Wii-successor this year?

Ignoring that i myself already published an article on how the Wii´s successor had to be launched in 2011: It would make sense.

When being debated, gamers claim that Nintendo doesn´t want to divert attention away from the newly launched 3DS-handheld. So neither would there be a new home console nor would we hear about it at E3 in June. Matter of fact, though, is that the Wii is on its last breath. Europe, and most likely the USA as well, finally get to see Xenoblade and likely The Last Story, too. In combination with Zelda, that makes for an okay 2011 in the west, but is far from an objectively great lineup. Looking at Japan is inherently worse, with Pandora´s  Tower being the only interesting announcement. And Dragon Quest 10 somewhere in the far away future.

I´m giving Nintendo the benefit of doubt, aka repeating last year´s E3, aka: Announcing 2-3 totally unknown titles. But I completely doubt that they have enough stuff to keep the Wii going in 2012. The question, thus, isn´t so much, IF the Wii Too launches this or next year. It is much more: Is Nintendo willing to rot the Wii without any compelling software at all for half a year or longer?

What makes me give it one more point towards a 2011-launch of the new home console is the launch-date of the 3DS. Originally, it was supposed to be released for christmas in Japan, then delayed due to production issues. Anyway, Nintendo purposely put the new handheld on market far away from any holidays. That´s okay, because handhelds are Nintendo´s A-game, they´re sure to sell over time, and Sony´s PSP2 is far away. Christmas 2011 is “empty”, so to say. One way would be to just sit back and watch 3DS-sales rise during the holiday-season. Another way, however, would be to launch the Wii-successor shortly before christmas and give the new system an impactful, big start. That could even work as a little sabotage of Sony´s PSP2, that´s expected to launch during that time. One could surely claim that a new home console is more interesting than another handheld, even moreso if Nintendo successfully came up with another ground-breaking gimmick for the new home console.

It does sound kinda crazy to think that we might see a new Nintendo-console this year, but there´s also this apparent lack of parallel-action: Reggie himself said that there weren´t any Wii-games in Q1/2, because Nintendo wanted to make room for the 3DS. Yeah, good one. Fact is, there´s almost no future games for the Wii, the NDS is dead (in terms of big announcements) and even the 3DS hasn´t seen too many first-party-announcements. Two remakes, Mario Kart, Paper Mario, that´s it. In other words: Nintendo gives a strong impression of seemingly having lots of in-house developers with a lot of free time. That´s obviously not the case. Nintendo has to start taking action on two areas at the same time. They cannot focus on 3DS and let their home console-business fall apart. The Wii has done its part and will surely continue to sell nicely, but it has dried up for enthusiast gamers. For all that´s worth, I believe that a Wii Too in late 2011 is a real possibility.

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