Nintendo today confirmed that it plans to release a Wii successor in 2012.

In a three-paragraph note (PDF) issued this morning, the game company said it "has decided to launch in 2012 a system to succeed Wii." Nintendo said it had sold 86.01 million Wiis since the console's launch in 2006.

A playable version of the new system, as well as its specs, will be unveiled at the giant E3 video game show in Los Angeles in June, Nintendo said.

The news should not come as a shock to industry observers. Rumors have been circulating for some time about a potential new Wii that could cost between $350 and $400. It was thought that the console could hit shelves as early as October. But Nintendo's announcement would seem to throw cold water on that potential date.

Full story: c|net