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New Wii due by 2011

By John Davison, September 30, 2008


What They Play has heard from multiple sources in the game development and publishing community that Nintendo is currently showing early presentations of its next home console hardware. Apparently set to hit the market “by 2011” the new device is said to be the true “next generation” Nintendo console, and far more than a simple refresh of the current hardware. Unlike previous console transitions from Nintendo, the new system will be presented as a true successor to the Wii, and is being dubbed by those that have seen the presentation as “Wii HD.” There is no indication if this will be its eventual name, but the nature of the transition has been characterized as similar to “the shift from Game Boy to Game Boy Advance,” where familiar, key elements were left intact while the core hardware was made more powerful. It is expected by all those that we have spoken to on the subject that the new device will retain the Wii name in part.

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.


Nintendo has proven it can be extremely successful by leveraging processor technology that is not on the bleeding edge, and be more profitable and more innovative as a result. In a 2006 interview with Business Week, Nintendo visionary Shigeru Miyamoto stated, “The consensus [at Nintendo] was that power isn't everything for a console. Too many powerful consoles can't coexist. It's like having only ferocious dinosaurs. They might fight and hasten their own extinction.” Based on our conversations about “Wii HD” this attitude would seem to still prevail.

But why should you believe this? Everything stated so far could easily have been the result of educated guesswork or speculation. While a Nintendo representative provided the expected response that, “Nintendo does not comment on speculation or rumor,” there is additional evidence, outside this commentary, to suggest that something is going on.
 

In 2003, Nintendo declared that $34 million was spent on R&D. This figure steadily climbed to $103 million in 2006 and the following year bumped dramatically to $370 million.


Based on figures from Nintendo’s annual financial reports, the company is currently spending more than ten times as much on research and development as it was five years ago, and since the Wii was launched in 2006, R&D spending has more than tripled. While this could be attributed to any number of additional projects, the level of spending suggests that a large project is in the works. In 2003, Nintendo declared that $34 million was spent on R&D. This figure steadily climbed to $103 million in 2006 (the year that the Wii launched) and the following year bumped dramatically to $370 million. When asked to explain the escalated spending, Nintendo representatives were unable to provide comment.

The current Wii hardware is based upon processors and graphics technology supplied by IBM and AMD. These two companies have a joint development agreement together, which is described by AMD as being focused “on delivering a range of integrated platforms to serve key markets, including … gaming and media computing.”


The joint development agreement between IBM and AMD expires on December 31, 2011 but “may be extended further by the mutual agreement of the parties.” This suggests that Nintendo will be leveraging research and development from the partnership in time to ensure that it’s new hardware will be compatible with the Wii’s current “Hollywood” and “Broadway” processors. As Microsoft learned in the transition from Xbox to Xbox 360, switching hardware vendors can make running older games on a new system a much more difficult proposition.

The dramatic bump in spending at Nintendo may also be reflective of Nintendo’s work on a rumored new DS, said to feature a camera and music player. Iterating on the DS in 2009 would certainly shake up the market, though given the incredible monthly sales of the device it hardly needs reinvigorating for the time being. When the Nintendo DS was launched in 2004, the worldwide installed base of the Game Boy Advance was 53 million (on top of the Game Boy’s incredibly huge 118 million.) So far, 80 million Nintendo DS units have been sold worldwide, and demand shows no sign of slowing.

It is unlikely that any official acknowledgement of Nintendo’s new hardware will come until at least 2009, however company president Satoru Iwata will be delivering his annual fall presentation this Wednesday.

 

UPDATE: Nintendo has now announced it's brand new NIntendo DSi, which features a 3 megapixel camera. We have more news about it here.


Tags: new wii, wii hd, wii 2, next wii, nintendo, ds, new ds

Categories: Nintendo Wii Rumor

Comments on: New Wii due by 2011
By turboskerv - June 12, 2009

I hope this console, whenever it comes out, caters a little more to the hardcore crowd. I fear if it doesn't, Nintendo may have lost me after the next console...

