Nintendo May Introduce Wii HD – Analyst

Analyst Believes High-Def Wii Is Incoming

by Anton Shilov
08/02/2007 | 02:38 PM

Even though the latest market hit from Nintendo is praised for its popularity, ease of use and unique controls, the Wii game console is often blamed for poor graphics and processing power. However, an analyst believes that as soon as high-performance chips are available, Nintendo may introduce Wii with support for high-definition resolutions. But the move may cause more problems than benefits.


“Consumers may hope for improved graphics, and my guess is that Nintendo will comply. In two or three years, commodity prices for graphics processors and CPUs may decline to the point that a high-definition Wii could be introduced. If so, Nintendo will likely introduce one,” said analyst Michael Pachter, a research analyst of Wedbush Morgan, in an email interview with GamePro web-site.

It has been discussed for a long time that Nintendo may eventually introduce a new version of Wii with improved graphics and processing horsepower, supporting more advanced games. But it should be kept in mind that game console developers tend not to change hardware of their products during the lifespan, as this essentially causes the mess on the market of games, as one game may take advantage of a new performance-based function, whereas the other may not.

Nevertheless, if even novice gamers pay attention to the fact that graphics on Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 is considerably better than on Nintendo Wii, sales of the latter may slowdown, which is something that Nintendo may try to avoid. Given that high-definition TV sets are gaining popularity rapidly, Nintendo may have to respond to customers’ demands with an appropriate hardware and software. Theoretically, it may introduce a brand-new game console Wii HD, which is fully backwards compatible with Wii and which games will run on its predecessor with standard definition. It is unclear, though, whether game developers will proceed with creating two types of a single game to generally similar game consoles.

Back in July George Harrison, senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications for Nintendo of America, said in an interview that Wii hardware may be changed the way the company does with its handheld consoles lineup.

“Console hardware has always historically been on a sort of fixed, sequential pattern almost every five to six years and it takes you about five years to develop a new piece of console hardware. The handhelds and portables, like Game Boy and now DS, we’ve always been continuously innovating, and whenever we feel like it’s time or have an upgrade, we’ll do it, whether it’s an improved screen for the handheld or slimmed down like the DS Lite – those types of things. So it’s not out of the question on Wii, but we’re not even to our second holiday yet, so it's kind of premature to talk about any revisions to the hardware itself,” Mr. Harrison said in an interview with web-site.