The Nintendo Wii is getting a successor.
Nintendo said on Monday that it plans in June to show a new system at E3 Expo, an annual trade conference in Los Angeles. The Japanese company said the system would be available in 2012.
None too soon, say video game analysts. The Wii has seen a sharp drop in software sales in the last year and expects sales to drop further in the coming fiscal year.
But the system's success also has far surpassed what many expected when it was introduced in the United States in 2006. Nintendo said Monday in a call with investors that it had sold 86 million systems worldwide, 41 million of them in the United States. The system, with its motion controller, managed to build an audience of casual gamers, creating a market segment that had to some extent eluded the more powerful and graphics-intensive systems made by Microsoft and Sony. Both companies now have motion-controlled game systems.
Video game industry analysts said they don't expect Microsoft and Sony, makers of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, respectively, to upgrade their own consoles until 2014, potentially giving Nintendo a chance to dig into their market of harder-core gamers. Nintendo gave no details about the specifications of the new Wii.