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Why Nintendo Didn't Announce the Wii 2 Today

Nintendo (NTYDO) President Satoru Iwata had the Game Developers Conference keynote today and critics expected a big announcement like the Wii 2. Nintendo isn't ready to go to the next Wii, however, no matter how much the five-year-old system needs an upgrade.

Focused on the Nintendo 3DS
Nintendo launched the portable Nintendo 3DS this week in Japan and it is putting all its resources towards the North American launch later this month. In fact, it was the primary focus of today's keynote, and Nintendo announced a few new features:

  • Netflix on the Nintendo 3DS
  • YouTube-style video uploading
  • 3D video recording
The Japanese Nintendo 3DS sold out quickly, but Nintendo still can't afford to have the mobile device flop here in America: Nintendo just announced a 46 percent profit drop in Q3 2010.

GDC is focused on developers, not consumers
The Game Developers Conference is focused on the producers, artists, and faces behind the video games. The counterpart would be this summer's Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, which is a big, splashy consumer-focused event.

Nintendo traditionally announces its new systems at E3, from the Wii to the Nintendo 3DS. GDC gets some media attention, but it is exponentially dwarfed by E3's coverage every summer. Furthermore, while the hardcore gamers are paying attention to all gaming news, the casual gamers -- Nintendo's core audience -- will only notice breaking news during the biggest event: E3.

Apple iPad 2 would steal the shine
Finally, in a hilarious move, Apple (APPL) scheduled its keynote for 10 am PST -- overlapping with Nintendo's keynote and, more tellingly, literally right across the street from GDC's Moscone Center. Considering the hype surrounding the iPad 2, even Nintendo would have a difficult time getting into the headlines.

Photo courtesy of Ian Muttoo // CC 2.0

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