Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has said he doesn't believe the announcement of the Wii U will affect sales of the Wii, as that the two machines will attract different consumers.
He argued that the price and available games will maintain sales of the Wii, and that Nintendo intends to support the older machine until after the launch of the Wii U sometime in 2012.
"We don't think that's going to be an issue and here is why. Let me focus in on the US. About 36 million units later, the consumer who is buying a Wii for the first time now is very different from one buying the first one million Wii units," Fils-Aime told GamesBeat.
"The consumer today loves the $149 price point. There is a wide range of software. For the consumer today, having a library that includes Wii Sports Resort and Wii New Super Mario Bros, Wii Donkey Kong Trooper Challenge - it's a different consumer."
"I continue to believe that the Wii will have a strong summer, fall, holiday season and we are going to continue to drive the Wii part of our business. It will be strong even after the Wii U launches. They are just different consumers and we saw that just as an example when we launched the 3DS and continued to sell other units too."
While the console shown at E3 was a prototype, Fils-Aime said both the machine and controller won't undergo any drastic changes before release.
"In terms of the form factor of the console, it is quite near final. Similarly the form factor of the controller is quite near final."
He also pointed to the addition of HD, a first for Nintendo, as a significant step forward in securing new software. "HD is something that our partners told us was important to them and they were holding HD as a key reason why game A on a competitive platform couldn't be brought to the existing Wii. We have eliminated that issue now. "
The Wii U boasts 1080p graphics, a multi-core 45 nm microprocessor and a distinctive tablet style controller complete with a six-inch touchscreen for streaming content from the console.