Will the Wii go HD?
Recently there’s been some news about Netflix’ agreement to start on-demand video streaming for the Wii sometime late this year. This has come comparatively late, considering that the Xbox 360 and PS3 have had Netflix streaming for over a year now.
The big question seems to be how it will do so. The Wii’s resolution is lower quality than HD, so you won’t get the quality that you would streaming it through your PS3 or other HD device. So how will it work?
One theory that’s being batted about online is that Nintendo is planning on an HD update for the Wii, either as a new unit (with a blu-ray player?) or as an upgrade to an existing one. This is not a bad option at all, seeing that many gamers who don’t even plan on streaming video will throw down cash for a better quality gaming experience. Video quality has not been the Wii’s main selling point, and fixing that problem may add life to the stalling system. Plus the Wii has been around for a while, and the Netflix decision may just be the herald of the fabled Wii2.
A second theory – my own – is that Nintendo won’t upgrade its system to HD initially but will upgrade its Opera browser to improve playback and video quality enough for Netflix viewing. My main beef with the Wii has been the nearly useless Internet channel which doesn’t have a Flash version capable of running sites like Hulu or Pandora. A software upgrade like this would not involve any major tinkering, just an update and poof! you have Flash.
A perfect world would have both the Internet upgrade and the HD hardware upgrade. We’ll see what Christmas brings!