Nintendo May Trigger Next-Gen War
Nintendo is looking to push the console war into its next phase of battle, as speculations begin to arise that the gaming giant may release a new version of its Wii console sooner than the expected industry-wide "hardware refresh" in 2011.
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The current generation of consoles still has three to four more years before newer hardware hits the market, but Nintendo's next may arrive sooner, according to one analyst.
Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian said in an investor note on Monday, "At this point, we believe the consensus opinion among industry professionals is that the next significant hardware refresh is unlikely to occur before 2011, and more likely in 2012."
But he said Nintendo's next home console could arrive before then. "One possible exception to console timing may be Nintendo, which could opt to upgrade the Wii with faster processing power, DVD capability and/or greater storage."
The original Xbox had roughly a four year run before its successor Xbox 360 came to market. PS2 was out for about six years prior to the release of PS3, and Nintendo's GameCube had a five year run prior to Wii's launch.
Sebastian also noted that Microsoft recently began production of a 65nm-based CPU for Xbox 360, and is also working on cutting costs in other areas related to Xbox 360 hardware.
The company is expected to cut the retail price of Xbox 360 later this year.