HD Wii successor expected at E3

Update: System could be on sale at the end of 2012; Activision, Ubisoft, EA already have dev kits

Nintendo is to show a high-definition home console at this year's E3 event in June, according to new reports.

Game Informer in the US suggests the system will be released at the tail end of 2012, with publisher and developer partners currently being briefed on the hardware.

A separate report by IGN suggests the new console will be announced before E3 and it will be backwards compatible with existing Wii software.

It also reports that the console is significantly more powerful than Microsoft's Xbox 360 or Sony's PlayStation 3.

Earlier this week retail sources pointed towards a price cut for the Wii of $50, fuelling speculation Nintendo is preparing to reveal new hardware.

Update: According to a report by Edge Online, development kits for the new Nintendo hardware are already in the hands of Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Activision, amongst others, and the system will retain motion control capabilities.

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Latest comments (42)

Private Industry 6 years ago
Hard to believe Nintendo building something that`s significantly more powerful than a 360 or PS3.
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University6 years ago
The Wii and DS are the only systems they have launched that have been significantly underpowered compared to their competitors. The N64 was a formidable system, the SNES had mode 7, and the GC was a powerful machine in the right hands--look at Resident Evil 4 and Metroid Prime 2, far more technically accomplished games than many Wii efforts. There is also the distinct possibility the part of the report that it is "distinctly" more powerful than the PS3 or 360 is inaccurate, though I expect it to be at least comparable in power.

I am completely convinced of the launch date and have been for some time, but up until now the E3 reveal didn't seem right. I guess Nintendo are going for a public reveal to get third parties on board straight away, perhaps the current briefing is to give them a little time to get some trailers ready for a brief demonstration at E3. No more than a trailer reel and a list of some features, I expect, but that should be more than enough to set the internet, the media and the development community alight, as well as ruffle feathers at Sony and Microsoft.

Is there a danger Nintendo are revealing their hand too soon? Or are they judging it wise to reveal just enough of their hand to shore up their stock holders and third party support, before shutting away the N6 and showing off the 3DS and the last wave of Wii software? After all, the Wii caught virtually every third party off balance, and no one ever really caught up. Hopefully Nintendo will learn from that mistake, to everyones benefit.
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Private Industry 6 years ago
There is no arguing about the GC, N64 had a good amount of raw power but the full package was not as good as it could have been and let`s not forget how long it took them to make a GameBoy color. Given the sales of the Wii and DS I don`t see why they would change the tactics that have worked so well now for them and go back to delivering a system that`s up to date to the current tech. I would only expect to be on par with 360 and PS3, but I don`t expect them to be above that would make the system to expensive. Anyway they have no other choice then being the first once with coming up with a new system given the current hardware they have.

If that story is true what I hope for is a normal controller required and motion controls optional otherwise I`m going to skip that one as well.
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Show all comments (42)
Jonathan England6 years ago
I'm not sure how to really feel about this. What I am sure about is that motion controls = No. They were amazing when the Wii first came out and probably got over hyped, but now every company and their mom is on the bandwagon.

But it's also odd to think of Nintendo putting out an actual game console. It seems forever ago since the launch of the gamecube, and now whenever I think of Nintendo, I think the word "Wagglefest" or those silly Miis happily being in games I don't think anyone in their right mind would play.

This also begs the question: Is Nintendo finally trying to appeal back to the 'hardcore' crowd, when most of them may have moved onto 360 or PS3? Or are we getting what I've heard many people say, 'Wii HD?'

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jonathan England on 14th April 2011 11:19pm

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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 6 years ago
Finally, cause Im tired of playing on a gamecube. At least for me, the wii wasnt that much differant, except for the motion controls, which Im not a fan of. i dread having to play Zelda with motion controls. Many of the games they released could have benefitted from HD graphics. I just hope they dont use a standard DVD for the disc format. And I never was into motion controls so I hope they ALSO have a standard control pad. I also hope they develope more original IP and they dont burn out there existing franchises any more then they already have.
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I have heard from other sources that this is close to the mark. If nothing else, Nintendo needs to get all those x-platform games (PS3/360, maybe PC) also released on the Wii2.

