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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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Latest comments (14)

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Micheal, if you could please refrain from calling it Wii 2, the world would be grateful. This is Nintendo, not Sony.

Also, "Nintendo has forever lost one customer for each Kinect and Move unit sold." Could you be more melodramatic? I think it's become obvious that the casual market follows which way the wind blows and I can say with much certainty that the wind doesn't blow in one direction forever.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 8 years ago
"I literally have no information on it, so anything I speculate will surely be wrong."

It doesn't normally stop you, Mr. Pachter!

"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,"

What a strange way of looking at it. Does that mean every 3DS sale is a loss to the NGP, or that each PS3 sale is one less customer for the Xbox 360?! These consoles and/or peripherals are not mutually exclusive.


["the new platform will need to improve on some of the Wii's shortcomings if it's too compete."

Typo there, Dan.]
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
Ok, what are the odds of them still using friend codes?
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Show all comments (14)
Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
The 3DS uses a system wide code which is a step in the right direction. I could seem them moving further toward a unified account name tied to a system code. You add friends in game via their name but offline with their system code.
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Neil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments8 years ago
Suspect they'll stick with something similar to friend codes for kids games, but given the adult demographic of the wii, something more like facebook wouldn't entirely surprise me for everything else...


Also, has anyone ever done any research into how accurate these analysts predictions turn out to be?
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
I have, Neil. Let's just say the weatherman can finally be proud of himself.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jim Webb on 15th April 2011 10:57am

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
Are these the same guys that predicted the 3DS would move a few million units by now in the US? Meh... whatever.
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game8 years ago
Michael Pachner thought Activision needed to start charging subscriptions for CoD, and didn't come to the conclusion that if they did, EA and Ubisoft would be having a massive party. I find it hard to take the guy seriously.
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I'm most interested in what they do with the media: I can't see any chance it will use BluRay, and it has to support Wii discs (to be backwards compat). That said, I'd love to see it also support cartridge/memory card as (whole range of benefits) - if games needed a disc and a cartridge, it would also make piracy much more difficult.

Anyway, bring it on...
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James Prendergast Research Chemist 8 years ago
@Terence:

You mistook Jesse Divinch for Michael Pachter in your first jibe there. Maybe you should be a bit more careful?

@Greg: In the other article on GamesIndustry.biz Pachter predicted 500,000 units in the US. It sold 400,000.

As for what i think will be in the successor to the Wii (it's shorter to say Wii 2)..... i don't think we'll see many surprises. I think we'll see a melding of the portable console tech with the static console tech. I look at things like the Dreamcast - which in many ways was far ahead of its time (too far) and how only some of that tech and ideas has been integrated into the current console generation. Then i look at the 3DS and NGP and i think we're going to see touch interfaces on a Wii-mote style controller, possibly with a screen inlaid on that. They've tried to do similar things in the past with the GBA and gamecube and Sony have dabbled with the PSP and PS3 connectivity... however, i think having the controller being a separate "gaming" device is one of the only tech "innovations" that hasn't really been accomplished yet.

Maybe there'll be a camera there too, but i can't see them mimicking the tech that Sony and MS have all wrapped up due to the problematic spectre of patents.

I also think we'll see an advancement of the online aspect of the console but i still don't know if Nintendo has any expertise in that arena to draw upon...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Prendergast on 16th April 2011 4:43pm

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Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University8 years ago
Given Panasonic's work with Blu Ray, and Nintendo's relationship with Panasonic, why would it be so strange for Nintendo to use Blu Ray and lock out the movie playback?
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Daniel, I have a feeling that Nintendo wants to reduce the mechanical components of the console. Optical drives tend to be the source for most of the noise and failures of video game consoles (RRoD aside) and moving toward flash media gives them a quieter and more trouble free system while gaining faster read/write speeds, re-writable media and multiple vendors to bargain prices with. Sure, it's a costly medium but so still is Blu-ray.
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Jamie Watson Studying Bachelor of Games & Interactive Entertainment, Queensland University of Technology8 years ago
this is going to be a very interesting console thats for sure!
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Oh my: I have been reading various articles on "Project Cafe", and its suddenly hit me: I think I can understand the paradigm that the console is about...

1/ Miyamoto has been saying for years - "I want to move gamers away from the TV" (this is where the projection/hologram rumours came from)

2/ Iwata recently said - "We will not be bringing console 3D games to TV, it doesn't work"

Well, maybe the next Nintendo console does *not* need a TV at all: hence controllers with a screen - and it could be both HD & 3D enabled (3D slider), with the console doing all the grunt work and streaming video directly to each controller.

This would indeed be a paradigm shift, and it also maps to the "Project Cafe" monikor: whether the console *can* connect to a TV, or would be backwards compatible with the Wii (or just something completely different). Its almost a super-powerful, 3D NGP (except tethered to the home). Its also a step closer to cloud computing for Nintendo - imagine exactly the same console, without the base - and its starting to resemble something like OnLive.

Enough speculation for now :)
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