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Apple has been known in the iPod and iPhone industry to release a new, “better” version of their devices every year. This is something that fans have grown accustom to. Year after year, Apple fans will sell their old iPod and cut up their contract for their old iPhones just to get in on the newest and best that Apple has to offer.

Nintendo, on the other hand, sees things slightly different. Back when the Game Boy was released in 1989, it was the biggest thing to happen to games for years. It basically created the idea of “portable gaming” and it stayed on the market for many years, not being replaced until the release of the Game Boy Color in 1998 (there was the Game Boy: Light and Pocket, in 1998 and 1996. They were upgrades, about two years apart, though not a replacement to the original Game Boy) . That’s almost a ten year jump! From there, the Game Boy Advanced was released in 2001, and then the “special edition” Game Boy Advanced, the SP came out in 2003. Finally, the last Game Boy, the Micro, came out in 2005. The average length between a major Game Boy release was about four or five years.

Then Nintendo released the Nintendo DS, a revolution of sorts in the hand held industry. It first came out at the end of 2004. The DS basically printed money, and it had a run of about two and a half years before Nintendo released an updated version of the device in the summer of 2006, called the DS Lite. It wasn’t a new console, per say, more of an upgrade. That was the same with the DSi, released in 2009, which was mostly a recreation of the DS Lite with more features added.

However, only one year later, mere days after the announcement of the 3DS, Nintendo released the DSi XL, a bigger version of the DSi. The fact that Nintendo released the handheld so soon after releasing  the DSi and so soon after announcing the 3DS has people worried that Nintendo is going to fall into the Apple way of doing things; a new upgrade every year.

I think that’s bogus. Nintendo, in all their years of releasing hand held consoles, on average released, their handhelds at years three or four years apart. The DSi XL was the only time that they had ever released two handhelds one year after another, and I think it was a one time thing.

The 3DS will have a better, more awesome version come out eventually; that’s a given. However, I think us early adopters are safe in thinking that we’re going to have the best of the best for at least two years, maybe even more.

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Yes, this entire post was done on my brand new black DSi that I bought yesterday. I like the little thing so far. The new features are very nice and I cant wait to get some DSi Ware games when I get points.

I had some trouble with buying this device right before we hear about the 3DS, but I really needed an update to my phat DS and I can probably sell this DSi if the 3DS becomes something I want.

My hand hurts. I’m out.

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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