With all of the news about the Nintendo Wii having a disappointing and unexciting spring line-up of games, combined with rumors of a $50 price drop next month, it was rather clear that Nintendo would need to debut their next home console soon. Rumors pointed towards the obvious and speculated announcement of a new Nintendo console (Wii 2?) at E3 and now multiple sources have confirmed this to be the case.
Game Informer was able to verify with several sources that Nintendo will indeed showcase their next console in Los Angeles for E3 2011 in only a matter of weeks. Furthermore, they're reportedly already presenting the unit to publishers to allow them to begin development on games in preparation for the late 2012 release date.
This is all good news for several reasons, the most obvious being that publishers will hopefully be able to create some quality launch titles for when this new Nintendo console launches - Something that they should have done with the 3DS. The other great news is that Nintendo is likely joining the PS3 and Xbox 360 with a console that can actually support modern multiplatform games and graphics. If you look at the vast majority of games making headlines in recent months (years?), barely any of them are playable on the Wii.
This brings us to the most important question of all: what kind of power will this console contain? With the PS3 and Xbox 360 being 5-6 years old, the new Nintendo would have to be able to outdo them in processing power, right? This is where clarity is needed as there are conflicting reports. Game Informer confirms that the unit will support HD (could you imagine if it didn't?) but does not know if it is comparable to the PS3/Xbox 360. One source describes the console as being, "not a gimmick like the Wii."
IGN however, was able to confirm that the new console is also backwards compatible with Nintendo Wii games. Their sources offer far greater hope and excitement for Nintendo's jump to the next console generation as they also are reporting that they hear the console not only supports 1080p HD, but that it's a more powerful console than the PS3 and Xbox 360 with a goal to recapture the "hardcore" gamer marker. Now that's what I want to hear! I'd have almost lost all interest if after all these years, Nintendo announced a console inferior in power to the aged competing consoles on the market.
We at Game Rant expect the new console to have a totally different name than the last two consoles (Wii, Gamecube) and that it'll support upgraded motion controls and a new analog controller design. We heard earlier from Reggie Fils-Aime that the next Nintendo home console wouldn't be 3D but that could change.
Our major concern revolves around the online capabilities which were rather primitive on the Wii for serious and social gaming compared to the other consoles. The 3DS is certainly lacking in this department as well so we hope Nintendo learns from this for their next big launch.
Nintendo will apparently offer up some details on the console before E3 but that the full unveiling and preview will debut at the event in June. Either way, Game Rant will be there.
[Update 2: Nintendo controller has 6-inch touchscreen]
[Update 4: Video streaming and dual-stick controller]
How excited are you by this?