Nintendo already has a "clear idea" about its next hardware -- What do you think it will be?

President Satoru Iwata adds that Nintendo still has plenty of ideas for new systems.

The Wii U and 3DS are still relatively new platforms, but Nintendo already has a "clear idea" about the direction it wants to take for its next hardware, president Satoru Iwata says. As part of a recent Q&A session with analysts following Nintendo's poor financial report, Iwata explained that it's standard operating procedure to get to work on new hardware immediately following the release of a preceding platform, and this generation is no different.

"Once we launch a new platform, we naturally start to prepare for the next one. As it takes several years to develop a single platform, if you ask us whether we are preparing for our next system, then the correct response will be that we are always developing new hardware," Iwata said.

Iwata declined to say when this hardware will be released or what form it will take (Home console? Portable? Something else entirely?), but he made clear that Nintendo is not short on ideas. "I can certainly assure you that we are not at a dead end of any kind in which we are out of ideas for developing new hardware," Iwata said.

The executive, who took a 50 percent pay cut earlier this year to apologize for poor Wii U sales, went on to explain that, "launching new hardware will not produce good results unless we first make sure that those who have already purchased our platforms are satisfied."

To that end, Iwata said Nintendo will "continue to work hard" to make sure that gamers who already own a Wii U or 3DS enjoy their purchases. At the same time, however, it's clear that Nintendo is preparing for the future.

"I would like to say that we are preparing for our next hardware system, and in fact, we already have a clear idea to some extent about the direction our next hardware is going to take," Iwata teased.

Though the Wii U may be struggling right now, having sold 6.17 million units since launch in November 2012, Iwata reminds us that the original Game Boy also got off to a slow start, but was later propelled to popularity through the release of a single title. The same could be true for the Wii U, he said. After all, new Mario Kart, Smash Bros., and Legend of Zelda games are all coming to the system.

"The fate of a video game system is often influenced greatly by the introduction of a single title. As many of you probably remember, before the release of the Pokémon game, Game Boy had been showing slow growth, and many people wondered whether it was the end of Game Boy," Iwata said. "But the Pokémon game singlehandedly changed the landscape of the system, which then started to show the strongest sales in the lifecycle of the system."

Still, Iwata said it's unlikely that the Wii U ever matches the sales of the Wii, which is one the best-selling home consoles of all time, with over 100 million units sold to date.

"As I explained back in January, it is true that we cannot draw up a good business plan for Wii U by assuming that Wii U will sell more than Wii did. Therefore, we will need to think very carefully about the balance of revenue and expenses and try to operate by controlling overall costs," Iwata said. "On the other hand, we do not believe that this year’s estimate of 3.60 million units of Wii U hardware will be the peak of its lifecycle, and we would like to work hard to make sure that we give sufficient momentum to the system so that we can expect good results in and after the next fiscal year, too. However, as for this fiscal year, as I explained before, the figures you see have been determined by rather conservative estimates."

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
174 comments
fabianoandre
fabianoandre

Truth is, I miss something like game cube was... simple and Good titles.

Any decent graphics new Nintendo generation with a common controller style and titles like:

-Any “Tales of”

-Another Eternal Darkness

-Metroid

-Fire Emblem

I know the list might sound stupid (I don’t think there will ever be another Eternal Darkness ), but 2 out of that four and a good handling traditional controller would make me by the new console in a blink.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Nintendo a lot, my 3DS is being used way more than my 360 and PS3 these days, but Wii and Wii U…. they made me give up on Nintendo consoles after owing a NES, SNES, N64 and GameCube. At some point they decided to focus on “Casual gamers” and Wii came out. Now those people are playing on I PADs or smartphones and Nintendo sales sucks. Good call, genius.

arqe
arqe

Nintendo is doomed. And the reason is one simple word , "evolution".

10 - 15 years go kids enjoyed Nintendo products and games because they couldnt handle PC games , xbox games or playstation games. Because most of the games required coordination , thinking etc.

But now even 3 year old kids plays PC games like they are born with it , they play games on tablets better than most of us. They can handle xbox or playstation.

No kid today requires Nintendo to grow with , get used to video games. They born into technology. And Nintendo is old. Never evolving , never progressing.

Same old , same old. This is not because of popularity or xbox and playstations superority to Nintendo.

DarthLod
DarthLod

New systems? Are they MAD? The last two have been utter CRAP. Not a single game I would want to play on Wii or Wii U.

lostn
lostn

Whatever it is, I don't think it will be a traditional console in the vein of PS or Xbox. It will probably be fitness centric. If you're expecting Wii 3 to have graphical parity with Xbox TWO and PS5, forget it. Nintendo is done making those.

