The 2012 release of Nintendo’s next generation Wii was confirmed overnight on a Nintendo financials call. Articles have since appeared in Kotaku, Gamespot, smh and many other locations, but further details are few and far between.
This announcement is great news because, although I’m a Nintendo loyalist (since the days of NES), I have to say that the big “N” has been seriously lagging behind Sony and Microsoft for years. It has remained profitable the 4+ years since its release likely thanks to the niche it carved out amongst non-traditional gamers, but traditional gamers like myself have been left with a hollow feeling of inadequacy.
The areas that the current Wii has been lagging in are HD graphics, 3D graphics, a good online multiplayer system and basic multimedia stuff like DVD/Blu-Ray. A pet hate that has grown on me though is the amount of controller accessories that I’ve had to accrue over time – I’ve got Wii guitars, guns, balance boards, steering wheels, microphones, drum kits, golf clubs, tennis rackets… the list goes on!
Cue the wild speculation.
Graphics, multimedia and multiplayer are a must, but the area I’d most like to see improvement in is controller design. There’s been much speculation in the lead up to last night’s announcement that’s hinted at a 6-inch touch screen based controller. While I think 6-inch may be a bit to big for a console controller, I’m happy to be wrong and am interested to see what they can do with it.
Apple acknowledged and addressed the “accessory” problem early on with iPhone, iPod Touch and later iPad. Given the fierce rivalry of late between Apple and Nintendo it seems odd to me that Nintendo would follow suit, even slightly.
The system is set to be showcased and “playable by all” at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles on June 7-9. Until then it’s just salivation and speculation.