The Real Reason Nintendo Isn’t Talking About the Wii Successor

Every time Nintendo holds a press event, the most common question from the press is, “When is the Wii 2 or Wii HD coming out?” The latest word from Nintendo executive vice president Cammie Dunaway is:

I don’t think it’ll be anytime soon.

We’ll have it ready when we think the time is right.

Sure, she knows more than she’s letting on, but the real reason Nintendo isn’t talking Wii 2 just yet is that it will almost definitely go large with the Nintendo DS successor at E3 2010.

I’ve heard a bunch of details from people that claim to be developing for the system. I hope to get some more info at Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2010 in a few weeks. What I’ve heard so far is pretty cool, with one Nintendo-like twist that I wasn’t expecting.

I’ll write more about the DS2 in a few weeks. For now, let me know what features you think or want the next Nintendo handheld system to have.


Author: RPadTV

16 thoughts on “The Real Reason Nintendo Isn’t Talking About the Wii Successor”

  1. You are going to GDC Ray? Awesome.

    One feature I'd like in my new nintendo handheld would be the lack of an accelerometer. I'm just not liking having to use it on my iphone. Viewing angles are horrible and I kind of like to see the screen. Or at least don't push the use of it. (damn you Apple).

    Allow me to partition the memory (of which I hope there is plenty or will be allowed to boot with a 16gb SDHC) so that I may be inclined to use the device more often.

  2. Nintendo is going to have some very serious and difficult decisions to make about the Wii 2. When you're at the bottom of the pile during the last gen, they really had nowhere to go but up or go the way of SEGA. They gambled and it paid of big time. Now, they are in the same position that Sony was in coming into the current gen and they are going to have to be smart about what the next Wii will be.

    It's very easy to screw up when your company is at the top and everyone is gunning for you. They were able to get to the top by way of casual market exploitation and motion controls, but it will not keep them at the top if they fail to evolve. As a "gamer" I may be biased, but I really think that the next gen Wii should be a culmination of everything that is good and right with consoles without all the fat. Wii 2 MUST:

    – be HD (1080p if possible)

    – be backwards compatible with all Wii titles AND allow you to transfer your purchased content on Wii Shop Channel over to the new console.

    – have a big enough hard drive without that stupid SD card work-around.

    – be able to seamlessly get you connected online with friends without the asinine "friend codes" garbage.

    – uh… I have more stuff, but I forgot.

    Oh well, back to work. I'll be back later.


  3. You can add literacy to the list of things I suffer from. Apparently, I did not read the "let me know what features you think or want the next Nintendo handheld system to have" part of the article. Instead of “handheld”, I read “console”. Go me.


  4. @iceman

    Since Nintendo isn't necessarily competing in the same market that MS and Sony are, do you think it would be plausible for Nintendo to support the Wii in perpetuity with normal updates but also have a different console that utilizes modern tech? They could really cash in. Their Wii sales and continuing sales could finance such an attempt. Out of the 3 currently in the market, they are the only ones who could do that w/o cannibalizing sales from their products.

    Part of me doesn't see Nintendo getting into heavy console gaming again. I think they will leave the heavy hitting titles to their handhelds and just use the home machines for the unwitting shovelware lovers.

  5. @ Smartguy;

    They won't last. They stayed out of the "HD Fight" because they had to. They didn't have enough money after the GameCube era to produce such an upscale machine. Whether they wanted to or not is irrelevant. The fact is they could not do it, so they put on a brave face and said: "We're not going to play with the big boys. We're taking the console in a different, cheaper, more gimmicky direction." And it worked. But it could have easily failed.

    NOW, since they are on top and they have the money; cheaper, gimmicky and different is not going to cut it. Even by their own philosophy, Nintendo should not be resting on it laurels and continue with their current trend. They have to innovate and come up with the "next new revolutionary thing" for their Wii 2 OR "upgrade" the Wii by leveraging the brand to new heights via more processing power, memory, online connectivity, etc., while still retaining the core functions (motion control, casual audience) that made it a hit in the first place. Look at it this way. Nintendo figures that it will still retain the “casual” market going in with the Wii 2, and now they have the resources of going after the dedicated hardcore gamer. If you were Nintendo and wanted to grow and saw the chunk of market share that Sony and Microsoft have, wouldn’t you want to go after that? After all, what other kind of gamers are there besides casual and hardcore? They have the casual, now they should be gunning for the hardcore… because they can.


