Rumor: Wii successor to be announced at E3

Rumors of a new Nintendo console have been circulating for years, and they're at it again, this time from Game Informer. Multiple sources at GI claim that the company is preparing to reveal its next console at E3 this year, if not before that.

Citing multiple anonymous sources, the report claims that the new console will run in HD resolutions, but it's unconfirmed how the hardware power will compare to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The HD output is said to be a move towards courting third-party developers, though, and the company is said to be showing publishers the system to garner support for a strong 2012 launch.

Contrary to rumors of an upgraded Wii, though, it seems that the sources claim this console will be more of a fresh start. "Nintendo is doing this one right. [It's] not a gimmick like the Wii," said one anonymous source.

Whether the Wii was a gimmick didn't seem to hurt its worldwide sales. Though the console has been losing steam over the last few months, its strong start and sustained success still place it as the top-selling current console. If Nintendo's next effort is more similar to its competitors, it may not have the same breakout success.

Meanwhile, IGN sources claim the console will be significantly more powerful than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, capable of 1080p output, and backwards compatible with Wii software.

Some of these details echo a prediction from way back in 2008, in which industry veteran John Davison claimed a "Wii HD" would launch by 2011. If this rumor proves true, we'll give him partial credit for only being off by a year.

The timing is interesting, as just yesterday we reported on a rumor of a Wii price drop. We speculated that if true, it could be laying the groundwork for a new console announcement, and now this rumor is stating just that. We probably won't know for certain on the veracity of either rumor until mid-May at the earliest.