Nintendo is expected to debut a new video game console to replace its aging Wii next year. the Japanese company is expected to make that announcement at the E3 trade show in June, according to Game Informer.
Nintendo declined comment. The publication cited multiple unnamed sources as saying the new home system will be capable of running high-definition graphics, in contrast to the standard TV resolution of the Wii. But Game Informer said it could not confirm if the graphics would be better than that of the Xbox 360 or the Sony PlayStation 3.
Nintendo is reportedly showing a prototype of the system to game publishers to get them to start developing titles for the launch of the new system, which is scheduled for late 2012.
The publication didn’t have any other details. But the rumored decision to drop the price of the Wii, from $199 to $149, on May 15 could be a precursor to the announcement of a new console. Typically, the console makers announce a new console about a year in advance so that game makers can make the necessary investments to have titles ready at launch time.
Nintendo introduced the Wii console in 2005. Most new consoles have a lifespan of about five years before a replacement debuts. But the Wii has sold so well — 86.3 million units compared to 53 million for the Xbox 360 and 49 million for the PS 3 — that Nintendo has postponed both a new console and lower prices. In 2010, Wii sales declined to 7 million sold in the U.S., compared to 9 million a year earlier. An HD version of the Wii has been rumored for some time, but Nintendo hasn’t announced anything.
E3 starts in Los Angeles on June 7 this year, but press conferences from Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are expected to be held a day earlier.