Will Wii deliver where DS failed?

2 Oct 2008

While the new DSi with two 0.3-megapixel built-in cameras and slightly larger screens that are now 3.25 inches diagonally was not the excitement some fans had wished for (no upper touchscreen or improved graphics), maybe the promise of a new second-generation Nintendo Wii will lift our spirits.

Sure, the handheld Nintendo DS now has an SD card that allows users to store and display photos on their Wii photo channel, and the screen is that much bigger with the ability to tap and play MP3s, but this is not a new model – it is the current DS with a few multimedia features – nothing whatsoever to lure the gamer.

The Nintendo Wii, on the other hand, may be getting a complete revision as a Wii 2 or Wii HD if rumours are to be believed about games developers being approached by the Japanese games firm with early models of the new next-generation machine.

According to Whattheyplay.com, ‘multiple sources’ are saying that this new machine will be brought to market by 2011, and the focus is most likely around better graphics and a bigger hard drive or flash memory.

There are of course strong arguments for why the Nintendo Wii will not be getting a re-design any time soon. Firstly, it was not that long ago that the console was released: September 2006 across Europe, the US, Japan and Australasia.

Secondly, and more importantly, the Nintendo Wii represented a major shift in gaming, both in terms of design and user playability, with the motion-sensitive wireless controllers with built-in accelerometers and the fact that it blew open the previously under-developed casual gamers market.

Of course, Nintendo has always paid attention to its R&D budget since the heady days of the first, proper handheld games console, the Gameboy, so one could surmise that a less than revolutionary iteration of the Nintendo DS could mean more time and money being pumped into a brand new next-gen Wii.

In any case, while we’re waiting to see if Nintendo will give us a shiny new Wii, we can always pop along to the DSi Shop which will give the option of downloading games over Wi-Fi. However, this has only been announced so far for Japan, which will be getting the new DS from 1 November.

By Marie Boran

Pictured: the new Nintendo DSi with in-built cameras