Nintendo (PINK:NTDOF) announced Monday that 2012 would see an all new Wii, rumored to have an operating system more powerful than its greatest competitors, Xbox360 and Playstation 3. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony (NYSE:SNE) don’t have plans to release new gaming consoles until 2014, though I’m predicting that they will be presenting a slightly modified version of what Nintendo comes out with in 2012.
Nintendo’s new console will be demonstrated in Los Angeles on June 7 at the E3 game show. The company has declined saying anything about the console before its debut, but rumors abound in the hard-core gaming community. Among them, that Nintendo will be saying goodbye to the controller that made them famous, the “Wii mote”.
The new Wii is Nintendo’s response to dwindling sales resulting from competition with other popular consoles including Microsoft’s futuristic Kinect, an infrared camera add-on for Xbox360 (NASDAQ:MSFT) that sold 10 million units in just four months after its release last year, not just beating its obvious competition to a pulp, but becoming the fastest selling consumer device–ever. To compare, sales of the Wii were only 15 million units for the entire year.
On Monday, Nintendo announced it’s first quarter sales. Fair warning: they aren’t pretty. Nintendo saw profits of only 12 billion yen last quarter, down from 59.9 billion yen a year earlier. And while the new Wii hopes to improve those numbers, Nintendo doesn’t expect to see the profits it witnessed with the introduction of the Wii in 2006 when there was no real market competition. Not only do its competitors now have similar motion-sensing devices, but less serious gamers, a large part of Wii’s demographic, are now turning to smart phones as their gaming consoles of choice. One need only witness the popularity of Angry Birds to recognize the real threat portable, hand-held devices pose to those that require such outdated relics as a TV and an outlet.