Listen to my podcast on iTunes! Solitary Gamer.

By sonicking2004 - April 21, 2009

Actually, in response to markbaland's post, there has been a Wii system update that does just that.... sort of. The newest update allows you to use both SD & HCSD cards for up to 32 GB (just who needs that kind of memory for gaming?), as well as the ability to run the games directly from the SD card. The only catches are that a) you still need to have free on your Wii's drive the same amount of space as the game you're gonna run, and b) the game save file has to be saved to the Wii (consequently, if you're low on space, a smart feature will offer to free up room by moving games or channels to the SD card.) In addition, games & channels purchased from the Wii Shop Channel can be saved directly onto the SD card. Finally, a 'move' function has been added to the Wii's memory management for channel and save data, allowing you to move (i.e. copy & delete) said data from your SD card to your Wii & vice-versa.

By markbaland - January 9, 2009

It seems to me that with a Wii System Update, Nintendo could enable storage and playback of Virtual Console and WiiWare games from a USB connected flash drive or hard drive. That would solve the crisis that plagues myself and many other Wii owners: there are 4 screens for channels, but with just the standard, downloadable channels, plus 7 WiiWare games, I have no blocks left on my Wii system memory. I had to move all of my Virtual Console games to my SD card, which they will not play from (no menu to access them) just to try some WiiWare games I wanted. Why not make an "SD Card Channel" for now, so users can utilize the software they have purchased, and then, ASAP, make channels for thumb drives and hard drives? I have read that in the Nintendo World store in NYC, there is a standard (looking) Wii with an external hard drive attached to it, where shoppers can browse through MANY Wii disc games by pictures of the boxes (like cover flow in iTunes) that have been copied to the external storage device. Apart from obvious arguments against making playing pirated material easier to access, what other problem does Nintendo have with enabling this technology for the rest of us, I wonder...

By gfertt - December 14, 2008

blargg said: "I wonder how much rock Rockman00X has been smoking to say this: "Xbox won't last to 2011. Even at a price cheaper than the Wii, it's watered down and sales still haven't picked enough to give Nintendo or Sony a run for it's money." --Nearly DOUBLE the number of 360s have been sold in comparison to the number of PS3s sold. According to last estimate, Nintendo has sold about 3 million more Wii's than Microsoft/360. The 360 continues to consistently outsell the PS3. With Squaresoft also releasing the next Final Fantasy installment on both systems, Sony has lost this round. 360 and PS3 are both outstanding consoles with better graphics, better sound, and better depth than Nintendo's Wii. Nintendo had an outstanding business plan by pursuing casual gamers, but outside of the latest Zelda installment, I have seen minimal content that would entice me to purchase a Wii. My nephews have a Wii and it's enjoyable, but so are board games.

More from Rockman: "Not to mention the 360 doesn't have true HD games. The media is still double to quad layer DVD and is upscaled via the hard ware from 480p or two 540p on screen frames. Had MS made true on it's support of HD DVD, the 360 would've had true 1080p HD graphics and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and used HD DVD format discs and optical drive. MS made a huge blunder as it's gambling on digital downloads as the wave of the future. Not realizing that most people like owning a tangible object that is not prone to being lost if a HDD fails or crashes. "

--Keep smokin'. The 360 was released before HD-DVD technology was completed. It would have been a terrible decision to delay the console just for that reason. Since 360 graphics keep pace with PS3 graphics (continually re-iterated by game reviews), your argument has little merit. "True HD" has nothing to do with media, and I think your argument might be confusing some people. HD content takes up more storage space, so you can obviously fit more HD content on a Blu-ray or HD-DVD disc, but saying that you can't do "true HD" on DVD is false. Find me a 1st or 2nd tier 360 game that is being upscaled from 480p. Microsoft made a huge blunder by "gambling" on digital downloads? LOL! Have you heard of iTunes? MP3s? Bit torrent? Digital downloads are BY FAR outpacing CD sales. Don't get me wrong - I love discs so I can show them off in my living room. But digital downloads are not a gamble. And the 360 DOES support Dolby Digital 5.1. I have to disagree with the statement that you've done your research. "

sadly i've gotta say your the most retarded person on the WWW.