As long as the power is comparible, its good enough. Even "twice as powerful" as 360/PS3, puts it in the same league as the other consoles. The next-gen of consoles needs to be ... what, 10x as powerful as a 360 (at least)?

This is part of the danger of having a "10-year" release cycle: 5 years in, a competitor releases something which trumps your product. This will be on par (if not cheaper) that the PS3, and will take a lot of the steam away from both the 360/PS3.

Waiting to see/hear more...
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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 6 years ago
It really comes down to what the development kit for N6 is built on. Wii was built on the Cube kit and buffed up. That's why a lot of software can come out quickly even a lot of developers were caught off guard with its runaway success.

The future of N6 is a tricky one as now Nintendo will need to please BOTH the "hardcore" and "casual" gamers. For hardcore gamers it is about the controls and the games they want and for casual gamers is how can they upgrade without causing them an arm and a leg, considering all those uDraw pads, Wii Balance board etc out there. Casual gamers will be turned away if all those are not compatible with N6.

Entering HD era for N6 is a right direction as now HD TVs are so much cheaper. However, for N6, it is also about an overarching online service that provides a great online experience - online play, online store, and whether they really want to go into the multi-media arena.

Video game console business now is more than just putting a powerful machine out there but about games and the surrounding business model. The Wii business model may work a few years ago but Nintendo better reseach well before drafting the strategies and tactics for N6.
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Craig Taylor6 years ago
A Next-Gen Nintendo Console have finally been announced for E3? It's something I would look forward to, yet at the same time I wouldn't really know what this console's intentions are, let alone from the CEO himself.

I praise that the Next-Gen Console is more powerful than the almighty 360 and PS3, however I feel that it needs a purpose to attract a specific audience like it's predecessor. Even though I have doubts due to the fact that it's been announced to be released for 2012 (which is too early), I look forward to what Nintendo may deliver as what I anticipate for E3 this year.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Craig Taylor on 15th April 2011 1:46am

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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 6 years ago
Having a console two or three times as powerful as a PS3 or XBox would be neither difficult nor expensive: we've had more than three generations of Moore's law since the release of the Sony and MS consoles; if they'd been released this year, they'd be about eight times as powerful.

And significantly more power than the competing consoles gives them more than just a competitive advantage in terms of how good the games look: it makes developers' lives a lot easier when doing multiplatform games.

But yes, where are they going with this? They don't really need another platform for the casual gamer, do they? They seem to be doing just fine with the Wii.

Perhaps they really want to take over the hardcore gamer market as well? Given a more powerful console with Blu-ray, a camera, a waggle controller as accurate as the Move, and a standard controller as well, they'd have a system that do everything both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 can do, and better them both. Then they'd just need to put in the development resources to get decent games, and a few really stunning platform exclusives that could do for it what Uncharted 2 did for the PS3. Combined with a mid-generation release, that could set back Sony and MS for years in the hardcore gaming community, while still providing a moderately-priced (perhaps with the standard controller dropped) system that could be sold to casual gamers as well, and give them kinect-style as well as waggle controls.

Could Nintendo really get it together enough to do this? Personally, I can't see it.

Perhaps they've just developed some interesting new technology (a la Kinect or whatever) for which the Wii simply isn't powerful enough.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 6 years ago
Oh, I do have a suggestion for a name: how about the "2wii"?
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Torgeir Hagland Sr Programmer, Gaikai Inc.6 years ago
It'll be interesting to see what they come out with. Let's see if it's just a WiiHD (2-4 wii's glued together via some horrible hack and a slightly larger flash drive) or a real upgrade, with at least a non-fixed function pipeline :)
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Shane Sweeney Academic 6 years ago
When will Nintendo release a Pokemon MMO :(
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Thomas Luecking6 years ago
I think it will be as always: Nintendo will come up with some new home console concept which nobody did think about before. I agree with Curt: they almost cannot prevent their new concole being more powerful than X360 and PS3 even if they wanted to ;)

The timing makes perfectly sense. By this year's announcement they would be one year ahead of Microsoft's X360 successor (maybe two years ahead of Sony) and the first mover advantage did prove to be very critical in this industry.
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thus the question is...
Will anyone want to purchase the next gen Wii or adopt it as a AAA platform
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
Dr. I think that depends on whether is supports programmable shaders and has a good online infrastructure.

