Officially, DS 2 still doesn't exist. But in today's climate, with the internet spreading word of mouth on a global scale in minutes, there are almost no secrets. Just look at how much everyone knew about the iPad before it was announced.
So the unofficial, completely speculative 'truth' is this: DS 2 already exists and will be released later this year. It's been in the hands of developers for months. There are things we know and features we'd bet on it having. Such as...
Things we're certain it'll have:
Hardly any gap between the screens
The gap is said to be so small, developers will be able to use them as one big screen if they see fit.
Above: This is a DSi-based mock-up with the middle chopped off (did you guess?), but we'd imagine the screens are like that
Innards as powerful as a Gamecube
And that means it can probably handle Wii games too. Nintendo is hardly going to make Sony's mistake of having its new handheld be slightly inferior to console tech. Nobody wants to see the console struggling to do Wind Waker-quality graphics, do they?
A built-in accelerometer
While you almost certainly won't be swinging the whole unit at imaginary tennis balls like an ultra-expensive and fragile Wiimote, aping the iPhone's tilt sensor opens up a new avenue of handheld gameplay. And if iPhone's apps can appear in PSP's 'Minis' store, there's no reason they can't be right at home on DS 2 as well.
A Pokemon game soon after launch
The Pokemon company is said to have been the first developer to be given a dev kit for the new machine. Will we finally get the 3D Pokemon game we've always dreamed of? There's more chance of it now than ever.
But... it'll probably just be SoulSilver with the pedometer built in via the accelerometer. Come on, you KNOW that's the more likely of the two.
Features we expect it'll have:
An in-built hard drive.
DSi already has expandable storage for full-sized downloadable games, and we'd expect DS2 to have a PSP Go-style hard drive for games, music and maybe even (finally) movies too.
Games on cartridges instead of disc media
While it would be awesome to have the new unit backwards compatible with all gGamecube games like the Wii, it's almost certainly NOT going to feature a disc drive. Nintendo prides itself on the battetry life of its handhelds and its customers wouldn't enjoy sitting through PSP-style load times either. Plus cartridges may as well just be flash memory cards these days - the technology's getting cheap enough.
Virtual Console crossover
It wouldn't be a surprise at all to see Virtual Console games become licensed to your DS 2 when you buy them on Wii and vice versa. PSP already does this with PSone games downloaded from PSN and frankly we're surprised DS doesn't do this already.
Wi-Fi access only
DS2 will not be a mobile phone. It'll undoubtedly connect to the net with a great deal of its functionality coming from online services, but it's not going to compete directly with iPhone.
A cheap(ish) price point
We'd expect the machine to be at most as expensive as a Wii. Gamecube technology may be cheap to cram into a home console, but we should imagine miniaturisation of it would still be fairly expensive. Unless it really isn't and Nintendo's been pocketing millions all this ti... oh.
15 Mar, 2010