Scant yet interesting details of a possible true next-gen Wii successor begin to emerge.
With Wii sales still going strong, and no sign of letting up anytime soon, it's probably far too soon to get overly stoked about the system's next iteration. The Wii has plenty of life in it yet. However, What They Play reports this week Nintendo has already begun showing preliminary presentations of its next console hardware to succeed the Wii. The report, written by industry vet and former EGM editor-in-chief John Davison, is based on "multiple sources in the game development and publishing community" that are not identified in the story. It's certainly plausible, even if unconfirmed.
The new console, reportedly dubbed the "Wii HD" by those who viewed the presentation, is expected to go to market by 2011 and will be more than a slightly retooled version of the existing Wii system, according to Davison. Some of the new console's general features indicated by the sources include high definition visuals, increased support for backwards compatibility and digital distribution, some form of expanded data storage, and continued emphasis of unique controls. These all seem like nothing out of the ordinary, but if and when this pans out, it's highly probable the final design will have enough new features to entice consumers to make the plunge for another Nintendo system.
Nintendo declined to comment, yet Davison points at a major increase in the company's research and development budget as proof something major is indeed in the works. Nintendo's R&D spending has more than tripled since the Wii launched in 2006, he notes, and it's more than ten times greater than R&D development five years ago. Don't hold your breath waiting for a solid announcement from Nintendo anytime soon, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on moving forward into 2009.