I feel those 2 factors alone will make or break it's acceptance with developers/ publishers and the more cynical gaming consumers.
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James Poole Managing Director, Sarcastic Hedgehog Ltd6 years ago
Surely if the first was a Wii, this is a Number 2

I'll get my coat.
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Greg Knight Freelance Developer 6 years ago
I know one thing - if they don't upgrade their development tools it won't matter how powerful it is; developing a game as complex as a PS3/360 AAA title will be an extremely big ask using what we are provided with now.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Greg Knight on 15th April 2011 10:07am

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
Greg, I can't imagine the tools being the same. I don't think they'd work right.
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Istvan Fabian Principal Engineer, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe6 years ago
Coming out with something that is more powerful than hardware that was essentially finalized 6-7 years ago (usually 1 year before their announcement to give time for SDK development, OS and launch titles, hardware sourcing etc) is not exactly difficult... I'd wonder instead, whether it will match our (Microsoft and Sony) next-gen systems, otherwise it will be again titles that willl be specific for Wii2, since it will have had last-gen standards.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Istvan Fabian on 15th April 2011 10:21am

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
Istvan, that would highly depend on the tools, as Greg noted, and whether the GPU supports programmable shaders.

I also do not expect the next generation Sony and MS console to be the same horsepower leap the PS3 and X360 were over the PS2 and Xbox.
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Neil Millstone Director, White Bat Games6 years ago
As others have said, it would be super easy for Nintendo to build a device that sells for 180 pounds which would beat the PS3 and 360 performance-wise. Somewhere between the PS3 and the eventual PS4 will be where it is. It would be silly for them not to do that.

There will definately be something that sets the Wii 2 apart from the other HD consoles. Some new control mechanic. 3D LCD screens on the WiiMote, Analog sticks with multitouch on them, something that we haven't seen before.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Neil Millstone on 15th April 2011 10:41am

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Farhang Namdar Lead Game Designer Larian Studios 6 years ago
Hahahaha you people really don't get it do you :P

This is a Wii that is HD, there is nothing in that device that is going to be more powerful than a 360 or PS3. Everything you have seen before but just a slight bit better ;)

And I'm fine with that, I love the Wii and I play it all the time next to my 360 and PS3!
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University6 years ago
Would Nintendo reveal their new innovative feature (assuming since it's Nintendo, they have one) this year, a full eighteen months from release? I think that would be revealing too much of their hand. I think it's more likely they'll reveal a machine that's a step up graphically from what 360/PS3 can do, and with a good online infrastructure. As others here have noted, and as Nintendo themselves have noted, their online services on DS and Wii haven't been up to scratch, and they have let other companies take the lead in those markets. 3DS represents a significant step in the right direction, and in a significantly Nintendo-like way. The best way to get third parties on board now, is to show the world a machine that won't require them to completely shift away from what they've learnt on 360/PS3, while still giving them room to experiment and prosper in the years to come, with a good online infrastructure to boot. Those are the things Nintendo needs to show at E3.

With an eye bleedingly good F Zero trailer, of course. That wouldn't go amiss. I just don't know if they'd show their next big secret so early, their competitors aren't exactly shy of adapting Nintendo's ideas. I think we're looking at something like 3DS--a system with significant graphical upgrades, an eye catching visual feature that will hook users, much improved online and wireless functionality, a mixture of traditional/new control interfaces and what I believe will be long-term soft innovation to get users to use the machine daily, what Iwata is terming Nintendo pushing content onto users through functions such as StreetPass and SpotPass. An evolution of WiiConnect24 is sure to feature on this new machine. But it's all rambling speculation till Nintendo lift the lid...
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Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart6 years ago
Everyone is talking about a more powerful machine with better graphics. But we are talking about Nintendo games here - Mario / Zelda / Sonic - these games even on a HD console are not HD state of the art mo cap FPS type games. You don't buy a Ninetendo console for the HD FPS type gaming experience you get on the Xbox/PS3 for that. Ninetendo's target is still the casual gamer.

