Nintendo Wii’s Successor Coming In 2012; Demo To Be Shown At E3

Nintendo released its motion based video game console the Wii way back in late 2006. Since then, the console has shipped in huge volumes, and has met with huge success.

However, 4 years is a long time in the general consumer electronics field, and the Wii has definitely become old now. The graphics of the console look dated and frankly, the lack of gaming at HD resolution in this age is downright embarrassing.


Nintendo realized this, and has announced that they will be releasing the successor to the Wii sometime next year. The company has also stated that they will have a playable model’ available for demo at the upcoming E3 in Los Angeles.

Sadly, the company did not mention anything about the changes the Wii’s successor will sport. Hopefully, the company will reveal more juicy details about the Wii 2 before E3 (7th June).

The Wii 2 will surely have a tough task matching the popularity of the original Wii. Nintendo managed to sell a whopping 86.01 million units of Wii, between its launch and March 2011.

Activate3D wants to increase your immersion in games

Motion Sensing is all the rage these days, and it’s all Nintendo’s fault. Starting with the Nintendo Wii’s Wiimotes and eventually ending up with the Sony PlayStation Move controller and the ever-modded Microsoft Kinect, motion-based gameplay has come a very long way. We all have seen how Microsoft’s revolutionary motion-capturing controller has allowed for a lot of awesome hacks and mods. So what could possibly better all of these brilliant pieces of tech?


A new kind of software technology, of course! Activate3D has come up with a new piece of tech called Intelligent Character Motion (ICM) technology. The ICM basically allows the player to feelthrough the virtual world as if they were in it the ultimate goal of most of these motion control input devices. Based on the input (via a Kinect sensor or a Wii wand or any other motion-sensing device) and the surrounds of the virtual avatar, the ICM predicts the most accurate action based on the context. This means that climbing ropes, walking around and swinging on bars would be intuitive.

ICM has been developed after a lot of academic research in this field. CEO and co-founder Jeff Levy said:-

The next few years will see huge advancements in motion input devices.   Translating these new paradigms into compelling and fun games will be challenging.   We are excited about the possibilities that ICM will bring to these next generation games.

We sure are looking forward to immersive gaming based on this new technology!

Microsoft Employee Says Kinect Buggy and Not A Wii Killer

Ok, go slow and take this with a big pinch of salt, this may not be true at all, but no one has used the extensively, so this cannot be untrue too right now.

Microsoft Kinect Xbox 360

One of our posts made it to the N4G home page recently, and while browsing through the comments on the post (comment #4 by mricecreamman), I saw something interesting which says that there might be some problems with the sensors right now.

Kinect Problem Comment

Here is the comment text from the image above (emphasis added):

i work for microsoft here in out west and gotta say it’s pretty fun, but it’s not a wii killer. if too many people is around the sensor it becomes non responsive and sometimes it has latency. this is just a replica of when sony came out with the eyetoy..which it didn’t do so well.

Now there are a few things here, the person in question says that the Kinect is pretty fun but not a Wii killer. I have to agree with that fact, because Wii is in a different league altogether. Wii is for fun gaming, exercising, dancing, playing Mario and more and not for playing Call of Duty, for which you will of course use the Xbox 360. Wii in itself has a cult status amongst its users for motion gaming.

Another important point this person brought up was the fact that if too many people crowd around the device sensor it become non responsive and has latency, so this means that the device is definitely not ready for house parties yet and is a bit buggy. Once again, this might be a non-issue when Kinect actually comes out on November 4. Another aspect of this claim is that neither has Microsoft demoed Kinect with a crowd and neither will be there games which will require lot of people to be near the sensor at once.

This issue might not be a big issue at all, however, it could be a problem when you have a crowd around or maybe use the Kinect to play Wii like games :).

