At E3, Nintendo under "Wii" bit of pressure
By Liana B. Baker
(Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd has more to prove than ever when it takes the wraps off its highly anticipated "Wii U" gaming console at next week's "E3," the $78.5 billion videogame industry's most important yearly trade show.
Gamers and Wall Street analysts alike will be closely watching for the next salvos from Nintendo, Sony Corp and Microsoft Corp - the "big three" of console manufacturers who have been at war for the past decade.
The main story line at the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3, to be held in Los Angeles from June 5 to 7, is to what extent Nintendo's new version of the Wii console might help the Japanese company's battle to reclaim its crown in an industry that is struggling to grow.
Nintendo's back is against the wall, said Jesse Divnich, consultant and analyst at research firm EEDAR.
The Asian gaming company - whose long-held position as the videogame industry leader has been usurped in recent years by Microsoft's Xbox - is pinning its hopes on the new touchscreen-enabled device to breathe new life into both hardware and software gaming sales.
The original iteration of the motion-gaming console sent shock waves through the industry six years ago, but since then Nintendo has been fighting a strong challenge from upstart casual gaming companies hitching a ride on Apple Inc's iPad.
More than 45,000 analysts, retailers, investors and reporters are expected to attend E3, and they are hoping that Nintendo - creator of the "Super Mario" franchise - will disclose the price and other details of the Wii U.
Analyst Divnich said Nintendo would be wise to focus on showcasing its legacy titles that have pop culture recognition - such as "Super Mario," "Donkey Kong" and "Zelda" - on its new console. Continued...