  6. @Iceman and Ray if he wants to join in

    What about releasing a Wii 2 that has all the functionality of the Wii but contains the ability to cater to the hardcore market? Same nice white shell, but the ability to handle HD content AND a standard controller from Nintendo? If you include multimedia functionality to the device you really do have the all in one machine.

    Back to my earlier post though, I really think N could do well and really attack from both ends with two home console machines in the market together. Ray pointed out that their handheld division basically prints money. I put it akin to how Verizon rolled out their FiOS. The build was subsidied by their wireless division. Could work.

    @Iceman specifically

    You are a marketer, do you think they had any doubt about how their machine would do inside of Japan? I think they knew it would sell well in Japan. I also think they were surprised at how it sold in the US without Wii Sports being available for launch.

  7. @Iceman Nintendo always had money. Even during the N64 and GameCube days, the company had a ton of cash in the bank. Remember, the company was always slaughtering the competition in the handheld market.

  8. @ Mr. Padilla;

    Unfortunately, we will never know exactly how much money they had in the bank at that time from handheld sales. Nintendo may or may have not been able to afford to compete with Microsoft and Sony on the console side. We will probably never really know. But going forward, Nintendo needs to figure out if their next console will "revolutionize" the game industry again (the equivalent of having lighting strike twice) OR upgrading the Wii in the most logical ways possible (HD, power, memory, etc.). If you were in Nintendo's theoretical shoes, what would you do to maintain and grow your market share in the years to come?

    @ Smartguy;

    Yes, I think they had doubts. Doesn't every company when introducing a new product? The thing with Nintendo is that they provided such a united and determined front that it almost seemed like a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's like Nintendo was saying: "This is going to work. This is going to work. This is going to work. This has GOT to work. This is going to work." and it actually worked. Their message was strong, simple, (and most importantly) united. They had the marketing concept out; executed it with minimal flaws and it worked out for them. It could have easily backfired. Look at Sony's snafu with the initial console price, the boomerang controller and the watered-down later versions of the console. Look at Microsoft with the three different flavors of Xbox 360 (one gimped), and the hardware failures. It seemed that only Nintendo was the one who suffered least out of all their competitors' marketing mistakes. Of course, people will tell you: "Oh, but the Sony and Microsoft market are different from Nintendo's. The hardcore gamers are going to buy an Xbox or PS3 no matter what." Horse manure, I tell you. Just look at all of us "hardcore" gamers that ALSO have a Wii. It doesn't matter if we don't use it a lot. We already bought it. In contrast, look at how many casual gamers that have a Wii also have a 360 or PS3. A whole lot less, right? Nintendo wins. I agree with your last paragraph and that was the point I was trying to make. The most logical move for Wii's successor would be to upgrade it to a point where it will be able to compete with Sony and Microsoft's offering while still retaining the features that made it popular in the first place.

    OR maybe the next Nintendo console will be a virtual reality helmet/gloves combo that The Big N promises to actually immerses you in the game. Although in reality, 99% of the contextual moves in the game will probably just translate into shaking your hand like a neurotic epileptic seizure monkey being struck by lightning.


  9. @iceman

    agreed. I think they were a bit mire than confident about the Japanese release though. Hard for a quirky electronic made from a Japanese company to not garner support. I honestly can't wait for their next console if there is one. I'm sure it will satisfy all segments of the market.

  10. @Iceman If you can read Japanese, I'm pretty sure you can find out. Nintendo is a publicly traded company in Japan. Even though it was third in the console races, it was ran efficiently and didn't spend nearly as much money as Microsoft/Sony. The company had a lot of money and could easily have competed with M/S in hardware horsepower. It tried something else with the GameCube and didn't do as well. I tried something different with the Wii and it killed.

  11. @iceman

    I'll have to view your vid later. My iPhone takes me to the main site and I can't search for it while driving. But youre right ROB didn't make sense if you played gyromite the second plyer could control the pipes for you.

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