UPDATE: WE GOT 3DS!!! Check Kotaku today for more information!!

We’ve been seeing a lot more of Nintendo’s little handheld, the Nintendo DS, within the past year. The Nintendo DSi came out almost a year ago, in April. Then, it’s larger, younger brother, the DSi XL, came out just a few short weeks ago. One would think that Nintendo was finished releasing new DS’s for a while.

“Whon” was wrong.

In previous months, we’ve heard from Nintendo a few small details about what a new DS would look like, but nothing about them actually working on one. They said that they are going to include new Nvidia graphics card made specifically for portable devices, codenamed “Tegra”. Nintendo has also mentioned making it with an accelerometer.

A mock up of the DS 2 by Gizmondo. I imagine it to have bigger, closer screens and analog nubs.

In recent GDC (Gamers Developing Conference) events, Kotaku, among other news medias, have strained a few new facts, though most should be considered purely rumors at this point.

From Kotaku:

* The system has two screens, just like the DS, but they are bigger and higher resolution. I’m sure most of you could have guessed that, but the interesting part is that the gap between the two screens is negligible. Developers will be able to use them as one giant screen.

* The next Nintendo handheld has an accelerometer.

* The dev kit is similar in power to the GameCube. Developers that worked on GameCube or Wii games will find it easy to create with. The DS successor is rumored to use an Nvidia Tegra chip, while the GameCube and Wii have PowerPC CPUs and ATI GPUs. The people familiar with the dev kit made it sound like there wasn’t much of a learning curve on the new system.

* The developers I spoke with will be finished with their games before the end of the year. The Nintendo DS is still going strong and the company could delay the next handheld’s release if it wanted to, but it looks like an E3 2010 announcement and a late 2010 release.

Is it just me, or does that just blow your mind? A Gamecube (and Wii, because we all know that the Wii is just a Gamecube with a Wiimote) powered handheld? It’s exciting! I know that the PSP has had the power of the PS2 for years now, but Nintendo, who’s, more recently, been very behind in terms of graphical capabilities in their game consoles, creating a handheld this powerful? Color me excited!

Here is a list of what I’m expecting out of the new DS:

* A sleek look. The DS, all of them, look nice, I guess. But I want something sleek, shiny (though that sounds a little immature). Think iTouch; thin, small, with a beautiful looking screen.

* No touch screen. The DS’s touch screen was a great idea, don’t get me wrong. There were lots of games that took perfect advantage of the touch screen, but in this new generation of DS’s, I want developers to focus on making good games, not worrying about the controls for the touch screen.

*Analog nubs. And not one lonely one, I want two. The lack of another analog nub was the PSP’s biggest problem, and by having two in their newest system, Nintendo could get a huge jump ahead of the PSP.

I am rather excited about the prospect of the new DS2, or whatever it’s going to be called. The features listed above, all realistic, sound like something that is easily doable by Nintendo. Let’s all hope for some information come this E3.

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