Nintendo is reportedly already showing off an early build of the Wii’s successor to a select few in the games industry. Rumored to be hitting stores by 2011, the project is being reffered to as “Wii HD” and is apparently moving in a different direction than recent Nintendo hardware transitions. Those who have seen the hardware in action are calling it Nintendo’s first true “next generation” console and are comparing the nature of the transition to that of the Gameboy advance to the Gameboy advance SP a few years ago.
While not much is known regarding the new console,a few minor details have managed to slip through including the fact that it is expected to retain the Wii name. As evident by the consoles tentative name, the new Wii will feature high definition, cutting edge graphics similar if not more impressive than that of the PS3 and Xbox 360.
An interesting note is that the company is looking to put more of an emphasis on user created and digitally distributed content, similar to what is seen on services like the Wii store and Wii-ware. Putting more of an emphasis on downloadable content also almost assures the new system will include some form of hard drive. Unsurprisingly, the new Wii is also expected to be an nontraditional gaming experience, putting more of an emphasis on user interaction like the original.
Normally, Blast wouldn’t report on mere rumors and speculation — but this one has some weight. While requests for comment from Nintendo were met with a predictable “Nintendo does not comment on rumors or speculation” response, Nintendo’s annual financial reports speak volumes. The company is currently spending over $370 million on research and development, a steep hike from $103 million in 2006 and a modest $34 million in 2003.
Nintendo isn’t expected to make any form of comment or announcement regarding a new console anytime soon, stay with Blast for more on this developing story.