RazFallenAngel
RazFallenAngel

The best possible thing that Nintendo could do, would be to combine their mobile and console hardware. Create a unilateral OS that allows for the controller to be a WiiU gamepad / 3DS, so this way you get the best of both markets. Your at home playing your console when you have to leave; instead of putting down the controller and carrying along your mobile device, you just walk out the door with the controller. Then you incorporate systems like remote play and cloud storage, you can keep all your games and data on the console and carry the controller around as like a mobile emulation device.

rarson
rarson

I'm still going to buy a Wii U, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.


If it does become an official failure, all the more reason to buy one. The most interesting consoles are usually the ones that don't sell well (not to say that they're the most fun, but sometimes they are).

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

It will be an interactive toilet seat that interacts with the WiiU. :-P

Zloth2
Zloth2

Earth to Nintendo:  If you think you're going to get your next "killer app" by milking the same tired IPs you've been using for the last decade plus, you're doomed.

Defender1978
Defender1978

I love playing my Wii U and 3ds.  Nintendo is awesome.  

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

well...if it's a handheld then it's probably something good. actual console...no


this is like saturn to dreamcast again

Fartman7998
Fartman7998

I really don't support the mobile platforms, because personally, I think they weaken the home console releases for Nintendo.  A Luigi's Mansion sequel on the Wii U would have likely sold well, but unfortunately Nintendo felt it necessary to release a mediocre 3DS sequel and focus on the forced multiplayer titles on the Wii U.  Sure, Super Mario 3D World is fun and all, but don't we all want another single-player title like Super Mario 64?  One offbeat decision after another -- I love my Wii U, but I'm hating all of their decisions.  Still waiting for Nintendo 64 titles to make it to the Virtual Console service, namely 'Mystical Ninja: Starring Goemon'.  


Sorry Nintendo, I couldn't be LESS excited about any of your future hardware.  Pokemon can suck it.  

glacius_x
glacius_x

Nin needs to just make a system that is current with the others, or better! Worry about making unique things off of that system.

DrKill09
DrKill09

And this is what killed Sega.


They gave up on the Saturn, made the Dreamcast, and despite the good initial sales, got killed by the PS2.

FoxExecutive
FoxExecutive

I like the idea of thinking about their future.  I just hope they are shoring up some of the problems they currently have.


1. Universal account - I want to be able to buy a game on the VC and play it anywhere that supports that game.  If I buy Mario 3 for Wii, I should be able to dl and play on Wii U, 3DS, or next gen system.  I just picked Mario 3 as an example.  But if that platform supports it I should be able to play it on there.


2. Better Sharing System - I really wish it was easy to send things to my friends using the sharing method street pass/spot pass.  If I want to send something to them, just pick the most efficient method for me and send it.  Too many times I get a failure even though I can connect easily to anything else.


3. Be mindful of exclusives - The biggest problem with the Wii U launch was the huge delay for new titles. The PS4 is lacking in new titles, which is why I haven't purchased one.


4. A new title - No Wii U2, Wii^2, or WiiMii.  if you think the problem was naming convention, then it's time to use something else.

nurnberg
nurnberg

a Wii-U version without gamepad.  If Microsoft can remove their Kinect, NIntendo can remove the gamepad.

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

The new system better have the following

Universal account system

standard controller

Nothing "Wii" related

Nothing gimmicky

Launch with a killer Zelda title

wEEman33
wEEman33

"As many of you probably remember, before the release of the Pokémon game, Game Boy had been showing slow growth, and many people wondered whether it was the end of Game Boy," Iwata said. "But the Pokémon game singlehandedly changed the landscape of the system, which then started to show the strongest sales in the lifecycle of the system."


So a new IP saved the Game Boy.


But Nintendo thinks Mario Kart 8 and Smash Bros. 4 will save the Wii U?

Sandpark
Sandpark

They don't necessarily have to go toe to toe power wise with Microsoft and Sony. But if they opt not to. The price has to be in a different price range than the other two. I am talking like $199 at launch.


Because any more expensive and people will expect more power, features, and ported games on it similar to Microsoft and Sony.


Advice to Nintendo:

Next time a console sales 100 million units, don't go away from that. Why would you change the control scheme if your last console sold 100 million?


Nintendo has the best first party studios of the 3 giants. So I'd go with one of two options.


Option 1:

-Powerful hardware on par with competition.

-Strong Third Party support via multiplatform.

-Easy architecture to develop for

-Higher quality, higher cost, but fewer first party titles(con of option 1)

-Use standard controller as main controller, but lead through example on other controls via first party titles.

-Back catalog similar to playstation now offering all nintendo titles from previous generations.


Option 2:

-Cheaper hardware to launch at $199

-Weaker third party support on multiplatform titles

-Easy architecture to develop for

-High quality, lower cost, more first party titles

-Continuation of the original wii motion controls 2.0

-Maybe look into getting Virtual reality or augmented reality functionality

-Back catalog similar to playstation now offering all nintendo titles from previous generations.


