Nintendo put an end to rampant rumor and speculation surrounding a successor to its bestselling Wii home video game console.
In a surprise move, Nintendo confirmed the rumored console’s existence when they released a brief statement announcing that they will unveil the Wii’s successor at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, a video game industry event at the Los Angeles Convention Center June 7-9, where it will be demonstrated in playable form in advance of its release some time next year.
Industry analysts are convinced that the new console will be more powerful, with high definition graphics. Aside from that, however, its features and capabilities, such as a rumored new controller, are only speculation.
Since its release on November 9, 2006, Nintendo’s innovative home video game console has been a hit with consumers, selling over 86 million units worldwide, and over 41 million units in North America alone, outselling Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3.
However, internally very similar to Nintendo’s previous generation offering, the GameCube, the Wii has begun to show its age, frustrating game developers due to its underperforming hardware which lacks the power necessary for immersive high definition graphics that many players have come to expect. More recently, Microsoft released the Kinect, and Sony released the Playstation Move, add-on peripherals for their consoles that add motion control, once the Wii’s distinguishing feature.
Nintendo has targeted more casual gamers, letting Microsoft and Sony battle for the affections of hardcore gamers. Perhaps to combat slowing sales, Nintendo also issued a price drop on the Nintendo Wii from $199.99 to $169.99.
According to Microsoft and Sony development road maps, their competing consoles aren’t due for an update for years, so Nintendo could have a head start on the next generation video game market.