DS successor within 15 months, analyst expects

According to the December NPD data released yesterday Nintendo sold 3.31 million DSs in the US alone, ending the handheld’s best year yet on a high note. But despite posting record profits in 2009, research firm EEDAR expects Nintendo to announce a successor to the system this year, and expects to see it on the market before summer of 2011.

“Nintendo has always had a controlling stake in the handheld market, despite facing numerous competitors, and EEDAR believes one of the biggest reasons for Nintendo’s success in the handheld market is their ability to remove opportunity gaps for competitors to enter,” EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich says. “Nintendo’s transition from the GBA to the DS, a year earlier than anticipated, was a brilliant strategy to remove any upper hand the Sony PSP could have by being first to market.”

EEDAR believes that due to possible competitors in 2010, aging technology as well as a decline in publisher support and piracy woes, Nintendo may follow a similar strategy once more, “… Nintendo will launch a successor to the DS within the next 15 months, and likely announce such in the next eight months.”

The current back and forth between a Japanese newspaper and Nintendo over comments president Satoru Iwata did or did not make about the possible functionality of a DS successor may imply that the company wants to keep the new system under wraps for as long as possible though. So shhhh!