Ninty headlining with new GBA, DS online

Revolution will only be televised.

Japanese giant Nintendo is set to focus strongly on the handheld market at E3, with a new revision of the GBA hardware and the unveiling of the DS online service set to take centre stage while Revolution - the Japanese firm's highly anticipated next-generation platform - is consigned to a video presentation.

Although Nintendo has pledged to show off something of its next-generation plans at the expo, it has remained coy about exactly how much will be on display - and now sources close to the company have revealed that no Revolution hardware or specs will be discussed, with the console appearing only as a video of next-gen footage.

Instead, the focus of Nintendo's conference will be on the handheld market - with the rumoured new version of the Game Boy Advance hardware set to make an appearance for the first time, along with the first demonstration of the Nintendo DS' Wi-Fi powered online functionality.

The new GBA, however, is categorically not the "GBA2", Nintendo's genuine next-generation handheld console. The system is expected to be an update to the existing GBA hardware, perhaps sporting built-in wireless networking and the Play-Yan adapter for playing downloadable games and videos, both of which have up until now been separate components.

The Nintendo DS online service, meanwhile, was first mentioned by Satoru Iwata in his presentation at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco earlier this spring, and is expected to roll out later in the year. Revolution, which is also confirmed to have wireless networking components, is likely to use a variant on the same system.

Although the decision to hold back on unveiling Revolution at the show will undoubtedly disappoint many, Nintendo is undoubtedly aware that it would be fighting for attention with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, both of which are due to be demonstrated for the first time during E3 week.

Of course, it's not that Nintendo will have nothing to show off in terms of home consoles - as the new Legend of Zelda game, for example, will be playable for the first time at the show.

Nintendo's conference takes place on the morning of Tuesday, May 17th - Pacific Standard Time, of course, so expect the first reports to start emerging at about six o' clock in the evening, British time.

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