Source: A story on the Bloomberg Japan financial news service.
What we heard: Three and a half years ago, Nintendo launched its DS handheld in North America. Just over two years ago, Nintendo released a streamlined version of the handheld, the DS Lite. Combined, both models of the handheld have sold over 18 million units in the US alone, according to the latest figures from the NPD Group. According to Enterbrain, the publisher of Famitsu magazine, the handheld has sold a whopping 27 million units in Japan.
The handheld has also spawned yet another order in the cult of Nintendo hardware fetishists. True DS fanatics will often own multiple handhelds, either to color-coordinate their portables with their daily wardrobe or hoard unopened collector's editions so they can later sell them for nearly $300.
Given the DS's widespread and rabid fan base, it's unsurprising that news of a new model would be gobbled up like a rump roast tossed into a tank of piranhas. And that's exactly what happened today when Bloomberg Japan ran a story bearing the headline, "New version of Nintendo DS a possibility at US trade fair - Enterbrain president."
The piece covered a Tokyo press conference given by Enterbrain president Hirokazu Hamamura, who did indeed say "I think there is the possibility" of a new DS being unveiled at Nintendo's press conference at the E3 Media & Business Summit. Traditionally, Nintendo holds its conference the morning before the start of the expo, which runs from July 15 this year.
Unfortunately, that's about all Hamamura said, other than lamenting how a new model wouldn't solve an ongoing DS shortage in the US and Europe. The Japanese game-industry consigliere didn't declare that he felt a new DS was a lock for E3 or that it was even likely to be at the event--just that it might be.
The official story: Nintendo Japan told Bloomberg they "had nothing to announce," and Nintendo of America reps were unavailable for comment.
Bogus or not bogus?: Nintendo loves tinkering with and repeatedly reissuing its hardware, as evidenced by the three versions of the DS's predecessor: the Game Boy Advance (2001), the Game Boy Advance SP (2003), and the ill-conceived Game Boy Micro (2005). So it's 100 percent not bogus that eventually there will be a redesign of the DS--a redesign that's apparently already been completed.
Will it be unveiled at E3 '08? That's unclear. However, given the two-year lapse between the DS and the DS Lite, the time will definitely be ripe.