Last week’s E3 coverage for Nintendo’s Wii U console and controller was insane. On stage, Nintendo president Reggie Fils-Aimes showed off the new controller with a built-in 6.2-inch touchscreen, dual analog Circle Pads and the ability to beam content directly from the TV to its screen and vice versa. Needless to say, the crowd walked away rather impressed. We even liked it (check out our Wii U controller preview here). So when will the console come out?
Concerning the actual hardware console at the reveal, Nintendo remained mum on specifics, namely pricing and release time. While Nintendo only said the Wii U would be out in 2012, Sega’s executive vice president of marketing Alan Pritchard might have let it slip when the Wii will ship: spring/summer 2012.
To most prospective buyers, the sooner the console lands, the better right? Wrong. If the Nintendo 3DS is any indication, a console needs to be supported by strong games at its launch and during the months following it. If there isn’t steady of good games with the launch, then selling the system early will leave it hanging dry.
Nintendo knows this, that’s why it’s working with publishers to schedule its own first-party games around third-party ones. A spring/summer release would also be strangee because it misses the holiday shopping season – a time when shoppers are more likely to buy new hardware. What can we make of all of this? Not much except the fact that the Wii U is still on track to be shipped in the second half 2012.