Would Wii HD Sell Or Does It Need Something New?

By Spencer . February 1, 2010 . 5:34pm

image This question isn’t from us, it’s from Nintendo President Satoru Iwata who discussed the concept of a Wii HD at an investors Q&A.


Someone brought up the topic of Wii HD during the meeting. Iwata stated he never mentioned such a product and wondered if a HD ready Wii would sell around the world. In response to the question Iwata said, “Would it sell with only that [feature]? It needs something new.”


Iwata also elaborated on the motion controlled DS debacle. During an interview with the Asahi Shimbun last month, Iwata sort of mentioned a Nintendo DS successor with enhanced graphics and a motion sensor. The reporter says he was accurate, but Iwata claims that whole story wasn’t transcribed. Iwata acknowledges he was asked his thoughts regarding a new DS with a motion sensor and better graphics. He replied to the newspaper saying those items were naturally under consideration, but would it sell with only those features? The newspaper cut out the last part and Iwata believes that changed the meaning of what he said.


This question just became two questions. Would you buy a Wii HD with no other features and/or would you buy a Nintendo DS with motion control and hi-resolution graphics?

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  • JeremyR

    No and Maybe. I don’t like waggle, HD or not (especially moot since I don’t own a HDTV). Might get a DS waggle if it had a bigger screen and was backwards compatible.

  • I don’t care much for graphics, but I think it would be better to focus on getting out more quality games, then bring out a new console…

  • kylehyde

    I think that the question was more a rhetorical one than a question to the public, but I interpreted that he means that if nintendo is going to release something with HD it won’t be a Wii, but a new console with more features.In certain way I think that would a right decision.Would you buy a Wii with HD?My answers is not, even if it has HD support is still a Wii that lacks of some features like a hard drive, a better online service and other stuffs that it need for sealing the deal.

    • That’s true. When I think HD I think of the game actually benefiting from it. It’s the same for film; would it make a difference if Meet The Spartans was in HD? Would you want to see Cooking Mama in HD? Just slapping HD on it doesn’t guarantee fun or quality for me.

      Like you said, improving hard drive space and a better online service, something maybe developers can really get behind and work with, that could benefit people all around.

  • csmzs

    only shallow gamers want a wii hd.

    • thebanditking

      Not true, I dont think graphics make a game but I did not spend 2k on a TV to have a 4:3 box with black boarders coming from a new system that pushes out video quality thats less or equal to the hardware I just retired (not graphical quality I dont expect Mario to look like Uncharted). Punch in Wii Dolphin PC emulator on google, look at those screens and tell me it should not have been that way from the start. I dont expect the Wii to stand up to the PS3 or 360’s graphical capability but I just wish the Wii would output in higher res then 480p. Look at the God of War Collection, its a PS2 game but cleaned up and running in 1080p and it looks fantastic, if Wii games looked like that I would be happy.

  • Ereek

    I don’t think it would sell. One of the biggest things Wii has going for it right now is that it has naturally lower development costs.

  • idofgrahf

    I don’t think it will. Wii will not benefit from HD since it lacks the hardware to drive graphic intense games like uncharted 2 or Gears of war 2, i mean its like trying to blow up a low resolution picture to fit on a high resolution screen, all you’ll see is pixations. If wii is going HD, it had better have the hardware to back it up. on the other hand, I’m sick of these shelvware games I see for the wii, 3/4 of them are utter crap so maybe driving up the development cost will actually force the developers to come up with something decent and not just stick their bs games on the wii.

  • Fix your network code and internal storage before worrying about graphics, I say.

  • Vino (Tim N)

    The problem for me is, I don’t know. I love HD games. The PS3 and 360 rock. But Nintendo has been giving me games I love to play over and over for as long as I could hold a controller. The Wii has waggle; to the core gamer, that isn’t much, HD might grab a couple interested buyers, but probably only a couple. Like others have mentioned, it needs more storage space and online/network systems.
    But do we all want a third console like the PS3 and Xbox 360? And with Natal and the Wand coming out in the future, I have no idea how Nintendo is going to compete. Sure they have grip on the casual crowd, but that could be taken easily I think.
    I play the Wii for good games from Nintendo, and cool and interesting games from Japan, and thats starting to die down a bit lately, but this year has my hopes up. I love the Trauma Center series, and I guess if that was in HD, I may even love it more. Blehhh, I’m all over the place with this, so I guess I would like to see my favorite Wii games in HD. But for it to work, I would have to buy another console, and if I have to purchase all the needed accessories like second wiimotes and nunchuks, screw that.

    For the DS, I would love better graphics, don’t care for motion sensors. I like portable gaming while sitting on my ass at home or in public or lying in bed at home. I don’t need moving around and looking funny, talking and blowing into a DS is weird enough. I haven’t even seen good in-game uses for the camera yet either.

  • Chow

    I’m actually waiting for it to come out. Although I’ve been pretty vocal about disliking waggle controls, I do like the pointer controls because it’s actually quite effective. My reasonings for waiting it out is because I’m not itching to play anything on the Wii in particular, except for a few horror games.

    I figure, if I wait, I’ll either get a “more capable” system, or a discounted original, since I’m not really caring about many games on the platform. I can certainly afford the more expensive choice, but then again, I’m also pretty cheap (despite being an impulse price-drop game buyer). XD

  • Code

    Already got a Wii and I’ve had it for years, and I just don’t think given how the systems preformed in the last year or two, that it’s just not worth it to me, or I figure a lot of people, to buy a new one because they added HD or whatever pinwheels they can stick on it. Honestly plugging a set of component cables into it, and the system looks crisp in my books, I mean I’ve seen Wii running HD, and my PS3/360 are both hooked up on HD and all that stuff, but the price you’d be paying just for that slight bump in crispness, for anyone who already owns a Wii would be just way too much. I think there’s bigger and better things they could do to improve pre-existing Wii’s which wouldn’t involve putting new hardware on the shelf.

