Next Nintendo Console Cannibalizing PS3 for Ideas?

What did I tell you? Not 24 hours from the original Wii 2 "at E3, if not sooner" rumor, and we're already hearing others, like this one from Blu-ray.com, that Nintendo's so-called "new console" may include a Blu-ray drive. What's next: That it'll support Microsoft Kinect?

Once more, we're told that "sources have revealed" that Nintendo plans to slap a Blu-ray drive in its next console (to be revealed at this summer's E3 trade show) with a nod to another rumor Blu-ray.com picked up in October 2009. That one had Nintendo planning to release a Blu-ray-based Wii 2 last year, third quarter. I guess that wasn't intended to be a factual statement.

Why would Nintendo bother with a Blu-ray drive? Blu-ray already seems dated next to more flexible video streaming alternatives currently helmed by companies like Netflix and Hulu. Why not stick with streaming for video playback, avoid the Sony licensing fees, and keep the consumer cost of the console low? The DVD-based Xbox 360 holds its own in PS3 cross-platform matchups, and third-party developers would still make the same compromises they do today designing games to work (and more or less look) the same on all three devices.

Then again, we've heard recent talk Blu-ray's faring better than expected, and that consumer spending on Sony's Blu-ray 3D Disc format alone will rise "533 percent in 2011." According to reports cited by MyCE, Blu-ray's doing so well right now that the biggest concerns in 2011 have to do with supply shortfalls, not waning demand.

Still, kind of hard to imagine an upcoming Nintendo console with a costly, margin-slashing Blu-ray drive, whatever the perks for Nintendo wonks dreaming of data-crammed 50GB versions of Metroid Prime 4 or Super Mario Galaxy 3.

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