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Wii Hardware Upgrade Won't Happen Soon 325

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 xtracto ( 837672 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @04:27AM (#30776352) Journal

    Yeah, similarly as Sony CEO denied the existence of a PS3 Slim before they unveiled it.

  • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @04:49AM (#30776456) Homepage Journal

    Well, they already made the decision to drop out of the graphics arms race, and instead concentrate an features that made the system more usable. That strategy has paid off handsomely. Why go back on it now?

    I wonder if consumers are beginning to get tired of all that expensive tech that ends up being obsolete in a year or two. The recession is a factor, but even before, we saw people asking themselves if they really wanted Blu-Ray, HD, or whatever. The fact that cheap-but-fun Nintendo products are outselling the fancier competition is consistent with that.

  • Re:nowhere near (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FrostDust ( 1009075 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @04:57AM (#30776502)

    While Nintendo has indeed released such variations of their consoles in the past (except for disc loading, are you thinking of Sony?), you're omitting that none of the redesigns introduced new features to the console. The user is not disadvantaged by not buying the new models.

    Having differently colored casings does nothing to the capabilities of the system. The smaller redesigns use less material and may be more "stylish" compared to when the system was first released, but still add no new features.

    The only system I can remember with it's redesign having a new feature that the older model lacked is a newer DS having a built-in web browser, but this was previously available on the older models via a cartridge.

    Offering redesigned systems, where the features are still the same as the original model, is not detrimental to Nintendo users. If anything, it'd be Microsoft and Sony that are worthy of such criticism.

  • Applaud the man. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ledow ( 319597 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @04:58AM (#30776504) Homepage

    Good for Nintendo. I don't really care about flashy sequels and having to re-buy consoles/accessories/games or hope that the backward compatibility works (if there is one). I just want people to carry on making games for a console that almost everyone has played. It's good business sense to keep your customers on a stable platform and sell optional extras / games that enhance their original purchase's value without *forcing* them to upgrade and alienating them, not to mention keeping the online Wii stores alive - how many people who have never touched emulation have been playing emulated titles on Wii without even knowing? It's good gaming sense (what matters is the game and the price, not the number of / type of peripherals, graphics, sound...) and at the end of the day, the Wii is forefront on the general public's mind... not including persistent gamers, people would struggle to give the correct name of the current version of the Xbox / Playstation, and would probably name Wii first.

    "Wii 2" isn't required. Wii already proved that state-of-the-art isn't required, just a little bit of fun and know-how and something a bit different. Whether you hate it or not, you've played Wii at least once and tried it. I know that I can't say the same about the Xbox (any version) / Playstation (any version past the original PS1) consoles, yet my PC is full of every genre of game. Give it another 5 years or so, then people will be making games that actually test the limits of the Wii to the extreme all the time, then a successor that has full backwards compatibility will sell like hot cakes. And, to be honest, everyone I know that owns a Wii would actually be happier with some bundled accessory that enhances the whole console rather than a whole new console... a "HD addon" or even some processing upgrade that the Wii can interface with (like the N64 memory expansion modules, or the SuperFX/DSP chips that were in SNES games - Nintendo know what they are doing when it comes to getting the most out of a huge investment, which is why they're pretty much the only one making a decent return on hardware alone, not just the software).

    If it works, and it sells, and it makes money, don't ditch it for a sequel... enhance it a bit at a time, one expenditure at a time, and keep your customers happy without shoving them between major purchases and platforms. If only MS could follow the same suit...

  • Re:nowhere near (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Reed Solomon ( 897367 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:03AM (#30776538) Homepage

    original gameboy, then came the gameboy pocket, then came various versions with different colours, then came the gameboy colour. then came the GBA with various colour editions. then the GBA SP, then came the coloured editions of that, also the NES styled edition (which I admit I own and still play) then the GBA MICRO. Then the DS, which wasn't supposed to kill the GBA but did anyways.

    Nintendo always does this. they milk the cow until blood comes out, then they kill it, bring in a new cow, and feed it to the new cow.

    As for the disc loading, I was mostly referring to the mechanisms of the original NES vs version 2. top loading vs front loading.

  • by zmollusc ( 763634 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:07AM (#30776558)

    Might it be that, for most people, DVD resolution is 'good enough' for video, like mp3 is 'good enough' for audio? Or am I just restating the '640k' thing?

  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:19AM (#30776602)
    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.

    At some point, the majority of televisions will transition over to HD, and so it will make sense that the Wii needs to upgrade to meet that. But I see no point in upgrading purely to get a boost in graphics.

