Rumors and reports on a possible new Nintendo console have been popping up everywhere over the last few days. So many in fact that we're no longer questioning whether or not the console is real, but instead we are wondering how many of these rumors will turn out to be legitimate. There have been some pretty wild claims regarding Nintendo's top secret step into the next generation of console gaming, but which new features should you expect to be included when the system hits retailers?
That is a question that will have the masses pondering for months leading up to an official reveal of the console, but Game Rant is here to ease the burden of waiting by offering up some of its expert insight into the top five things we expect the new Nintendo console to have. This isn't a random wishlist of upgrades that we hope to see. Instead, we've discussed the rumors amongst ourselves, as well as deciding upon things that we expect from a next generation video game console. Nintendo may be leading the market now, and if they implement everything below then they could very well stay on top for many more years to come.
1080p HD Graphics
Let's get the most obvious one out of the way first. The Wii, Nintendo's current home console, is several years behind the competition in terms of technology. Nintendo has got to be looking for a way to get past the technological slump they've put themselves in, and they will obviously be making that jump with their next system. Reports have stated that the new console will already be more powerful with graphics that trump the Xbox 360 and PS3, and we here at Game Rant believe that because the lack of HD is one of the Wii's major faults.
Third party blockbusters like Call of Duty, Dead Rising, and more all required not just a scaling down, but a dated port made for the Wii because the system just couldn't handle running the original versions of the games. That's why anyone who wants to enjoy something else besides first party titles is likely to pass on the Wii and go straight to the 360 or PS3. High Definition graphics are a necessity among current game consoles, so expect Nintendo to be showing off some beautiful looking games for their new console in the near future. Don't expect the system to feature 3D though, because Nintendo feels that it's currently an unnecessary feature on a home console.
Remember the HD/Blu-ray format war? Yeah, well Blu-ray won, and it has since become the standard in high definition entertainment. Currently, the Nintendo Wii doesn't allow owners to watch any form of DVD on their console, and at a point in time where video game consoles have started transitioning into a home entertainment format this just won't cut it anymore. Incorporating Blu-ray into Nintendo's new console will help them not only upgrade to a significantly better entrainment medium, but it will also cut down on piracy.
Many believe that Blu-ray couldn't come to a Nintendo console because it is a Sony proprietary, but this is simply not the case. Yes, Sony currently sits on the Blu-ray board of directors, but so do a handful of other companies including Disney, LG, and even Apple. If Nintendo wants to join in on the high definition awesomeness than it's as simple as paying a fee to utilize the new standard. Yes, some of that money will go directly to Sony, but it stands to make Nintendo more money in the long run. Blu-ray capability in Nintendo's new game system was one of the first bits of info to start circulate the web, and we believe there is some validity to it.
Dual Analog Controller with a Touch Screen
Nintendo has always been well-known for its controller designs, for better or worse. People to this day still talk about the NES and N64 game pads, but the Wii changed things up dramatically with a nunchuk-esque controller. Most gamers were immediately turned off by the new design, and those who did try it were stuck purchasing separate pieces of the controller in order to even play certain games. That's why it was such a relief to hear that the new controller for the next Nintendo console will offer dual analog control sticks, as well as a touchscreen.
Nintendo is currently the only console on the market that doesn't have a dual analog controller, but we expect that to change when their new system releases. The current Wii remote does allow players to aim by pointing at the screen in an FPS, but there are some titles that are just better off without motion controls. The new touchscreen could also potentially be a rather awesome controller addition, allowing players to doodle or interact with the game in a way that hasn't been experienced on a home console. Don't expect Nintendo's trademark motion controls to disappear though, because it will likely return as an option — in a similar fashion to the PlayStation Move.
Enhanced Online Play
A respectable online system is a big one that Nintendo is going to have to nail in order for them to be taken seriously amongst the hardcore gaming crowd. There are a lot of people who enjoy hooking up with their friends online to play games, and whether you're playing on Xbox Live or the PlayStation Network it's a huge part of gaming right now. Nintendo's current set up for online is walking a fine line between extremely dated and embarrassing, so it's obvious to expect vast improvements with their new console.
Friends have to currently exchange a 12 digit friend code if they want to play online with one another, but that involves a lot more effort than should ever be required to play online with friends. Once you do exchange codes there's not even a way to see if your friend is online, and if they are, then you're going to have to phone them because you can't send them a game invite, or even communicate with them at all. Nintendo needs to ditch the complicated friend codes and add party chat, a friends list, and a way to send game invites in order to please avid gamers.
Built-in Hard Drive
As many of you have already noticed, the Nintendo Wii is sans hard drive. Yes, there is 512mb of internal memory in the Nintendo Wii, but if you planned on downloading more than a couple of classic Nintendo titles or WiiWare games then you're out of luck. Nintendo did include SD card ports so that players who liked to download games could continue to do so, but you'll have to purchase those separately. The space limitations of the Wii have still made a noticeable impact on anyone who downloads and develops games on the system, and a few games haven't been able to release on the system's WiiWare because of it (i.e. Super Meat Boy).
The Wii 2 will likely offer an upgraded Wii Shop area with games that are a similar quality to those found on other consoles. If that is indeed the case then it will also need a decently sized hard drive to store all of the content players download from the service. Demos are another feature that people have wanted from Nintendo for quite sometime, and while there may be a few demos for select WiiWare games, a five minute demo of World of Goo just doesn't cut it any more. A hard drive is essential in Nintendo's new console, because without it it will seem that Nintendo isn't taking online marketplaces seriously.
That ends Game Rant's latest feature on the top five thing to expect from Nintendo's new console. These are all standards that should be met when the new system finally launches, and while all of the features (and even the console) aren't confirmed, these are all expectation that need to be met in order for Nintendo to compete against Sony and Microsoft. We are expecting to have an official announcement of the new Nintendo console in a matter of weeks, with an official reveal planned for E3.
Stay tuned to Game Rant for more news on Nintendo's new home video game system, and more awesome features like this one.
What do you think of our top five features that we expect Nintendo's new console to have? What other things would you like to see the system have?
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