Nintendo has announced a trade event to be held on September the 13th, but it isn't saying what the schedule holds - leading to suggestions that the company is planning a revised 3DS hand-held to help boost flagging sales.
The rumour isn't completely without precedent: in the past, the company has released multiple revisions of existing consoles to help flag ailing sales. The company's last-generation hand-held, the Nintendo DS, went through several incarnations in its life including the original DS, the slimmer DS Lite, the camera-equipped DSi, and the large-screen DSi XL - so it's not hard to imagine the company doing the same with the 3DS.
To revise the hardware so early on in the product's life cycle, however, seems ridiculous. While it's true that Nintendo hasn't been enjoying great success with its 3D hand-held, recent price cuts - plus the promise of free Virtual Console games to those who have paid the full price - has helped boost interest, and it's unlikely a revised model would increase that any further.
More importantly, however, would be the introduction of fragmentation to the platform. Currently, the 3DS has a single analogue controller and a digital directional pad. One of the rumours circulating the web is that Nintendo is going to unveil a revised design featuring two analogue controllers, mimicking the controls used on the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation series.
If so, games would need to be programmed to make use of second analogue stick - and would be unable to operate correctly on an original 3DS. Again, Nintendo has form for this - games written for the DSi and its in-built camera don't operate on the original DS series - but never so early in a console's life cycle.
It's a move which would anger gamers, and that's something Nintendo is keen to avoid. Accordingly, we're putting our money on the announcement being a little more sedate than a hardware revision - some new third-party titles for the console would be a good start.