The DS2 – what can we expect?

If analysts are to be believed, the successor to Nintendo’s wildly popular handheld is just round the corner. Here’s our predicted feature list.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, January 15, 2010


Forget the Wii. Forget the Xbox 360. Forget every other console of this generation. When it comes to raw, unfettered selling power, the DS has no equal. Only Sony’s PS2, with a decade of shelf life under its belt, can best Nintendo’s folding touchy-feely dynamo for boxes shifted.

Racking up 11.2 million sales in North America last year, 3.3 million of them in December alone, the hardware’s latest iterations seem unchallengeable by any but its waggle-tastic living room cousin. Nintendo would be foolish, one might have thought, to announce a successor at this point – and yet according to EEDAR (via GoNintendo), we can expect such an announcement within eight months, while the new console itself is tipped to launch inside of 15.

The analyst reasons that Nintendo is losing the support of key third party publishers, and this “will likely lead to heavy declines in hardware and software sales for the Nintendo DS” next year. Sega has certainly put some verbal light between it and its one-time arch-rival in recent months: chatting to 1UP, studio director Constantine Hantzopoulo has suggested that his company will no longer make “mature” games for the Wii. Ubisoft, meanwhile, plans to “refocus” on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 after suffering a €50 million operating loss in fiscal year 2009-10, a tumble the publisher attributes mainly to flagging casual game sales.

Of course, Nintendo already has its work cut out to stay on top in Japan, with the PSP and even PS3 regularly sailing past the Wii and DS in weekly sales on the back of strong software brands. It’s still Nintendo’s market to lose, but competition is getting stiffer by the month, and it’s conceivable that the company is looking to raise the stakes once again. EEDAR points out that the DS’s first mover advantage in the battle with the PSP was decisive: will Nintendo beat its competitors to the starting blocks a second time?

And if it does, what should we expect? Turn the page for some possibilities.

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7 Responses to “The DS2 – what can we expect?”

  1. Kyrue says:

    I don’t feel that Nintendo will make as big of a push towards the digital market as you might think. If we learn anything from history, it is that history repeats itself. Nintendo will continue to offer lackluster digital distribution. The company just doesn’t get it.

  2. ECM says:

    lol, yeah, they don’t get it: tell that to the tens of millions of competition-smashing hardware units they’ve sold–if anyone “doesn’t get it” it’s gamers.

  3. David Macphail says:

    Digital Distribution sucks, i hope Nintendo have the sense to stay away from it, just look what happened to the PSPgo.

    DD is for fat, lazy people. Walking to the shops FTW!

  4. Edwin says:

    Assuming broadband speeds continue to improve, I think the majority of media products will be digitally distributed eventually. Trouble is, nobody’s quite sure where the tipping point lies. According to some people I speak to, we’re now officially in the era of DD; according to others – Sony and Nintendo execs, for instance! – the landslide is still a few years off. Tricky time to be releasing new games hardware, trying to ready your product line for the glittering downloads-only future whilst continuing to eke profits out of the high street…

  5. tommy says:

    david, psp go didn’t fail because digital distribution doesn’t work. it just failed because basically it is more expensive than a regular psp whilst playing a smaller selection of the same games.

    the best example of DD is the app store for iphone. every iphone game is digital download only, and there’s a fast increasing number of indie game devs who are actually make fortunes there. tap tap revenge apparently exceeded 20 million paid downloads. in the past something like doodle jump would just be a game you play in a browser on a computer, but on iphone a vast amount of people are willing to pay to have that on their phone, making a business out of games that might not have had success elsewhere. The convenience of being able to instantly download a game from any location moments after you just heard about it shouldn’t be overlooked.. DD doesn’t only benefit fat people, of course not.

  6. john says:

    The DS needs phone functionability. Everyone carries a phone and if you can play games on it, no need for another device in your pocket.


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