Sources: Nintendo privately showing new hardware, 'Wii HD'

HD visuals, increased digitally distributed content and backwards compatibility.

Veteran video game journalist John Davidson is reporting Wednesday that Nintendo is secretly showing select developers a radically new "Wii HD" design behind closed doors.

The "complete refresh" would arrive in 2011, sources said, and would be a true "next generation" Nintendo console. Davidson reports that the new system would be a true successor to the Wii, which launched to critical claim and continued success in November, 2006. Those developers who have seen the system in action have unofficially given it the "Wii HD" moniker, not Nintendo.

The anonymous sources have also described the transition from Wii to Wii HD as "similar to the shift from Game Boy to Game Boy Advance," in that key elements remain intact while the core hardware is made more powerful. Regardless of the final form, sources stated the "Wii" name will remain, in part.

And while sources were hesitant to spill the beans on all features they witnessed the new machine produce, they could confirm HD visuals, increased digitally distributed content, and backwards compatibility. A local storage medium was hinted at, but remains unconfirmed. 2011, coincidentally or not, is also about the time when many analysts predict downloadable movies, games and music will bury the need for physical media formats like Blu-ray.

Nintendo will also continue to focus on how people interact with the system, and not the power or processing under the hood.

Supporting Davidson's sources is evidence that goes beyond the typical "we do not comment on rumors" shtick that Nintendo normally fires off for such stories. And, as it so often is, all you have to do is follow the money.

As Nintendo has grown over the past two years, so too has its research and development budget. Since the launch of the Wii, Nintendo's spending on R&D has ballooned to more than ten times what it was five years ago, during the dying days of the GameCube. In the past three years spending has tripled.

The numbers are pretty telling: In 2003, Nintendo spent US$34 million on R&D. In 2006 the number climbed to $103 million. The following year it rose dramatically to $370 million.

"While this could be attributed to any number of additional projects, the level of spending suggests that a large project is in the works," Davidson said.

No kidding. A new Wii console--and we mean completely new, given the bump in research and development--is as sure a thing as giant enemy crabs appearing at a Sony press event.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jack Loftus

GamePro
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?