A New Nintendo Wii for 2011? - The Intrepid

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A New Nintendo Wii for 2011?

A blog entry by John Davidson at What They Play revealed today that a new version of the Nintendo Wii is in development and likely to ship in 2011. Typically, game consoles only last for 4 or 5 years, so this announcement does not come as much of shock.

The Wii, which Nintendo launched in 2006, is already two years old. Despite hardcore gamer’s arguments that the console’s motion sensitive controls are “gimmicky,” the Wii has been well received by consumers. 33 million Wii’s have been sold to date. Estimates suggest that Nintendo now controls 45-50% of the console market. A drastic change from the dismal Game Cube years, when Nintendo trailed behind both Sony’s PlayStation 2 and Microsoft’s Xbox.

The next iteration of the Wii is expected to support HD graphics, and perhaps greater online and digital storage capabilities. While Nintendo has no plans to comment on the rumor, the company’s recent spending on R&D suggests that they are working on something large. (Not just an addition of a camera to the DS-Lite) This year alone Nintendo spent $370 million on R&D, an increase of $200 million in comparison to 2006.

The Wii has been successful beyond Nintendo’s wildest dreams. For two Christmases in a row the console was the must have present that had parent scurrying around from store to store. While the console is far from perfect, it has managed to extend the appeal of video games into the casual market. However, besides the unfortunate lack of HD support, the Wii also suffers from controller problems. Sometimes the controllers can be too sensitive, other times too imprecise. Hopefully, these problems are addressed in the new console.