Following a flurry of reports and leaks last week Nintendo has officially confirmed it will be launching a successor to the Wii next year. The company offered no details as to how the next-generation console will improve on the current one, though we'll probably hear a lot more soon as Nintendo reportedly plans to show off a playable model of the still-unnamed device at the E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles this coming June.
The revelation was made during an earnings call this morning where Nintendo also disclosed full-year net profit was down for the second straight year, damped by sluggish sales of its DS handheld and Wii home console. The company is facing mounting competition from Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360 in the motion-controlled gaming arena, and is counting on the Wii successor to repeat the success of its best-selling machine.
Rumors have been swirling around that "Project Cafe", which is said to be the codename for Nintendo's upcoming console, will deliver full HD 1080 graphics and may have stereoscopic 3D capabilities. The CPU will allegedly be a custom-designed triple-core version of the IBM PowerPC chipset, while the GPU will be a modified version of AMD's R700 architecture that debuted with the Radeon HD 4000 series. In terms of size and design the console is said to be around the same size as the first-gen Xbox 360 and will feature a controller with a built-in touchscreen display.
Supposedly, the Wii's successor will cost between $350 and $400 and could be ready to ship in early 2012. Given that sales of the new system were not included in the financial forecasts announced today for the fiscal term ending March 2012, it is believed that the new console might not be out before April of next year.