Wii U will launch in US, Europe, Australia and Japan by end of 2012

Hits key markets in time for Christmas.

The Wii U will launch in the US, Europe, Australia and Japan by the end of 2012, Nintendo has promised.

Following the release of its third quarter 2012 financial results, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata told reporters in Japan today the Wii successor will hit key markets for the year end.

Nintendo had stated Wii U, set for a re-reveal at E3 2012 in June, would launch no earlier than April 2012 but before the end of the year - but did not specify the territory in which this would happen.

Now we know Nintendo will launch the console on these shores in time for Christmas.

Nintendo unveiled the Wii U at E3 2011, but key features, such as specifications and launch games, remain unknown.

Dev kits are in the hands of developers tasked with creating games for the system. Studios are under strict orders from Nintendo not to divulge specifications - still in flux - to press, although it is thought the Wii U will be powerful enough to produce visuals on a par with the best games on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Meanwhile, Iwata said Nintendo hopes to return to profitability next year - it expects to make a huge loss for the financial year ending 31st March 2012. The continual release of major titles for the Nintendo 3DS and "other measures" will help the Japanese company do this, Iwata said.

Wii U hardware demo

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