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Nintendo DS 2 - the near-certain reality

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

19 comments

  • GameManiac - March 16, 2010 6:41 p.m.

    Aw screw it! I'll get me a DSi (or DSi XL, depends on price). After all, it's only about $130 (I think...).
  • GameManiac - March 16, 2010 6:38 p.m.

    I'm currently saving up my money for a DSi (the DSi XL seems more for visually-challenged people), but hearing about a next gen Nintendo hand-held is leaving me with questionable decisions. It'll probably take a while until then, just like with the GameBoy and GBA.
  • philipshaw - March 16, 2010 3:39 p.m.

    It won't happen until the DS stops selling
  • Irishranger - March 16, 2010 1:08 a.m.

    This better be some sort of early April Fool's joke. Seriously, I just ordered my DSi so I can play FFIII and FFIV. They haven't even arrived in the mail yet. Say it ain't soooo. Unless the DS 2 will have a remake of FFVI and backwards compatibility with DS games. Then I'll be all over it.
  • MrDuracraft - March 16, 2010 1:05 a.m.

    @TheGeek I would love that Pokemon MMO that was in that old article about the way loved games have to change (or w/e) The DS2 sounds AMAZING but... a price tag the same as the Wii? I don't think I want to buy and two or three years later the next gen Nintendo console comes out.
  • miningguyx360 - March 15, 2010 10:37 p.m.

    I would love to see this thing go iPad with a data plan. pay for what you use or unlimited with no contract.
  • Cyberninja - March 15, 2010 8:24 p.m.

    i dont think this is likey until at least next year because they are making alot of money right now and nintendo wouldnt just say screw all you guys who bought our handheld were making a new one right now they like money so they will likey just make so new dsi exclusives for the time being and their was the orignal silver and gold that realsed on the gameboy then crystal was a gbc exlcusive so they most likly do that again hopefully
  • bioshocker - March 15, 2010 7:21 p.m.

    @embolado ZuneHwhaaa??? nah but seriously they need to get it out there. and by "out there" I mean in my hands so I can play audiosurf on the go. related to that if the DS2 has audiosurf I will puke out of sheer joy
  • lolwizards - March 15, 2010 6:58 p.m.

    I would love to see a virtual console for handheld games exclusive to the DS2, which would include GB, GBC, GBA, Game Gear, etc.
  • DaBadGuy - March 15, 2010 6:24 p.m.

    Nintendo should stop releasing an updated DS every year and focus on the DS2. With the DS2 they better bring back the Game Boy Advance slot they omitted with the DSi. You can't play any DS games that require the game boy slot and you can't play any Game Boy Advance games. The worst part is you can't go back to the old Pokemon games, Rudy, Sapphire, Emerald, FireRed, and LeafGreen, and get the old Pokemon. I don't need a camera, I need to catch em all. I ahve a DS Lite, so I have the GBA slot, but I don't need the DS2 unless they bring back the GBA slot.
  • mattol58 - March 15, 2010 4:29 p.m.

    omg ds2
  • sleepy92ismypsn - March 15, 2010 4:16 p.m.

    i hope the next psp is a cell phone the "psphone" to compete with iphone
  • Embolado - March 15, 2010 4:15 p.m.

    What about the ZuneHD?
  • allthegoodnameswheretaken - March 15, 2010 4:12 p.m.

    How about a Microsoft handheld?
  • BigBoss - March 15, 2010 4:08 p.m.

    @QWERTYCommander I would argue one of the most off-putting things of the psp is their loading times. Surely the success of the ds and its use of cartridges would bode well for a similar format?
  • TheGeek - March 15, 2010 3:57 p.m.

    I knew it! I knew it would take another DS system for them to put out an actual Pokemon sequel rather than another remake of the 90's. Here's hoping for that Pokemon MMO everyone (including me) wants. Nintendo is so dominating the handheld market that it almost doesn't need to come out with a DS2. But its on its way. Is Nintendo going to focus on the handheld market? Nintendo has said that it won't compete with graphics anymore, and only the handheld market is the last bastion of cheap, 2D games that people enjoy. (its also the bastion of cheap shovelware tween titles...) So if they were still going the route of gameplay over graphics, the handheld market would be the logical place to do that. I wonder if the DS2 is going to be backwards compatible, by a DS card slot. It would make sense, but only time will tell.
  • GR_JustinTowell - March 15, 2010 3:51 p.m.

    @QWERTYCommander - very true, but that was because the sound quality suffered and you couldn't have as much FMV. I don't think a next-gen handheld would suffer from those problems even if it was cartridge-based.
  • QWERTYCommander - March 15, 2010 3:48 p.m.

    "And it's customers wouldn't enjoy sitting through load times either" Isn't that the same logic that Nintendo used with the N64? That didn't quite work, if I remember correctly.
  • BigBoss - March 15, 2010 3:33 p.m.

    Good sober article, cannot wait to see if it all comes true.

Showing 1-19 of 19 comments

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