Nintendo Wii To Get Netflix Streaming... In HD?

Forget all of that I'm a Mac, I'm a PC business, not to mention rivalry between Beatles and Stones or Betty and Veronica, I've most often been caught up in a scrap between Nintendo and their rivals. For the record, I'm very much on the side of Nintendo and love my Wii dearly. At least as far as I'm concerned then, the following is incredible news.

Netflix on demand is coming to the Wii, as it has for the PS3, the X-Box 360 and a number of Blu-Ray players. Brilliantly, the Wii is going to HD support as well, the better to screen your VOD choices (and, I assume give Super Mario Galaxy 2 a little something that part 1 didn't have).

There's no official confirmation as yet but the very dependable Business of Video have the scoop and have also received some images showing a prototype of the service undergoing testing. They don't name their source,  or share the images, but their trust in the info is very encouraging to me.

Apparently, Netflix could be in a position to unleash the service before the end of the year but "Nintendo is also considering holding off on the Netflix service until they release their next generation Wii HD unit in early 2010".

Whether this is a second Wii, a Wii HD, or some kind of plug-in expansion isn't clear, though both are possible. So why haven't we heard of this Wii HD before? Well, there have been rumours, and I don't imagine Nintendo would want them to gain too much traction before the holiday season, when they'll be hoping to shift as many Wii units as possible.

They've been pretty good at springing sudden launches, with the expanded DSi LL coming out of nowhere to give their best-selling handheld a surprise visual upgrade. Why wouldn't such a shock launch for a souped-up Wii be a possibility?

Despite Wii HD sounding like a new console I'm feeling, actually, that they go for some kind of expansion unit, a video chip or co-processor of some kind in a little dongle. They could sell an easy little upgrade to a huge amount of Wii owners, but would find it very hard to get those sort of numbers to go for an entire new unit. That's only my guess, though and time will tell.

The Wii installed user base is huge, and just about every unit will be plugged right into a TV set, so I'm thinking this might just be the biggest boost to the advance of streaming video we've seen since the invention of YouTube.

Via Edge Online.