Nintendo kicks off next-gen battle, plans late 2012 Wii U launch

26 Jan 2012

Nintendo plans to launch its Wii U console at the end of 2012 in numerous regions. Meanwhile, more Xbox 720 rumours emerge, suggesting it will have an “anti-used game system.”

Reuters reports that Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said the Wii U will arrive in the US, Europe, Australia and Japan by the end of 2012.

This will take advantage of the end-of-year shopping season, which Nintendo hopes will drive sales of the new console.

The Wii U will offer a touchscreen tablet-shaped controller and precision motion controls. The controller will display information that won’t appear on TV screens. The console itself will also offer HD graphics.

It will be the first of the next-generation games consoles launched, as rumours suggest the next Xbox – which many have dubbed the ‘Xbox 720’ thanks to the lack of an official name – will see a release by the end of 2013.

Reports have said it could be six times more powerful than the Xbox 360 and that developers will get development kits for the console in August of this year.

Kotaku reports that the next Xbox could be able to play Blu-ray discs but may include an “anti-used game system” which may mean the console won’t be able to play used games. It could be used to aid publishers who lose money from used games sold by gaming retailers, though this rumour is unconfirmed from Microsoft.

The next Xbox could also have a smaller controller and could ship with a new version of the Kinect hands-free motion sensor.

As for the next PlayStation, Kazuo Hirai, who is responsible for Sony’s video game division, believes the PlayStation 3 has a “10-year cycle” and that Sony will not stray from this. This could mean that the next PlayStation may not emerge until 2016.