By GamerD - December 11, 2008

Well even though I'm enjoying my Wii now. I just wish it had more room in it like the other consoles. I don't mind if the games are in HD or not. Just like I tell some of my friends that you don't need violence in a fighting game to make it good. But if you want more games on your system. It'll be a wise idea for Nintendo to make the new Wii (or whatever name it'll be called) have more storage space.

I do enjoy playing some of the older games they have now. Although there are still many I would like to play on it.

By charles20 - December 8, 2008

ok so there will a new and improve wii, so why spend for a console you never got yet. it's like the nes famicom or the nnes or the snes famicom or the snn or the famicom n64 or the nn64 or the famicom game cube i queston or the nngc i question again or gb play it loud or gba micro or gbasp or gbasp bright or gbc clear or gba nes series, basicly it's all about new and improve macines i have the orinal nes the new and improve snes as snn the segha genesis the gbasp twice the ndsl twice the gam,e cube with missing accessory as well ndsl missing accessory like wifi. there for i might as well do like i did with original nds and not to buy it but to buy ndsl now on waiting for ndsi and nwhd.

i have one question, you know how machine 1 3 4 and 6 don't have a gameboy player or a super gameboy where machine 2 and 5 does so therefor machine 7 should have it

machine #_:

1 a) nes famicom b) nes c)nnes

2 a) snes b) snes famicom c) snn

3 a) n64 b) nn64 c) famicom n64

4 a) virtual boy b) virtual console c)turbo graffix16

5 a) gb b) gb play-it-out-loud c) gb colour d) gb mini e) gb advance f)gb advance sp g) gb advance sp bright h)gb micro

6 a)nds b) ndsl c) ndsi

7 a)wii b)wiiware c) wii hd

etc...

now then will i be able to play the every nintendo kinds of console games except for nds ndsl ndsi and maybe wiiware onto the wii hd meaning play some portable gaming onto the wiihd

by that time theyll have brainage 3 and tetris ds 2 as well tetris and dr mario

what do you think will it happend? as for having those portables available on the wiihd

By barrgg - November 26, 2008

I wonder how much rock Rockman00X has been smoking to say this: "Xbox won't last to 2011. Even at a price cheaper than the Wii, it's watered down and sales still haven't picked enough to give Nintendo or Sony a run for it's money." --Nearly DOUBLE the number of 360s have been sold in comparison to the number of PS3s sold. According to last estimate, Nintendo has sold about 3 million more Wii's than Microsoft/360. The 360 continues to consistently outsell the PS3. With Squaresoft also releasing the next Final Fantasy installment on both systems, Sony has lost this round. 360 and PS3 are both outstanding consoles with better graphics, better sound, and better depth than Nintendo's Wii. Nintendo had an outstanding business plan by pursuing casual gamers, but outside of the latest Zelda installment, I have seen minimal content that would entice me to purchase a Wii. My nephews have a Wii and it's enjoyable, but so are board games.

More from Rockman: "Not to mention the 360 doesn't have true HD games. The media is still double to quad layer DVD and is upscaled via the hard ware from 480p or two 540p on screen frames. Had MS made true on it's support of HD DVD, the 360 would've had true 1080p HD graphics and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and used HD DVD format discs and optical drive. MS made a huge blunder as it's gambling on digital downloads as the wave of the future. Not realizing that most people like owning a tangible object that is not prone to being lost if a HDD fails or crashes. "

--Keep smokin'. The 360 was released before HD-DVD technology was completed. It would have been a terrible decision to delay the console just for that reason. Since 360 graphics keep pace with PS3 graphics (continually re-iterated by game reviews), your argument has little merit. "True HD" has nothing to do with media, and I think your argument might be confusing some people. HD content takes up more storage space, so you can obviously fit more HD content on a Blu-ray or HD-DVD disc, but saying that you can't do "true HD" on DVD is false. Find me a 1st or 2nd tier 360 game that is being upscaled from 480p. Microsoft made a huge blunder by "gambling" on digital downloads? LOL! Have you heard of iTunes? MP3s? Bit torrent? Digital downloads are BY FAR outpacing CD sales. Don't get me wrong - I love discs so I can show them off in my living room. But digital downloads are not a gamble. And the 360 DOES support Dolby Digital 5.1. I have to disagree with the statement that you've done your research.

