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Wii Hardware Upgrade Won't Happen Soon 325

Posted by Soulskill
from the can't-show-ugly-mario-in-hd dept.
As high-definition graphics become more and more entrenched in this generation of game consoles, Nintendo has had to deal with constant speculation about a new version of the Wii that would increase its capabilities. Today, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime bluntly denied that a hardware revision was imminent, saying, "We are confident the Wii home entertainment console has a very long life in front of it." He added, "In terms of what the future holds, we've gone on record to say that the next step for Nintendo in home consoles will not be to simply make it HD, but to add more and more capability, and we'll do that when we've totally tapped out all of the experiences for the existing Wii. And we're nowhere near doing that yet."
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Wii Hardware Upgrade Won't Happen Soon

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  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Friday January 15, 2010 @03:53AM (#30776208) Journal

    Wii has a large userbase of casual gamers. There wouldn't really be anything that new for then. HD sure, but I know many people who really aren't that interested in it. I am, sure, I would love a Wii HD with Motion Capture Plus. But thats probably not the case for majority of people, especially girls who usually don't understand why their boyfriends/husbands want a huge HDTV.

    The only thing Wii was missing was the better motion sensors, but it wasn't possible financially at that point, the technology was too costly for competing with better priced console. After that it would be just everything that more hardcore players would want, and that isn't Nintendo's largest market.

  • by myddrn (1234656) on Friday January 15, 2010 @04:08AM (#30776264)

    In terms of what the future holds, we've gone on record to say that the next step for Nintendo in home consoles will not be to simply make it HD, but to add more and more capability, and we'll do that when we've totally tapped out all of the experiences for the existing Wii.

    Translation: We still have MOUNTAINS of shovel ware to sell!

  • Re:Tapped out, eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Friday January 15, 2010 @04:19AM (#30776316)
    I just can't read far enough into what all these execs say when they talk about the "long life" of their consoles that remain entertaining for 2.5 years at best.

    I think I disagree. Why upgrade, if the only difference is going to be better graphics? That doesn't make games any better. The weakest console, graphically, won this gen by a landslide. The weakest console, graphically, won last gen by a landslide. It's the games, not the hardware, that make a console enjoyable... and the games get BETTER throughout a console's lifespan.

    If a new console cycle started, we would be in for two years of really bad games before developers got back on an even keel. The games would become ANOTHER 400% more expensive to create, and probably shorter. Is there any game you want that can't be made on current hardware?

    I would love to get another five years out of ALL the current consoles.
  • Re:Tapped out, eh? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Loomismeister (1589505) on Friday January 15, 2010 @04:26AM (#30776350)

    The games on the Wii are the weakest part about it. The novelty is what sells Wii consoles, not the games.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Friday January 15, 2010 @04:31AM (#30776364) Journal
    In addition to that, half the games don't even make full use of the graphics capabilities already available. Zelda, for example, looked basically the same as on game cube. Right now I'm playing fire-emblem, and while it's a great game, the graphics aren't much better than you would see on PS1. It's kind of amazing to me now, that after all these years of chasing graphics, finally there is a console that ignores the race and still does well.
  • Re:Tapped out, eh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by magnusrex1280 (1075361) on Friday January 15, 2010 @04:36AM (#30776390)
    Obviously you haven't played any of the numerous Wii games that are really good. Are there also a bunch of Wii games that are gimmicky and simple? Yes. But don't assume that just because there are some crappy games for a console, that said console is successful only because of a unique feature. No console does as well as the Wii has without GOOD games. I own a PS3, a top-of-the-line gaming PC, AND a Wii, so this isn't just some Nintendo fan boy sounding off. I'm pretty picky about what games I buy, and the Wii has a bunch that are lots of fun, and have actual replay value.
  • by Lussarn (105276) on Friday January 15, 2010 @04:54AM (#30776488)

    especially girls who usually don't understand why their boyfriends/husbands want a huge HDTV

    I must be lucky, my GF already talks about 3DTV. Last year I tried unsuccesfully to hold her back on the home cinema system.

  • Re:Tapped out, eh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by quadrox (1174915) on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:02AM (#30776526)

    I have a wii, and I regret getting it so far. The Only thing I play on it is Guitar Hero, and I certainly don't need a wii for that. Wii sports gets boring rather quickly.

