Sony and Microsoft are apparently, according to Kotaku, planning to release their consoles in 2014, leaving Nintendo unopposed for the end of 2012, when their next console and successor to the Wii will likely launch. It's known as Project Cafe or the Wii 2 or even the Wii HD. The point is though that they're probably going to win.
We saw just how big a role this played in the Xbox 360 grabbing the reigns from Sony and the PS2 to take a commanding lead in the hardcore gaming market. They would’ve had the whole market if not for the unexpected success of the Wii with the casual gamer.
If Nintendo can beef up the Wii 2 or whatever they’re calling it’s power, it stands a chance to be the highest selling console yet again (though the 360 is about to overtake it finally this generation). They need to get back to Nintendo’s roots and capture third party developers and publishers as well. Nintendo arguably has the greatest and unquestionably most prestigious first party games but their third party support has been lacking since the failure of the Nintendo 64.
Microsoft and Sony will have years to plan for the Xbox 720 and Playstation 4 but as we saw with the PS2 taking the market after the first launch of that generation and the Xbox 360 doing the same and leading in game sales in the current generation, Nintendo is being afforded a huge advantage by Microsoft and Sony by being given a two year head start.
They’re apparently trying to milk this generation for all it’s worth as they were hemorrhaging money from these systems early and likely don’t want to go through the same thing all over again, especially with Sony having difficulties manufacturing in earthquake and tsunami torn Japan.
Nintendo is very likely to come out on top with this news as they’ve already won the casual gamer’s heart and the new Wii HD or Project Café or whatever may be able to steal more of the hardcore market. If so, Nintendo really does stand a chance of repeating as unexpected champ of the next generation of video game consoles.