By W-I-Igammer19 - November 25, 2008

I am hopeing that if they actually do come out with the new wii that the games can be played on bothe systems because its teh same with playstation i think that all systems sould be able to play the games made by thier companies. if that doesnt happen peopel will be very pissed off bcause they just bought it and npw you have to buy anetehr system to play the newer games i dunn thinks thats cool, also if they come out with it there should be different coulous to chose from because well black is awesome but not evey one likes black they sould come in a range of coulours they should have done that with the original wii because white is boring and the sticky skins are 2 much money for what they are and all but it would be so sweet if they cam out with like a plastic case for the original wii. lower the prices on soem of the stuff like a cuple of teh games and the controllers because the first day i got my wii the bill came to $408.89 and thats just for the system another set of controllers and one game that just b.s.

By gfertt - November 22, 2008

I've been following this stuff and Nintendo has trying and trying and trying to get actual 3-D and not a flat screen. So put about 2-3 year into that. They're not rushing like Microsoft, they know how to do business.

By davidwu - October 12, 2008

John Davison, how many DS's is Nintendo expected to sell in the end of its run? What are the projected numbers? and do you think it's going to out sell both the Gameboy and Gameboy advanced combined?

By KinceP - October 9, 2008

I think that Wii moving up to HD would be great and would get more people into buying Nintendo's products. BUT, the cost of doing the same mistake as the Xbox360 as not being compatible with previous games was an upset to me and my friends. If Wii can keep old games and get great new ones then to me that is perfect, the HD and extra control systems/add-ons/skins/etc. is just a HUGE bonus. As for the DS making it a camera, music player, and game player, same question: Will it be able to play older games? I'm wondering how many people agree with me on this and how many disagree, this is MY opinion and I'm going to keep it.

By 20000leagues - October 7, 2008

I don't want to be resold the same product I already own but with a new face (Wii = eight year old GameCube)-- repackaging the 360 with waggle rather than creating a new console will kill the market; this kind of thing breeds cynicism and disheartens the people who have been consistent consumers of games for twenty years. Gamers want new hardware every five years, gamers expect improved visuals, gamers love this aspect of the industry (and I'm sure the games media does as well as it means lots of traffic), and if there is not a real next gen console come 2010 then I must ask what is the purpose of the console industry anymore?

By 20000leagues - October 7, 2008

This sounds underwhelming-- by 2011 this system should be more focused on lighting and particle (grass/plant) effects than just getting Wii running in 720p. Come 2011, Microsoft will have its next console out for sure (I'm betting by fall 2010) and it will no doubt make PS3 and 360 graphics look like small fries and won't wait on Nintendo to move motion control forward.

Further, Nintendo should be using head tracking out of the box with their next console-- it's a better use of motion control than a pointer.

By alphonso34 - October 5, 2008

It's obvious that this is the best way to play the game. what better way to play but to actually and literally play the game. I mean when I play madden on the other console I don't feel the same without actually throwing the pass. when I box on the other console its not as cool as actually throwing my punches and actually dodge punches thrown at me. The only thing the other games got right now is enhanced graphics. So maybe you might have to make two wii 2s, one with the graphics which will be very expensive and one without so it can still be cost efficient as the wii. THE OTHER GAME CONSOLE'S WILL HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO FOLLOW THE LEADER AND NINTENDO WILL ALREADY BE IN FRONT AS THE PIONEER THEY ALWAYS BEEN SINCE THEY CREATED NINTENDO. Please don't worry and keep doing what you do. Personally people don't even need anymore secrets. just let us wait and buy. Other game consoles need to follow or get out the game.

