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.
http://www.whattheyplay.com/blog/2008/0 ... e-by-2011/