WhatTheyPlay.com is reporting that we might see a new next-gen Nintendo console by 2011 and that it might be named Wii HD. Better get in line now so you can get your hands on one by 2014. Try to at least get a raincheck for Wii Fit HD, too.
Apparently Nintendo’s been showing some presentations to developers and publishers and the consensus is that the shift between the current Wii and the Wii HD will be similar to the differences between the Game Boy to the Game Boy Advance.
While our sources are reluctant to be too specific about “Wii HD,” they have been able to divulge some (albeit predictable) generalizations. High definition visuals are assured, as is a greater emphasis on digitally distributed and backwardly compatible content, indicating that the new system will feature some form of local storage medium such as a hard drive or large flash memory solution. It has also been indicated that Nintendo’s emphasis is again on what the consumer will hold in their hands and interact with, rather than the “console” itself.
Couple things here. I can almost guarantee that if this thing hits in 2011, it won’t be called “Wii HD” – the whole “HD” naming scheme will be well played out by then, if it isn’t already. It’d be like if Nintendo called the current Wii “Wii Xtreme” and made it look like a pair of Zubaz.
While most (if not all) of this info can’t be confirmed, it’s interesting to note that Nintendo’s R&D spending has gone from $34 million in 2003 to a whopping $370 million last year. And 2011 would be right around the time that we could expect to see next generation consoles – maybe earlier than that, even.
Nintendo has to offer more than just HD graphics and a hard drive, though, so these rumors are likely just the tip of the iceberg.