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Iwata: Wii Successor Not Coming Before April 2012, Stereoscopic 3D Not A Focus
Iwata: Wii Successor Not Coming Before April 2012, Stereoscopic 3D Not A Focus
April 25, 2011 | By Kyle Orland

April 25, 2011 | By Kyle Orland
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

In an investor briefing today, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said the successor to the Nintendo Wii would not be available in the first quarter of the 2012 calendar year.

The unnamed system, which the company officially confirmed for a 2012 release earlier today, is not part of the company's earnings forecasts for the current fiscal year, which runs through March 2012, Iwata pointed out in a report translated by Andriasang.

Iwata said the new system was necessary at this time because "it became difficult for developers to surprise customers with the current Wii," echoing previous comments on the longevity of the system.

A report from Bloomberg Japan also quotes Iwata as skeptical of the impact of stereoscopic 3D TVs on the next generation of consoles.

The Nintendo president said he "[doesn't] think 3D TVs have spread enough yet" to provide a good base of support for the feature on a home console.

Sony has made a concerted push to make stereoscopic 3D support a focus for its current PlayStation 3. A lack of support for the burgeoning HD standard was seen by many as a limiting factor for the Nintendo Wii.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Iwata said the company would follow 3.6 million sales of the Nintendo 3DS through March 2011 with a target of 16 million Nintendo 3DS units sold in the current fiscal year. He also announced plans to release the glasses-free 3D portable in China and the developing world as early as this year.

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Michael Wenk
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I wonder... I mean when the Wii was designed, and when it came out, HD wasn't widely adopted. So I wonder if ignoring 3D is such a good idea. Well Nintendo is very conservative...

Doug Poston
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The Wii had a very good run, even without HD support.

IMHO: Even if the current 3D technology gets adopted at the same rate HD technology did, it will be several years before it becomes a standard feature in home entertainment. More likely, a different 3D technology will come out in the next few years that is more appealing to consumers (who don't like wearing glasses for some reason).

In either case, it is to Nintendo's advantage not to waste time/money on chasing a market that doesn't exist yet.

brandon sheffield
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Ignoring 3D for now is not a big deal. If the PS3 can do it, it is very likely that an HD nintendo console will be able to with a firmware update should they so choose. I think it's pretty wise to not make 3D a focus for a home console when that's such a niche market at the moment.

Amy Austin
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Even if/when 3DTV becomes glasses free, I'm still not really that interested in the tech. First of all, I'm prone to migraines and when I saw UP in 3D (the only movie I've ever seen in 3D) it was torture to sit all the way through the end. Secondly, I don't really think that 3D enhances the storytelling process in any meaningful way. I know plenty of people who said that Avatar was "awesome" in 3D but admitted that it didn't add anything to the plot line or story itself, just that it was more visually interesting and a lot of that even was due to the fact they didn't have another 3D movie on the same level to compare it to. I think that games could fall into the same rut that 3D movies have fallen into, 3D isn't enhancing anything (or worse, the 3D added in post is absolutely horrific because it was rushed at the last minute). Movie studios are using 3D just to use 3D and right now, 3D is popular and they also charge more for the 3D movie. But it's the exact same story that I see for less in 2D.

I see games, if the next gens support 3D, becoming the same way, adding the 3D for the sake of it being 3D and the 3D version of the game (or the games themselves, if the 3D content is bundled with the 2D content) goes up another $5-10 because of them being 3D.

Merc Hoffner
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I have a couple counter opinions with what you had to say, but I will start with this: I'm sorry UP was such a bad experience for you and it's particularly troubling since I (and several friends of mine) found UP to be the mildest and least obtrusive film in this 3D era.

First I would say that cinema is a visual medium. Not enhancing the story, but enhancing the visual function is definitely worth it, else we may as well be reading the script. And yes, I agree, in plenty of movies 3D adds nothing. The next Sean Penn drama won't benefit one jot. Having said that, such talking head movies barely benefit from cinema in any case. Truth be told, they may as well be radio plays. 3D adds one more visual tool the artistic medium, much as colour does. And of course there are people who are colourblind for whom such visual embellishments are useless. But to write the entire tech off as some of the vocal fanbois have been calling for has been frustrating. It can and does add something visual that certainly gives me and many of my ilk a kick, and video games are a similarly visual medium. In fact without such strong distractions from narrative and acting, and with such highly repetitive scenarios in videogames, games often have to be an even more visual medium. Anything which can heighten the experience (affordably) is a benefit to the medium.

Moreover, videogames are more than cinema. I can see how 3D can be actively used in the interactive mediums to add an extra challenge, or an extra help that brings a literal extra layer to the available gameplay mechanisms. Imagine being able to genuinely visualise a 3D volumetric Tetris (I suppose with translucent blocks much as you might observe layers or bubbles in coloured glass) in a way that is simply unobtainable in 2D. The first games have hardly touched the potential of stereoscopy, but even now I'm shocked at how Pilotwings has affected my maneuvering in 3D vs 2D.

It's cruel that such technologies must leave potential consumers behind. And yet this is how it's been for a long time. Gaming threw away 10% of humanity when they made controllers right handed. Now with the (fairly) omnidirectional motion controls they're starting to fold that crowd back in. Hopefully the same can happen with 3D (with eye-tracked perspective correction, microlens arrays and the like), but we best not nip this tech in the bud. I suspect no one would wish there wasn't a colour blue.

Ian Uniacke
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I would also add that film is still developing the vocabulary necessary for good 3d movies. Despicable Me was a step in the right direction. I think we are yet to see the wonders which 3d will allow for both videogames and movies.

Cody Scott
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I will buy buy a console for not having 3d. 3D unlike motion gaming is gimmicky

Andre Murphy
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Well.... I see its finally come to this. Nintendo is debuting a new system at E3 in an effort to win back their hardcore audience. All I have to say is,"they better have a Great online service with achievements!!" I would love to go through those classic Mario & Zelda games for the achievements.

& as for the Wii. If customers are still buying the PS2 (after all these years) then Im pretty sure they will still buy The Wii. Motion controls aren't gimmicky. Just look at the Kinect & the Move (For Sony & Microsoft to even go there is proving the Wiimote to be a phenomenal success). The 10% to 15% of casual gamers will still flock to the Wii (especially since they added Net Flicks) while the hardcore gamers can enjoy "Project Cafe".

Seems to me that Nintendo wanted to catch up with Sony's sells from Last gen (the almighty PS2) & then focus on next gen hardcore gaming.

Russell Carroll
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When has Nintendo ever had the hardcore audience?

It certainly didn't with the Wii or GameCube.

So N64? I'd say they struggled then as well as the PSX was the home to 'hardcore.'

In fact I'd say it's probably been since the SNES that Nintendo had the hardcore audience, and that was over 20 years ago!

I can't imagine there are many gamers from that audience who were still playing to be won back. ;)

However, for what it is worth, I think they did win back those fans (who are all in their late 30s and up into their 40s now). That audience did get Wiis. They got NSMB (not SMG) and Wii Sports (not Metroid Corruption & Zelda). Nintendo did win back their hardcore audience from the late 80s.

I've heard this concept of "winning back the hardcore" before, but I don't know what it really means. Nintendo has never been the console of the hardcore, at least not in recent enough history that the phrase "win back" makes any sense.

You can't win back something you never had. :)

Nicolas Godement-Berline
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yeah Online is the elephant in the room when it comes to Nintendo. I wouldn't be surprised if they announced something big in that area at E3.

Sean Kiley
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so important, if they don't learn from this cycle how to do online at least as good as sony and microsoft, it will cripple the wii2.