Is Nintendo readying Wii 1.5?

Screen Digest analyst Piers Harding-Rolls has predicted that Nintendo could release an ‘upgraded’ version of the Nintendo Wii in the near future that would act as a stop-gap between now and the launch of a ‘proper’ successor to its home console some time in 2013.

We expect the Wii to have a shorter lifecycle than the high definition consoles,” he told GamesIndustry. We’re actually pitching it for an end of 2012 Japan release and the rest of world in 2013.

Our forecast actually incorporates the idea that there will be an upgraded version of the Wii available. There is potentially significant movement to come from Wii pricing in the future. If you look at the handheld strategy they’ve got the DSi and the 3DS, so I think they’ve got room to have to this iterative version before a 2012 or 2013 release.”

The comments come after Harding-Rolls told the BBC yesterday that there will be a new Xbox and Wii by 2013 and 2014 for a new PlayStation”.

Quite what an interim version of the Wii could offer is a matter for debate. HD graphics support via HDMI would seem to be an obvious choice, as would perhaps the inclusion of flash memory storage far in excess of the 512MB sported by the current machine.

Other options include built-in support for Motion+ in the bundled controllers and perhaps wireless nunchucks and sensor bars.

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