Launched in 2007, the Nintendo Wii with its motion-control gaming credentials, breathed new life into Sony and Microsoft dominated territory.
Wii 2 video: rumour round-up
Fast forward five years later, and while both Sony and Microsoft's flagship consoles have continued to evolve, Nintendo's once revolutionary console is starting to feel a little antiquated.
With its motion gaming uniqueness swept away by Microsoft's Xbox Kinect and Sony's PlayStation Move, talk of the Wii's successor has intensified. We've rounded up the hottest Wii 2 rumours to begin to piece together the next generation Nintendo console.
Read below for our Wii 2 rumours: Specs and info we know so far
Wii 2 name
We've been calling it the Wii 2, but if Ninty plans to unveil something drastically different to the current Wii console as we fully expect, the likelihood of sticking to that name is slim. 'Project Cafe' is currently being banded around as the codename for the new console which is supported by GoNintendo who spotted the codename on the Nintendo developers website WarioWorld. One of the names being suggested is 'Stream' relating to talk of the console's ability to stream content to its controllers.
Wii 2 specs
Wii 2 HD
If there is one thing that the Wii is distinctly lacking, it's the need for some high-definition gaming. Back in 2009, MaxConsole credited comments from a Nintendo France marketing employee that the new Wii would contain a Blu-ray drive and will be able to handle 1080p games and movies, just like the PS3.
The HD love-in it seems will not end there. A source who spoke to our friends at CVG says the new Wii 2 controller will also host a HD screen. The source added that, "The hardware is even more powerful than current HD consoles and backwards compatible with Wii. The controller will be all-new and has a HD screen on it."
Wii 2 power
French tech website 01net not only revealed that 'Project Cafe' was the current codename for the Wii 2, but also claims that it's set to boast similar but more powerful innards to those found in the Xbox 360.
It says that under the hood it will include a custom IBM PowerPC CPU with three cores, a GPU from the ATI R700 family with a shader unit at version 4.1. To top it all off there will be at least 512MB of RAM.
Wii 2 handheld console
How does a controller that doubles as a handheld console sound? Well according to the guys at IGN, Wii 2 gamers will be able to sync titles to the controller, allowing them to play “entire games” on the device, rather than using the TV. The screen is said to be a sizeable 6-inches across which would could in theory make for some interesting gaming possibilities.
01.net supports the claims about a radical new controller saying that, "The controller has a six-inch touch screen, a front-facing camera, D-Pad, two bumpers, two triggers and possibly more."
Wii 2 games
From the same source that talked up the Wii 2 HD credentials, it seems Wii 2 games are already in the works with the source claiming that "Publishers are already planning launch titles and it's all very exciting."
According to site Paul Gale Network, Retro Studios, the guys behind Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Returns have already had their hands on the development kit for the new Wii and are working on a title 'that everyone wants us to do."
But perhaps the most impressive Wii 2 games rumour-mongering comes courtesy of French tech website 01.net who claims that Rockstar have also received a development kit with the intention of producing titles for the Wii successor. Apparently getting the GTA makers on board is in a bid to win back the 'hardcore gamer'. Well, that would certainly be one way of doing it.
Wii 2 release date
If the recent Wii price slashing tells us anything though, it's that a new console could well be in the offing before the end of the year. The new black version of the console can now be bought from Amazon for £98.98, with Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and one controller. While that sounds like reasonable deal for the Wii, it also sounds like the actions of a retailer clearing its stock for something new and shiny to take its place.
The Nintendo 3DS, Ninty's portable games console with a glasses-free 3D display was first introduced to the world at the E3 gaming expo in June, and now it has been confirmed that E3 2011 will be the place to see the first official Wii 2 outing. Most speculation has previously pointed to a Wii 2 June unveiling, and now a letter to investors has not only revealed details of a debut at E3, but has also confirmed a Wii 2 launch in 2012.
What Nintendo have said about the 'Wii 2' so far
2009: Nintendo President Satoru Iwata talking to investors:
"We are of course studying and developing the next console to Wii. However, there is a big difference between studying a product and announcing what it is and when we will release it."
“I am afraid to say that the history of entertainment is also the history of imitation. A great idea will promptly be copied unless protected through patents.”
November 2010: Nintendo America’s Reggie Fils-Aime:
“As we sit here today we're saying the Wii has many, many more units to sell."
“After we've reached an installed base of 45 million here in the US, we can have a conversation about the next generation."
March 2011: Nintendo America's Reggie Fils-Aime speaking to CNN:
"We've not said publicly what the next thing for us will be in the home console space, but based on what we've learned on 3D, likely, that won't be it."