Monday, June 06, 2011

Expectations High for Nintendo Wii 2 at E3


COMMENTARY | Nintendo has been making headlines with the follow-up home entertainment console to the now famous Nintendo Wii for a few months. Now, with the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, taking place this week, the expectations of fans and technology critics will be unveiled shortly. Expectations are high that the Wii 2, or whatever name the console ends up having, will firmly supplant the Wii in 2012. Still, rumors have leaked regarding what may or may not be included in the new unit.

High definition graphics, Blu-Ray, capability and touch-screen controllers are all part of the lore surrounding this console. Since HD gaming is something the competitors of the Wii have been doing for a while, it makes sense that Nintendo would pursue that type of upgrade. Allowing the console to support Blu-Ray playback would also be a tremendous asset for any HD gaming console. Considering, the Wii already supports Netflix, putting some marketability into a gaming device as a home entertainment component would probably go a long way.

While rumors about the touch-screen controller have been around for a little bit, Nintendo actually experimented with similar technology back when the GameCube was their big console. While that particular foray into the technology was largely unnoticed because of complexity and lack of support, Nintendo has had a few years to make sure they get the tech right. In addition, rumors have the touch-screen controller acting as a stand-alone portable gaming console. With the 3DS, DSi, and DSiXL already in play, adding a separate portable unit seems a bit unlikely for Nintendo.

However, using the DSi or 3DS as a controller would make a lot of sense. The units are popular, and easy to come by, but that might be too much of a dream. Expectations and rumors aside, the successor to the Wii will be unveiled this week, and will likely steal this year's E3 headlines. While several games and great titles will also be announced, this will likely be Nintendo's expo to make or break. If history serves as a lesson, the entertainment company should have a few surprises up its sleeves. The pressure is on, and Nintendo will get the spotlight. Without a doubt, the playable demo at E3 will have a long line.

Jason Gallagher is a former travel professional and long-time Pennsylvania resident. These experiences give him a first-hand look at developing situations in the state and everything included in the travel industry from technology to trends.

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