Nintendo plans to release Wii U by end of 2012

Nintendo's President Satoru Iwata has confirmed that the Wii U will launch in major markets by the end of 2012.

Speaking at an investor meeting following the release of its Q3 financials, Iwata said the new console will make it in time for Christmas this year.  Nintendo has plans to launch the Wii U within the holiday period, in time for the "crucial year-end shopping season", in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Australia.

Despite its new launch window, exact specifications and launch titles for the Wii U remain unknown.  Recently, there have been rumors that the Wii U will be two times more powerful than the Xbox 360.  Dev kits are currently in the hands of developers creating games for the new system, but they are under strict non-disclosure agreements.

Don't expect to have to wait until E3 2012 to find out more information about the Wii U, however.  Earlier this month NIntendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed Nintendo would be "sharing information throughout the year."