New Wii Coming?
The successor to Nintendo’s troubled Wii U may be on the way.
Shigeru Miyamoto, pictured above, the man who created Nintendo classics such as “Mario Bros.” and “The Legend of Zelda,” says the Japanese gaming giant is at work on a new gaming console. “For the time being, our focus is on the Wii U hardware, but Nintendo as a whole has groups working on ideas for new hardware systems,” he said, via a translator, in an interview with The Associated Press. “While we’re busy working on software for the Wii U, we have production lines that are working on ideas for what the next system might be.”
One of the most iconic names in video gaming, Nintendo dominated the market with its Wii console, which sold more than 100 million units after its release in 2006. But the follow-up, Wii U, with its handheld second-screen controller, failed to make similar sales records. The company lost more than $15 million in the final nine months of 2013, due to disappointing sales numbers for the Wii U.
This year has seen a slight increase in sales with the release of popular titles such as “Mario Kart 8” and “Bayonetta 2”, but the console still lags behind its’ rival PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in popularity. Things got so bad that there was speculation Nintendo would abandon hardware entirely, focusing instead on developing popular franchises such as Mario and Zelda for other consoles.
In the AP interview, Miyamoto focused on more positive news for the company. Released in October, “Super Smash Bros.” has joined the new “Mario Kart” title as a hot seller as have “amiibos,” action figures of popular Nintendo characters that can both be collected and used in conjunction with some video games. In addition, there have been reports, leaked in the Sony email hack, that a “Super Mario Bros.” feature film may be planned.
While the Wii U was released a year earlier than last year’s PlayStation and Xbox updates, it’s not likely gamers will see a new Wii in 2015. Several major software releases for the Wii U, including new “Star Fox” and “Legend of Zelda”, have already been announced for the coming year, making it unlikely the company would compete with itself with new hardware.