Nintendo may be coy with the press and their fandom, but the juicy stuff always comes out when they're talking to their investors. NCL president Satoru Iwata recently confirmed
during an investor meeting that the Wii
's successor has been in the works since the original launched. It's a foregone conclusion that any console maker will have the next big thing on the drawing board almost before the current gen hardware is introduced, but it's still interesting to see Iwata admit it.
Iwata says there's still plenty of life left in the Wii, and while I believe him to an extent, I imagine we'll be seeing Wii 2 sooner than he'd like us to think. The new Zelda and 3DS are the big deals at this year's E3, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that Wii 2--or at least some sizable upgrade of the current hardware--might be the showcase for E3 2011.
The console will be five years old next November, and aside from being woefully outdated in both the graphical and online fronts, it isn't the only show in town with motion controls anymore. The Wii is the one platform that could really stand an update--it can't float on novelty anymore and everything else about it is way behind the times, while the 360 and PS3 could easily hold out for 2 or 3 more years especially if their respective motion controllers work well. If anything Nintendo is a highly reactionary company, and it will be interesting to see how they respond now that they're looking down the barrels of both Natal and Move.