State of the Nintendo Wii 2 Rumors - What is suggested and my practical predictions

Bill Loguidice's picture

As mentioned a few days back, rumors about a pending Nintendo Wii successor have been flying fast and furious, led no doubt by the dramatic lack of new game releases and overall declining sales for the worldwide console market leader. The first round of Nintendo Wii price cuts has already taken place, going from $199.99 to $169.99 at many major retailers. More cuts, no doubt, will be on the way. So, what is the present state of the rumor mill? Right now, here's what the most ambitious of the rumors are suggesting:

  • An HD console with slightly more power than either the Xbox 360 or PS3.
  • A controller with a 6" HD touch screen and camera that is capable of streaming all content from the console (in case your TV is occupied) and can also act as a secondary display for things like maps, inventory, and anything else that you'd normally have to pause a game to access.
  • The controller will feature dual analog sticks and a full complement of buttons.
  • A Blu-Ray drive.
  • A robust online service similar to Xbox Live.
  • Full backwards compatibilty with both the Wii and GameCube.
  • A renewed focus on the type of core games that are presently found on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, making cross-platform ports practical.
  • An additional, unknown gimmick/hook similar to the impact the Wii's motion controllers had when that launched.

All this for an "any day now" or E3 announcement, and a Japanese launch in mid-2012, with the rest of the world to follow by late 2012.

With the above pie-in-the-sky rumors noted, here is what I believe would be more like reality if any of that is to be practical, meaning hitting a price point between $249.99 and $399.99, and Nintendo making a nice profit (though I'm suspecting $349.99 will be the actual target):

  • An HD console with slightly more power than either the Xbox 360 or PS3.
  • A controller with a 6" touch screen and camera that is capable of streaming all content from the console (in case your TV is occuppied) and can also act as a secondary display for things like maps, inventory, and anything else that you'd normally have to pause a game to access. Note how I didn't say HD touch screen. I believe it will be similar to how the iPhone 4's screen is just really, really beautiful (reitna display), but not what we'd consider a traditional HD resolution. The "HD" part will simply be marketing speak for a really nice looking screen, like "4G" on cell phones is really just marketing speak for "faster than 3G" rather than descriptive of true 4G service.
  • The controller will feature dual analog sticks and a full complement of buttons.
  • A DVD drive. A Blu-Ray drive would add additional unecessary cost and would really only be a benefit if Nintendo embraced movie playback, which they've never done in the past.
  • An online service somewhere between Sony's offering for the PS3 and Xbox Live, sort of like a souped up version of what is hinted at at present on the 3DS.
  • Full backwards compatibility with the Wii (it will no longer be necessary to be GameCube compatible, as that could be part of the new Virtual Console service; it COULD be GameCube compatible, however, assuming it doesn't present any additional problems or represent unecessary costs, so I'm not really sure on this one since in theory the new controller layout would mitigate needing legacy GameCube controller ports).
  • A renewed focus on the type of core games that are presently found on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, making cross-platform ports practical. This is a given--Nintendo has mastered the production and sale of evergreen family-style titles, now they just need to seal the deal by catering to fussy core gamers as well.
  • No additional gimmick/hook. This is for practical reasons, because if you have such a sophisticated, costly controller, you need to make sacrifices elsewhere. I find it unlikely they could have such an advanced controller and on top of that include another groundbreaking feature. With that said, I wouldn't consider that type of controller groundbreaking, but it would at least be interesting. The ability to stream to the controller would be pretty much useless in my opinion, outside of the aforementioned ability to display info you'd normally have to pause the console to access or clutter up the main screen with.
  • Storage is not really addressed in any of the rumors. I can see it going one of several ways. First, is include an 8GB - 32GB high speed SD card. Another is to include a 128GB SSD drive. While the former is practical now in volume, the latter will be practical in volume by the time of the system's intended mid-2012 release. A smaller capacity SD card may be a viable option assuming more focus is put on streaming, a la what Netflix or OnLive do, rather than focus on onboard storage. This all depends upon how much Nintendo is willing to gamble on the general availability of high speed Internet.

So, what do you guys think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on both the rumors floating around and my own take on what form the system would have to take given the current scuttlebutt.