  • sambuque

    Bundled with Wii sports plus HD, it’ll sell like hotcake. So with games like Wii fit plus HD, New Zelda Adventure HD, New Super Mario Galaxy HD and so on, it’ll skyrocket Mediacreate and NPD charts. The technical details aren’t that important.

  • I think the bigger question — and probably what Iwata is really asking — is, what could they possibly add to the Wii that would make the casual consumer want to upgrade? “Wii HD” doesn’t need a reason beyond being the next Nintendo system to sell to the Nintendo fanbase. We’re not the problem; the expanded audience is.

    Now, Iwata has demonstrated time and again that he sees “our” kind (read: niche / enthusiast / mainstream gamers) as an audience that must be satisfied, so naturally, features like better networking, an upgrade in resolution etc. are guaranteed. Question is, what else can they add to get everyone else’s attention? My theory is that the next system is going to be as much of a “lifestyle” device as it is a console.

  • malek86

    Depends. Just a Wii HD? No. A Wii HD with more power? Maybe.The whole “costs less to develop for” thing apparently didn’t help the Wii too much anyway. And if anything, that would allow companies to start making ports of their HD games to the Wii.

  • Jaxx-Leviathan

    Personally I don’t give a flying F for HD-compatability. Sure HD looks great and all, but it comes with higher prices and a focus on something which could have been directed at more interesting things, like new games. Nintendo has always been about the gameplay and trying to look like its competitors with beefed-up graphics, hard drives and yatta-yatta just doesn’t fit in my image of Nintendo. I know times are moving on and hardware has to follow and so on, but that’s just my inner child giving its opinion.

    • malek86

      I’ll just point out that actually, any Nintendo console has always been one-upping the competition in the graphics department.The SNES blew the MD out of the water. The N64 was all about being better than the PSX. And if it weren’t for Microsoft’s untimely arrival, the GC was posed to be the most powerful console of its generation, and much more than the PS2 anyway.Times might have changed, but saying that Nintendo was “always” about gameplay and not graphics, somehow doesn’t feel right. Probably it’s only Iwata who thinks like that. I don’t think we can say the same about Yamauchi.

  • thebanditking

    Overall I think not, for my self it would be a toss up, because at this point the games I have now I wanted in HD to begin with (Muramasa, Smash Bros, Mario Galaxy). To do that the HD Wii would have to have an upscaler that would allow the games not just to run in HD but improve textures and alaising. Much like the Wii PC emulator Dolphin does, but this is Nintendo were talking about they are just to lazy to do something like that. So without that I don’t really think a Wii HD would be all that well recieved.

  • wakeuplan

    I wouldn’t want a Wii with any added features. I’d much prefer Nintendo allocating resources to develop a better system for next generation than to make incremental improvements to a platform that won’t utilize them.

  • crunc

    Just adding HD graphics to the Wii wouldn’t work as it doesn’t have the horsepower to drive it, so it needs faster processing as well. But the Wii needs more then just HD and faster processing, it needs a lot more storage, it needs universal demos for all WiiWare and VC games, it needs better online support including a much better solution then per-game friend codes, it needs better handling of download game licenses as well as better handling of games saves (not being able to copy game saves for many/most games really stinks). None of this seems like rocket science. The Wii has some great games, but there’s plenty that could be improved, and having HD graphics and the horsepower to drive them would make 3rd party games more easily portable to the system and that would mean more 3rd party games. Who didn’t want a real Resident Evil 5 with Wii remote control, rather then yet another on-rails shooter RE5 stand-in?

  • eliel

    nintendo needs a new console NO wii HD, and the new ds sounds pretty sweet but i guess LET the games do the Talking!!!

  • Tokyo Guy

    You know, I can’t help but laugh at a recent comment that was mentioned on the MagicBox, by Iwata apparently made about how he felt the Natal-based gameplay system was not for Nintendo because it users would feel/look stupid using it. The first thing that hit me was “And people DON’T look stupid using the current Wii interface? Give me a break.”

    Seriously, I think the Wii-gimmick needs to end. The motion sensor never lived up to what it should have been, which IMHO is largely because Nintendo failed to ensure that it had accurate motion sensing to begin with. The Motion Plus accessory basically allows the Wiimote to function as it should have from day 1.

    And I wonder if customers would go for a HD Wii, either. People already have a Wii and some/many of them are no doubt asking themselves why they bought it (perhaps because of the amount of shovelware, perhaps because of the lower prices for the competition now). The idea of repurchasing the exact same console with enhanced graphics seems a bit silly.

    I think that something like Natal’s technology really needs to be added so that the console stands as a viable purchase for budget-oriented consumers.

  • StealthKnight

    I don’t think HD would be the only thing to get people to buy it. Most people probably wouldn’t bother if they had no hd tv or if they already have a Wii.

    To get more interested in the next console, they would have to incorporate online features that would have them feel more connected with themselves and the people they know. Like make the senor bar act also as a camera and a microphone for taking pictures to the picture or movie channel for editing after taken or while its being done. Also allow the usage of recording gameplay and commentary out of the box so they can feel like they are sharing something they done today. Also improve the message board to be able to watch sumbited video’s pictures and music. An online lobby where they can share there stuff with other people or watch movies together. A built in hard drive that can be removed and replaced. Plus improve everything they have and have it ready out of the box.

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