Wedbush Morgan's exhaustive report on the effects of ancillary revenues on the console cycle contains a little nugget that suggests a Wii HD could convince consumers that it's "the last console they will ever need."
The analyst firm suggests that the HD-capable Wii, which is referred to in the paper as "Wii Plus", would also come with a redesigned WIimote that incorporates Motion Plus technology, 1080p output at 60 FPS, and full backwards compatibility with current Wii titles. Oh, and a hard drive too. And all that for close to the US$ 199.99 price point.
So what does this mean for the other consoles? The report says that the advent of the "Wii Plus" could seriously damage Sony's chances for a PS3 comeback for the current console cycle:
In our view, if Nintendo can offer such a device by year-end 2010, it will be in a position to seriously damage Sony’s chances of a comeback this cycle. We would expect publishers to support such a move, given that the cost of porting an Xbox 360 game to the new Wii Plus HD format would likely be lower than the cost of building a ground up Wii game (we estimate under US$ 5 million). Should Nintendo be able to convince publishers like EA and Take-Two that the Wii Plus should be supported by the entire EA Sports catalog and by the next installment of Grand Theft Auto, it should be in a position to successfully convince consumers that the Wii Plus is the last console they will ever need to purchase.
Lots of ifs and shoulds, there. Earlier this month, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that he sees no reason to make a Wii HD, but hey, maybe by next year they'll finally have that reason.