Last week’s rumours of Nintendo being scheduled to unveil the successor to its Wii gaming console at E3 2011 seem to have been true, as the Japanese gaming giant officially announced it in Japan today.
E3 2011 will go on from 7th to 9th June, and while Nintendo is going to introduce a playable version of the console during the show, the new console will only hit shelves in 2012. Codenamed Project Cafe, the Wii 2 will undoubtedly be more powerful than the Wii, and will apparently be better endowed than the PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 – no real major feat, knowing as we all do the outdated nature of those consoles when compared to the current graphics and processor technologies of PC gaming.
The Nintendo Wii when introduced was the first console to bring motion controllers to the mainstream of video gaming, and now that Sony has gone ahead and pretty much perfected the interface with PlayStation Move (introduced at E3 2010), while Microsoft has revolutionized the living room with the Kinect, it’s only natural that Nintendo will attempt to introduce something revolutionary with the Wii 2 as well. Rumours for now point towards full 1080p HD output, as well as a touchscreen interface on the controller, which can combine different button sets in one location as required, and feature hardware buttons around it, possibly including dual analog sticks. The touchscreen controller may also work as a standalone media player and game console, Rumours also indicate a possible IBM three-core PowerPC and ATI GPU combination, with 4.1 shader support.
More details will of course be revealed (and leaked) in the days leading up to E3 2011, and the big announcement there will give us all the juicy details. First party and third party game titles are also expected to be announced. Nintendo is currently struggling on many fronts, with tepid sales of the 3DS after years of dominating the portable market with the DS, as well as sharply dropping demand for its Wii gaming console.
[RELATED_ARTICLE]It also has a lot of catching up to do in the war of resolutions and graphics, but, with its out-of-phase (with Sony and Microsoft) development cycle, it might just have a decent chance at remaking its besmirched name with a truly powerful system endowed with the latest cutting-edge graphics and processor technologies, outpacing both the PS3 and the Xbox 360. The Xbox 720 is expected soon though, and Nintendo will definitely need to ensure comparable specs if not better, if it ever intends to recapture market share. For now, a price drop for the original Wii is definite, tiding the long months till the Wii 2 releases in 2012.
Check out the full press release below, announcing the successor to the Wii.
To whom it may concern:
Re: Wii's Successor System
Nintendo Co., Ltd. has decided to launch in 2012 a system to succeed Wii, which the company has sold 86.01 million units on a consolidated shipment basis between its launch in 2006 and the end of March 2011.
We will show a playable model of the new system and announce more specifications at the E3 Expo, which will be held June 7-9, 2011, in Los Angeles.Sales of this new system have not been included in the financial forecasts announced today for the fiscal term ending March 2012.