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According to a rumour at news site Bright Side of the News, graphics chip manufacturer nVidia are contracted to design the chip for Nintendo’s next portable system. BSN reports:

 

As the time passed by, Nintendo started to work on the successor of its handheld console with a debut planned for late 2010 [Tokyo Game Show?]. According to our confidential sources, Nintendo is going to use Tegra System-on-Chip processor for the successor of DS/DSi handheld console. Unlike the current design, nVidia offered a single-chip proposal to Nintendo, a company famous for keeping the hardware platform absolutely simple.

 

Given the fact that Nintendo DS hardware is based upon 16-bit and 32-bit ARM cores, it looks like Next-Gen DS could be backwards compatible with the DS application library. According to our sources, all of the apps that came for old DS could run on a single ARM11 core, yet alone the next-gen CorTex-A9-based Tegra, leaving graphics subsystem to do "something smarter".

 

This report comes in just a week after Citigroup’s suggestion that Nintendo will introduce another DS revision to the Japanese market next year. While it further reinforces what many already seem to suspect, there are some questionable comments in the story.

 

The BSN report goes on to speculate that this line of chips could facilitate 4x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering on the new DS. Then again, while this might seem odd, considering Nintendo’s reluctance to enter the tech-race, keep in mind they’re a very different company — a lot more ambitious for one — when it comes to portable devices.

 

Food for thought:

 

1. While this is very much a rumour, the idea of a new DS for 2010 seems more viable with every passing week, given the iPhone threat. Nintendo could be shifting to a more frequent hardware revision model a la Apple.

 

2. This new model could decrease the gap in hardware between a portable and a home console, which could lead to some interesting cross-platform functionality. Perhaps Nintendo’s dream of true DS-Wii connectivity will finally be realized?

 

3. This sounds like it would come out in time for an FFVI remake. Just saying.

 

DS mock-up image courtesy of Gizmodo.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and a contributing writer at GamesIndustry.biz. He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.

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