Major Game Publisher Calls Nintendo Wii Legacy, Implies onto Next-Gen

Electronic Arts Criticizes Wii, Expects Next-Gen Console in Foreseeable Future

by Anton Shilov
03/15/2011 | 08:18 PM

The head of EA Games named Nintendo Wii game console a "legacy" system and said that Nintendo not only needs a new one, but should also change its entire approach to the development of its platforms. The claims rather clearly imply that Nintendo's next-generation system is on the horizon and that it needs to take some actions to ensure its popularity among developers.


"When you look at Nintendo, for a while there, it was all about the Wii being the biggest entertainment platform ever and capturing the mass market, and it faded away. Now, they are coming back with a second act. I think they know that. They are very self-aware as an organization. Nintendo understand[s] the dynamics and the fact that HD consoles is a booming part of business right now. Legacy platforms like PS2 and the Wii have dropped off significantly. They are going to figure something out. They are going to come back at it," said Frank Gibeau, the president of EA Games, in an interview with IndustryGamers web-site.

One of the most recent market rumours indicates that Nintendi intends to reveal the successor for Wii at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade-show that will take place June 7-9, 2011, at the Los Angeles convention center.

The lack of high-definition video and graphics support clearly affects its dropping popularity and it is about time for the company to start talking about the next-generation console. But according to media reports, Nintendo will launch the successor of Wii only in late 2012, which will be late for the 720p generation. The console that will be released in 2012 will inevitably compete against Microsoft's and Sony's consoles to be launched in 2014 - 2016 timeframe and which will be much more powerful.

There are more things to be addressed by Nintendo, according to the game publisher. It must ensure that third party game-developers can profitably release games for it.

"[Wii] is a tough market for a third party. When I look at a development dollar in terms of which teams do I invest in, and what platforms to go at, they’re not very competitive when you look at HD consoles, or free-to-play bets, or things like tablets and handsets. It’s something they need to think seriously about with their next gen - how serious is a third party development community for them on their next platform and their next bet? They can get to a certain level of success with their own IPs and their own internal development, but if they don’t have that developer ecosystem where it’s frankly easy to make money on the platform, they’re going to see there are too many opportunities in the world right now to go build games on other platforms in a very successful high quality, highly profitable way," added Mr. Gibeau.

The next-gen Nintendo console is projected to be based on a quad-core Marvell Armada system-on-chip that is compliant with ARM architecture, will feature integrated Blu-ray reader and will sport "a mobile projector of some sort". The rumoured specifications do not seem to be credible. Nintendo used microprocessors based on IBM's Power architecture as well as proprietary optical disc standards for both GameCube and Wii consoles and it is not very likely that the company decides to radically change its approach with the next-generation console. Interestingly, but the rumoured console even does not have a code-name.