According to sources, revealed today, Nintendo is planning on unveiling it’s new console during this June at the e3 entertainment expo.  The sources have speculated that the Wii’s successor could be released at the end of 2012.

So there you have it folks, we might be seeing the end of the world, but at least we’ll be doing so with the net gen Nintendo console firmly in hand.  It’s about time really; Nintendo needs to capitalize on their momentum and their competitors supposed ’10 year plan’, to get a good head start in the next generation.

The sources aren’t unanimously agreeing on the Wii successor’s graphical capability, though some claim that it will be significantly more powerful than the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.

Given Nintendo’s track record in their past few releases – including their recent 3ds – I seriously doubt that their new console will be ‘significantly’ more powerful than the current HD machines.   The 3DS for an instance, is a great little machine capable of outputting some good looking graphics,  yet it’s still relatively in the same ball park as the PSP.  That’s not to say it isn’t better, but I am saying that the 3DS games shown thus far could certainly work on the PSP sans the 3D effect.

In the same way Nintendo’s next console – which will not likely include 3D TV capability – will most likely set the visual bar slightly above the current HD consoles.  I wouldn’t be surprised if it included something along the lines of a mid ranged ATI Radeon 6570 (i.e. a little above xbox 360 quality) and a quad core next gen ARM processor. The speculation that the system will be backwards compatible does make it a possibility that Nintendo might choose to partner with IBM and ATI again – unless of course the backwards compatibility will be achieved through emulation.  Totally plausible, yet somewhat unlikely considering the poor jobs both Sony and Microsoft have done with backwards compatibility on their current systems.

Given the graphic fidelity of Sony’s upcoming NGP, Nintendo certainly won’t want their flagship console to be out shined by a handheld.  The Wii successor will almost certainly have better graphical capabilities than the NGP.

Cost will also be an important factor as Nintendo favors having the cheapest hardware on the market.   I can’t see Nintendo  developing a proprietary powerhouse CPU like Sony’s cell; we should see their next console go for relatively less than what the HD consoles went for, about $300 at launch.

I’m guessing Nintendo will not drop the wildly successful motion controls from it’s next system in the same way they did not exclude the touch screen from the 3DS.  They will obliviously expand on the technology somehow, though it will likely not be an imitation of Microsoft’s Kinect.