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Nintendo Strongly Rumoured To Announce Wii Successor At This Year’s E3

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Holy shit is the rumour mill on fire today.

A great many sources are reporting today that Nintendo are poised to announce their next home console at this year’s E3.

Billed by a great many sources as being ‘significantly more powerful than the 360 and PS3’, the Wii successor appears to be developed with the hardcore audience in mind and achieving the holy grail of 1080p visuals at 60 frames per second is apparently part and parcel with that. Little is known about controller, other than it is apparently rumoured that it has a ‘screen on it’.

The machine is also allegedly completely backwards compatible with the Wii software library, which by proxy would confirm the presence of a DVD compliant optical device drive as part of the console.

The machine itself is also thought to be very far along, with the big N showing it off to various developers so that they can prep software for what is being regarded as a 2012 launch for the machine.

“Nintendo is doing this one right,” said an anonymous developer source. “[It’s] not a gimmick like the Wii.”

Quite clearly, Nintendo are hoping that this will be far more than a ‘Wii-HD’, but will it be able to capture the hearts and minds of the completely casual audience that Nintendo have worked so hard to convince and consolidate? I mean after all, in world in which causal software pretty much dominates the charts whenever a big CoD or other franchised AAA title doesn’t appear, it’s pretty fucking crucial that they don’t bite the hand the feeds them.

Additionally, if Nintendo want to reach out to the core audience; smooth 1080P visuals simply won’t be enough. Gamers have been spoiled by great online experiences – both of which Ninty’s competitor offer in spades and if Nintendo insist on using that archaic friend code system and doesn’t embrace a fully-fleshed out digital offering in the same vein as Xbox Live or PSN, then many people really won’t care for it as a core gaming platform.

Ultimately Nintendo need to be very careful here – it will always be the games which secure their success and if they want to capture the hearts and minds of the core gamer they need to launch with solid, playable in-depth titles that both mine the companies traditional I.P and also embraces the very best that the third-parties can come up with. There simply cannot be any more room for casual generic shovelware clones clogging up the shelves, a fact which led many developers down a false path with the Wii, realising that developing games for it actually isn’t hugely profitable at all. But by that same token, they need to preserve this audience that they have cultivated for the last five years as they will no doubt be looking to Ninty with interest when their next shiny box is announced and will abandon it just as quickly if there aren’t titles which are accessible to play and require little time investment on their part.

It’s a tough rope to walk for sure, which is why it’ll be all the more interesting to see what Nintendo come up with.

Watch this space.

Written by bitsnark

April 15, 2011 at 11:10 am

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