With Wii console sales declining and the slow start of the 3DS handheld console, it might have been easy to count Nintendo out of the game in 2011, but it's all about how you view the numbers. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime points out that Nintendo sold over 12 million pieces of hardware between the Wii, 3DS, and DS family in 2011.
Fils-Aime sat down for an interview with the L.A. Times on the last day of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to shed some light on the sales numbers and where Nintendo goes from here.
"The Wii is now approaching 40 million homes here in the United States, so from a penetration standpoint we're beginning to top out in terms of the total number of systems sold, and that's why it makes so much sense to prepare for the launch of the Wii U," Fils-Aime said.
As Nintendo gets ready to transition to a new console, a lot rests on the success of the Wii U, the company's next-generation gaming platform with motion-sensing controls and a tablet controller with a 6-inch touchscreen. The system is also HD capable, but Fils-Aime says that's not enough.
"We need to continue pushing the overall experience forward. We need to bring new types of entertainment," Fils-Aime said. "New types of gaming and the combination of a big first screen -- your home TV -- coupled with a second screen in your hands, in our view, is going to bring gaming to a whole new experience and to continue driving the industry."
One thing working in Nintendo's favor is the head start it will likely have in the next generation console wars. Microsoft isn't yet talking about the Xbox 720, and Sony might be content to wait until 2015 before releasing a PlayStation 4 console.