Report: New DS arriving this year

[UPDATE 2] Japanese media says Mario Factory will introduce camera, music playback, and better wireless into next revision of popular portable hardware; Nintendo cries "speculation."

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Earlier this year, Nintendo projected hardware sales of its DS handheld system to total 28 million for the current fiscal year. While that can be considered a massively successful year, it is down slightly from the 30 million portable game players the company sold last year. That anticipated slowdown led one industry analyst to predict a new iteration of the DS hardware is on the way, while another had been expecting such a redesign since last November.

Today, Japanese news site Nikkei Net (subscription required) is reporting that the time has finally come for Nintendo to roll out another new DS and that the system will arrive in Japan by the end of the year. Planned features for the unnamed DS revision include a camera function, music playback, and improved wireless capabilities. No mention was made of previously speculated upgrades, such as larger screens, enhanced memory, or a smaller size.

Nikkei expects the redesigned system to carry a price tag of about ¥20,000 ($188), somewhat higher than the ¥16,800 ($158) Nintendo currently charges for the first redesign of its popular portable, the DS Lite. The new system will reportedly arrive on Japanese store shelves by the end of the year.

[UPDATE] Not so fast, says Nintendo of America. In a statement issued to GameSpot, a Nintendo representative labeled Nikkei Net's report as unconfirmed speculation that was not based on any information given out by the Kyoto, Japan-headquartered company.

"The Nikkei newspaper wrote a recent story about a DS solely based upon their own research and speculation, without interviewing Nintendo," said the game company. "While Nintendo is always working on new hardware, we have not made any announcement about a DS and we cannot comment on the Nikkei story."

[UPDATE 2] Thursday morning, Nintendo unveiled the new DSi.

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