    Then I have one of the Resident evil games. This one is fun enough, but the graphics suck balls so much it's unbelievable - mostly due to the low resolution. Most of the other games I see in the stores don't look even remotely interesting, and those that do usually have very bad reviews.

    If you know of any good games, please tell me.

  • by samael (12612) * <Andrew@Ducker.org.uk> on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:18AM (#30776600) Homepage

    An HDMI cable. Every other device connected to the TV has one, but the Wii insists on converting to analogue and back again. I can't think of any reason why this would be terribly expensive or difficult to do. They wouldn't even need to support higher resolutions - just the same ones over HDMI.

  • by bronney (638318) on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:26AM (#30776642) Homepage

    Exactly bro, ever notice the people in Pixar's film don't exactly look like people? Yet their movie completely rocks? It's always the content. The actors do play a part but if you've seen great actors in shit high budget movies you'd know what I mean :)

  • by otie (915090) on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:33AM (#30776666)
    No savvy console manufacturer confirms a hardware upgrade before it's just about to hit. Otherwise it'll hurt sales before the upgrade date.
  • by Isbiten (597220) <isbiten&gmail,com> on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:41AM (#30776700) Homepage

    But thats probably not the case for majority of people, especially girls who usually don't understand why their boyfriends/husbands want a huge HDTV..

    Yes because women and girls are so dumb, am I right? My girlfriend was just as excited as I was when we got our HDTV to play Xbox on.

  • by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:42AM (#30776706) Journal
    Are you two kidding? Full blown HD graphics with shadows, complex textures, high poly count and the like are what I want. I want to see blemishes on skin, blades of grass moving and reflections in water. I want to hear footsteps on metal, birds tweeting and monsters breathing. I want downloadable content, voice chat and massive multiplayer events.

    Any gamer who's pulled out a GFX card and replaced it with a better model will say the same.

    Wii? It's a child's toy. It's a child's toy that my child doesn't even play because it's a poor and expensive experience.
  • by hattig (47930) on Friday January 15, 2010 @07:05AM (#30777096) Journal

    Never mind that this guy isn't about to Osbourne Wii sales.

    Until they want to show it off, it won't exist. Simple really.

    You don't see Microsoft talking about the XBox1080, or Sony talking about the PS4 - that's because they don't want existing sales to tank as people wait for the new product. I don't see why Nintendo would be any different. The only guaranteed thing is that all three companies are more than likely well into the design process for their next generation consoles.

  • Re:Tapped out, eh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Calinous (985536) on Friday January 15, 2010 @07:07AM (#30777098)

    That's all good and well if you agree with the results of the MetaCritic. However, this might not be the case: as a car-related analogy, while 90% of the people might love black cars, you might hate them.

  • by Negatyfus (602326) on Friday January 15, 2010 @07:28AM (#30777238) Journal
    I have often wondered if what I saw the Xbox 360 put out would have been possible on the Xbox. My conclusion is: no, it wouldn't have been. It would have been a scaled-down, lesser experience. The consoles are power-beasts this generation and can barf up some very impressive things. Not only in terms of graphics do the games provide a better feeling, but also in amount of enemies on-screen, AI and animation. The latter plays a big role in gameplay. I also like in-game cut-scenes. The Xbox could do that, sure, but for the first time they actually look like something worth watching. No blocky polygons and blurry textures to distract you from the story that is unfolding. I appreciate all the people shouting "Gameplay over graphics, rawr!!" but they are both important. The fanatics can play with their emulators, if they'd like, but I do like a good graphical experience (both on consoles and PC).
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Friday January 15, 2010 @07:30AM (#30777246)
    here is the counter arguement - HD graphics allow you to place details in the game that otherwise would be impossible. translucent walls, fog, 3d sound. they all add to the atmosphere of the game and CAN make a more enjoyable and immersive experience.

    having said that, i'm flat out thinking of more then a handfull of games that actually make use of it. that's not a problem with HD however, it's a problem with our current distribution system for gaming, which favours the wrong people.

  • by WillAdams (45638) on Friday January 15, 2010 @08:22AM (#30777526) Homepage

    A woman marries a man thinking he'll change... he doesn't.

    A man marries a woman thinking she won't change... she does.

    I doubt this will ever change.

