Satoru Iwata has told Nintendo shareholders that the firm is working on a follow-up console to the Wii behind closed doors.
“We are of course studying and developing the next console to Wii,” the Nintendo president said while speaking with company shareholders at an AGM on June 29.
He added: “However, there is a big difference between studying a product and announcing what it is and when we will release it.”
The statement was made during a Q&A session which has since been published on the company’s website.
When asked if there were plans to release a product comparable to the 3DS in the near future, Iwata responded: “Naturally, we are developing new products all the time. Once we release a product, we will soon move to the development of the next,” he responded.
The Nintendo boss then alluded that fears of rival companies copying Nintendo’s ideas will lead to any specific announcement regarding a new console not being made until close to the release of the product itself.
“I am afraid to say that the history of entertainment is also the history of imitation. A great idea will promptly be copied unless protected through patents.” he said.
“At the same time, it is really important for our business to positively surprise people. Will you be surprised by our completed product if we told you how it is surprising three years in advance?”
Iwata’s statements seem to lend a large dose of credibility to a prediction made by SCE WWS president Shuhei Yoshida in a recent interview with Develop. Yoshida theorised that either Microsoft or Nintendo would be the first company to release a next generation console.