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Official concept art of Revolution in various colors

Official Wii Remotes on display at E3 2006 - Image courtesy Kotaku

An artist mock-up of a Wii Remote charging dock - Image courtesy IGN

Fan art showing what a possible Metroid Prime 3 bundled Wii could look like - Image by Sardu of Nintendo Forums

Fan art showing what a retro-themed NES throwback Wii could look like - Image by Sardu of Nintendo Forums
The Wii may see a hardware revisions sooner than expected

Video game consoles are essentially a closed platform. Once the hardware is finalized, the specifications usually remain the same throughout the lifecycle. There have been little tweaks here and there with home consoles towards the end of their life cycles, such as slimmer and smaller PlayStations, but game systems usually keep to the status quo.

Handhelds are a different story, however, as Nintendo has written the book on how to reinvent and redesign portable systems. Nintendo clearly realizes the profit potential of incrementally improving its hardware—not so much as to introduce new functionality, but to increase usability—so that customers may even buy the same system twice.

The most recent example of this is the Nintendo DS, which saw an initial release form of a bulky, sturdy folding brick, and later reinvented into the DS Lite, a sleek, shiny iPod-like fun machine. Considering Nintendo’s great success with this strategy, it should not be surprising to learn that the games maker is plotting a similar strategy for the Wii, perhaps even earlier than most expected.

In an interview, GameDaily asked Nintendo of America  VP Perrin Kaplan if the ‘hardware revision model’ would apply to the Wii, to which she replied succinctly, “Sure, absolutely. You'll see the ways in which we do that.”

Kaplan’s assertive but tight-lipped answer points to more than just adding something like DVD video playback. In fact, a DVD movie-enabled Wii has already been announced for release later this year. Kaplan comments on the DVD playback as something minor in the scheme for Wii: “I think it's just to give them a choice. We've not yet come out with a firm date; we haven't talked about it too much. It's not the top thing on our list.” When asked if DVD video capability was part of the plans for a new Wii hardware revision, Kaplan says, “There are always lots of things in the future.”

The Nintendo marketing VP isn’t showing any of her cards, but one thing is for sure: there will be another Wii. The obvious things that Nintendo would do to make the Wii more attractive are add new colors, increase its internal flash memory, include rechargeable batteries for Wii Remotes and component cables. There isn’t much merit to making the console any slimmer or lighter, and high definition support isn’t likely to happen.

The Wii is attaining mass-market appeal, much like the iPod. It may only be a matter of time before Nintendo adopts Apple’s hardware redesign strategy.



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Not problem with revisions but...
By bysmitty on 2/23/2007 7:59:44 AM , Rating: 2
I have no problem with revising the system later on but please, for the love of god, let us transfer our virtual console games to a newer system should we decide to buy one. Right now VC games are tied solely to the hardware which is complete bunk. If my current system were to die or if I upgrade to this rev 2 whenever it comes out, I lose over $100 is classic games. :(

...bysmitty




RE: Not problem with revisions but...
By Mudvillager on 2/23/2007 8:07:36 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I've thought of this too, so I've decided to stop buying VC games until they can be redownloaded on one account as many times as you want, like Steam.
Talking of Steam, it's the future of game distribution.


RE: Not problem with revisions but...
By jon1003 on 2/23/2007 9:09:45 AM , Rating: 2
This makes me want to sell my Wii already in anticipation of a better system. I just keep thinking how I would have payed $50 more for better graphics as I stand in front of my HD tv playing tennis. The article does say that better graphics probably waren't on the list of things that will be improved, but that's just speculation. The different colored Wiimotes look pretty cool though. At $60 for a set of Wiimote/nunchuck, it sucks to see the new designs around the corner and be faced with spending $180(40+20 *3) now, or having to wait with only 1 Wiimote. :-/ Anywho, there is already a 3rd party Wiimote dock released that comes with a new battery cover and rechargeable battery pack. You could always just use rechargeable betteries... unless you reallyyy need to "dock it." You can buy very high quality skins from decalgirl.com, including retro I think. The mod to change the LED color of the slot is easy.


By Gastrian on 2/23/2007 9:31:44 AM , Rating: 2
Its unlikely we'll see a revision in the graphics. For a start all early adopters are going to feel cheated but from a technical aspect by improving the hardware you've created two consoles, which means software either has to accommodate both versions or as we see with many multi-platform games, they will be built for the least powerful and ported over.


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