As original Nintendo Wiis gather dust in households across the UK, Nintendo has confirmed that it will unveil a second-generation 'Wii 2' at this year's E3 in June.
The official statement on Nintendo's investors' website, confirming that the as-yet-unnamed "Wii successor system" will arrive next year, reads: "Nintendo Co., Ltd has decided to launch in 2012 a system to succeed Wii... we will show a playable model of the new system and announce more specifications at the E3 Expo, which will be held from June 7-9, 2011, in Los Angeles."
Considering PlayStation 4 rumours have little substance and Xbox 720 rumours are wispy at best, any revamped, upgraded, HD-friendly follow-up to the Wii would undoubtedly turn heads. And Wii sales finally show signs of decline, Nintendo needs a new console to maintain its momentum.
Our colleagues at T3.com have rounded up the latest rumours in the Wii 2 video below:
Enter 'Project Cafe': more than just a Wii HD
If the Wii 2 rumours are to be believed, then Nintendo's Project Café is more than just a high-def Wii. Game Informer started the rumour mill turning, citing the existence of an HD ready Wii from mysterious 'multiple sources'. French website 01net.com then chipped in with the Project Café codename and suggested core specs that could eclipse those of the Xbox 360 and PS3.
Wii 2 specs could include a touchscreen display…
The 01net.com website has form - it previously leaked the specs of Sony's NGP handheld before the official reveal. So it's tempting to believe that the Wii 2 could indeed be powered by a three-core IBM Power PC chip, feature an ATI R700 GPU for 1080p/3D visuals and use a unique gamepad with a 6.2-inch touchscreen, dual analogue sticks and a built-in camera.
This machine would also be backwards-compatible with the current Wii and its motion-sensing peripherals, enabling it to go head-to-head with Kinect and PlayStation Move.
Such a specification would make the Wii 2 faster than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. But you'll note that it's hardly cutting-edge tech we're talking about here. In contrast, the components are proven, reliable and reasonably cheap. If this is the specification Nintendo opts for, it won't take two years to turn a profit on each Wii 2 sold.
One thing that is highly unlikely is 3D support, with Nintendo making it clear that it would resist the urge until glasses free technology was at a high enough standard for the television.
Goodbye Wii, hello 'Stream'?
There's a good chance that Nintendo's new console won't be called the Wii 2, Wii HD, Super Wii, 'Wii Wii' or any other variation of Wii. IGN has heard the name 'Stream', but it could be one of many names up for consideration.
Moving on from the Wii brand would make sense if Nintendo is building a powerful machine to win back hard-core Western gamers. Rather than recycle Wii Sports Resort and Just Dance in 1080p Full HD, Nintendo has its eye on greater 3rd-party software support. EDGE claims that "Ubisoft, Activision and Electronic Arts have had development units of the new hardware for months."
Of course, having AAA titles like Mortal Kombat and LA Noire alongside a next-gen Mario Kart or Zelda on the Wii 2 isn't going to win Nintendo many converts. It will also need to revolutionise its online offering for the Wii 2 to be taken seriously as a credible gaming machine.
Wii 2 release date
With the Wii 2 set to be revealed at this year's E3, then it's possible that Nintendo could start rolling it out before Christmas. But given the complexity of a global console launch, early 2012 looks a more sensible bet. That would give Nintendo two years to rack up sales if Sony and Microsoft don't launch new consoles until 2014.
"Nintendo is doing this one right," an anonymous source told Game Informer. "[It's] not a gimmick like the Wii." The statement is a little harsh on the Wii, which opened up video gaming to a whole new demographic. Nintendo won't want to throw that all away.
Read more: http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming...#ixzz1N0qfYKWO
Also, the video below apparently shows footage taken from a developers meeting of the console, although this has yet to be confirmed.