The real question is will everyone who bought a Wii buy the HD one. To answer that, you should ask does everyone with a Wii still play it... I think the surprise is on the downside. Wii was a one off phenomenom. Second time round it will be a different story.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Graham Simpson on 15th April 2011 12:39pm

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.6 years ago
Graham, the Wii was their first dive into the casual market with such force on a home console. And if the Wii was a one time phenomenon, as you suggest, then wouldn't it make sense that they go back to pre-Wii console designs and target audiences which would mean it would garner a lot more of the "HD state of the art mo cap FPS type games"? Or are you suggesting that only Nintendo games would sell even on a highly capable console?
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I am glad that Nintendo have decided to jump into the HD era. However is it not a little too late?

With both Sony and MS being 5+ years into their development cycles a Wii HD would have to do alot to even achieve the sales of the basic Wii.

With the 3DS being sold at 220-250 how much would a HD Wii be? If it isn't significantly lower then the competition why buy a platform that probably might use Blu ray and has an inferior Online platform.

As a hardcore fan this is good news but it comes too late in this generation. With high productions costs and a shift to a digital format right around the corner can Nintendo really offer a HD/Current gen console.

Hopefully there will be new functionality that Sony or MS don't have (Vitality Sensor isn't it!) that could be it's selling point. It is clear that this is a direct assault on the Hardcore that have lost their way with Nintendo, is this really the way Nintendo want to go? The Wii is a smash success mainly due to the kids and Mum's that enjoy the user-friendliness of the device, HD, Blu Ray, Unified Networking, On Demand... you have just gone WAY over that demographics head.

Pokemon arguably Nintendo's biggest franchise has launched its Global Link, for players to compare and compete. Having been Online for 3 days there is only just over a million people registered.... doesn't that tell you that the majority of fans aren't as "hardcore" as this new system aims to be.

But hey, this is still all rumours, for all we know it will be DX11 ready and decimate the PS3 for power!
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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University6 years ago
Werner you dog!! Why didn't you tell us Activision had development kits!! :P
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Daniel Growns IT Engineer 6 years ago
"It also reports that the console is significantly more powerful than Microsoft's Xbox 360 or Sony's PlayStation 3."

That was always likely. Those consoles hardware are older than 5 years now.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 6 years ago
Hard to get excited over hardware these days. Nintendo will also have to deliver on the multiplayer experience, the online shopping experience and most of all intellectual properties. I am not sure that 1080p Mario will really be a reason to go bonkers about a new console.
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Russ Greeno Freelance Video Game Reviewer 6 years ago
I think Nintendo rushing a new console right now could see them competing with their own 3DS sales. unless the new console can be used in conjunction with the 3DS in a very meaningful way. Nintendo have had console links with the handheld ever since the Super Gameboy cart for the SNES.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Russ Greeno on 15th April 2011 2:11pm

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Lewis Brown Snr Sourcer/Recruiter, Electronic Arts6 years ago
Werner would have been shot if he had told you they had Dev Kits! ;-)
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Des Gayle Director & Game Producer, Altered Gene Limited6 years ago
Good luck Nintendo, the more avenues for quality content the better.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
What if instead they just release a new colour Wii - maybe gold, to tie in with Skyward Sword's release! ;)
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
Well, here's what's going to happen in one alternate universe (prediction time... HEY KARNAK!):

The obvious Wii price cut will drive sales up as anyone who didn't get one will jump on board (budget conscious families many who still have a working PS2 looking to "trade up" and don't care about platform loyalty). This will knock sales of the console and games up a nice chunk as 3DS sales level off to just around OK per week. A week or two before the launch, some guy named Triforce will line up wherever Nintendo is launching the new system (he's been calling them since the news broke) and be on the news yet again, get to shake Reggie's hand and be famous for another 15 minutes plus.

