Nintendo made it official today: the Wii 2, or whatever the successor to the company’s Wii console will be called, is slated to appear sometime next year. A playable version of the Wii 2 will be on hand at E3 this June, where DailyGame will be bringing you hands-on impressions and interviews of the Wii 2 and its software lineup.
Nintendo gave no indication of when in 2012 the new Wii would ship, but a holiday 2012 timeframe is most likely. Likewise, high-definition capabilities are most likely on the way for the Wii 2, as has been rumored recently, because of the increasing prevalence of HDTVs since Nintendo launched the original Wii (low penetration rates was their primary reason at the time for not supporting full HD). Whether the new Wii will include a touch screen controller, glasses-free 3D support and other cutting edge features will also be unveiled in June.
According to this article at CNN Money, Nintendo “will reveal more information about the new game system at [E3]” from June 7 to 9. Product images, specific functionality and a game lineup should be available at E3 as well, although if the console’s name completely breaks from tradition, Nintendo may release some of that information before E3 even gets off the ground. Nintendo went that route before unveiling the Wii, because the company wanted any and all “distractions” related to its console’s name to be out of consumers’ minds before getting their hands on the system.
Of course, we all have seen how that strategy worked out for Nintendo: the Wii ruled the console-sales roost for about half the current lifespan of this console generation.
All that has changed in recent years, however, and the reduced sales and income have only gotten worse for Nintendo in the wake of Microsoft launching its Xbox 360 Kinect gesture-control system and Sony unveiling the motion-based PlayStation Move system for PS3. Following those peripherals’ launch, Microsoft and Sony have seen improved sales of the Xbox 360 and PS3, respectively, while Wii sales have tapered off.
In fact, Nintendo announced that net sales dropped 29 percent during the company’s fiscal year that ended March 31, with its net income plunging 66 percent. Those metrics are both lower than the previous year’s results, when net sales fell 22 percent and net income dropped 18 percent.
The 3DS will increase Nintendo’s Q2 metrics to a certain degree, but the Wii 2 will likely provide a bigger boost than any handheld system — particularly if the Wii successor is priced similarly to the 3DS ($250).
We will have more information, images, content and anything else we can get our hands on regarding the Wii 2 as soon as it becomes available. E3 2011 can’t come soon enough.