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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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By encryptkeeper on 2/23/2007 9:49:44 AM , Rating: 2
Don't get me wrong, I love my Wii, but a lot of this was supposed to be available at launch (like different colors). Some of the things, like DVD playback, are really just novelties that very few of us need. Truthfully, how many of us have Wii's but don't have a DVD player. And no, there's no way they're about to tweak the graphics. Don't even fool yourself. Charging stations (kind of a novelty if you already have a AA battery recharging station) aren't really necessary, but increasing memory size would be good. I'd like to see the ability to attach a USB hard drive. ANY USB hard drive not just something sanctioned by Nintendo. Plus, if the damn remote speaker wouldn't have so much static. For anyone who hasn't seen this before, this is from Nintendo. If you change the batteries too quickly, it can cause static. Take the batteries out for at least a minute and reinsert. I haven't tried it yet, but you can't make that shit up.




By encryptkeeper on 2/23/2007 10:07:26 AM , Rating: 2
I almost forgot, Nintendo initially said no DVD playback on the Wii, then they changed their minds, then they said no DVD playback again, then said the DVD playback was only going to be in Japan (or at least I think that was the sequence). Anyone know if it's true that DVD enabled Wiis will make it to America?


By goku on 2/23/2007 6:51:42 PM , Rating: 2
they can tweak the graphics, what I think they will do or at least should do is have the games internally rendered at 640X480 and then for HDTVs outputted at 1280X960 or even a scaled vertical resolution of the resolution in mind whether it be 720 or 1080, then leave bars on the side. If they were to do this, yes you wouldn't have the 720 or 1080 quality but you'd have it look significantly better than if you were to use the TV's own scaler as thats usually junk. But inorder to do this, I would assume you'd need more video memory than is currently available on the Wii.


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