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Leaks 'confirm' DS, PSP sequels will outrun iPod

updated 10:20 am EST, Mon November 16, 2009

Nintendo DS 2, PSP 2 nay get fast CPUs

Talk of Nintendo using Tegra 2 gained support today through new sources of information that also point to a faster Sony PSP. Detailed explanations given to DigitalFoundry say the sequel to the DSi should use the future NVIDIA processor and not only see a "colossal" jump in speed versus the DS line but could be as fast as the Wii while supporting more visual effects.

That same source also clarifies for the chip itself and says it will be based on the much more recent ARM11 architecture instead of the existing ARM7 design or the rumored ARM9. The combination CPU and graphics core would double the number of texture units and shader (visual effects) cores and theoretically render twice as much at once. While it's expected to use GeForce 5000-level graphics generations behind NVIDIA's desktop hardware, it's likely to use the same 40 nanometer manufacturing process that will drive the upcoming GeForce 300 series and so could run at a higher clock speed while still using less power than the Tegra shipping today.

It's not known how Nintendo would use the added performance, though it would allow driving the two screens of a DS-like handheld with a single processor, even when at higher resolutions than the existing system. Similarly, it would permit HD video playback and much more complex 3D.

The PSP leak supports rumors that it will use a quad-core SGX543 from Imagination's PowerVR label and could be significantly faster than the next Tegra if apps and games are optimized for the Sony handheld. Its performance could theoretically sit between the Xbox and Xbox 360.

Release windows for the two aren't definite and will depend on production schedules for the chips themselves. Tegra 2 will start production in 2010 and could lead to a new system arriving the same year. The SGX543 is more dependent on other companies and may not arrive until 2011 depending on who Sony would have picked to produce the final processor.

While the iPhone can potentially receive a speed upgrade next year, either the Nintendo or Sony releases could significantly intensify competition for Apple, whose iPod touch and iPhone are much faster than the DS and PSP while supporting more online features. The feature gap has put DS sales at risk and prompted reactions at both Nintendo and Sony, which have responded with the DSi LL and PSP Go as well as much more Internet-aware software.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +4

    So what... These people think

    that Apple will be standing in place with the iPod Touch. I'm sure Apple didn't acquire P.S. Semi because they just like to spend money for nothing.

  1. JeffHarris

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +3

    Yeah, but...

    Can they do email, web browsing, let me manage my NetFlix, Twitter, Flickr, FaceBook and Linked-In accounts, Skype, Google Earth, run applications which sync with desktop versions AND is a full-blown iPod?
    Hmmm, I didn't think so.

    No matter how fast they may be, both will STILL be essentially ONE-TRICK-PONIES. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but if I were a parent buying a device for my kid, I would buy something that could be used for more than just gaming. A LOT more.

  1. edinburghmac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2004

    +3

    Vaporware....

    It's always possible to invent hypothetical future hardware releases to stop people adopting rival platforms. You have to just look at what's available to buy at any given time - yes, iPhone/iPod touches don't have the fastest available graphics at the moment, but they're fast enough for their job at the moment. I'm sure future iPhone/iPod touches will adopt these chips in time - the question is do you want your device now or do you want to wait till 2011.

  1. bradpdx

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    -8

    I still can't believe it...

    That grown people care one iota for games on computing devices, and that it is having any noticeable effect upon markets; I've been in the software business for years and still find it amazing. I am sure this simply makes me "out of step" with the herd - but it's not anything I can change at this stage.

    I love my iPhone and Macs, but the few games on them are strictly for my kids. IMHO life is simply too full of things to create and do, and can't be spent watching TV or playing WoW - in 10 minutes I am itching to move on and make something real happen.

    I wonder what the popularity of these games says about us as a group...

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004

    +1

    @bradpdx

    You are the minority. So are you down on games because they are video games or are you down on all games, including boardgames, as well as pen-and-paper rpgs? I ask because my wife and I play many boardgames after being introduced the hobby...I refer to real boardgames, many from Europe, not just American games (but some Ameritrash games are great too!)

    I use my DSi daily to play Japanese import DS games...as a way to improve my reading capability in Japanese. Others use games as a way to unwind or as a social device. There are many great uses for games.

    Your same argument was applied to silent films and then "talkies" when movies first came out. Are you also against movies, or are you so upscale as only to appreciate theatre?

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004

    +5

    @bradpdx

    One last question...why are you wasting your time posting in response to an article that does not even cover areas that interest you? Should you not be out "creating" instead?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -2

    Re: @bradpx

    Actually, one would have to wonder why someone who's so 'full of life' and wants to make 'something real happen' is sitting at his desk reading MacNN, let alone commenting on an article.

  1. ff11

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2004

    +2

    re: So what...

    You nailed it. Nintendo plans for the PSP sequel scheduled for 2010 or 2011 to be faster than the 2009 iPhone. Of course by that time, the iPhone will be a couple of generations ahead of where it is now.

  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -1

    Easy out


    Whatever they do next all they really need is at least a couple of real buttons and a gamepad and they have the iPhone/iPod beat hands down in the gaming department.

    How anyone considers a device with no real tactical feedback to be a competitor is beyond me. I guess the extent of 'gaming' for these people is playing solitaire.

    I have an iPod and we had an iPhone in the house until tonight. I don't see getting rid of our two Nintendo DSs anytime soon.

  1. DeezNutts

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    -1

    Re: Yeah but...

    Can they do email, web browsing, let me manage my NetFlix, Twitter, Flickr, FaceBook and Linked-In accounts, Skype, Google Earth, run applications which sync with desktop versions AND is a full-blown iPod?
    Hmmm, I didn't think so.


    THANK GOD they don't do all of that. If I want to game, I want to game. I don't care about the web, facebot, f*ckr and playing music. I want to game man. I've got a phone and a computer that can do all of that c*** already.

    All that functionality is OVERRATED and I hope Nintendo stays true to the core functionality of what a handheld gaming device is supposed to be.

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