Rumour: Nintendo's HD console to be unveiled at E3 [Update: Exclusive details]

Nintendo isn't resting on its newfound laurels coming from its new 3DS. After more than four years in the market with its Wii console, which the public generally perceived as underpowered yet innovative compared to its current generation competitors at the time, Nintendo is ready to unveil its next-generation console at this year's E3 in June. If the rumours are true, Nintendo may very well seek to be the first contender in the battle of eighth-generation consoles, as the Xbox 360 was in the current seventh-generation console war.

Sources close to GameInformer have confirmed earlier today that Nintendo is ready to reveal details of its new console at E3, or even sooner than that. The main selling point of this console is the ability to run games at HD resolutions. This may be seen as a catch-up move in some ways, but it's a good move nevertheless, and it has indeed caught a few developers off guard.

Game support for the Wii is notoriously known to be skewed towards quality first-party titles from Nintendo, and at times shoddy work from third-parties. The company acknowledges this problem, and pledges to solve any difficulties developers have with developing for their platform. As Nintendo president Satoru Iwata acknowledged in a 3DS press conference late last year,

We need to decrease the concern that only Nintendo software can sell well on Nintendo platforms and third-party software cannot sell in the same volume. We feel a need to have closer ties with our third-party developers from the beginning.

The timing of this rumour is quite opportune, with another hint released two days ago that Nintendo is planning to slash the Wii's price to only $150 on May 15.

So when can we expect Nintendo's console to be in the hands of gamers? GameInformer pins a date of late 2012, but there are unconfirmed sources suggesting a Q1 2012 launch. Either way, this year's E3 just got a lot more exciting!

Update: Neowin has received additional information from insider sources regarding the launch date of Nintendo's new console. The source has pointed out that a "major developer" is currently preparing games for the new console, and is planning to ship them in Q1 2012. They state that Nintendo may try for a Q4 2011 launch, but Q1 2012 is more likely. However, Nintendo may be willing to push the launch date a few months later to Q2 2012 and skip Q1, as they are not too thrilled with the lackluster sales coming from the 3DS's Q1 launch.

CVG has more information on the console's controller, which is way more than just an upgraded Wiimote. It is rumoured to have a HD screen built-in. It will be interesting to see how games can take advantage of an extra smaller display, as they had when Nintendo introduced a second screen in the DS. CVG's sources also go on to state that the console's graphical capabilties will be beyond that of Microsoft's and Sony's current offerings.

Image Credit: wiinintendo

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