Well, it’s official. After a slew of rumors, Nintendo has confirmed that they are indeed working on a new console and that the system will be playable at this year’s E3. That’s also when we’ll learn more about the hardware, and while details are still sparse, it seems that the Wii 2 won’t be appearing until next year at the earliest. Nintendo’s Japanese press release says the system doesn’t factor into their sales expectations for the current fiscal year that ends in March 2012.
The new platform has apparently been codenamed “Project Café” at Nintendo, and the early rumors hold that the HD console will be more powerful than both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 and that it will be backwards compatible with the Wii. It will also supposedly introduce an innovative new control scheme that blends a traditional button scheme with a touch screen embedded in each controller.
That, however, is purely speculative. Nintendo has not yet disclosed any of the hardware specifications, so we’re basically in the same place we were prior to the announcement and we’re still going to be bombarded with unsubstantiated Internet musings until Nintendo goes public at E3. I’d definitely like to find out more about the new console, but I could do without all of the unverified stories from unspecified sources.
Fortunately, E3 is right around the corner, so we won’t have to wait long for more official news. We’ll let you know once that information becomes available.