Rumour has it that Nintendo will release a Wii HD console by 2011. What They Play claims multiple sources told them that Nintendo is working on a true "next-generation" console that will be more than just a simple refresh of the current hardware.
Apparently set to hit the market “by 2011” the new device is said to be the true “next generation” Nintendo console, and far more than a simple refresh of the current hardware. Unlike previous console transitions from Nintendo, the new system will be presented as a true successor to the Wii, and is being dubbed by those that have seen the presentation as “Wii HD.” There is no indication if this will be its eventual name, but the nature of the transition has been characterized as similar to “the shift from Game Boy to Game Boy Advance,” where familiar, key elements were left intact while the core hardware was made more powerful. It is expected by all those that we have spoken to on the subject that the new device will retain the Wii name in part.
While our sources are reluctant to be too specific about “Wii HD,” they have been able to divulge some (albeit predictable) generalizations. High definition visuals are assured, as is a greater emphasis on digitally distributed and backwardly compatible content, indicating that the new system will feature some form of local storage medium such as a hard drive or large flash memory solution. It has also been indicated that Nintendo’s emphasis is again on what the consumer will hold in their hands and interact with, rather than the “console” itself.
The site also refers to Nintendo's annual financial reports, they noticed R&D spending has increased tenfold since 2003 and tripled since the launch of the Wii in 2006. What They Play believes the increased R&D expenditure suggests Nintendo is working on a large project:
Based on figures from Nintendo’s annual financial reports, the company is currently spending more than ten times as much on research and development as it was five years ago, and since the Wii was launched in 2006, R&D spending has more than tripled. While this could be attributed to any number of additional projects, the level of spending suggests that a large project is in the works. In 2003, Nintendo declared that $34 million was spent on R&D. This figure steadily climbed to $103 million in 2006 (the year that the Wii launched) and the following year bumped dramatically to $370 million.