Multiple sources are confirming to us that Nintendo will introduce or at least announce a new console at E3 in June. A number of other outlets are also confirming this, but in discussions with some of our sources they remind us that it could just be a smoke screen for a repackaged Wii with a price cut.
Those of our sources that remain convinced of a new console announcement say that the Wii2/WiiHD will sport HD graphics support with greater graphics and CPU horsepower than the current generation Wii console. It is expected that the new console will offer backward compatibility to allow owners to play Wii and GameCube titles. It is also rumored to use a new revamped HD controller.
From the whispers we hear, Nintendo has been making the rounds to a number of tier one developers trying to drum up some software commitment support for the new unit. This leads us to believe that if announced in June, it still will be at least next year before the unit will arrive; and if it does early next year, there is going to be very little software for it, as the development window is very short.
Of course, our sources seems to conflict when it comes to the actual raw power of the new unit. Some tell us that its total raw graphics and CPU power will put it on par or a little beyond the current Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Other sources tell us that the new unit will rock the house with more raw power than either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, which is hard for us to believe, as it means the price point will be much higher than Nintendo has ever sold a console for.
We have been able to ferret out a couple of things from all of this talk. Our thinking is that Nintendo is likely to announce something, but if it is a new console we have to think that if it is more powerful than the current generation consoles from Microsoft and Sony it will not be by much, as it simply would cost too much (which would make the risk much higher). Nintendo has likely no desire to try to go head to head with Microsoft and Sony with a high priced console, and they have a history of being conservative when pricing a console.
If there is a new console from Nintendo it will be backward compatible with at least Wii software. We do believe that the price of the current Wii will be slashed to $149 and we think that is a given. Don’t look for Nintendo to tip their hand before E3, but we suspect that their press conference will be interesting, to say the least. Also, we believe that there is no way that they would try to push a new console out this holiday season because they want to focus on the 3DS this holiday season; we don’t believe they will release a new console this year.