Last but not the least, the person compared the device to EyeToy, a digital camera device which Sony came out with for the PS2 which used computer vision and gesture recognition to process images taken by the camera. Now, no Microsoft employee would like to compare their own device with, but like I said it could just be an anonymous person out there. With 100K plus employees you will always get one who does not like the product or place they work for.

Based on the comment by the person, it is fairly OK to say that even if this is true, I never had a doubt in my mind that Kinect would kill the Wii, it would take a real long time for them to do it. However, more importantly the sensor issue (if it exists) still has almost 4+ months to be fixed, so by November 4 you might not even see those issues. However, what if Microsoft can’t fix it or not live up to the expectations they have build up?

Nintendo Wii Sales Down By 21%

It has been six years since the Nintendo Wii was launched. Nintendo Wii managed to set the sales chart on fire, even though many people criticized it. Nintendo has been making record profits every year since then. But nowNintendo-Wii it looks like the Nintendo Wii is finally running out of steam.

Yesterday, Nintendo released its financial statement starting from April 2009 to March 2010. Surprisingly, the company’s net profit dropped by 12% to $2.44 billion. This is the first time in six years that the company’s net profit has dipped. The sales of both the Nintendo Wii and the Nintendo DS – were also lower compared to the previous financial year (2008-09). The Nintendo DS sales were down to 27 million from 31 million, which is a 12% drop year-to-year wise.

Nintendo managed to sell 20.53 million Wii consoles in the last financial year, which is a 21% drop compared to the 2008-09 Wii sales figure. The sale of Wii games were also down to 191 million copies, which is a 6% drop year-to-year wise.

Ironically, even with the fall in sales, this was the third best year sales wise for Nintendo.

Wiimote Controlled Firefox

This recent entry at Mozilla links shows a Wiimote controlled Firefox. Paul Rouget has written a neat hack which allows us to use the Wiimote with Firefox. Over at his website, Paul writes,

Everybody has his or her own reason to hack Firefox. Mine is usually:  “just for fun”.

So,  “just for fun”, and to show how far you can go with the extension mechanism, here is a little useless extension I wrote: a  Nintendo Wiimote driver for Firefox.
What does it do? It brings Wiimote events to web content. You can change tabs with a “forehand/backhand” tennis drive and, in your web page, make your elements move using Wiimote events (rotation, g-force, position, etc.). Web pages, of course, do not support this API. But, with another extension, such as aJetpack or  Greasemonkey, you can “hack” a website to add support for the Wiimote.

although the extension is open-source, it works only for Linux currently. Check out this video:

Wiimote for Firefox from Paul Rouget on Vimeo.

Vicious Engine 2 Adds “Lesser Consoles”

This was expected, considering the fact that Matt Hazard: Blood Bath and Beyond was a not-so-graphically-intense 2D Contraption of a game for the Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) and later the PlayStation Network (PSN) as a download-only game. Vicious Cycle Software, the developer has announced that they will be supporting the lesser consoles the Nintendo Wii, the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) and the PlayStation 2 (PS2), Joystiq reports. By supporting, they mean that their Vicious Engine 2 (Ve2) will be used to develop games for these three consoles in addition to the PlayStation 3 (PS3) and the Xbox 360.


Vicious Cycle Software, a premier developer of interactive entertainment and game development technology, today announced that support for the Nintendo Wiiâ„¢, PlayStation ®2, and PSP ® (PlayStation ®Portable) platforms is coming to Vicious Engine 2 (Ve2) in early 2010. Ve2 currently supports both the Xbox 360 ® and PlayStation ®3, and the expanded cross-platform support will make Ve2 the most complete solution for next generation development on the market.

Vicious Cycle has experienced its fair share of ups and downs with the ups being not so high, and the downs being fairly depressing. Dead Head Fred, for example was released when Monster Hunter practically ate up everything else around it and the company admitted that they did not anticipate the abrupt change of audiences in the market. Nevertheless the turn of events seems to suggest that a graphically satisfying game will be up in the near future for these consoles.