    Fire Emblem, by the way, is the best game I've played on any console this gen... and they could have made it for the Nintendo DS with almost no changes in gameplay.
  • by cyxxon ( 773198 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:20AM (#30776608) Homepage
    I don't own a Wii myself, I own a Xbox 360, on which I rarely play though. One of my best friends owns a Wii though, and of course we throw in a game or two when we are at their place. And everytime, after some minutes, I am at the point where the graphics really get to me. Not that it doesn't have the latest whatchamacallit-shaders, huge textures, hardware geometry tesselation and all that, no, but that that it simply does not do antialiasing and / or HD. It is just all so freaking jaggy it is a pain to look at (on a 52" LCD in this case). I personally might buy a Wii HD if it came out if it added nothing to the feature list but a very good upscaling algorithm to 1080p and HDMI. That's all.
  • Re:darn it! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:26AM (#30776640)
    I think that Nintendo's going to go with a new paradigm for console releases: They'll follow the iPod route. Their next Wii will just be the new model of Wii, with improved features, and slightly changed styling, but fully backwards compatible.

    They want your WIFE to want to upgrade.
  • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:37AM (#30776680) Homepage

    One really interesting thing when it comes to the Wii is that the controllers are talking Bluetooth, which makes them useful for other applications too.

    Just take a look at the Wiimote library [msdn.com].

    And recently I have interfaced a Wiimote with a windows mobile device, so anyone stating that it can't be done is wrong.

  • by BikeHelmet ( 1437881 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @06:22AM (#30776890) 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.

    Sounds like you need a PC rather than a console.

    Consoles are great. I need one so that when people visit, they keep their mucky hands off my computer. Guess which console I went for?

  • Re:Tapped out, eh? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 15, 2010 @06:33AM (#30776920)

    All posting a Metacritic statistic proves is that select journos who are largely from the same demographic prefer the PS360 over the Wii.

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

    by ookaze ( 227977 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @06:57AM (#30777034) Homepage

    According to MetaCritic [metacritic.com], there are 26 Xbox games with 90+ ratings, 20 PS3 games with 90+ ratings, and 9 games on the Wii with 90+ ratings.
    I don't see the value proposition in the Wii now that the more powerful and capable competition with better games have come down to a point where the price difference is largely irrelevant.

    Staying locked in your bubble won't allow you to understand where you're wrong.
    But it's pretty obvious : "Metacritic", "more powerful and capable competition with better games".
    You are stuck in your old values that the Wii is disrupting right since before its launch, and you use Metacritic to confort you, a site that compile reviews from site stuck exactly in these same old values.
    Sorry, but the Wii just shattered the record of sales for a console in one month in the USA this december (3.81 millions Wii sold, PS2, previous record owner for home consoles, was at 2.69).
    It more than exceeded the sales of PS3 and XB360 combined.

  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @07:14AM (#30777158)
    Doom is the best selling game on xbox live, if I remember correctly. Unenhanced graphics. My son at college just recently beat Nightmare mode, and called me to brag. Pixelation and all.
  • by pyster ( 670298 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @09:08AM (#30777776)
    I just picked up a 55 inch tv... I've not picked up the hdmi cable because 480 wont look much different from composite. I have doubts I am going to by many more wii games because of this. Seems like it would be a wasted investment.
  • Re:Tapped out, eh? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 15, 2010 @09:27AM (#30777980)

    There are 43 games rated better than the really-good Mario Kart Wii, which is the only one I own at the moment. I bought that after playing Wii Sports for about a year. (My Wii only gets used when we have drunk people over for dinner.)

    At this rate if they stop releasing games now I'm all set with good ones until 2053. Your value proposition is not the same as my value proposition.

  • Re:Tapped out, eh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fprintf ( 82740 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @09:36AM (#30778050) Journal

    We thought exactly the same thing when my 14 year old son bought a Wii with his hard earned and saved money last Spring. It sat gathering dust almost all summer, with his younger sister and I most often playing it. We only had Smash Bros, Wii Sports and Wii Fit to play and did not bother buying any more games because it really wasn't all that fun.

    Fast forward to Christmas Day and I bought the family Wii Sports Resort and the required MotionPlus add-ons. The Wii has been played almost every day since. Our favorites are, in order, Archery, Swordplay and Table Tennis. Tons of replayability.

