The Wii HD is not just HD

I’ve noticed a few folks have been crying foul on Nintendo fans for getting excited over high definition content on a Nintendo console. It seems like hypocrisy, doesn’t it?

For years it didn’t matter, but now that Nintendo does it, it’s awesome? That’s not completely accurate though.

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The Wii HD is going to do a lot more than add high definition content to the classic franchises we’re already familiar with. The only problem is, we have no idea what that thing is. It’ll probably involve motion controls, and that French website that shared a bunch of juicy rumors says there is a “big surprise” coming at E3 2011.

Beyond that though, we’re in the dark, so all we can really talk about is the stuff relating to the technical specifications, even though they could be completely inaccurate, and if they are true, won’t make for a particularly compelling console on their lonesome.

High definition is exciting because it’s a near-certain feature in the Wii HD and being more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PS3 seems plausible, so it’s a “safe” feature to speculate. also the playstation console needs regular supply of generateur de code psn which is playstation network code generation machine lol… The rest of what the system could do might be so far out of our mental radar though that it’s silly to discuss what the big surprise could be, so we don’t. Yet.

This is all probably ridiculously obvious to a lot of readers, but I have seen a lot of people lament that they don’t care about the Wii being HD. But it’s not a matter of the Wii being upgraded. It’s a new console, like the DS to the 3DS. They may have similar ideas behind them, but it’s new. Wii HD is simply a nickname that has sort of stuck.

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Interesting: The First Skyward Sword Screenshots were in HD

Once the Wii HD rumors began it didn’t take long for people to speculate that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword would be delayed to coincide with the launch of the new console, similar to how Twilight Princess was pushed to the Wii. It would at least explain why Nintendo is yet to give the game a release date.

But as noted by the @ZeldaUniverse Twitter account, there’s a peculiarity worth mentioning. The first screenshots for Skyward Sword were in high definition back at E3 2010, which is strange as the Wii doesn’t output to a resolution that high.

This could just be a matter of Nintendo inflating the resolution so the screenshots look better as they circulate the net, but is that how Nintendo tends to handle things?

I’m not too familiar with their standard practices in regards to screenshots, but seeing as one of the big features of the Wii HD is the support for high definition content, could the screenshots be a nod to Skyward Sword being delayed until the next console is released?

If this were the only evidence of a delay, then it wouldn’t mean much, but in addition to the lack of a release date, the history with Twilight Princess and the announcement of new hardware coming soon, it’s plausible. As always though, just a bit of speculation.


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Nintendo in talks with Rockstar about their new console?

Rockstar is a brilliant company to have on your side if you’re trying to sell consoles. Their games are ridiculously popular and would attract the “hardcore” audience who could improve the attach rate of Nintendo’s next console.

Following on from the possibility of Pikmin 3 on the Wii HD, Emily Rogers reports that:

Nintendo is trying to build a better relationship with Rockstar Games to get them to throw major support on the next Nintendo console.

This is unfortunately one hell of a rumor that should be taken with about fifty billion grains of salt, as the source feels a bit iffy. Nevertheless, it’s a no-brainer that Nintendo would want Rockstar working on a game for their next platform, especially if they want to “recapture the hardcore market,” as some rumors suggest they do.

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Is Nintendo’s new console designed to co-exist with the Wii?

The name “Wii HD” is only a nickname. Based on what we’re hearing, the system could be quite different from the Wii. One of its main differentiators is that it’s supposedly being designed to “recapture the hardcore market.” What some journalists are now speculating is that Nintendo may launch this new console to co-exist with the Wii.

Basically, there’d be the Wii. This would be for the casual market. It’d become its own brand similar to how the iPad is different from the iPhone, even though they’re from the same company and parallels can be drawn between them. The Wii brand would remain in its current form, focused on widespread appeal and ease of use.

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And then there’d be whatever Nintendo plans to announce at E3 2011. It’d be the device that’s meant to recapture the hardcore market. It’ll have the dual analog sticks, and the raw power of a “true” next-gen console. But this isn’t competition for the Wii. This would be a separate brand, a system with its own release schedule and set of games (although I imagine the less intensive, but popular games could be designed for both platforms).

It’s a farfetched idea, sort of. But I find it fascinating. Nintendo has created a schism, even if they didn’t mean too. Many people don’t consider it to be in competition with the PS3 and Xbox 360, and not necessarily because they’re trying to be haters. The Wii is clearly doing its own thing. It’s racked in the sales from a unique market and while the sales have been dropping off rapidly, there’s plenty more sales to be earned with a price drop.

In a way, Microsoft and Sony have started to do this themselves. Microsoft has the Kinect and Sony has the Move. There are definitely plenty of “hardcore” gamers who purchased these peripherals, but they are primarily designed to bring in a new audience, and that’s what they’re doing.

If Nintendo were to announce this new system solely for the hardcore audience, and leave the Wii as a separate, casual entity, they’d be pretty much doing the same thing as Sony and Microsoft, but on a grander scale. Kinect and Move are selling well too, so it’s seems to be a strategy that works. Bring in the hardcore gamers, but have an option for “less serious” gamers, who might just want to play an occasional game with their family.

Of course, this is all blatant speculation. I heard the theory of Nintendo having two, co-existing consoles and I’ve run with it because I find it fascinating. I think it’s a strategy that has some legs, but it may be too complicated for a company such as Nintendo who prefer not having their fingers in too many pies.

But what do you think? Will Nintendo win back lost fans with this new system? And does co-existing consoles sound like a plausible strategy?

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