We can debate whether the Wii’s overclocked GameCube roots put the system in the same generation as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but no one can deny Nintendo has sold far more of its latest console than either Sony or Microsoft. Since its launch in 2006, nearly 71 million Wiis have been purchased by consumers, which is only slightly lower than combined number of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 units sold to date. Those sales figures are likely to climb higher in the coming years, because Nintendo President Satoru Iwata sees no need to replace the console.
"I do not think that there is an immediate need to replace the Wii console. But of course, at some point in the future, the need will arise," Iwata said through a translator on the sidelines of the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles.
"We currently do not have an answer as to what point in the future that need will come."
The Wii’s meager graphics horsepower has long been a point of contention with hardcore gamers, and the console’s inability to even output a 720p signal seems horribly antiquated at a time when high-definition displays are everywhere—and cheap. Fancy graphics and higher resolutions are no substitute for good gameplay, of course, but the Wii’s software library is loaded with more than its fair share of garbage. Low-def graphics and a motion controller certainly don’t guarantee good gameplay.
I suppose Iwata may have a point about there being no immediate need to replace the Wii, though. With Sony and Microsoft showing what appear to be more precise and versatile motion controllers for their respective consoles, two replacements look to be lined up already. Besides, Nintendo has been busy addressing the apparently much more pressing, er, need for 3D displays and cameras in portable gaming devices.