Wii HD Announcement Coming At Or Before E3, Sources Say

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Nintendo kicked off a revolution with its Wii console back in 2006. It wasn't the motion controls that did it, cool as they are. It was the audience it attracted. Here you had daily gamers lining up on launch day alongside mothers and fathers shopping for themselves. Mobile platforms have since followed the lead and run with it, but the Wii was first on the scene to make the concept of "casual" cool. Now there's reliable word coming in that Nintendo is planning a reveal for this year's E3, a first look at a new console which will -- among other things -- correct one highly notable absence in the Wii's hardware specification: high definition visuals.

The news comes from "multiple sources" speaking to Game Informer. This new console, which we'll just call "Wii HD" for now, will reportedly be announced at E3, "if not sooner."

There are no hard details about how powerful the console is, though it "is capable of running games at HD resolutions," GI reveals. Beyond that, there are conflicting stories as to whether or not it will exceed, match or fall short of what Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 can handle. Whatever the case is though, this Wii HD "will offer competitive specifications.

"Nintendo is doing this one right," an anonymous source told GI. "[It's] not a gimmick like the Wii." I would personally argue that the Wii is more than a gimmick, even if it didn't manage to meet a certain set of expectations established by a relatively small group of people. That said, Nintendo finally moving to embrace the HD generation with a console that can compete at the level of the Xbox 360/PS3, will certainly help with regards to Nintendo bringing higher-profile franchises and releases to the new console.

In fact, the console maker is reportedly already meeting with top publishers and showing off the hardware. This is a significant departure from the approach taken with the Wii, which came as a surprise to many -- including those in game development and publishing -- when it was first announced.

That's about all of the (admittedly rumor-ific) information there is right now, though the word is that Nintendo apparently hopes to get this puppy in stores sometime in late 2012. Just in time for the holidays.