Nintendo president Satoru Iwata made various comments regarding new hardware the company was working on, likely to succeed both the current Wii and DS consoles. Iwata noted firstly in an investors note (Japanese), translated by Andriasang:
If asked if making the Wii compatible with high definition - just making it compatible with high resolution - will get players throughout the world to buy it, I would of course say, 'Do you think it would sell with just that? It needs something new.' (...)
If there were no rival makers in the world, I could give examples of the things that we are considering. However, for competitive reasons, I cannot give specifics today on the what or when of the things we're considering.
Speaking to The Associated Press (via Yahoo News), Iwata was keen to quell rumours about a new DS equipped with motion-sensors, as well as about a hardware revision for the Wii, capable of high-definition video output.
"I question whether those features would be enough to get people to buy new machines," he said of the DS. Nintendo engineers are developing new machines, he said, without giving details.
Iwata also doesn't expect 3D video-gaming to catch on, although he welcomed 3D movies at theaters like James Cameron's hit "Avatar."
"I have doubts whether people will be wearing glasses to play games at home. How is that going to look to other people?" he said at a Tokyo hotel.
Sony Corp. and other technology companies are making big investments in 3-D TVs, expecting it will boost sales growth in the next few years.
Kyoto-based Nintendo, the maker of Pokemon and Super Mario games, would also have to look into the possible health effects of longtime 3-D game playing, which is likely to last longer than a two-hour film, Iwata said.
Iwata made it clear that successors to both DS and Wii will have to go beyond high-definition and motion sensors. His comments on 3D technology seem highly sceptical. However, he specifically mentions traditional stereoscopic displays with either polarised or shutter glasses. Long-time readers will know that autostereoscopic displays (not requiring any kind of headgear) are in the pipeline and could already be offered at a mass-market price.
I personally see 3D technology as the only possible option for Nintendo, as far as a Wii successor is concerned. And Nintendo has earned enough money over the Wii's lifespan so far to make the investments necessary for such a revolution in gaming. With the advent of streaming content threatening all current consoles and with both Sony and Microsoft adopting motion controls for their high-definition hardware, this would be the only technology to give them an edge against both of those threats.
Sources: Nintendo (Japanese), Andriasang, Associated Press (via Yahoo News)
Thanks to: Joystiq