Nintendo HD – Really Great Or Just Too Late?


The rumor mills have been grinding recently as GameInformer claimed that Nintendo will be ready to announce the successor to the Wii at this year’s E3. Apparently the new console will be full HD which is something that Wii fans have been wanting for a long time. Whether the “Wii HD” will be graphically comparable to the 360 and PS3 remains to be seen but I personally can’t see why it wouldn’t be. The Wii has been a phenomenal success that has dominated the market selling more units than Microsoft and Sony’s consoles and broke console sales records in 2009. These sales obviously generate considerable revenue that can be invested into research and development which may make the “Wii HD” a true next gen console.

When I first read the news I saw that twitter was on fire. Only it wasn’t in a good way. People weren’t excited about the news, they were downright negative and I still can’t figure out why. That’s not going to stop me from trying though – here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

I think it’s fair to say that on the whole, gamers are the most ungrateful, easily underwhelmed group of consumers known to mankind. Nothing is ever good enough and my twitter stream full of “Nintendo will fail” and “Too late, Nintendo – you suck!” proves it (this also proves that I need some new twitter feeds). I actually think that this is a great move by Nintendo, it says to me that they have listened to their fans and are doing something about it. I should mention that I am not a Nintendo fan boy, in fact our Wii is trapped in a dust-belt underneath the bedroom TV only to be given the gift of life once every never. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the games on it, I just prefer playing the games on the other consoles.

A Wii with HD graphics will definitely change that though, and if it’s true that Nintendo are actually showing the system to third party publishers to encourage them to create games for it then that’s even better because it means that we won’t just be fed Zelda and Mario HD, we’ll actually be getting the same triple A multi platform games that Sony and Microsoft get. I just don’t see a downside with that. Well, okay, I guess the motion controls could be a downside but who knows? Maybe they really have listened to customer feedback and plan to create a normal controller for those of us who don’t want to wave our arms around so that we will at least have a choice on how we want to play. Choice is good.

I really hope they get it right with this console, just as they did with the Snes and the Nintendo 64. This may be the comeback that they need after the decline in sales of recent years, although it could be argued that sales are dropping because everyone and their dog owns a Wii.

Nothing is known about exactly what hardware will be in the new console or whether it will be backwards compatible with Wii games or even whether it will have the Wii brand name so we will just have to wait and dream until E3 rolls around for any news that’s more factual than the conjecture and rumor that’s swamping the internet now.

I’m sure that the “hardcore gamers” will continue their condemnation of it but hey, does playing console CoD games with aim assist really make you hardcore?

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  • Daniel Horowitz (HavenDan)

    Hilarious, I was just in the middle of writing something about this xp

  • Paul Simister (Simiad)

    😀 Sorry, Daniel!

  • I am one of the naysayers on twitter on the subject. Personally, I had a Wii, and like most everyone else, it sat mostly unused in my entertainment center until I finally sold it. I understand that there are great games for it. Those games just aren’t enough to warrant me having a third console. The reason I think the Wii HD is too late is because I don’t think HD is enough to sway gamers like me to spend $300 on yet another console. Where Nintendo needs to step up their game in in the online space. Period. I don’t think the Xbox 360 would be where it is in the market today without Xbox Live. Nintendo has a laughable online strategy that’s handicapped by friend codes. This obviously hasn’t stopped millions of people from buying a Wii, but I think that’s because Nintendo kept the price down by using less than cutting edge tech in the console. The Wii is little more than a beefed up Gamecube. If the Wii HD comes out, it needs to be a significant upgrade. Move precision. PS3 horsepower. A harddrive. Actual online play. The list goes on and on.

    Anyway, that’s my opinion. Oh, and I think gamers are so jaded because we get news like this and stupid countdowns that are so anticlimactic that we really have no choice but to bitch about it. Every announcement now days has so much hype and rumor around it that it can never live up to what it actually is. There’s an article idea. 🙂

  • Nintendo needs to give US the option of controller gameplay. This needs to be a serious controller too…no NES knockoff with 2 buttons.I would LOVE to play Zelda games again and would purchase one solely for that…OOH! 3D HD ZELDA…

  • I think it’s great Ninty is coming back into the game, but unless it’s significantly more powerful than the 360 or PS3, most gamers (who aren’t Ninty fanboys – and they’ll buy whatever Ninty put out whatever it is) will know that the next iteration from Sony and Microsoft isn’t that far off. Why buy a Wii HD when you could be saving your pennies for an Xbox720 or PS4 (or whatever they’ll call them).

    Couple that with Ninty’s decidedly backward game design philosophy (my biggest frustration with Wii games wasn’t the graphics, but that even most of the first-party Ninty games had been surpassed in gameplay terms by a number of PS2 titles – and yes, that includes the likes of Super Mario Galaxy and the Wii MP). The biggest barrier for Ninty will be the jump in game design from PS2-era that they still haven’t made, while most other devs are pushing the boundaries in the 360/PS3 era. Multiplats is good, but if their first-party games are put up against the first-party games on the HD twins in their current state, they’re going to be found pretty lacking.

    lol at the aim assist dig – totally agree, CoD’s an arcade shooter through-and-through. But where’s my tactical shooter, driving sim, flight games, strategy games (no, Little King’s Story does not equal RUSE) and adventure games (Sure, the Wii has ’em, but if I wanted to play PS2 era adventure games I’d do it on my PS2 – most of the PS2 adventure games are better anyways). Wii’s game library is lacking, not least because Wii ‘gamers’ didn’t buy many ‘core’ games.

    • Paul Simister (Simiad)

      Totally agree that the Wii game library is jam packed with shovel-ware, after playing the Mario’s, Zelda, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories and Res Evil 4 there isn’t much left to enjoy.
      I’m not so sure that the new MS and Sony machines are that close though. They seem to be thinking that Kinect and Move will give their now creaking lifespan another 5 years.
      If anything, the new Nintendo console (if it’s any good) might give the other “Big 2” a kick up the behind and get them working on the next gen of console gaming as well.

    • “…but that even most of the first-party Ninty games had been surpassed in gameplay terms by a number of PS2 titles – and yes, that includes the likes of Super Mario Galaxy and the Wii MP).”

      Are you serious? That is probably the stupidest comment made on the internet this year. First Party Nintendo games are worlds beyond in terms of design philosophy. Not backward at all, in fact they are the most forward facing.

      “but if their first-party games are put up against the first-party games on the HD twins in their current state, they’re going to be found pretty lacking.”

      There is no denying that Nintendo completely owns the first party gaming arena. It’s not even close.

  • We’re in a depression, and live during a time when game companies and publishers treat us with utter contempt. Yet, for some reason, you expect gamers to act like dogs and take the crap that is thrown at us and be happy/grateful? And the only conclusion you can draw is that we are ungrateful? Really? If gamers are “the most ungrateful, easily underwhelmed group of consumers known to mankind,” then you are a kool-aid drinking jackass who needs to go f’ck a horse and die. That goes for your family and the bastards that spawned you too.

    • Daniel Horowitz (HavenDan)

      Since when does drinking kool-aid make you a jackass? I happen to like the stuff 😀

      • Well I guess if you are a jackass it makes the whole having sex with a horse thing less creepy. Silver lining!

        • Daniel Horowitz (HavenDan)

          Haha that’s true. I guess you’d at least make a Mule then?