The rumoured DS2 development kits are in the hands of select developers in Japan - and include a motion-sensing function, CVG can reveal.
The biggest of the firms working with the device is The Pokemon Company, which CVG understands was the first business to be offered the dev kit.
A CVG insider at a third-party studio currently toying with DS2 said he was aware that "a handful" of other developers had been given the hardware on a trial basis.
However, Nintendo informed him that it was merely the first version of what will become the finished product. The platform holder is asking those trialling the hardware for feedback - but our man is certainly impressed.
"It's genuinely the best thing I think I've ever worked with," he said. "I can tell you that it's got a 'tilt' function that's not dissimilar to iPhone, but does a lot more. We know that The Pokemon Company are getting special attention with it."
However, before our source went tight-lipped, he said he didn't expect the hardware to be shown at GDC.
"Any kind of March announcement wouldn't fit with the timeline I understand the second DS to be on," he added.
He wouldn't tell us any more for fear of being rumbled, but we'll keep digging.
So there you are folks, a motion-sensing handheld with definite Pokemon goodies on the way.
Unsurprisingly, a Nintendo rep told CVG today that they wouldn't comment on "rumour or speculation".
Fingers crossed for E3...