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Analysts discuss next Nintendo platform

E3 announcement looking increasingly likely for Wii successor

Various analysts have been discussing the possibility of a new Nintendo console being announced at E3 in June, with the consensus being that a reveal at the LA show is very likely.

Speaking to Eurogamer, analysts Michael Pachter, Jesse Divinch and Billy Pidgeon all said that leaving the announcement of a successor to the Wii any later would be a mistake for the publisher - with Pachter even suggesting that the optimal window has already passed.

"I think the right time for the console was in front of Kinect and Move, and think that Nintendo has forever lost one customer for each Kinect and Move unit sold," explained the Wedbush analyst.

"That means they should have launched the Wii 2 in Fall 2009, and at the latest in Fall 2010, so a launch in 2011 is late.

"With that said, it's never 'too' late, since they can retain the lion's share of the market by inducing current Wii owners to upgrade, and by capturing undecided consumers who have either not yet purchased a console or who have not yet bought Kinect or Move.

Nintendo has forever lost one customer for each Kinect and Move unit sold.

Michael Pachter, Wedbush.

"It's highly likely that there is a Wii 2 reveal at E3," he concluded. "If they don't do it this year, then it might be too late next year."

Eedar's Divinch was more guarded in his speculation, but agreed that E3 is a likely venue for an announcement.

"Unfortunately I cannot speculate on what a Wii 2 will have. I literally have no information on it, so anything I speculate will surely be wrong.

"But I can say this. Nintendo doesn't go with the flow, they never have, and gamers can expect Nintendo to continue to be original and offer up an experience that simply cannot be found or matched on other platforms.

"But if you want to use some historical information. Nintendo announced the Revolution, later renamed the Wii, at their 2005 E3 press conference, a full year and half from its official release. So a Wii 2 announcement certainly wouldn't be a shocker if they plan for a 2012 holiday release."

Billy Pidgeon, of research firm M2, pointed out that, as well as needing to come soon, the new platform will need to improve on some of the Wii's shortcomings if it's to compete.

"Nintendo needs to launch first in the next generation, as Wii is somewhat saturated and the console's low resolution graphics lag in the current generation," he explained. "I expect the next Nintendo console in 2012 at the latest, so a 2011 E3 launch announcement is a strong possibility.

"There will be some risk for Nintendo in the next generation - Wii has a huge installed base and Nintendo should work to keep that base active as long as possible.

"Nintendo has successfully straddled handheld generations, but console succession is far trickier. 'Wii 2' will need to be backwards compatible, as Nintendo is likely to support Wii with software until the next console gains sufficient penetration."

"The next Nintendo console is likely to have improved motion control and to include video camera tech, but I'd be disappointed if it didn't have some off-the-wall innovation that pushes the medium forward in an unforeseen direction.

"With Wii and with handhelds, Nintendo doesn't compete with other vendors on hardware. In fact, Nintendo leads with hardware control and user interface.

"However, Nintendo must step up and compete in the online console marketplace and multiplayer experience, where Microsoft and Sony are performing strongly. Connected devices' online experience should lead, rather than follow, the hardware's capabilities."

Speculation over a new console being unveiled has been rife since the announcement of a price drop for the Wii and reports in Game Informer and on IGN that new technology is coming.

Nintendo has yet to officially comment on the rumours.

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