PC

PlayStation 3

Tech

Wii

Xbox 360

Home » Articles, Previews

Wii 2 Everything you need to know about the Next Wii

 

We already know a sequel to the Wii is in the works – Nintendo ‘fessed up to that last Summer – but exactly what shape will it take?

We’re hoping that Nintendo will make some giant leaps with the new console, but enough of our hopes for Wii 2.

Join TechRadar in a grubby wade through the filthiest rumour sewers, as we predict which of the many tall tales about the next Wii are the most feasible.

Will the Wii 2 be just a minor revision – smaller, cheaper and no longer old-iPod white?

Nintendo certainly has a worrying tendency towards so-so updates, having released far too many revisions of the Gameboy and DS range that often only superficially alter their design. This time though, it’s very unlikely - Nintendo’s R&D spend climbed from $103m to a giddying $370m between 2006 and 2007, so there’s definitely something big in the pipeline.

> PlayStation 4 -Everything you need to know about Sony next system

Will the next Wii be high definition? And will it be called Wii HD?

This one’s basically a given. If Nintendo made one oversight with the Wii, it was to settle on standard definition without an HDMI output. Despite the console’s huge success, it still seems incredibly strange given the inevitability of HDTV take up. So, we’re 99.99 per cent confident the next Nintendo console will be HDMI-equipped, outputting at 720p. Given its recent trend towards modestly performing hardware and its audience’s clear contentment with fairly simplistic graphics, full 1080p rendering seems unlikely.

There were even reports from anonymous internal sources last September that the next console will be called simply the Wii HD, and will be roughly analogous to the jump from GameBoy to GameBoy Advance - in other words, the same essential setup, but with a little more poke in the graphical department. This also means there’s scope for both the Wii and the Wii HD to co-exist for a while, so those not fussed about better graphics won’t have to shell out another £200-odd. Look to the continued success of the PlayStation 2 even in the wake of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as proof that old and new can happily coexist.

Will Wii 2 have built-in storage?

Again, more than likely. The first Wii’s SD card support always felt rudimentary and tokenistic, not really designed to keep up with the explosion of downloadable games from the Wii Store - even if it was good for showing digital photos. Nintendo would be mad to throw out all the work done on the Store and the classic games hosted there to date, so some sort of internal drive to bolster its backwards compatibility prowess is almost a necessity. Quite possibly, it’ll be a small, low-power solid state drive rather than an energy-hungry, noisy hard drive – but that depends on the current sky-high price of SSDs coming down enough to be viable. Such a drive could even be built into the controllers to keep the core console cost and size down.

Will it support original Wii games?

Another good bet – having just won a whole new audience, all those casual gamers everyone else is now desperate to capture the hearts of, to the total tune of some 95 million, one thing Nintendo won’t want to do is scare them off. Knowing all their old Wii games will work just fine sweetens the upgrade deal. On the other hand, an optical disc drive is fairly chunky piece of kit – if Nintendo had the stones to move to download-only games, it could potentially make a much sleeker, cheaper console.

The Wii 2 “won’t have a controller at all”

That was Intel Chief Technology Officer Justin Rattner’s guess about a future-Wii back in 2007 – “You just set up the cameras around the room and wave your hand like you’re playing tennis.” It sounds a little pie in the sky, but it’s worth restating that key to the Wii’s success is that it’s operated by natural gestures. Expanding on that concept, and requiring nothing more than your own body, thus makes a whole lot of sense. Plus, both Sony and Microsoft have already realised webcam-controlled games for their consoles – the essential tech’s been around for years now.

Other crazy controller theories for a next-gen Wii controller have involved special gloves, motion-tracking body suits or even a head-mounted gadget that responds to facial twitches and brainwave monitoring. This latter is something a few companies have experimented with as a PC game controller – notably OCZ’s Neural Impulse Actuator – so the technology does exist already. Could Nintendo refine it into something mass production-friendly as they did with the WiiMote’s motion sensors?

via [tech radar]