By Rockman00X - October 4, 2008

The fact that even without HD graphics, Nintendo's games are still awesome. Throwing in HD would be the icing on the cake. Nintendo already employs a 2 step QC testing process which won't ever go away. Granted it might take a little longer to go gold, we all know Nintendo won't disappoint this time around. All it needs is the HD DVD media to make a Zelda game insanely huge with fantasy inducing graphics to blow every other game out of the water. Not to mention what it would do for Mario, Kirby, DK, even Mega Man(I know he's Capcom, but you know what I mean).

By LordSetta - October 3, 2008

The funny thing is the fact that Nintendo doesn't need to upgrade graphics.Graphics don't make a game good,gamplay makes a game good. And Nintendo has always been able to push the envelope to make the gaming experiance better. Even now Nintendo is still selling more consoles than Microsoft and sony..You can find the 360 and the PS3 just about everywhere you go but you still may have to hunt down a Wii When I boughtmine a couple months ago I had to shop around and I bought the last one they had. So you guys can complain about how lacluster the graphic capabilitie sof the Wii are but it is all in the numbers and the numbers are saying Wii is the better of the consoles out there.

By Rockman00X - October 3, 2008

Dolby surround is different than Dolby Digital. The tech aspects of each sound mix shows it. Dolby Surround contains up to 4 channels of discrete audio while Dolby Digital contains up to 5.1 channels of discrete audio. Check Dolby's website for specs.

And yes, there is such a thing as a quad layer DVD, it was just never used due to the costs of production of the disc and the willingness of a company to incorporate it. It's on Wikipedia or other sources for you to research. I know PS3 has a few full 1080p games, but most, if not all, Xbox games are upscaled via the hardware from lower resolutions, because of the DVD media used. Think of a DVD being upscaled by an HD DVD or Blu Ray player; the output may show 1080p on the screen (usually by pressing the Display button on your TV remote) but the originating content isn't HD.

I have done the research to back up my claims.

By phatfish - October 3, 2008

Well if you want to get geeky on the HD stuff, many games on the PS3 and the X360 are upscaled from rendered resolutions even bellow 720p, never mind full 1080p.

Halo 3 on the 360 and Haze on the PS3 being the ones that spring to mind (Halo 3 because it was such a big game and wasn't 720p, and Haze because it was almost rendered at an SD resolution, something very close to 480p).

Now obviously this is a design decision to some extent, so the fact its being upscaled is not the same as a TV upscaling a 480p Wii game. But the point im making is that even the current HD consoles don't have the horse power for most developers to do real HD. You need a PC with a 9800GT and a dual core CPU to do stuff like COD4 and GRID at full 1080p+ resolution

The generation that Nintendo are targeting for the Wii 2 will have that extra horse power to make full 1080p games possible for every game, and by then there will be loads more HDTV's out there.

Nintendo really nailed this generation, and are going to have to screw up really big to throw that all away for the Wii 2. With the harcore on board because of the better graphics Wii 2 is positioned to be bigger than the Wii, imo :)

By Rockman00X - October 3, 2008

Xbox won't last to 2011. Even at a price cheaper than the Wii, it's watered down and sales still haven't picked enough to give Nintendo or Sony a run for it's money. Not to mention the 360 doesn't have true HD games. The media is still double to quad layer DVD and is upscaled via the hard ware from 480p or two 540p on screen frames. Had MS made true on it's support of HD DVD, the 360 would've had true 1080p HD graphics and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and used HD DVD format discs and optical drive. MS made a huge blunder as it's gambling on digital downloads as the wave of the future. Not realizing that most people like owning a tangible object that is not prone to being lost if a HDD fails or crashes.

By Rockman00X - October 3, 2008

I think this can be very plausible. If Nintendo purchases the HD DVD IP, this can be the edge Nintendo needs to bring true HD graphics, and not just a video upscaler. Not to mention this can bring back the HD DVD format and knock Sony off it's format monopoly. If you look on ebay, Amazon and even Fry's Electronics, HD DVDs are still selling, not to mention the the awesome imports from Europe. Nintendo also has the talent of introducing new consoles at prices just right for time. I've been a fan and loyal to Nintendo since it came out. I also still own an HD DVD player. To see these two pair up would kick major butt and knock Sony off it's blu high horse. Not to mention a true Zelda HD game would be visual eye candy and the greatest game to be made.

