It’s official! After a week of making the rounds in the videogame rumor mill, the console that will be Nintendo’s successor to the Wii has been officially announced, and should be hitting our living rooms in 2012. What, you don’t believe me? Nintendo even has the announcement on their website. We won’t have to wait long to see what it can do either, as the press release states that Nintendo is planning to have playable demo model at this year’s E3 conference in early June.
Currently codenamed “Project Café,” the new console is rumored to be able to do a few things that the current Wii cannot, like provide HD graphics that are on par with or beyond the abilities of the Xbox 360 or PS3. Another rumor, which is far more interesting than just graphics to me, is the controller, which is said to be a tablet-style touchscreen, which may or may not be able to stream media from the console in addition to controlling games.
This is the right time to announce the new system because Nintendo is facing a drop in Wii sales this year, causing a drop in profit to ¥77 billion, a 66% decrease from last year’s ¥228 billion. In addition to people spending less for entertainment while the economy struggles, the uniqueness of motion control that Nintendo hung its hat on has been more or less eliminated with Sony’s Playstation Move Microsoft’s Kinect. Sony and Microsoft, however, have both stated that their new consoles won’t be released until 2014, giving Nintendo a window to launch a console uncontested by the other two gaming giants. If there was ever a time for an innovative idea, that time is now.