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New DS to be unveiled soon?

As soon as next week, in fact.

A number of independent sources have suggested that a new, more compact redesign of the multi-million selling Nintendo DS could be unveiled next week.

Rumours of a redesigned DS have been circulating for several months, but received a boost last month when Japanese magazine Famitsu reported that a Nintendo hardware redesign was in the pipeline.

That'd be a reference to the DS, then, since the GameCube is to be replaced by the backwards-compatible Revolution later this year, and the GBA was redesigned as the Game Boy Micro only a few months ago.

Nintendo's US marketing manager Reggie Fils-Aime also confirmed late last year that a redesign of the DS was on the cards, and now leading Hong Kong based videogames import retailer Lik-Sang has reported that the new hardware will be unveiled in Japan on Monday.

Lik-Sang's report ties in with comments made by a Japanese retail source who spoke to our sister site GamesIndustry.biz earlier this week, saying that stock levels of the Nintendo DS are still low following bumper sales over New Year - but that Nintendo representatives have advised them that a major announcement will be made shortly.

However, UK retailers speaking to GamesIndustry.biz claimed to have had no information from Nintendo regarding any imminent redesign or change to the Nintendo DS strategy over here.

They were aware of persistent rumours of redesigned hardware, with one retailer saying that he had heard from a major publisher that a new DS would be on shelves worldwide "by E3 at the latest" - referring to the major industry trade show which takes place in mid-May.

The move would make strategic sense for Nintendo, which has sold over 13 million units of the Nintendo DS worldwide in the past year, and is believed to have fairly low levels of stock of the existing hardware in most of its major markets at present.

And it wouldn't be the first time the company has pulled something like this off - the GBA SP, a major redesign to the Game Boy Advance hardware, was also pushed into the marketplace early in the new year to capitalise on the low stocks of existing hardware after the holidays.

Nintendo itself has yet to comment on the rumours, and is unlikely to do so until an official announcement is made in Japan next week.

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GamesIndustry International is the world's leading games industry website, incorporating GamesIndustry.biz and IndustryGamers.com.