By Ward_Cleaver - October 2, 2008

They really know that you can build a great brand on quality, not technology. I remember many many years ago when Nintendo came out with the original Game Boy. Black and white, nothing too complicated. At the same time, Atari came out with the Lynx handheld. a COLOR system. powerful for its time. And then sega with the Game Gear, same dealio. Twenty years later, who in the wide world has ever heard of either of the two, but Nintendo is going strong with quality. god bless 'em. The Wii 2 (of the Wii Wii, LOL) wont be on the hardcore gamer radar, but who cares? You can bet there will be great games for it and that's all that matters.

By anthonettex - October 2, 2008

they'll just throw in a HD cable and be done with it.

With the announcement of an updated DS lite featuring larger screens (though same resolution) and camera, I can see that Nintendo clearly 'innovates' in small minute increments.

Just build a console from ground up and make it appealing towards all ages not just for the kids and children at heart.

By mark2741 - October 1, 2008

Brad, you've completely missed the point of the Wii. It's not for "gamers" - it's for people looking for 45 minutes or so of an enjoyable time, particularly with their friends/families. "Gamers" are playing all hours of the day and have no kids (I won't go as far as saying they have no life : ).

The Wii is a different animal, and designed FOR different animals, vs the Xbox360.

I'm 37 years old and a casual 'gamer'. I will gladly walk into a store and peruse the Wii titles, and happily discuss/show the Wii to relatives and friends who stop by my house. Now, at my age, if I had an Xbox360 or Playstation3, I would keep it quiet as my friends/relatives would care less and probably tell me I'm an idiot for wasting so much money on those consoles.

Things would be different if I was 19, I'm sure. Bu the majority of people aren't so young.

By John85 - September 30, 2008

Nintendo's Wii is missing HD which IS an essential part of all the next-gen game consoles. 2011 is quite along time from now. The next Nintendo console is most definitly going to have HD because by 2011, HDTVs will have gotton cheaper and would be everywhere. I say: possible

By Jeff - September 30, 2008

If Nintendo wants all the same games that Microsoft and Sony get then they really have no other choice. Smart move on their part.

By kewlrats - September 30, 2008

Joking.

Actually, this fits in with the current generation cycle of 5-6 years per console lifespan. The 360+ & WiiHD will ship the same 2010 season, and I wouldn't discount that a PS4 ships soon afterwards (2011/12) with a similar chipset to today's PS3. The next next gen will provide the biggest leap for Nintendo's hardware, as the other big boys will be more iterative, building on what currently exists.

And, with the Wii storage solution arguably set to be announced in the next few hours (hopefully with the colored Wii systems and controllers) at the Nintendo press event, this is a great look at Nintendo possibly setting themselves up for their future console development options.

Oh, and I wouldn't doubt that Blu Ray ISN'T a part of the WiiHD, but video download (or a tie-in with Com(unism)cast for video streaming) could be an option. Especially with the love that Nintendo got recently from the Comcast new-subscriber tie-in.

By acanaday - September 30, 2008

Its a promising question. Now that they have won over many casual consumers, they may have more room to be slightly more technologically aggressive. I am putting my bets on the console being able to moderately outperform the current-gen 360. Although it would be a bummer, I wouldn't be surprised if the cost was upped to $300 as well. Hopefully all that R&D is going to good use and we can see a sleek little powerhouse in the future.

By Lawman - September 30, 2008

...although 2011 seems further out than I had hoped.

I'm waiting on different controller/console colors (remember the original promo pamphlets?), better controllers (WiiMotion Plus is now a reality) and better storage.

In the meantime, I'm trying to get the software on the cheap so I don't completely miss it. Man, 3 more years.

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