Nintendo confirms Wii successor – Console news

The Wii 2 will be unveiled at the giant E3 event in June and will launch next year.

Nintendo has confirmed that it will be launching a successor to its massively successful Wii home console in 2012. As rumoured for several weeks, the new machine will be unveiled at the giant E3 video game event, which takes place from June 7-9 in Los Angeles.

The company released a brief announcement on its investor relations website this morning, but has provided no other information. The confirmation coincides with the release of the veteran manufacturer’s earnings for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2011, which show a 52% fall in operating income, from ¥356bn (£2.6bn) in 2010 to ¥171bn. Worldwide annual sales of Wii hardware have also fallen from just over 20m in 2010 to 15.08m.

The Wii remains the most successful console release of its generation, with sales of around 86m, compared to 53m for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and 49.5m for the Sony PlayStation 3. However, the console has been available since 2006 and a refresh is now thought to be essential if Nintendo is to maintain its dominant position. An E3 announcement would allow the company to build on momentum generated by the release of the 3DS console last month.

Although no technical specifications for the Wii successor – allegedly codenamed “Project Cafe” – have been revealed, gossip and speculation are rife around the industry. Anonymous development sources have claimed to several news sites that development kits are already with big publishers such as Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Activision. Games site IGN claims that it has been handed details of the architecture, which reportedly includes a triple-core IBM PowerPC processor and an AMD Fusion graphics processing unit. If true, this would make it considerably more powerful than the current Wii and a step up from the Xbox 360 (which has a similar internal set-up) and the PS3.

It is almost certain that, unlike Wii, “Project Cafe” will provide 1080p HD visuals. It is also set to feature a controller with its own built-in 6in display, effectively resembling a mini-tablet PC. This screen will be able to stream game visuals from the main console (showing, say, track layouts for racing games or interactive maps for adventure titles), but the controller may also be able to operate as seperate handheld games devices. Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto also hinted last week that the 3DS may be able to act as a “Project Cafe” joypad.

Nintendo has refused to comment on any of the speculation surrounding the new machine.




Keith Stuart © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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