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Project Café (New Nintendo Console) Let’s Speculate Like Mad Men...

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 

So if you’re at all interested in gaming you’ll have seen the leaking PR campaign for Project Café – the code name for the new Nintendo console. The way gaming sites are reporting on this, the sources are very obviously credible and likely Nintendo insiders, so what’s been leaked is likely mostly accurate (or at least what Nintendo want us to think). It’ll be HD (how could it not be) and will supposedly be a return to core gaming (thank god) – so a pad you can play proper games on, with real dual analogue sticks, plenty of buttons and no more waggling (PLEASE). The main innovation is allegedly a touch screen on the controller. Simple but with extraordinary potential if done right.


So my speculation…


The way I would imagine it to be is the controllers will be very personal to players – with the idea that people will carry them around with them to each other’s houses and use them off line a lot. Controllers would hold all the players profile, avatar, saved games, achievements and there will be “off line” things you can do in your games just on the controller that will be up to the games makers. So it could be mini games, or customization of characters, or combinations of the two. Maybe Fifa and Pro Evo would allow you to work on deep strategy and formation planning out side of the game; you could level up by carrying out simple mini games in RPGs; access the dojo training mode in fighting games, or depending on the power of it, maybe just practice inputs and combos.


I think that would be a genuine gaming addition, rather than a gimmick like the Wii, very aimed at gamers allowing them to be locked into their gaming experiences anywhere, but could also have lots of fluffy casual applications too. It just sounds plausible to me.


The way I imagine it looking (wishful thinking) is based on a comment of an IGN writer saying they imagined the whole control pad being a screen but then heard it will have analogue sticks so dropped the idea… I’d still like imagine the whole face of the pad was a screen, just with holes in it where the sticks and buttons will be inlaid – surrounded on all sides by screen. I don’t see why it shouldn’t have the basic dimensions and layout of a Wii classic but the analogue sticks could be like the 3DS slide pads to minimize profile/danger of breaking and allow the pad to be easily slipped into a pocket. In my mind, while the whol face of the pad is a visual display, only the central area would be a capacitive touch screen area though (resistive touchscreen will be unacceptable if they plan on having us carry the thing around, which they should).


This isn’t exactly crazy stuff, but the real, meaningful gaming potential would be great. Imagine the whole view of the controller being a different skin for every game buttons being labeled with their actual functions in-game? I think developers would love that level of control over the interface and could obviously add their own “start menu” options in game on the centre of the screen if they wanted making play a lot more direct, use areas as a secondary display. I think with a lot of  hardcore games getting more complex, that freedom for the developers to offer an extra five buttons when needed, then switch back to an extra radar display, then a little tutorial when needed – all without breaking coherent on screen display. For Nintendo the tutorial side would fit very well. You know how in Nintendo games something on-screen will explain how to do a certain thing – prompt you to use a button at a certain time? Imagine a little arrow appearing above a button on the pad, maybe Mario popping up on the face of the pad over the buttons pointing at a button saying “press this” with a demonstration on the main area of the pad showing how the action works? The pad would be completely dynamic and change as the game needed it to.


Maybe I’m going all out with the wishful thinking, but this is what I imagine them doing anyway. It would make controllers very expensive, with the controller probably being a large part of the cost of the system but I imagine they would sell a stripped down non-screen controller (maybe just use the existing classic controller) for multiplayer pads. Bear in mind that its been leaked that the 3DS itself with all its tech only costs Nintendo around $100 to make and it doesn’t become so far fetched for the console to be bundled with something perhaps as powerful as gameboy advance console as the pad.

post #2 of 54

I speculate that Nintendo will release an HD game console that will be accompanied by very good first and third party support then tailor off into mediocre first-party support (2D platformers mainly) then be violently murdered by it's own bastard step-child, the 3DS, which in itself will be rife with bleh 3D Zeldas. 

post #3 of 54

I was thinking maybe they will allow the use of a 3DS as a controller, as it already has the touch screen. Maybe also use the augmented reality to interact with the main game screen.

post #4 of 54
Thread Starter 

It’s understandable that a lot of people are a place where they can’t see Nintendo coming back as a real gaming company, but with the money they’ve made off their long and frustrating time as a mainstream casual gamers hangout, they can get back to what they were.


In the time of the NES and SNES they were THE main console with third party support and hardcore games coming out of the wazoo.


