Part 22 years ago today, 01net published the most detailed Wii2 rumor yet, and reviled the codename.... (note: this article was in French, and was translated to English using Google Translate, mistakes are likely):
Project Café. For the frog eaters that we are, the code name for the new console from Nintendo does not sound very glamorous. However, we reserve the many beautiful surprises that could make us forget the uninspired nickname, which refers to the place where they drink rather than the drink, which is temporary anyway. Curtain on the future of Nintendo!
For some time, the company did Kyoto greatest mystery of its new strategic directions. According to its CEO, Satoru Iwata, the opponent tomorrow is not Sony or Microsoft, but rather Apple . Which, in turn, plays the naive and sticks to a position could not be more ambiguous vis-à-vis the video game, never by not communicating directly upon it yet capital activity. However, behind the scenes, preparing a major conflict: Apple including poached Nintendo employees , which would suggest that the game is much more serious than suggest its official positions. As for Nintendo's answer, here it is approaching.
A tablet as a controller
We were talking yesterday of a lever "very original" ... and that's saying something. That the Café will be a tablet ...! Neither more nor less. Certainly, we should not expect an equivalent of the iPad. Unlike Computerandvideogames information reported by our sources say the tablet screen is not high definition, but in standard definition, less than 720p. Graphics performance have been described as modest, but sufficient for a variety of applications and concepts yet to be invented.
The VMU for Dreamcast, a gaming device that foreshadowed the Café.
It would be a sort of "super VMU" (the device from the Dreamcast, which included a memory and a LCD screen for mini-games) on steroids. The nature of the wireless connection with the console is still a mystery. A sensor corresponding to the sensor bar of the Wii (that is to say, the receiver signals from the Wiimote) is integrated into the handle-tablet. It remains unclear how it integrates processor, even if the choice of a small ARM seems more than probable.
The handle on the billiard-shelf-
Screen Size: 6 inches.
- Usability: Digital cross, L, R, two triggers, other.
- Touch Screen: single touch .
- Sensor for Wiimote (replaces the sensor bar, Wii).
- Camera : one end.
The cost to be modest, it is understood that the performance is limited and the quality of manufacture can not be compared to an iPad or most tablets on the market. Remains whether this tablet will lend itself to mobile use away from the console for games and applications independent with or without wireless connectivity. That fits in any case the continuity statements Shigeru Miyamoto, who claimed to want to move towards a " new type of control and interface " .
This innovation will certainly inspire many ideas to the developers of the Earth. The VMU for Dreamcast or the use of the Game Boy Advance as a controller with an additional screen in games such as Zelda: Four Swords gave us a taste of what you can expect from this new type of controller. One can easily imagine a lot of games for everyone to hide his hand to deploy cunning strategies of secret alliances with other players, so many impossible things when everyone is playing on a single screen.
A cousin of the Xbox 360
Big N decided to use an architecture very similar to that of an existing console, and properly installed, the Xbox 360. According to our sources, the Café will be slightly above the Microsoft machine in terms of power. The comparison is easy because of the striking similarity in terms of hardware. Confrontation with the PS3 is much more difficult and highly subjective. We have currently not enough evidence to comment on the issue.
The choice of architecture has important consequences. Porting Xbox 360 titles will be a cinch, ensuring an influx of games existing cost for publishers. We are forced to admire the ingenuity of Nintendo, which greatly lowers the barrier of entry for developers.
Another direct consequence backward compatibility with Wii titles (and probably GameCube titles), both architectures are of the same family. It will take to turn a few adjustments, all the basic instructions are supported in hardware. This is not yet a certainty, unlike heralded by some U.S. sites. No information has yet filtered through the media type (physical, paperless ...) used for games. Similarly, it seems that all the devices on the Wii should be compatible with the Café.
Anatomical cut Console- CPU: Custom IBM PowerPC with three cores.
- Graphics chip: AMD (ATI) - probably a serial R700, with a shader (for the management effects) later than the Xbox 360 (probably version 4.1).
- RAM : unknown. It would make sense whether a unified RAM, like the 360, with a minimum of 512 MB
Developers, I love you
That publishers like Ubisoft, who called a hue and cry a new console , rejoice! The Café will be presented at E3 2011, and the elements that we now know are already likely to inspire all developers on the planet, both the creative possibilities that it will offer the ease of programming. The time is decidedly developer-friendly ... It was time, some would say. The Wii console often described as a curse for third party publishers, has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many developers. Nintendo has heard the message, stating its willingness to work closely with other developers, providing the outset how to create the best conditions. The choice of an architecture similar to that of the Xbox 360 clearly meets this objective.
Other surprises to come
The handle of the coffee would be a tablet, iPad way, but with buttons.
A new golden age of games and other family entertainment or college is it about to be born? The way is open to many types of game designs innovative games creative practice alone or with others, handling organic and participatory exploration of simultaneous two sides of the same universe, etc.. One thing is certain: Nintendo has taken a big step and play a game at very high risk. The Big N will he win again as a central player in the entertainment practice of the future? We will probably begin to answer at the next E3, and more specifically, in June 2012, the date scheduled for the current console output.
In addition, our sources tell us that the coffee still holds a big, huge, a huge surprise ... it is impossible to reveal at this time. The suspense remains (almost) whole ...