A new high-definition (HD) video game system from Nintendo is expected to be announced this June at industry trade show E3 2011 in Los Angeles and due in late 2012, according to Game Informer magazine. Enhancements are expected to include graphics that match or surpass those provided by current virtual eye candy leaders the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Despite ushering in the motion-control gaming era, the Nintendo Wii – also rumored to soon be receiving a $150 price drop on May 15 – has long been criticized for its increasingly outdated standard definition (SD) graphics. Critics have also derided the console’s limited online connectivity and multiplayer functionality, which has led to the system’s top retail sellers primarily being only familiar branded Nintendo properties. Hoping to court more software creators into creating cross-platform games that will play on its devices, as on similar high-def, Internet-friendly consoles, Nintendo has reportedly also begun making outreach to the third-party game development community.
Rather than introduce new consoles, rivals Microsoft and Sony have recently looked to online downloadable games, gesture-tracking controls (e.g., Kinect and PlayStation Move, respectively) and streaming multimedia to extend the PS3 and Xbox 360’s lifespan. Given the Wii's 2006 launch date, the timing would seem ripe for Nintendo to re-energize interest in its hardware. Nothing has been officially confirmed yet, however, and one can only conjecture as to possible added features, including motion controls, cloud gaming or 3-D visuals.