Rumor: Nintendo working on new platform, already selected SoC

NeoGAF user Wsippel has a good track record of insider information. Now he’s offering up some juicy information on a new Nintendo platform. Yes, a replacement for either the Nintendo 3DS or Wii U. Citing sources he can’t name, he says:

Almost certainly off-topic, but I don’t quite want to make a new thread, because it would go to shit quickly. Also, I’d need to post a source, and I don’t really want to get people in trouble. Anyway, Nintendo apparently started working on a new platform in early 2013 and has already selected a vendor for the SoC after talking to several potential candidates. The SoC might be based on an existing design, but will be changed to fit Nintendo’s requirements. I assume it’s for their next handheld, though.

Seeing as Nintendo just released the Wii U last November and system sales had only barely started to tank earlier this year, I’d wager this information pertains to Nintendo’s next-gen handheld.

I know what you’re thinking, the 3DS is barely about to hit its third birthday. It isn’t too unprecedented for Nintendo to cut a handheld’s life relatively short. The Nintendo DS was released only three years after the GBA after all.

Chances are that Nintendo is still a ways away from launching their 3DS successor. How powerful it will be remains to be seen. Will they go with something that gives them the ability to play handheld games on the eventual Wii U successor? They did merge their console and handheld R&D.

Will the 3DS successor stand up to the PS Vita in terms of specs or even smartphones? The 3DS currently boasts a dual-core CPU in the neighborhood of 268Mhz and 128MB FCRAM.

Another big question would be what price point Nintendo is targeting and whether they’ll keep the DS name and design. They could drop the clamshell look for a more 2DS-like style. After seeing the 3DS and Wii U struggle at higher price points I don’t think there’s a chance this next-gen Nintendo handheld launches for more than $199, if not lower.

Still, I’d take this as a rumor. Wsippel has been known to get insider information from time to time and isn’t banned on NeoGAF. He’s had his sources verified by their no BS mods in the past so I doubt he’d start posting fake rumors now. Only time will tell though. I personally wouldn’t expect to see the 3DS successor until late 2015 at the earliest and it may not even release until 2016 or so.