Article: Nintendo DS: What does the future hold?

by Steven Williamson on 28 August 2008, 14:58

Tags: Nintendo DS, Nintendo (TYO:7974), DS

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What can we expect from a new hand-held?

So, what can we expect from a new hand-held? Well, the rumour of dual touchscreen functionality may not be unfounded and it certainly could be one of the features that it's working on, but with Nintendo’s expertise in the field of motion sensing with the Wii, it's possible that it could well incorporate this feature in a new hand-held. Indeed, in 2007 it patented such a technology that seems to pertain to a motion-controlled hand-held.

It reads:

“A game control method for a game apparatus including a housing to be held by a player and change-state detecting means provided related to the housing and for detecting at least one of an amount or a direction of a change applied to the housing."

Further evidence that a new hand-held may be just around the corner comes from the fact that Nintendo has been vocal that it wants to keep innovating and offering consumers something new and exciting. Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata suggested late last year at Nintendo Australia financial results conference that it would only launch new hardware if it had “done everything possible with the current machine”

At the conference, he said:

“I’m quite doubtful that such a notion of platform cycles can be applied in the future…As we continue our research and study for new hardware, when we will be able to launch a new kind of hardware will actually depend on when we can change entertainment completely, and so have a strong impact on people around the world. Or, there will certainly be a time when we have to say that we have done everything possible with the current machine, that we can never propose anything new.

“Lately, I cannot say I’m making video games on the frontline of development, but as a person who used to develop software, the availability of new hardware means that we possess a new weapon,” he continued. “We long for a new weapon whenever we cry that we cannot fight anymore with the current weapons. But today’s situation is such that we are not desperate for any new weapons at all.”

“Whenever we are working on so-called next generation hardware, we are always thinking in terms of the future. We need to forecast what the future will be like with the expected evolution of new technologies which are available at any given time, and try to identify the so-called “sweet spot” of technology over the next few years,”
he concluded.

What else is there to do with the DS that is going to significantly improve it? It's almost as good as it can be, isn't it? Can the games get any better than what we've already seen in the last four years? Increased interaction is where Nintendo is likely to head with its brand new hand-held and perhaps a machine that allows the use of new and intuitive peripherals that will make the gaming experience more immersive. Launching an updated version of the DS seems to make no sense.

So, the rumours surrounding a new revised model, I feel, are just that and I doubt anything will materialise. Personally, I'm more than ready to see what Nintendo has up its sleeve next with its new hand-held.

If we are going to see it in 2009, or hear of it, my first worry is whether third-party developers will be able to step up to the podium and create games that make the best use of Nintendo’s new hand-held. Most of them still haven’t got to grips with one touch-screen, never mind the possibility of two touchscreens, motion-sensing or whatever other innovation Nintendo may have ready to surprise us.

Secondly, I really hope it isn't a motion-sensing hand-held. The lure of hand-held gaming is that you can play anywhere, right? Whilst you're on the move. I don't fancy playing a motion-sensing enabled game whilst on the tube or in the back of a car. It sounds like a nightmare.

Whatever the case, we can just speculate for the time being. Maybe the dual touchscreen and motion-sensing rumours are merely a smokescreen for the Japanese manufacturer's real plans? One thing's for sure, I can't wait to find out what it's going to come up with. It's bound to be great.

Join in the debate in the forums. Do you think that the Nintendo DS has now been fully taken advantage off by developers? What would you like to see from the next Nintendo hand-held?

HEXUS Forums :: 4 Comments

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I guess with piracy being so rampant on the DS the sooner they can release a new system the better.
These rumours have been going around for six months on the gaming blogs. I'd love to think there was something to it and the article has a lot of valid points but I honestly don't think anyone has taxed this system to the point where it cannot handle any more. Games like Ninja Gaiden DS look gorgeous and I can only imagine that larger cartridge sizes would allow for higher textures and better sound quality.

My DS needs fixing as it has a faulty power button at the moment (though it still works) so I'd love a new handheld system that's not a PSP lol :)
I guess with piracy being so rampant on the DS the sooner they can release a new system the better.

As with every other console/handheld, give it a few weeks and the firmware hacks, chips and bypass carts are out. No matter what they do, the pirates will always find a way round it.
Sure, but rampant? I doubt it's seriously affecting sales.