With Nintendo DS sales slowing in Japan, could Nintendo have a successor waiting in the wings? Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter think so, telling investors in a note that Nintendo "has a new handheld device ready for launch in [Japan] before the end of the calendar year," according to a report from Edge Online. In fact, it's those cooling hardware sales on the DS that may force Nintendo to react, making an end-of-year announcement more likely, Pachter writes. The DS has been regularly outsold by the PSP for the past few months in Japan, with marquee software releases doing little to boost matching hardware sales.Sure, the company is still selling DS hardware at a massive rate in the U.S. and Europe, and it just announced a very, very profitable quarter, but the dates match up. The Nintendo DS Lite launched just fifteen months after the original, fugly DS, making the timing seem right for a hardware refresh. We'd heard just prior to E3 that Nintendo was planning on releasing a smaller, cheaper DS, one with a a built-in accelerometer. Obviously, that didn't happen, but that talk was based on an IGN rumor, citing "trusted insiders." Besides, Europe's shirtless models have become bored with the current DS. They need something desperately to reignite their passion for handheld video games. Won't someone at Nintendo think of the models?! Nintendo DS Successor Ready? [Edge]