Nintendo has repeated its pronouncement that a successor to the Game Boy Advance is already in the works, although dropped no clues as to when it is planning to launch the system.
Speaking at the recent ELSPA Games Summit, Gosen admitted that "new Game Boy iterations are under review right now, before the first DS is sold", which follow similar comments made by Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata around the time of the DS' initial reports in January this year, who was keen to stress that the DS was more of an experiment in testing the market reaction to a Dual Screen device than any concerted attempt to bring out a successor to the GBA.
He pointed out back then that he couldn't predict how well the DS would go down in the market and that maybe only 10 per cent of its audience would buy it. He added that a new Game Boy was being devised in addition to the DS, but Nintendo's release strategy may rest on how well the DS performs in the market when it releases later this year in Japan, and early next year in the US and Europe.
If the device underperforms and finds that Sony is eating away market share with the PSP, the company may well bring the release of its new Game Boy forward to as early as 2006, but should the DS exceed expectations, Nintendo may consider making the most of its good fortune and delay a true sucessor to te GBA to the following year.
A similar situation occurred back in 2000, when the overwhelming success of the Pokemon franchise and the related boost to Game Boy Color sales meant Nintendo could hold back the GBA as a result.
Meanwhile, Nintendo of Europe launches a limited edition GBA today - the Tribal Edition, featuring a Tatoo on the front. What will it think of next?