News last night that Nintendo plans to release a new model of it's unbelievably popular DS wasn't that surprising. But what was surprising is that a company whose beliefs seems so firmly rooted in attracting the broader, less tech-savvy general audience would decide to add music playback and picture taking to one of its core machines.
What we still don't know is if this is a Japan-only device or one headed for world release, something I suspect we'll find out with the upcoming Nintendo press conferences. Either way it seems that Nintendo is dipping it's toe into the waters currently inhabited by the Playstation Portable and iPhone. For years Sony and Nintendo have both argued, on some level, that the PSP and DS don't really compete because the machines approach gaming in such different ways. Now it seems that if this new media DS gets off the ground, that won't be as true.
But with the PSP gaining ground in Japan (Reuters reports that PSP's unit sales exceeded the DS's in five consecutive months through July) can the DS directly compete with it when it comes to those expanded features? And what about the iPhone and Touch and its growing gaming support? Does Nintendo stand a chance in the realm of gaming and media devices?