Rumors began to circulate yesterday that Nintendo plans to reveal its brand new console this coming June at E3. With sales of the original Wii console falling, the company is planning to announced a $50 price cut. It might be time to unveil the big guns.
Yesterday, Game Informer reported that they had confirmed with multiple sources that the new console will be capable of HD gaming. Also, Nintendo is reportedly showing the system to publishers already in an effort to get them familiarized with the specs so developers can begin working on games before the new console is officially announced.
“Nintendo is doing this one right,” said an anonymous source. “[It’s] not a gimmick like the Wii.” What else, beyond graphics, this may imply about the system is unknown. What kind of controls the system will support (we imagine a need for both classic analog configurations and motion controllers) or what level of software and infrastructure Nintendo will provide for online gaming is also unknown. However, it’s a positive sign that the system might be more than just an HD Wii.
Well, more details about the controls and graphics are emerging today.
The new Nintendo console is being codenamed “Project Cafe” (I know, right?) and IGN has some information on the controller, according to their sources:
According to our sources, the new Nintendo controller will feature dual analog sticks in addition to standard d-pad and trigger buttons. It’ll mirror a Gamecube controller in general function but not in specific form.
French technology site 01.net has some more specific details as well. According to the site, the new console will support all Wii peripherals and run Wii and Gamecube games (!!!!!).
Translated on the Develop game design site, “CPU is custom IBM PowerPC with three cores, GPU should be an ATI from the R700 family, with a shader unit at version 4.1. Ram should be at least 512 MB.
The most interesting and possibly the farthest-reaching speculation involves the new controller having a 6 inch touch screen, capable of moderate graphic output, with a front facing camera and a built-in sensor bar.
If any or all of these rumors prove accurate, then it shows Nintendo is targeting the hardcore gaming crowd, which basically translates to young to middle aged men. Historically, a large majority of the games offered on the Wii tailored to a non-traditional gaming crowd – the very young, the old and women. Adding HD capabilities and ratcheting up processing speed would signal that they are serious about competing with Sony and Microsoft for the hearts and minds of hardcore gamers.