Rumour: Nintendo to release larger DSi

Japanese newspaper claims new portable with 4" screens in 2009

Nintendo is to release a fourth major iteration of the Nintendo DS with new and larger screens, according to reports from Japanese business newspaper Nikkei Shimbun (warning: Japanese text only).

Although there are few details, the normally reliable source suggests that the new version of the portable will feature larger 4 inch screens. This would compare to 3.25 inches for the current DSi model, 3.8 inches for the PSPgo and 4.3 inches for the PSP-3000.

According to the Nikkei Shimbun the new iteration, which comes almost exactly a year after the DSi first launched in Japan, is meant as a response to the iPhone rather than the PSP. It is implied that in terms of other features the portable will be similar to the existing DSi.

The new hardware is expected to be priced at the same level as the current model DSi and will be sold in parallel rather than replacing it. Nintendo has made no official comment and a Western release has not yet been mentioned.

Although well on course to being the best-selling video games console of all time, sales of the Nintendo DS have been slowing over the last year - particularly in Japan. New hardware iterations and colours have been a common means of renewing short term interest in a format, although two new models in as many years is unusual for Nintendo.

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