Meanwhile, first and third-party Nintendo devs get cracking cranking out better-looking games (save for the exception of "family" titles such as Wii2 play Sports, Super-Duper Smash Bros. Mario Party Whatever and Pokemon Double Rainbow Helix, which will look like... well, glossier Wii games). With third-party cross platform games looking as good as (or in some cases better than, should the W2 be the console of choice) they do on the PS3 and 360, the only barrier to some gamers is motion control (although shooters will do fine once people see how intuitively they control).

However, despite screens and movies galore on these new titles, the perception of Nintendo will still lag among "core" gamers with their noses in the air who think Nintendo is "copying" Microsoft and Sony's successes. Nintendo will also get hit by some parents for having too many systems out (But I JUST bought a WII last year!") as Wii game prices drop again (and the console finally hits the $99 sweet spot, driving sales up even further for a short while).

The new Zelda game will in fact, BE an actual Zelda game, starring the princess herself who has to save her own ass AND Link's after he goes missing when trying to save her (Basically, it's a retelling of Gainax's Gotzendiener without the hero dying at the beginning, folks). This game, done in a more "realistic" style will jet sales of the new console among the gal gamers, hardcore Zelda fans who can finally stop calling Link "Zelda" and curmudgeonly crusty game reviewers who won't be yawning at a trade show when miyamoto demos it down the road.

Star Fox, F-Zero, Dinky Kong (it's DK, but shrunk down in a Fantastic Voyage-style platformer with 3DS link support - something that's NEEDED to drive 3DS sales, kids!) and other Sure-Fire Hit Nintendo Franchises will return, but it's the release of Mother 4 with its simple visuals, content from the canned N64 game and tons of new content that really snaps gamers old and new into shops.

Resident Evil 5 will be remade for the Wii, as will the 3DS RE games and "surprise!" Capcom and Sega will pair up for a cross-platform shocker: Blue Stinger: Dino Crisis (or Dino Crisis: Blue Stinger if you flip the reversible cover art) which mashes up both games with two separate (but connected) story lines, many playable characters and a ton of surprises from obscure references (characters from the import Xbox game Dinosaur Hunting appear in one scenario and Dino Crisis 3 gets referenced in the game as a goofy Easter Egg a few times) to a few interesting multiplayer modes to be revealed.

That and Rare will make its first cross platform next-generation game with the return of Battletoads, which from my time machine, will go down as one of the funniest and hardest games ever created. How hard? So hard that you get rewarded/Achieved/Trophied for turning the difficulty down and there are bosses that beat up other bosses and steal your score if you take to long to take them down. Ouch...

But I could be wrong (and will most likely be... speculation always sucks when it comes to new consoles)...
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Brandon Jaquez6 years ago
I have a good feeling that this console will indeed be more powerful or AS powerful as the 360 and PS3. Not that the tech behind those two are dated but it is relatively 'affordable' and Nintendo will surely find a way to get such power on their next console in the most efficient way. Seeing how strong the 3DS is, I can only imagine what Nintendo's next console will sport. Keep the motion controls, I like 'em. But having something like the Classic Controller Pro plus a motion controller with Motion Plus bundled in would be ideal.

I'm more interested what the 'surprise' may be as Iwata has hinted. He really wants to people to be surprised about their next gen console and stating again that their next console needs to be more than an HD upgrade. Couldn't agree more. HD is cute and all but it's pretty old and standard now- so I don't know why people keep raving about it still.

