updated 12:15 pm EDT, Wed October 1, 2008
Wii HD Rumor
Nintendo is determined to make a true next-generation console but ride the existing success of the Wii, according to a new claim made by What They Play. Citing what are only referred to as multiple sources, the publication says the system will still be directly related to the Wii and its motion-based gameplay but at last have the processing and graphics performance necessary to drive HD rather than the Wii's maximum DVD resolution. It would also reflect acknowledgments from Nintendo about the problems with limited storage on the Wii and should include some form of more permanent space to hold downloadable content.
The console is nonetheless said to cling to an earlier formula and will allegedly be backwards-compatible with earlier software, though it's not specified whether this will extend just to the Wii, to Virtual Console downloads of earlier titles, or both. Descriptions from the believed insiders, however, characterize the future system's relationship to the Wii as similar to the one which existed for the Game Boy Advance to the original Game Boy, where the hardware is significantly advanced but where many design traits remain the same.
The site posting the purported leak speculates that this could refer to using upgraded graphics hardware from AMD and a newer processor from IBM, either of which would include provisions to run some older software without emulation.
A launch isn't expected until about 2011, or five years after the Wii's release. Nintendo may nonetheless discuss early details of its future platform ahead of that point.