Analyst: Wii 2 tech won't be anything special

Posted by Mike Luttrell

Nintendo's performance in this console life cycle can be summed up pretty adequately with these two words: roller coaster. Everyone's curious about where the company will go next, and at least one analyst thinks it won't go above and beyond.

The Wii sold like gangbusters when it first came out, and paved a path for Nintendo that brought it back from a near-death situation during the Gamecube era. But then something funny happened. Technology caught up with it.

Even though the Wii received praise for its different approach of less sophisticated but more creative technology, it couldn't escape the fact that it was still built on the old strategy of video game consoles being replaced every five years. As the Wii was released in 2006, its maturation period has come and gone.

But here's the problem. The PS3 and Xbox 360 were built on a completely new strategy - the "future proof" strategy. Through firmware upgrades and Internet connectivity they have been able to sustain themselves longer than their predecessors. No one is looking at the PS3 or 360 and thinking they need a hardware makeover.

Meanwhile, the Wii does not have HD capabilities, has poor online integration, and has a very small hard drive. These are things that need to be addressed, and a "Wii 2" is the only solution. Nintendo has said there is a successor on the way but won't give any further details.

So will Nintendo wake up and make the Wii a 3D-enabled online powerhouse? To some, that seems unlikely.

In an interview with IndustryGamers.com, highly regarded video game analyst Michael Pachter said, "I think that [Nintendo's] next console will be on par technologically with the current PS3 and Xbox 360, and don't expect them to advance technology at all with their next offering."

Perhaps that's enough, but perhaps not. Nintendo has to have an equivalent "wow" factor to what it achieved with the Wii. Motion controlling is passe now, so it better have something up its sleeve, or it will never be able to play catch-up with the PS3 or 360.