Gamers are now ready for new home consoles, Nintendo has said.

Pointing to declining sales of the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 in the US in December, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata said "the market is now waiting for a new proposal for home consoles".

In the US in 2011, Microsoft's Xbox 360 enjoyed "large momentum", Iwata said. The Wii edged out Sony's PlayStation 3 in terms of sales, but Nintendo did not see the console sell as well in December as it usually does.

"Usually, the Wii enjoys high sales in December, but last year, even though 'The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword' was highly acclaimed, we were not able to expand it sufficiently to our target audience, and although the Wii was the platform which sold the most software in December, we were not able to propose new Nintendo titles to our broad audience," Iwata said.

"Therefore, except for Ubisoft's Just Dance 3 there were no Wii titles with huge sales in the year-end sales season. Along with effects from our trade marketing activities in December which mainly focused on the Nintendo 3DS, we were not able to sell the Wii as well as we usually do.

"However, not just the Wii, but the overall performance of home consoles in December was lower than the previous year, and I think that the market is now waiting for a new proposal for home consoles."

Nintendo is set to enter the next generation home console market ahead of Sony and Microsoft with the launch of the Wii U in all key markets by the end of the year.

It is Nintendo's first high definition home console, and has a tablet device for a controller. Technical specifications and launch games are yet to be announced, however.

Microsoft and Sony's next-gen plans remain unknown, but Microsoft is expected to discuss its next Xbox at E3 2012 in June, with a possible 2013 launch in the works. Sony executives continue to insist the PlayStation 3 has much work left to do - possibly indicating the PlayStation 4 is further out.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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