Wii successor confirmed for 2012, Nintendo profits fall by 66%

Mario Factory announces new console for release next year; machine to be playable at 2011 E3; annual income down by nearly 30 percent; 3DS sells 3.6 million.

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E3 2011 will definitely be big for Nintendo.
E3 2011 will definitely be big for Nintendo.

It’s almost customary in the lead-up to the yearly Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles to have rumours swirling regarding all manner of game-related issues, and 2011 is no exception. This year’s rumour mill has been throwing out plenty of speculation about Nintendo finally announcing a successor to the Wii, and it looks like the rumours have been accurate.

In a statement released alongside the company’s latest results today, Nintendo has confirmed that a new home console is indeed on the way and will be released sometime in 2012. The statement was brief and contained no other details, but it did state that the Wii successor will be playable at this year's E3 and that more specifications will also be released at gaming's premiere event.

The confirmation comes alongside gloomy results for the Japanese gaming giant, with the company reporting a decline in full-year profit for the second year in a row. Profit fell by more than 66 percent, with Nintendo recording 77.6 billion yen ($946.6 million) for the year ended March 2011. Income also fell 29.3 percent to 1.01 trillion yen ($12 billion).

Declining Wii sales was one significant factor in the results, with global sales recording 15.2 million units in the financial year gone compared to 20.1 million units a year earlier. DS sales also dipped, with 17.52 million units sold in the last year--a fall of roughly 10 million units from the year prior. Nintendo also missed its target of 4 million 3DS units sold, hitting only 3.61 million units by the end of March.

Rumours of a Wii successor have been gaining steam in the last month, with magazine Game Informer tipping that an HD-enabled Wii 2 would be announced at or just before this year's E3. Other sites have also emerged with leaked details, including speculation that the new Nintendo home console would feature controllers with a built-in 6.2-inch touch screen.

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