Nintendo announced a tentative release date for their next-gen console, the Wii U on Thursday, and said that it will be here in time for the 2012 holiday season. The company, which gave a sneak peak of the Wii U at E3 last year, said on Thursday that they would give the next-gen console its full unveiling at E3 2012, which will take place June 5th-7th in Los Angeles.
The news that Nintendo will be the first to release their next gen console comes on the heels of Nintendo's 2011 4th quarter financial results, which show a 61 percent drop in profits for Nintendo, alongside a 40 percent fall in sales revenue. In addition, the company cut its projected sales for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii from 16 million to 14 million and 12 million to 10 million respectively.
We had higher expectations for the year-end season, but failed to meet them, Nintendo resident Satoru Iwata told reporters in Osaka.
And while the company hopes that the Wii U will be its savior, not much is known about the next-gen console, such as price or game selection. What is known, however, is that the console will feature 8 GB of internal memory and an IBM multi-core processor based on the WATSON supercomputer alongside an AMD Radeon HD GPU. However the real revolutionary aspect of the Wii U is its controller, which contains a 6.2 inch touchscreen, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a camera, and a built-in microphone.
One aspect of the Wii U that might hold Nintendo back is its proprietary disc technology. Microsoft has all but confirmed that they will be using Blu-ray discs in their next-gen system, and the Playstation 3 already does, meaning that the Wii U may be left out in the cold for gamers who are looking for more of an entertainment system as opposed to just a gaming system.
Analysts are worried that the Wii U won't be up to snuff. The company faces a structural problem that people are opting for their smartphones and tablet PCs to kill their time, Mitsushige Akino, who oversees about $600 million at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. in Tokyo, said to Bloomberg News. I can't see Nintendo's next strategy. There will probably be a discussion about how worse it can get.
Nintendo said it will release more information about the specifics of the console, such as price point, games, and a final list of specifications before E3 2012.