  • by DrXym (126579) on Friday January 15, 2010 @08:26AM (#30777550)
    I've stopped caring about advances in graphics since about the time of the PS2. There are new things the current gen of consoles offer... networking, motion sensing, better storage... but if you look fundamentally at the games, I don't think the improved graphics make them any more fun. There's nothing on the 360 that couldn't have been done on the x-box, if the developers had just cut back the complexity of the graphics; and it would have been no less fun.

    The "graphics don't matter" argument doesn't hold much water. If we go down that route, then through backwards induction there was nothing in the PS2 that couldn't be done on the PS1 with cut back graphics. And nothing on the PS1 that couldn't be done on the Sega Saturn. And nothing in the Sega Saturn to Sega Megadrive. And nothing in the Sega Megadrive to NES. And nothing in NES to Atari 2600. And nothing Atari 2600 to the Telstar. etc.

    Except of course graphics wasn't the only thing that changed between console generations. Processing power, memory, storage, general throughput, controllers, number of players, modelling, animation, audio, networking, physics are all improved. Each generation was capable of delivering experiences that you simply couldn't get on the one before. Do all these things guarantee a better game? Of course not, but they are powerful tools that can and should be used to deliver the best experience.

    An obvious example of this would be Dead Rising. The concept worked so well on the 360 because the console had the power to render hundreds of zombies. A veritable horde of them. When the game was ported to the Wii, even with cut down graphics, the game had been emasculated so you were lucky to see a dozen zombies at once. The game lost its soul in the transition. Some games simply do not translate well even if you cut down the graphics.

  • by SargentDU (1161355) on Friday January 15, 2010 @09:40AM (#30778092)
    If the son is playing games instead of drinking - Dad is money ahead!
  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted.slashdot@org> on Friday January 15, 2010 @09:44AM (#30778122)

    I’ll make a bold statement:

    I am a game designer. And you know which games I personally like to play most?
    Small innovative (flash) games and the like! (Think kongregate.com.)

    It sees that big budget games tend to go all aesthetics and technology.
    But small games go more in the direction of good gameplay (mechanics).

    I wish people would not forget, that it’s all four (story, gameplay, aesthetics, and technology) that are relevant.
    And the quality of a game, is all those things, multiplied with each other. (With story having the biggest factor, but the others being not much less relevant.)
    They have to support each other.

  • Re:Tapped out, eh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Burpmaster (598437) on Friday January 15, 2010 @10:10AM (#30778378)

    That's silly. Let's say you're going to get one console and the top twenty games for it. For the 360, the game 20 has a score of 90 (Bayonetta). For the PS3, game 20 has a score of 89 (WipEout HD Fury). For the Wii, game 20 has a score of 86 (Punch-Out!!). You're making a big deal out of literally a few points in a 100 point scale, even though each console has a largely different set of reviewers, judging the games by different standards.

    What's more important is variety. Are you really going to get both Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2? If you look at the 26 Xbox 360 games with 90+ ratings, about 10 of them are first-person shooters. Do you need that many shooters? In fact, if you pare down your 90+ list for each system by eliminating games that play similarly, you'll shorten the 360 and PS3 lists severely.

    Speaking of paring down, the 9 games scoring 90+ on the Wii include both Metroid Prime 3 and Metroid Prime Trilogy. Trilogy includes corruption, so subtract 1 from the Wii's count. Oh but Trilogy is a pack of three 90+ games, sold for the price of 1, so add back 2.

    Now with that correction, the Wii has 10 games with 90+ ratings. And that points out the problem of lasting value, totally unaccounted for by your metric. Game scores generally measure how good a game is while you're playing it, but completely ignore how long you'll be playing. There's no real difference between two games with a score of 90 where you'll play each for 10 hours and one game with a score of 90 that you'll play for 20 hours. Well, except the individual game has twice the value for what you pay yet counts half as much by your metric.

    And that's the problem. What you're doing is similar to taking a bunch of objects, measuring their density, and summing the quantities. The result is meaningless. It will go up if you simply cut something in half. What you want to do is measure the mass, the actual entertainment value.

  • by plastbox (1577037) on Friday January 15, 2010 @10:35AM (#30778686) Homepage

    Confused? I don't see why.. First off, I am a guy and a geek by nature.

    Ergo, we mostly notice the women who are "dumb" when it comes to anything we care about.

