By M.H. Williams
Last Thursday, GameInformer kicked off the hoopla with a story about a possible successor to Nintendo’s blockbuster Wii home console. Ever-elusive anonymous sources told the site that the company is set to reveal the console this June, at E3 2011. The story mentioned that Nintendo’s new console would be going HD, like Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.
French site 01net (via CVG), best known for revealing the NGP specs ahead of Sony’s announcement, chimed in with a development name for the console, Project Cafe. Like before, the site also spilled on preliminary specs for the system: a custom, triple-core IBM PowerPC CPU, 512 MB of RAM, and a graphics processor from ATI’s R700 family. That puts the rumoured GPU at two generations ahead of the processor powering the Xbox 360, which is based on the R500 family. The current generation of ATI’s PC graphics solutions are based on the Northern Islands family, which is another two generations ahead of the R700.
Project Cafe’s controllers are also supposed to stand out from the crowd, sporting a six-inch touch screen on each unit alongside a front-facing camera, two analogue sticks, a D-Pad, two triggers, and “possibly more” buttons.
Today, IGN has revealed a little more information about the system’s hardware. The system is being manufactured in Taiwan by Foxconn, with a possible retail price range of $300 to $400 based on manufacturing costs. The specs remain true to 01net’s rumours, but also bring full 1080p output to the table, and possible support for stereoscopic 3D. In addition, game content can be streamed to the touch screen on the controller, allowing for some interesting possibilities in multiplayer. IGN pegs a possible retail name for Project Cafe as the “Nintendo Stream“, with a potential release date anywhere from mid-October 2011 to ealy 2012.
rumours also paint Nintendo as being very serious about developers this time around, not looking to repeat one of the few mistakes made with the Wii. 01Net also reported (via Joystiq) that Rockstar is being heavily courted by Nintendo, with a possible release on Grand Theft Auto 5 for the system. Sources within Metroid Prime developer Retro Studios told the Paul Gale Network that a development kit was already in-house and a new project “everyone wants us to do” had been started. And Edge reports that the big three publishers – Activision, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft – all have development units, with sources saying that the new system retains the Wii’s distinctive motion control.
How much of this is real and how much of this is rainbows and fairies? We’ll have to wait until Nintendo’s E3 press conference in June. IndustryGamers will be there to see what Nintendo is going to bring to the table for the next generation, seeing as Sony and Microsoft aren’t looking for new consoles until 2014.