The handheld will add a second analogue stick as a detachable add-on for current 3DS systems, and will retail for around $10 / £7.
Next year will also see the release of a new 3DS model, which will "radically tone down" its 3D capabilities, and could have a rebranding.
In terms of software, third-party frustration at the limited number of 3DS development kits has seen units outsourced away from Nintendo's internal Intelligent Systems to studios in Tokyo Electric and Marubeni.
Nintendo is also working with "a select group of developers" to create titles for the analogue stick peripheral.
The decision not to include a second stick in the original system has apparently been a regrettable move for Nintendo, and was dropped to ensure the 3DS beat PlayStation Vita to store shelves.
Furthermore, this month's price drop was apparently a move to quickly sell existing 3DS hardware stock in preparation for the new device.
The report comes from French publication 01Net, a site which has previously broken news of the Wii U and PlayStation Vita, according to Eurogamer.
The Nintendo 3DS has had disappointing sales in North America and Japan during its launch period.
However, the price drop has since seen a boost in Japanese game sales, while in the UK chart Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D re-entered the top ten.