Deal or no deal?

When rumblings of a new generation of handheld from Nintendo were first felt last year, there were reports of industry insiders leaking information on the 3DS hardware architecture. Claims of NVIDIA's Tegra chip being used in the 3DS are now being contradicted by Digital Foundry's sources, who claim that a Nintendo/NVIDIA collaboration is not happening, with the former opting to strike up a deal with a Japanese partner instead.

Another claim relates to the codename of the system itself. First there was the 'DS2', and for now the world refers to it as the 3DS, but Digital Foundry's sources "confirms" that the development codename is actually "Nintendo CTR", which would seem to corroborate last month's revelation of an FCC filing image of what's purportedly the motherboard test-kit.

If these sources from Digital Foundry and those of IGN are correct, then what would have been the debut partnership of the two companies is all but wishful thinking now. With Nintendo having a history of utilising AMD's ATi technology in the past, a deal with another company suggests that either its range of chips is not suitable for whatever reason, it's more of a matter of budget limitation. Or both, or something completely different.

If the 3DS really is meant to be on-par with HD home consoles in terms of graphical capabilities, then a change in graphics chip provider could well mean a change in direction. After all, you'd expect them to utilise the same brand of graphics chip as the Wii, would you not?

As tempting as it is to cram as much processing power, and all the rest of it into a compact system, the main obstacle that any handheld will have to overcome is battery life. Fortunately, Nintendo is no stranger to the world of portable gaming and its past generation of systems have all been more than generous when it comes to how long each round of batteries, or charge will last you.

Of course, all these claims are unsubstantiated at this moment in time and the earliest we'll hear of any official word is next week: it's some kind of exposition, or something. You might have heard about it...