After five years on the market, Nintendo may be putting the DS Lite to bed and focusing on its three newer portables, the DSi, DSi XL and 3DS.
The rumor, based on a leaked Gamestop memo, originates from a link that is now defunct, but Engadget has since confirmed the news with a Gamestop employee. The memo tells store associates to remove their DS Lite display boxes once all the current stock is sold, because they won’t be getting any more shipments. Nintendo has given its standard dismissal, saying that it “doesn’t comment on rumor and speculation.”
It’s no surprise that Nintendo would phase out older DS models as it introduces new ones — the original Nintendo DS was discontinued long ago — but as Matthew Green points out over at Press the Buttons, the DS Lite is the last model to support Game Boy Advance games. The Nintendo DSi removed the secondary cartridge slot that allowed this backwards compatibility. Incidentally, Gamestop held a big liquidation of Game Boy Advance games last week, and the store no longer accepts Game Boy Advance systems or games for trade-in.
In other words, this story is more about the end of Game Boy Advance than it is about the Nintendo DS. Thanks to backwards compatibility, DS games will live on through the DSi, DSi XL and 3DS — at least until Nintendo moves on to new generations of hardware and we do this whole thing all over again.