Updated Nintendo DS model expected at E3

Posted by Mark Raby

Los Angeles (CA) - A new version of Nintendo's blockbuster DS handheld could well be revealed at this year's annual Electronic Entertainment Expo.

According to video game company Enterbrain, a new DS model may be on the way with added functionality, but it is unclear if it would be an official successor to the Nintendo platform.

Bloomberg Japan reports that the head of Enterbrain, Hirokazu Hamamura has predicted that the new DS model will be revealed during E3, the world's biggest video game trade show.

The prediction is in step with a statement Nintendo made earlier this year.  "All I can tell you is what we announce during E3 is gonna be fantastic," said company VP Reggie Fils-Aime in an interview with MTV's GameTrailers.

The DS first launched in the US in November 2004, so it is about time for a new model.  A refreshed version of the system, the DS Lite, came out in 2006 and effectively phased out the original model.  However, there is no difference in functionality with the Lite.

According to Hamamura, the new DS will likely include the ability to play back music and movies, and also an additional slot for external hardware components.

The DS has sold more than 16 million units in the US alone making it far and away the leading handheld platform.  It typically outsells the PSP by a margin of two-to-one, and continues to sell better than any of the home consoles.