Nintendo played a risky game with the Wii. One the one hand, it sought to appeal to a wider range of gamers with its affordable price tag and accessible gameplay; on the other hand, it largely cast aside the "bigger, faster, stronger" ethic that dominates the console industry, offering a graphics update that, all things considered, wasn't exactly a huge jump from the previous generation -- at least nothing compared to the face-lifts received by the Xbox and Playstation brands. The central appeal, aside from cost, was that Nintendo sought to woo gamers with a charming little gadget, the Wii Remote, that would offer a departure from the long tradition of controller-based gameplay. While I applaud Nintendo for trying something different -- it's also worth noting the old adage that "spectacular graphics do not a good game make" -- there's no denying that the Wii may be close to reaching the end of its tether, especially as both the PS3 and Xbox 360 have dipped their toes in the pool of controller-free gaming.
But take heart, Nintendo devotees, as word is that our friends from across the pond are planning to announce their new, HD-capable system at E3, or as Game Informer reports, possibly sooner. Details are practically non-existent, and there's no reliable word as to whether the Wii successor will offer graphics meeting or exceeding those of the PS3 and Xbox 360, but we'll keep you updated on all the juicy news as it comes in!