Nintendo’s Revolution – Wii Wii?

Rumors aren’t fun for anyone, and while it could hurt a personal friendship if it were at that level, it can also hurt a company at a greater level. And with the amount of rumors that have been flying around Nintendo at the moment, it’s amazing to hear that some of them are actually true. But after confirming the first rumor, more rumors have sprouted about everything else, and it’s sending them into a downward spiral, while at the same time bringing them more hype than they’ve had since the original Wii came out. Confused yet? Let’s start at the beginning.

Oh look; the world's smallest Nintendo DS is in production!

On April 14, GameInformer dropped one of the biggest rumors of the year: Nintendo was going to announce a brand new console, reportedly to be a successor to the current Wii, potentially to be a Wii HD. At the time, this was nothing but a rumor, and this rumor continued to build steam until finally, on April 25, Nintendo announced that they would be showing off a playable version of their newest console at this year’s E3. That being said, the console is still not being released to the public until 2012, so this is most likely to be a very early version of it still. Following this announcement, the rumors began to fly again about what this new system will have in store for players, and they range from innovative to ridiculous.

While the rumors range from every developer not directly involved with the system to every news source coming up with something crazy, some of them sound cool, and some of them don’t. One rumor suggests that this new system will be in HD and will have more power than the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, which at this moment seems a bit crazy, but probably is required at this point in the game. Another rumors says that it may come with a 6.2 inch touch screen tablet as a controller, however this one seems the craziest of them all. However, if Nintendo is anything, they are innovative. One rumor even said that it might be using Blu-ray discs, but out of all of them, that seems the most far-fetched at the moment. The one thing we CAN rely on is that it won’t have 3D; CEO Satoru Iwata confirmed that 3D TVs are not mainstream enough to consider adding it to their consoles yet.

On top of all of this, a supposed internal GameStop memo was leaked to the Internet saying, “New DS Lite systems have been discontinued and stores will no longer be replenished on this product.” Of course, when Nintendo is contacted about this, the only reply they give is the standard, “no comment”, however they have been vague enough to reply saying, “Nintendo DS Lite is still available at many retailers, so consumers should have no problem finding them” [not direct quote], meaning it’s still unclear if production has stopped or not. At this point, it’s hard to say if that will really affect Nintendo much, because with the 3DS out, most retailers are pushing that more than the old 3DS’, however there is definitely still an audience unwilling to spend enough for the 3DS at the current time.

Is the 3DS good enough to make sales for Nintendo?

And in the middle of all of this, Nintendo reported a decline in profits for the second year in a row, this time losing more than 66 percent from last year. Obviously, this is about the time when console saturation is hitting, so fewer people are going out to buy a Wii, which probably explains the price drop to $169.99; or it could even be because they were gearing up for the announcement of their new console. Typically, announcements of new hardware crushes sales of the old system, because people don’t want their hardware to be outdated in just one year. That being said, Nintendo also slipped into their announcement that they’ve sold 86.01 million Wii’s over its lifetime, so it’ll be interesting to see how many of those people jump out to get the new one.

Knowing all of the facts, this now begins the crazy rumor mill that always happens when an announcement of an announcement comes out. The first thing to look at is the controller. The Wii was revolutionary in the idea of the controller, even if it didn’t exactly work as planned originally. Looking back now, we see that both Microsoft and Sony felt the need to jump into the “motion” “controller” industry themselves, so obviously it was a big deal to them. While a touch screen controller would be amazing, it would also be costly, and unless Nintendo is planning on changing the focus of their marketing to a new audience, people aren’t going to want to spend much more for their Nintendo console. And right now, it’s the controller that Nintendo is more revolutionary in doing, so all eyes are on that tech at the moment.

At least the crazy concept artists have something to do now.

Beyond that, it’s also big to look at what will be in the console hardware itself. While many families and kids may not care if the Wii has high-definition capabilities, many more hardcore game players would pick up and use a Wii if it had games that were comparable, and a library that had games that were more suited towards them, so seeing HD in the new console would not be a surprise at all. Following suit with everything else, everything would still be wireless; from controllers to Internet connection. And while it’s not guaranteed that we can rule out the use of Blu-ray discs, it’s highly unlikely that Nintendo will go that route just yet.

After all of this, it’s important to still look at the games. Nintendo itself will obviously still make its own Nintendo casual games, but what other developers will jump into the ring on this one? If it’s still using a motion controller, but in high-definition, it’s possible that more developers will start making games for it as well as all of the other systems, but if the rumor of a touch screen controller is true, what kinds of games could we see on it? All of these questions can keep being asked, and people will continue to do nothing but speculate, until the E3 Expo in early June.

What do you want to see on Nintendo’s new console? Any specific features or games that would convince you to buy it? And with Nintendo so unique about its name, what are your thoughts on its new name? Jump into the comments to talk about it.

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