    Guys notice girls who look good. Girls who care about appearance don't generally care about tech. As geeks and nerds, anyone without a basic understanding of simple tech-stuff qualifies as "dumb". Ergo, we are attracted to "dumb" girls, and "Most girls are dumb" is perhaps a result of this.

    The rest was just a random rant, a bit of support for the gals we so easily disregard as being dumb because they have no interest in or understanding of the things we all love. I was making the point that someone we consider dumb because they could never build a pc from scratch or learn (and enjoy) programming might have other skills and interests that they value.

    For example a sense of style. The reason I mostly wear black, dark blue and gray'ish colors is that I'm safe from total failure no matter what I throw on each morning. Why do you think every guy out clubbing wears essentially the same thing, while no two girls would be caught dead looking the same? Why do you think men are very comfortable looking like a bunch of suit-wearing clones while women go out of their way to look good and unique?

    Do you think that doesn't require extensive skill and experience? I advice you to ask your girlfriend, wife or a female friend to let you do their makeup. Perhaps you'll acknowledge their non-tech related skill when they end up looking like they've been shot with Homer's makeup shotgun. =P

  • Re:Cel shading (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gravatron (716477) on Friday January 15, 2010 @10:40AM (#30778758)
    Except most of the most beloved anime were those that pushed the art envelope, giving us amazing visuals to match the story.
  • Re:Tapped out, eh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by delinear (991444) on Friday January 15, 2010 @10:43AM (#30778800)

    My experience is pretty similar - we got a Wii the Christmas before last (well it was a gift to my other half, even though I was pretty sure she wouldn't play on it but I thought at least I might get some use out of it). We played it for a couple of days over Christmas while all the family was together but already after a few hours I was bored, and in terms of tactile response the controller felt cheap and uncomfortable to use for prolonged periods - we've not touched it since then (I was half tempted to try the new Motion Plus, but until the killer game comes along I think I'll pass).

    Meanwhile I play my 360 regularly - I'd say the biggest difference is that the Wii bridges the gap between the non-gamer and the hard core gamer and lets them play together, but coming from the hard-core gamer end of that spectrum, playing the Wii solo just wouldn't be a rewarding experience for me. Playing it with the family slightly increases the fun quotient, but no more than, say, playing a board game together (and a lot more expensive in that case).

    Having said that, I'm sure a lot of other people love the Wii (the sales figures seem to suggest that's the case), my biggest concern is that the more hardcore gaming console manufactures are looking at that much bigger pie and wondering how they can get a slice, I'd hate to not at least have the choice of a more "serious" gaming machine (other than going back to the configuration hell of PC gaming which, frankly, I don't have the time or stamina for these days).

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday January 15, 2010 @10:58AM (#30778952) Journal

    Translucency and fog have been used to great effect on previous gen consoles. Hell, on the N64 it seems like there's nothing but fog. :)

  • by nloop (665733) on Friday January 15, 2010 @11:15AM (#30779118)

    Are you two kidding? ... I want to see blemishes on skin, blades of grass moving and reflections in water. I want to hear footsteps on metal, birds tweeting

    Look around, see that door? Yeah, that one with the sunlight behind it. Close the computer, and walk out it.

    Fixed that for you.

  • by nxtw (866177) on Friday January 15, 2010 @11:36AM (#30779334)

    What do you mean component just doesn't cut it? I watch HDTV perfectly fine with component cables on my HDTV. In fact, I'm not using HDMI anywhere.

    Only HDMI has built-in digital audio, and it's the only way to get digital multichannel audio that isn't encoded as Dolby Digital, DTS, or WMA Pro (in home theater systems).
    With HDMI, source devices can be connected to a home theater receiver or HDMI switch and a single cable can be connected to the display.

    I actually have HDMI audio capable equipment, but use 6 channel analog instead (for my PC).

    The Wii is a potential annoyance for those with home theater setups. The only audio output is two-channel analog and it's through the video port. Unless the HT receiver supports pass-through for the kind of video being used, special cabling is required to hook up the Wii to a TV and to a home theater system.

  • by Maxo-Texas (864189) on Friday January 15, 2010 @11:51AM (#30779492)

    Everyone learned the lesson of Osborne computers.

    If they said there was a new WII coming out in 11 months or that the new Wii's controllers would impale your hand with spikes, sales would plummet.

To err is human -- to blame it on a computer is even more so.

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