Nintendo "Wii U" Ready for E3? Latest Rumors, Mario, Pikmin 3, and More

Apr 21, 2012 09:27 PM EDT

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With the E3, Electronic Entertainment Expo, video game trade show coming up in June, Nintendo will be prepping for the official demo of the Super Mario and Pikmin 3 game for its next-gen console the Wii U.

The buzz may be enough for fans to get their hands on a new Wii U, but obviously Nintendo will need to deliver more in order if it intends to dominate the gaming industry as it did with the original Wii. 

Timing could be crucial as the gaming industry has seen a decline in retails sales for hardware, software, and accessories based on reports from NPD Group.  The first generation console Wii has felt the effects as sales continue to drop.

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"Everybody needs to realize that the Wii software segment is trending down 50 percent year over year, and has been for the last 12 months," said Cowen and Company's analyst Doug Creutz in an interview with Ars Technica.

The Wii dominated both hardware and software sales when it first launched  back in 2006.  What can it do to get back on top and ready for E3 in Los Angeles?

GAMES

Nintendo plans to unveil a brand new Super Mario along with the long rumored Pikmin 3.  Possible other game may include Luigi's Mansion 2, Animal Crossing 3DS and Paper Mario 3DS.  The Wii U may also be planning to work on sequels to past popular titles such as F-Zero and Zelda

"Some are small but important projects for Wii U. Also on a new Pikmin, which will take advantage of the new HD screen resolution, and on Luigi's Mansion for 3DS, said Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto."

Among Miyamoto's list of future games, he has told Edge gaming magazine his desire to create "surprising" Wii U games based on past Nintendo hit titles.  Among this is Super Mario, Zelda, and F-Zero.

He hints that F-Zero may make a return on a new platform which will allow him to design some new "surprises" into the game.

CONSOLE

The Wii U console will run 1080p gaming on HD displays as well as being backward compatible with past Wii video games and accessories.  Other possible features may include 3D displays, voice control and facial recognition sensor.  Microsoft's Xbox 360 currently brings competition to the original Wii console with its Kinect system.  According to rumors from "GameRant" the Wii U will be twice as powerful as Kinect.

Fans have seen demos and photos of the Wii U's new tablet controller.  Nintendo may show off some new features on its touchpad controller, possibly a new NFC, Near Field Communication" technology component that ties in with Nintendo's new online app store.


ONLINE STORE

Nintendo announced that it plans to open an app store that will host a variety of "light" games and programs including a Mario calculator and other existing apps from the Dsi and Wii Shop. 

With the increase of online game and app purchases, Nintendo will be joining the party as it plans to expand profits with Downloadable Content and online sales.

"Cutting production costs to maximize profits is Nintendo's main concern with the Wii U," said a source in an interview with Forget the Box. "There is a bigger focus on downloadable content, applications, video content, digital distribution, and services to create a stream of revenue."

GAMEPLAY

According to Yahoo's Digital Trends blog, Nintendo will be focusing more on the innovative gameplay rather than high-end visual graphics.  It has been rumored that the Wii U will have enough graphic firepower to match current generation consoles in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Despite the comparison, Nintendo is working with game development company Ubisoft, to bring a unique gaming experience onto the highly anticipated game Assassin's Creed 3.  Nintendo and Ubisoft's shared goal of gameplay experience and creative conceptual ideas can establish Wii U as the top contender upon its release.

The Wii U will look to balance both user friendly gameplay to continue attracting casual gamers and optimal gameplay for the hardcore gamers with titles such as Assassin's Creed 3. 

PRICING & AVAILABILITY

According to the latest reports from "Forget the Box," the Nintendo Wii U plans to hit retail stores with a $300 price tag.  Gamers will be waiting for the official announcement, possibly at this year's E3 show. 

Nintendo has given no official announcements but reports said that the Wii U may be available  for a November 18 release date, ahead of the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4, according to Japan video game retailer "Media Land."

New gameplay, games, early release date, and a blossoming online store may steer the Wii U to success.  Though some analysts are skeptical that Nintendo will experience the same success to its previous console.

"I think they are about to Dreamcast themselves. I don't think Wii U is going to be as popular as probably Nintendo thinks it's going to be," said video game analyst and Wedbush stock picker Michael Pachter.

Pachter continues to compare the Wii U's future to how the Dreamcast console ultimately diminished.

Nintendo can use its opportunity at E3 to disprove critics and build up excitement for the Wii U's launch later this year. 

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in early June will be one of Nintendo's last chances to build enthusiasm for the Wii U before its planned release this winter.

RELATED NEWS:

Nintendo Wii $300 Price Tag Stirs Up Xbox 720, PS4 Competitors 
Wii U and Ubisoft: A Good Response to PlayStation 4, Xbox 720 Power Woes? 
Nintendo Wii U Launch Date and Hardware Leaked 
PlayStation 4 vs. Wii U vs. Xbox 720: Latest Specs and Rumors 

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