch not expected until next year.
The Nintendo DS was a key factor in the revival of the company’s fortunes, with its arrival coming on the back of poor sales for its home console the Gamecube and competitive threats in the handheld space from Sony’s PSP. Since 2004 nearly 130m DS consoles have been sold, giving the company nearly 70% of the handheld market. This has been helped in no small part by the regular refreshing of the DS line, with a number of tweaks being made over the past six years to make the device smaller and more feature-rich.
Nintendo now faces a new type of threat, however, from high-power smartphones like the iPhone.