242w ago - Multiple sources, including WhatTheyPlay.com (linked above), are reporting that Nintendo is currently showing early presentations of its next home console hardware.
It will apparently launch by 2011 and has been dubbed the "Wii HD". High definition visuals are assured, as is a greater emphasis on digitally distributed and backwardly compatible content, indicating that the new system will feature some form of local storage medium such as a hard drive or large flash memory solution.
It has also been indicated that Nintendo's emphasis is again on what the consumer will hold in their hands and interact with, rather than the "console" itself.
To quote: There is no indication if this will be its eventual name, but the nature of the transition has been characterized as similar to "the shift from Game Boy to Game Boy Advance," where familiar, key elements were left intact while the core hardware was made more powerful.
It is expected by all those that we have spoken to on the subject that the new device will retain the Wii name in part.
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Following up on an earlier rumor of a new DS coming to market, Nintendo announced the Nintendo DSi at a news conference in Japan. The new and revamped DS unit, which includes a 3 megapixel camera and a web browser, is set to go on sale in Japan on November 1st for 18,900 yen (about $180). No word on a US release yet, but there's a Nintendo press conference scheduled tomorrow where we're sure they'll have more details for those of us across the Pacfic.
The DSi will also be slightly smaller and have a larger screen than the current DS Lite, and will include additional photo editing software, built-in memory for saving picture and game data, and an SD card slot. The SD card slot will allow easy transfer of photos and data from the DSi to the Wii (and other SD card-enabled devices), while the built-in memory will help store a new wave of downloadable DS games that will be able to be purchased through the Wii Shopping channel, as well as a brand-new online shop accessible via the DSi. Wii Points will be renamed "Nintendo Points" when the DSi launches, and downloadable DS games (as well as the current and upcoming crop of Wii downloadables) will be available for purchase using these points.
However, the DSi is missing one big thing - the GBA cartridge slot. While GBA games aren't as commonly played anymore, games such as Guitar Hero: On Tour made use of the GBA slot to accomodate special add-ons to the DS hardware. The SD card slot looks to offer a replacement, however, this means that certain games that require expansion peripherals will not be usable on the DSi.
We'll follow up with more DSi news as it comes in. We can already tell that plenty of kids will be asking for one this holiday season!