Will the Wii 2 be in 3D?
With the enthusiastic reception the 3DS has received, you might expect Nintendo to announce a 3D successor to the Wii – but will this be the case?
When announced, the 3DS created an instant buzz amongst fans and commentators impressed by the 3D capabilities. As things stand at the moment, Nintendo are really pinning their hopes on the new machine when it launches next spring to reverse the companies short-term fortunes.
But Nintendo aren’t just in the handheld business. Although the original DS has sold almost twice as many units – a whopping 135 million – as their current home console, the Wii is still important to their strategy and still a major success. With 75 million Wiis shipped, Nintendo remain 35 million consoles ahead of Microsoft, their nearest rival.
Despite this, both the Wii and DS have been hit by slowing sales. On the handheld side, Nintendo’s plan to reinvigorate their business hinges on 3D technology. But could Ninty’s next home console follow suit?
We know next to nothing about the successor to the Wii, but Nintendo have been teasing us for some time that their new project will be very different from the current Wii, and promising jaw dropping surprises to boot. Could this mean 3D?
The short answer is; no. The reason why the 3DS has proved so popular thus far is that the 3D screen is already built in and doesn’t require glasses. Although Microsoft and Sony’s current gen consoles support 3D at home, this feature seems to receive more air-time than play-time. Why? Not only does this kind of 3D require glasses, but you also need to fork out for what is essentially an expensive prototype – a costly 3D television.
Nintendo have a history of only incorporating tried and tested technology into their consoles, even when they use it in innovative ways. The principle behind the 3DS’ lenticular screen, for example, has been kicking around for years, and manufacturer Sharp even introduced a mobile phone with the technology way back in 2001. However, this kind of display works best with small, one person displays like the 3DS – TV screens using the method are still essentially experimental.
Consequently, if the Wii 2 were to feature 3D as a big selling point, Nintendo would have two options, neither of which is especially attractive. They could wait for several years until 3DTV market penetration is widespread – losing the “wow” factor. Or, they could ship 3D screens with the new home console. The second option is astronomically unlikely – the extra production cost it would add would be immense. Even Satoru Iwata has said it’s not going to happen.
So, whatever game-changing surprises Nintendo have in store for the Wii’s successor, the one thing we can rule out almost entirely is – somewhat ironically – 3D.