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Nintendo trademarks the name Zii

Zii one that comes after Wii?

Nintendo's trademarked the name Zii in Japan, which begs the obvious question: is this what the Wii 2 will be called?

A Z looks an awful lot like a 2.

Plus, three years after European release, it's a bit of a stretch to believe this is merely routine Wii name protection.

The trademark, spotted by Siliconera, offers no explanation just protection when used for a videogame or other electronic device.

Nintendo Europe had no comment to make on the matter.

Analysts and the industry expect Nintendo to unveil a Wii HD-style machine next year, possibly at the summer's E3 event. So far, however, such a reveal is pure rumour and speculation.