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Bill Loguidice
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Latest Wii 2 rumors

8GB onboard storage (too low, unless there's going to be some type of online storage); 25GB discs (about on par with BluRay, though NOT BluRay as I expected); and a possibility of only 1080i versus 1080p (all I can say for that if true--holy crap, that's lame): http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/05/report-new-nintendo-system-ha... and http://kotaku.com/#!5797890/nintendos-next-console-will-enter-the-hd-era-but-not-the-hard+drive-era

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clok1966
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interesting
Bill Loguidice wrote:

8GB onboard storage (too low, unless there's going to be some type of online storage); 25GB discs (about on par with BluRay, though NOT BluRay as I expected); and a possibility of only 1080i versus 1080p (all I can say for that if true--holy crap, that's lame): http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2011/05/report-new-nintendo-system-ha... and http://kotaku.com/#!5797890/nintendos-next-console-will-enter-the-hd-era-but-not-the-hard+drive-era

Well once again nintendo cant figure out that optical storage thing. Blasted for Hanging onto Carts to long, Blasted for the Small DVD format that cant hold as much.. now, not joining the rest of the world on the current standard. I do understand its a Pirate thing, make it some Odd ball non standard format and you will slow um down (not to make small of the fact they will be the only factory that can produce the games for 3rd party... no money in that, no none at all! :) ) the Upside is 25 gigs (Bill, its half the size of Blue ray, that not even close to On par?) should be enough for 99% of all games so its not to big a stirke against them. I spose much Like MS its to much crow to eat using a competitors format. I am bit suprised MS hasnt made a BluRay addon.. its the one (small I will admit) thing Sony can really bring to the table that MS cant.. Take that one away..... even if its an addon. I think it would benafit nintendo too... Of course there is a price consideration.. I Know I mentiond BR drives in bulk are damn cheap nowdays.. (not as cheap as DVD, but I suspect as cheap as whatever N is going with) I guess the speed issue come into play... cheap at 2X... but not at 4X... and PS3 is still dealing with that slow load issue with the 2X drive. And N didnt put enough storage on to load a game to it.

And the no storage thing.. Really looks like a HUGE strike against them to me.. MS and SONY are pushing digital downloads (as is pretty much everybody else)... they seem to have missed a golden chance here. As I see it (probebly wrong) its teh future. I guess manufacturing Discs for everybody was to big a cash cow to sacrafice two console generations in a row for them.

it will really get down to the games. I wonder if they can pull off the GeeWhiz factor 2 times in a row with poor game support.The Wii had some great games, but if you compare to the 360 or PS3... its game starved (good games i mean).

i see one of the Korean sites has some stuff on the next MS box too (if babel fish translated correctly)... sorry link is at home. I spose MS and Sony will leak some counter info real soon. just to take a little luster off N's stuff.

Bill Loguidice
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Well, technically it IS

Well, technically it IS equivalent to BluRay, albeit single layer BluRay. Obviously, it's no double layer or XL BluRay, but as you say, if they can lick the speed issue, I would think 25GB should do just fine. I'd definitely take speed over more space.

I agree the storage thing would be a major strike if true, unless they do some clever type of streaming thing, a la OnLive or Netflix, which is super unlikely. Same thing for the lack of 1080p. I simply CAN'T believe that would be true, but you can't put something like that past Nintendo.

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clok1966
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My guess its some form of

My guess its some form of the defunct HD format or that newer DVD tech that nobody uses to increase the size limit on DVD. Nintendo has long liked to control the manufacturing, and the oddball (as I mentioned) format helps stop pirating (the easy way). And you are pretty much right, most Bluray games on the PS3 could fit on a DVD, let alone one layer of a BluRay. I doubt the size limit will...errr ever be a limit at all. it does bring up something interesting... where will MS go with its next gen console. I cant see optical going away, bandwidth to download 10gigs or more is there, but its not instant like optical so I think it will stick around a generation or two still. Will they bite the bullet and use BluRay? or is there something in the pipe we dont know about?

Nintendo might just be in the right postion this time. nomral console life spans have been 5 years.. the 360/ps3 looks to be about 8, 3 years longer than normal. A early head start, some 3rd party support (after missing the boat last time around with Nintendo will they be gun shy again?) it might be the right time and a perfect storm type launch.. I know us Americans are tech freaks.. a new console might just do great.. and a head start could be even bigger with nintendo then MS .. Nintendo is comming off a success (ms was not, unproven and all).. its going to be interesting for sure.

Bill Loguidice
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I'm thinking MS would go

I'm thinking MS would go BluRay next gen, Clok, just to have multimedia parity. Really, if the 360 had BluRay, it would have been even tougher for the PS3 in the US. Nintendo not going BluRay is understandable, because they never wanted people playing movies on any of their systems anyway (at least off discs).

As for the 25GB limit (again, just a rumor, but probably a solid one), assuming this Wii 2 is as powerful as they say, meaning just a bit more than the 360 and PS3, then 25Gb should be sufficient, especially consider the 360 has far less, and as you say, the PS3 rarely gets near that number either.

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Bill Loguidice
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And so, the REAL Wii price cuts begin...

$150 is much more like it: http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/04/nintendo-drops-wii-price-to-150-from-...

This will no doubt be down to $99 before their next system hits, though they probably still have one more price drop to $129 before that happens, maybe even around the holidays of this year...

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