Speculation: Nintendo’s next system an “evolution,” but not a “revolution”


It’s been almost 4 years since the Wii’s release. The system has definitely lived up to it’s codename, Revolution, and will continue to do so with loads of upcoming titles. The Wii was built on innovation, like many of Nintendo’s consoles before it. The NES brought us arcade quality graphics to our living rooms with a unique, D-Pad controller. The N64 brought us 3D graphics, and the control stick which again reinvented the way we play.

But what about the Super Nintendo and GameCube? They were certainly a step up from their predecessors, but not really a step forward. The graphics were a great improvement, but there wasn’t much to make you think, “Wow, this is unlike anything I’ve seen before.” Nintendo’s past systems have followed a pattern that alternates between a revolution and an evolution. Perhaps we can expect the next system to be an evolution.

Is this a bad thing? No, not at all. In fact, the SNES and GameCube were my favorite systems. Nintendo is known for their surprises, so none of this is a certainty. What do you expect from Nintendo’s next system?


  1. I also expect it will be an evolution, making a Wii up to date with modern technologies.

    An integrated motion+ in Wiimote & Nunchuck, smaller and more energy efficient controls.
    An up to date graphic card with HDMI and at least 720p
    And an updated online system like everyone else in the industry

    that’s all I ask.

  2. You could also add GBA and DS-XL to that list of evolution consoles. That said, I also suspect a home console “evolution” from Nintendo next time. Better fidelity motion controls with HD graphics and improved online. Not sure we’ll see something as radical as the 3DS next time, but Nintendo has talked about the “what’s the point?” card if you can’t surprise people with a totally new hook. In any case, fun topic, Jake.

  3. This is a very excellent point. If you think about it, the SNES was the same as NES except better graphics and more buttons. N64 was the same. If you look at a gamecube controller the design is very similar to the 64 controller except with buttons relocated and the C-stick replacing the C buttons. So my guess is the next console will be an updated version of the wii. Nintendo might relocate the buttons or switch up the controls just a tad along with improved online, memory, and graphics.

  4. Nintendo has now established both a consistent strategy and ability to produce wild disruptive innovation, both at the hardware and software level. They know, and have said as much, that it’s no longer enough to simply offer the upgraded version of the same thing. It’s working for them, and the conservatism of the Gamecube surely worked against them. Their HD competitors are reeling from traditionalist evolutionary strategies, and I’ll tell you one thing for sure: Following them down the high-end graphics route is a sure path to spiralling manufacturing and development costs, ‘safe’ development decisions, and progressively disenfranchised gamers. The way forward is constant endless innovation – and no, unified shader architecture with GPU branch prediction does not count.

  5. Personally, I see no further improvements other than HD, a built in BluRay Player/DVD player, and 3D compatibility, like for the 3d tvs.

  6. The point of the Wii being graphically inferior yet imaginatively superior was that it’s different. While I agree with the trend Jake has noticed, I doubt Nintendo is simply going to make an HD Wii simply because Microsoft and Sony made HD consoles. I will be honest- I had a million times more fun on Mario Galaxy 2 than on any game on my PS3- and I didn’t notice the “graphical inferiority” at all. As a matter of fact, I think it looked better than most “realistic” games I’ve played- simply because it was trying to be fun first- before it tried to be realistic. In that manner, I personally think Nintendo should continue with its current strategy- to make fun games that don’t worry so hard about being graphically amazing as they do about being awesome.

  7. I expect HD games, not because I want them, but because every other console has them.
    Secondly I expect alot more internet connectivity, and user names rather then friend codes.
    – And GameCube Games on the Virtual Console

    If those 2(3) ideas are implemented into the next edition of Nintendo’s home consoles, I still want a SMG2, over a game that uses those.

    4th Idea, have more Downloadable new games, because they really are fun, and you know what they are soo much easier to get.

  8. i wonder what the next step will be for Nintendo. I also dont think simply upgrading to an HD console and being able to do everything the other systems do will be enough…in order for nintendo to continue its success, they will need to leap frog the competition again.

    Because if they release a Wii 2….basically upping motion controls a bit…maybe fixing its online setup…and going for HD graphics…nintendo will position themselves behind their competitors….and there will be no reason to buy the next nintendo system because they’ll just be doing what the other consoles are doing….especially now that the other consoles have motion controls.

    they need to innovate again….but the question is…how?

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