Also either make the console/handheld hybrid people asked for or at least have the two cross play.

raddys2001
raddys2001

That may be true about the one title but the market has changed allot since those times.  

SilentAssassin
SilentAssassin

I think they should just be plain and simple.  Make another hard hitting gaming system that has raw power to fuel some really nice Nintendo games.  Bring it back to the original Nintendo.. just a system and a controller.. the games did the rest.  No need to clear out a living room for foot pads and work out simulators.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

It must be something marketed for children and family, but somehow targeted towards the mainstream gamers. Whatever it is, it must be a mess, otherwise I can't understand their frustration. On the other hand, they probably make their hardware with the misconception that most gamers don't care about graphics, but gameplay, which is good at heart, but bad for business.

jimy1475
jimy1475

this is false information, the ps2 has sold over 155 million units worldwide as of march 31 2012 and it is the most popular console in history.

HPFreak623
HPFreak623

The rumor that was going around end of last year was that this type of system was in the works. Not the remote play idea but the console/portable. And it would work. Think of how many people buy their handhelds for Pokemon alone (12million + copies sold for X/Y). That's already better than Wii U is doing unfortunately.

1Post
1Post

@Zloth2 First of all, those so-called "same tired IPs" sell. If it makes them money, they'll make more.

Second, the games in those so-called "same tired IPs" all play differently from one another.

Third, the game industry is reliant on sequels, remakes, and the like. You can't have something new all the time.

amk11
amk11

@veryDERPY  They didnt say in a year, they said several years. Get your old, hard to account for, facts straight! 

Defender1978
Defender1978

@veryDERPY  Had a ton of fun on my Saturn and Dreamcast.  Still play them from time to time.  

1Post
1Post

@Fartman7998 Multiplayer > Single player


Better to play with friends than alone.

HPFreak623
HPFreak623

The Mario you seek is in the works. You're delusional if you think otherwise.

HPFreak623
HPFreak623

No, what killed Sega was releasing addon after addon in short succession, Then ditching it for the dreamcast.

rarson
rarson

@DrKill09  

Sega didn't give up on the Saturn, the sales were terrible. The Saturn from the very beginning was a complete mess. The hardware wasn't designed properly, it wasn't marketed properly, it was rushed to market by surprise (which angered retailers), and it was too expensive despite the fact that games looked better on Sony's system. Oh, and the software sucked because it was rushed to market and way harder to develop for than the Playstation.


Dreamcast was still selling well when Sega abandoned it. It didn't get killed by the PS2, it got killed because Sega's management changed and wanted out of the hardware business. PS2 did hurt Dreamcast sales quite a bit, thanks to the massive hype Sony generated for it, but Dreamcast sold over 10 million in the two short years it was around, which was very good for the time.

amk11
amk11

@DrKill09  No, this is what all manufacturers do. They start researching what they will do next after they release a console. The cycle of research starts all over again

Defender1978
Defender1978

@DrKill09  Dreamcast was awesome and Gamecube was technically superior to the PS2.  The PS2 won because it was reverse compatible and had dvd playback.  

HPFreak623
HPFreak623

They're already working on a universal account system which will be implemented on Wii U/3DS and carry to all future hardware. Whether this means crossbuy for vc isn't clear, I would assume no for now to not raise hopes.

rarson
rarson

@nurnberg  

That's a really dumb idea. It would totally defeat the purpose of the Wii U.

amk11
amk11

@nurnberg  Nintendo can't it's the core of the console and absolutely necessary to many of the features

sanchango
sanchango

@Mr_Big_Boss  

1) Like it

2) Nah, I'm fine with anything honestly, got accustomed to the wii mote/nun chuck combo when the wii came out and easily adjusted to the wii u game pad(it fits so nicely!)

3) I'll agree to that just because of how many people never realized the wii u was a new console and not an add on

4) Every system has a gimmick, it's not going to go away

5) If anything, it will be a Mario game, a Zelda title will always come later

amk11
amk11

@wEEman33  No they believe they will assist in growing the userbase more. There is a difference

Pupchu
Pupchu

@pharoe777 NES One -- ROB is now apart of the system's infrastructure.

metallinatus
metallinatus

You do know you can already play games from NES, SNES, Wii and DS (and games from non Nintendo platforms too) on the Wii U, right?

amk11
amk11

@raddys2001  One title also will save the PS4 and One from this drought... havent seen that yet

amk11
amk11

@SilentAssassin  Some people actually like that stuff, myself included. It's a great way to keep track of my workout regiment 

metallinatus
metallinatus

DS is the most popular gaming platform in history.

amk11
amk11

@jimy1475  Most sold, not most popular. Most popular I would argue is the SNES

hystavito
hystavito

@HPFreak623  A potential problem with that is price.  A single system like that might be too expensive to sell as well as a standalone portable.  I don't know when 3DS sales really took off, but I imagine it was after price cuts.