Nintendo announced its next-gen home console, the Wii U, at E3 2011 and has since been extremely quiet about the partially-tablet-controlled system. That silence is perfectly in line with the way the Kyoto, Japan firm has always done business and they aren’t showing any signs of changing going forward. In fact, it sounds like the public will have to wait all the way until E3 2012 before they get another look at the console.
Nintendo Company Ltd. President Satoru Iwata stated during the firm’s quarterly earning presentation that the Big N is “planning to launch the Wii U, which is the successor to the Wii, during the next fiscal year. We would like to show the final format of the Wii U at the E3 show next year.”
That’s not a firm confirmation that the system isn’t launching until after the next Electronic Entertainment Expo, but it’s about as close as we’re going to get to the publisher outright saying as much. The official word for some time now has been that the Wii’s successor would not launch until at least the end of April 2012. It’s now abundantly clear that it will not release until at least late summer, and, if history is any indication, is most likely to drop right around this time next year.
Nintendo recently announced an astronomical financial loss for the first half of their current fiscal year, and just yesterday predicted an astronomical yearly loss of $264 million. It would be the first time they have posted a loss since 1981. The blame for their financial free-fall can be accredited to the underwhelming performance, and subsequent price slashing, of the 3DS; the strong nature of the Japanese yen versus the U.S. dollar; and an almost embarrassing lack of games being released for both the Wii and 3DS this year.
The house that Mario built is eager to move on from 2011’s pitfalls and avoid falling into the same trappings when the Wii U hits the market. “As we learned a bitter lesson with the launch of the Nintendo 3DS, we are trying to take every possible measure so that the Wii U will have a successful launch,” Iwata said.
If the console manufacturer is serious about a strong launch then it needs to come up with some appealing launch software, and then follow it up with a constant stream of quality third party titles to complement the first party gems that will no doubt headline the system’s software lineup. It also wouldn’t hurt if they introduced an online system that didn’t, you know, suck.
Is it too early to start the annual “Wait until E3!” madness? Are you confident that they will turn things around at next year’s show after the abysmal showing the Wii U had at the last E3? Or will they continue making mind-boggling decisions? Light up our comments board with your thoughts on the matter.
[Image via Geek.]