Final Wii U hardware to be at E3 2012

Nintendo confirms design-complete console will be on hand at next year's industry event; 3DS eShop update brings playable demos, more.

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Nintendo's financials have been in dire shape the past couple of years. Yesterday, the Japanese publisher reported that revenues dipped 40 percent year-over-year during its April-September earnings period as losses mounted to $926 million. Of course, Nintendo hopes to reverse its fortunes with the refocus on the 3DS as well as the launch of the Wii U next year.

The Wii U's dimensions will be finalized by E3 2012.
The Wii U's dimensions will be finalized by E3 2012.

In a brief recapping of the company's semi-annual financial results, Nintendo revealed plans to have the Wii U in final form at the 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo, which takes place June 5-7. Citing a "bitter lesson" learned from the launch of the 3DS, the Kyoto-based company says it is taking "every possible measure" to assure the successful launch of its next home console.

Changes and updates to the 3DS eShop are also in the works. Software downloading in sleep mode, support for postlaunch downloadable game content, and demos are slated for the next system update in late November.

Nintendo has said that capitalizing on the word of mouth provided by social media is a priority for spurring growth of the eShop, and the publisher plans to introduce a Web-based storefront to help prospective buyers find the store's content. Unfortunately, support for browser-based purchases won't be introduced with the next system update.

Regarding consumer adoption of the 3DS, Nintendo expects the hardware to reach an "installed base that is necessary to create a favorable word-of-mouth cycle" following the holiday sales season. As part of Nintendo's aforementioned earnings report, the publisher said that it sold 3.07 million units worldwide during the April-September period. Lifetime-to-date sales stand at 6.68 million units.

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