3D is a no-go as stated by Reggie, or at least unlikely. Maybe it will have '3D' circuitry like their Gamecube but it won't be the focus or selling point like their Glassless-free 3DS. I really want to see the next Smash Bros. ^_^

And maybe this time, have it be a launch title or close to just as Gamecube and Melee were.
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José Fabregat Games Programmer 6 years ago
"significantly more powerful" means significantly more expensive to develop games. That scares mes.
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Joe Winkler trained retail salesman, Expert6 years ago
I know there´s not much to add to this comments.
The only thing that scares me is the big amount of new peripheral controllers e.g. they will release. Our storeshelfs are already filled with loads of wii stuff. I know there is still plenty of time till the new console arrives but is it really a good choice to release it "already"?

I think my Xbox and PS3 are enough HD gaming for the next 3 years.
They really need something groundbreaking innovative to get the average ps3 and xbox gamer to buy their new platform.
And as we all know that power isn´t everything and nintendo already showed that with their motion conrolled-pimped gamecube console.
Let´s just see some pre-rendered trailers at E3 and get hypnotised by the new Zelda HD wich will convince every pessimist there is :(

They should have announced it (if they announce it on E3) in early 2012 IF they really release on holiday 2012.
There are a lot of "if"s and that just means: Wait and see..
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Tony Johns6 years ago
I suspect Nintendo to just release some minor details of their new console this year at E3, but wait until next year's E3 to show off the new name, design and even some of the launch games in 2012 considering this is the estimated timeframe of release.

The Wii has been awesome, yet I feel that it it slowly starting to die out in the software department unless if there is some life within the system at this year's E3 with some awesome games like Zelda Skyward Sword release date that I would like to know about.
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Joe Winkler trained retail salesman, Expert6 years ago
The actual problem of the Wii is, that even casual gamers say that there are no new games released on wii.
I think this is one of the things nintendo doesn´t like that much and the fact that big multiplatform titles like Crysis and Battlefield cannot be released on the wii in good quality.
Even the young Wii users will grow older and will demand core games with mature content.
(and there it is again:) IF nintendo announces the new system, the need at least one big "serious" title (shooter etc.) to make the demand for the new console- even if it is against their "family based" nature.

And they might need a good exclusive like Rare (back in the days of N64 and Super Famicom) to make those games.
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Adam Hay Design Engineer, Imagination Technologies6 years ago
It's debatable as to if you can call 'the SNES more powerful than the competition' given it had a 3.5MHz 65816 CPU backed up by a great graphics chip, whereas the megadrive had a reasonable graphics chip and a 8mhz 68000 to control everything.

If you wanted fancy graphics effects the SNES won hands down, and the colours were much better on the SNES, objectively I would say the sound was too, but the CPU let it down once the onscreen object count started to creep up in games.

It's swings and roundabouts really - different games played to the strengths and weaknesses of each console and that will still hold true in the next generation as well hopefully
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I'm not sure if we are supposed to post links, but what the: ??

[link url=

...if this is true (and I don't believe for a second that the controller will have a HD screen!), this will open up a whole new avenue of potential gaming. The Wii II could run and stream multiple games, to multiple controllers at once (i.e. the controllers are still dumb, they have no processing power). The Wii becomes a game serving centre, for lots of people.

If nothing else, this is going to take "multiplayer" to a whole new level - 4 (5?) player Mario Kart, where everyone gets their own screen?
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Marc Williamson Development Director/Producer, Tag Games6 years ago
If you look at the R&D costs on Nintendo balance sheets between the cude and the Wii you can see the amount they spent reducing the power consumption and increasing the clockspeed of the GPU and CPU.

It wouldnt suerprice me that the next Nintendo console uses multipules of these chips, Three to four of each (could these be shrunk onto a single die?) For backwards ccompatiblity they would have to keep the GPU fix function pipline, which can do some very cool effects for nearly fee, but I think they will also add some programmible functions too.

Have you noticed the detail in first party nintendo games when viewed on the Dolphin Emulator. The texture details is really quite high.

These are jsut my personal opinions, i have no inside knowlage of this but It would make sence that Ninty would continue to use these chips that they have invested in so heavily, it was my thought originaly that these would be used in the successor to the DS.
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