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Proposed "Wii 2" Splits Opinions

WiiThe gaming community just can't stop anticipating a new updated iteration of Nintendo's successful Wii, and Kombo's Brain Langlois is the latest editorialist to take a whack at the hypothetical console of tomorrow.  There's a general wish list of upgrades that most people in the core community seem to want in a new Wii.  High definition visuals are highly requested among the core gaming crowd even if Ma and Pa Casual are still perfectly happy with their 27" Zenith TV from 1996 or that cute little 22" flat screen that Wal-Mart had on sale a few years ago.  Increased storage space is another issue that needs attention, plus there's the comparatively underwhelming online capabilities that need to be addressed.  Essentially, the core crowd wants the next Wii to become more like the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360, but with Mario and friends toplining the available adventures over Nathan Drake and Master Chief.  While I do believe the next Nintendo console — whenever it comes and whatever it's called — will improve on some of the Wii's shortcomings, I would not expect to see the company reverse ideology and push costly technology to the limit.  Here's some of Brian's take on the matter:

So, what will Nintendo's new Wii be like? Chances are it will be very similar to the Wii in basic functionality. Motion controls are here to stay, and will probably get even better and more responsive. A graphical upgrade is certainly called for, and HD compatibility is an absolute must. I think we'll be seeing some pretty stuff from Nintendo. The list goes on, better online structure, more internal storage, etc. All that is pretty much a given, but never underestimate Nintendo's ability to throw us a curve ball. They're going to do something different, something to once again stand out from the crowd. I think that the controllers, while still motion based, are going to be pretty different, with more features and possibly fewer buttons.

Nintendo has proven that comparatively underwhelming technology can be wildly profitable, but what we need to consider is if the expanded market that has come to gaming this generation can be persuaded to continue onward.  In the end, I think that is Nintendo's big challenge for the next generation of hardware.  How does the company convince everyone who loves Wii Sports and Wii Fit to take another $250 step forward for Wii Super Sports and Wii Mega Fit that requires a new console when the current Wii — the one connected to that 27" Zenith — still works just fine, is still fun. and is long since paid off?  We can spin ideas for massive hard drives, advanced visual processors, and a ridiculously improved Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection from now until the end of time, but if the newly expanded market decides that it's perfectly happy playing the existing Wii Sports Resort and its kin for a few years more, where does Nintendo turn then?

Here's the trick: Nintendo has smart people at the helm.  Not only will the company wring every last bit of potential out of the existing Wii (both in terms of sales and technical capability), but I bet that we won't see the next Nintendo console until the company feels that the market is ready for an upgrade.  Forcing an updated Wii on a market that is not hungry for it would be a major misstep, and I believe that Nintendo would see such a thing coming and not deliberately make that error.  The Wii's successor will come, but not because the core crowd wants to play a large online multiplayer DLC campaign for Super Mario Galaxy 2 on a visually striking 3D 1080p television.