    However we also bought my son an XBox360 with Assassin's Creed2 and ModernWarfare2. The difference between the two is dramatic, and if it wasn't for Wii Sports Resort I would still say that purchasing the Wii was a waste of money. The XBox is just soooo much better and the lack of motion sensing controllers for it does not seem at all to detract from the gaming experience. (Of course I hate the controllers, preferring a keyboard/mouse myself)

  • by Obyron ( 615547 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @09:37AM (#30778062)
    They jumped out of the graphics arms race and into the peripherals arms race. In Canada the Wii costs around 200 bucks at Costco, which is the cheapest I've seen it, and around 200 dollars cheaper than the xbox. But you need to get a nunchuk to play certain games: 25 dollars. A second controller and nunchuk, around 50 bucks total. Want to get motionplus for both of those to improve the motion sensing? 50 dollars. You're now at 325, compared to the xbox with a second controller which gets you to about 450 (and also comes with the Elite system, Modern Warfare 2, and a 250gb hard drive). The average new game for the 360 up here runs 60-70 dollars. For the Wii they're slightly cheaper... unless they're some hokey peripheral game like WiiFit, where you're going to pay 100 dollars. Want another balance board? That'll be 60 or 70 dollars. Want to buy Mario Kart and get two little steering wheel controllers? 90 dollars. If the Wii is not the most outright profitable console of this generation I'd be shocked, because they nickle and dime you to death with cheap peripherals, and people buy them. It seems like every game they come out with comes with some new gadget you need to buy, and I hardly think that's an accident. I'd like to see Microsoft and Sony put out a commercial comparing Total Cost of Ownership, because even if you're paying for Xbox Live Gold every a year, you'll probably end up spending more money for your Wii.
  • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted AT slashdot DOT org> on Friday January 15, 2010 @09:53AM (#30778212)

    That’s because Pixar avoids the uncanny valley like hell. And they are right to do so.
    Pixar could already go practically 100% on making realistic humans. But that tiny bit missing would make it a very creepy experience. Which perhaps works if it’s supposed to be a monster in a horror movie. But not in your typical Pixar movie. ;)

    I agree, that we are past “realism” as an ideal.
    Nowadays, it’s like art: You try to create a style. Its own “realism”.
    Like Finding Nemo, which at first had so much realism, that it creeped people out. Then they changed the whole style to something less realistic, and more fitting. Which worked nicely.

  • Re:Tapped out, eh? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by plastbox ( 1577037 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @10:02AM (#30778310) Homepage

    New Super Mario Bros for Wii

    Seriously. Get it! I've only played through it with two players, but that game is so unbelievably entertaining I lack words. The only bad thing I have to say is that the controls feel a bit "sluggish" compared to the old NES/SNES games where responsiveness was a very important priority, but it's not so bad as to be an issue and is quickly forgotten in the glee of playing such an awesome game!

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

    by Immerial ( 1093103 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @12:54PM (#30780282) Homepage

    Two factors to consider on this data point:

    1. The order seems to match the order the consoles were released. A console out longer will have more games for it and a longer time for companies to refine their development process.
    2. I place most of the blame for the lack of good games for the the Wii squarely on the publishers and not on the technical limitations of the console. Most did not take the platform seriously (some still do not) and therefore didn't develop good games for it. When the Wii started to sell like gangbusters they were caught flatfooted and just threw whatever junk they had together ('we gotta get in on this... this market is huge'). At least now it looks like some developers are now doing some serious work on the console.

    It's true that there are technical limitations with the Wii but that doesn't mean you can't make fun games.

  • by djnforce9 ( 1481137 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @04:49PM (#30783636)

    Yup. Dolphin works very well actually and it's surreal being able to play a current gen console game on a PC (usually this kind of thing only happens with portable game systems which are relatively simpler or otherwise wait at least 10 years after the console is released (which is why we are only now starting to get competent PS2 emulation)). You can even use real WiiMotes w/ Motion plus if you have the right bluetooth receiver.

    Here's a good demonstration of "New Super Mario Bros Wii" on Dolphin at an HD resolution and why it can look better than the real hardware:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MurWPRzmzo [youtube.com]

    I've tried this myself and to be honest, I find it MUCH more comfortable when played using an Xbox 360 controller than a real WiiMote (no more fierce shaking to do that spin jump and rotating cannons and the platforms feels less awkward when using the triggers instead of actually rotating the controller)

  • by Golddess ( 1361003 ) on Friday January 15, 2010 @05:45PM (#30784448)
    As far as I am aware, sales of the DS, DS Lite, and DSi did not plummet when the DS Lite, DSi, and DSi XL were announced (respectively).

    Though I will admit that when I personally heard about the DSi XL I decided to skip the DSi.

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