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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jack Loftus

GamePro
Show Comments

Brand Post

Imou: At home with security

Modern living is all about functionality and security for everybody from the very young to the very old. With Imou anybody can enjoy smart life – the solution is at their fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?