After talk of Wii price cuts, the gaming industry's silly season continues with rumours that the Nintendo Wii 2 - or Wii successor, or Nintendo's Next Big Thing - is on its way. GameStop-owned Game Informer magazine claims it's heard from "multiple sources" that Nintendo is planning to unveil the 'Wii 2' (or whatever) at the E3 games trade show in June, "if not sooner".
Can it destroy the Xbox 360 and PS3?
Sadly the most important thing to Game Informer seems to be the Wii 2 system's reported ability to run games at high-definition resolutions - sort of like pointing out that a contemporary computer comes with a mouse (or, you know, USB ports). There's also some mumbling about whether the system can go pixel-for-pixel with the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 (because we need more system war flame bait).
Word is Nintendo's already chatting up publishers, showing around the system to drum up interest. Launch timeframe? Not until 2012. Which, much as we'd all love a new Nintendo system in time for Christmas this year, makes sense if you want to give developers and publishers time to put together a solid stable of launch titles.
"Nintendo is doing this one right," said one of Game Informer's anonymous sources. "[It's] not a gimmick like the Wii."
Right, because the Wii was just a gimmick. A system that utterly destroyed the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in unit sales internationally. A system that's still outselling both of those systems more months than not. Look: I know. I get it. I only play mine twice a year, too. But you might as well gripe about 3D in James Cameron's Avatar, or juvenile writing in the Twilight books. Hasn't stopped people lapping both up in droves.
In any event, now we wait, and speculate, and dissect rumours. What will be, will be, and all we can hope for at this point is that whatever's next, Nintendo makes it as unusual and industry-upending as its last two ideas.