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Friday, 15 April 2011 14:16

Do you really want a Wii HD?

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Internet rumours are starting to take form that Nintendo is poised to announce a successor console to the fabulously popular Wii.  Supposedly the reveal will come at this year's E3 show in June.  The Wii HD, or Wii 2 (or WiiWii) or whatever the new console will be named, the rumours have Nintendo 'doing this one right.'  Does Nintendo really need to take on Microsoft and Sony at the tech level?


Even the folks behind E3 (The Electronic Entertainment Expo) show think Nintendo will make a Wii successor console announcement at their show, putting the rumour out on the E3 Facebook page recently.

Then there is the upcoming release schedule for Wii, one of the sparsest on record, particularly first party titles from Nintendo.

Another rumour pointing an imminent announcement includes CVG's report that Nintendo intend to cut the price of the Wii by 25 per cent.  Then there are the 'sources close to Nintendo' reports starting to filter in.

Gameinformer is all over the new Wii with statements such as: 'We have confirmed with multiple sources that this new home system is capable of running games at HD resolutions. There are conflicting reports, however, as to whether its graphics will be comparable to those on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 - meaning it could surpass or fall short of those systems:'

And: '''Nintendo is doing this one right," said an anonymous source. "[It's] not a gimmick like the Wii."'

Over at IGN the website also reports on the Gameinformer article as well as adding: 'Additional sources tell IGN that Nintendo will release a pre-announcement this month with a full reveal expected at E3 and that the console will be backwards compatible with current Wii software.'

IGN and Gameinformer speculate that Nintendo is aiming for a late 2012 launch of the new console.

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Chances are then that even if the above reports have substance, at Junes E3 show Nintendo will continue to focus on the 3DS as its fresh hardware release.

Does interactive entertainment need a third powerful gaming machine however?  Nintendo has made a sales killing by not following the competition into a technological cold war. 

It is certainly true that game publishers would love to bring their content across as many platforms as possible, and certainly with big-budget high-tech games such as Call Of Duty amongst many others, there was always compromises made to the version that hits Nintendo's little white box.

Then there are exclusive titles that garner comments such as 'It looks fantastic, for a Wii game'.  Certainly when compared to some of the graphically wizardry of titles released for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, the Wii version or games of similar ilk come off looking shabby to say the least.

But that is not what Wii gaming is all about.  Bringing out a motion control mechanism and a series of games with the inclusion of Mii characters presented in bright accessible format turned out to be a success story.  Nintendo sold a ship-load of consoles to people that saw what Microsoft and Sony were doing and had no interest in video-gaming what so ever.

Why change the formula?  Well the truth is, more folks are getting their hands on HD TV's and even more folks are finding the Wii to be, yes a bunch of fun, but also not quite as tech-citing as some of the work being done on Xbox 360 or PS3.  Many that bought a Wii on the back of Wii Sports, are now looking beyond the joys of Mario Galaxy 2 to something more mature, challenging or, dare I say, modern in its approach to interactive entertainment.

So yes, we are ready for a Wii HD, so long as it is backwards compatible to our favourite Mii laden Wii 1 titles and also garnished with plenty of Nintendo quirkiness to set it aside from the other players in the market.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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