It’s in their own hands to bring it back, and I’m liking the sounds coming out of them.

post #5 of 54

I'm not sure they really want to return to their hardcore roots, at least to the point where they're competing straight on with Sony/MS. They may say it (do they?), but I'm extremely skeptical. They've cut out their little niche between hardcore and casual/family-friendly, IIRC, games like Mad World and No More Heroes 2 didn't do that well on the Wii. (Both titles weren't particularly awesome, but better than a lot of other senseless crud) I own a Wii and had a DS lite for many years, mainly to play platfomers. 

Edited by Kirosia - 4/18/11 at 7:57am
post #6 of 54

"The rumours surrounding the much elusive Wii 2 keeps getting better. Reports suggest that Nintendo is indeed set to reveal the new HD system at E3 and that it is being referred to as "Project Cafe."

The new system is said to be slightly more powerful than the Xbox 360 and uses a custom IBM PowerPC CPU with three cores, a GPU from the ATI R700 family, and at least 512MB of RAM.

Sources also talk in detail about the new controller for the system, it has a six inch touch screen as well as a front-facing camera, D-pad, two bumpers, two triggers and maybe even more. Apparently, it can also double as a Wii sensor bar.

More importantly, Project Cafe will also have backwards compatibility for Wii and GameCube titles.

The new system is pegged for a late 2012 release."



"Update: Sources now confirm to IGN the new Nintendo controller allows players to stream entire games to the device from the console, saying it's like a miniature television. The screen size on the controller is also confirmed to be six inches in size."



"Last week we found out that Nintendo’s new console would sport stronger tech than both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but how much stronger and how it would compare to Microsoft’s and Sony’s next-gen consoles remains uncertain.


We also found out that, like the Wii, Nintendo would be going the innovative route with their controller designs. This time, their controller will contain a 6-inch touchscreen, making the controller a tablet of sorts. It also has a built-in camera and is more precise than the PlayStation Move in terms of motion controls.


The latest updates explain that the touchscreen, albeit not HD according to reports, is able to stream full video from the console. That means, while playing a game at home, you could get away with not needing the TV on. If that works as it sounds, this is an entirely new type of gaming where you can turn on the console and play from elsewhere on the controller. How far you need to be from the unit for it to work is another question entirely.


The controller isn’t just touchscreen and motion however, as it also has two analog sticks so you can finally jump in on modern gaming fun! Believe it or not this is the first main Nintendo console controller to support dual-stick functionality. Don’t tell us the Gamecube controller had two sticks, because it didn’t. The C-stick was not a joystick.


The size and ergonomics of this rather large-sounding controller are the question of concern in my eyes. Also, if it’s as large as I’m picturing, how does that lend itself to motion controls? Or are the motion controls from seperate peripherals a la Xbox 360/PS3?"

Edited by IPodPJ - 4/18/11 at 8:00am
post #7 of 54

wow, replacement controllers will be expensive

post #8 of 54
Thread Starter 

Wow your research skills are better than mine PJ, I hadn't found half of that stuff yet. Sounds pretty cool... although not as cool as my own speculation evil_smiley.gif

post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 

Got to say that could be a pretty good sell to parents - your kids can be playing the game while you get to watch what you want on the TV.



Edit –


After a little reflection – I will be disappointed if the only point of the screen is “hey you can play without a TV”. That doesn’t excite me at all, I can play without a TV with a 3DS – or soon a NGP – and I don’t need to be within a few metres of a console then either.


The pad surely has to have some sort of offline functionality/purpose beyond just being a small version of main game screen….



Looking at the rumoured specs – 6 inch screen? Apparently IGN are using the term “confirmed” with this suggesting the source has to be someone credible at Nintendo. If Nintendo are screwing with IGN it will be extremely bad for them (Nintendo) as IGN would go savage on them for damaging their reputation. Unless someone somewhere is being incredibly stupid – this thing does have a 6 inch display. That is freaking huge, pretty much like a small tablet.


TBH I’m not ready to let go of my idea that the hardware controls (buttons and sticks) are actually inlaid into the screen just yet. For a start its way too cool an idea for me to let go of until all hope has died, for seconds, if the screen is uninterrupted and the controls are either side of it we’re talking a controller possibly bigger than an ipad. Not that Nintendo haven’t done stupid things in the past but that would be taking the biscuit. If the whole controller was 6 inches widescreen aspect and the controls poked out of the screen, it would kind of be feasible size wize…. 8 inch plus control? Hmmm…. Would be a serious risk IMO…


The idea of a streaming console on a tablet is growing on me though, but its definitely not enough.


Edited by EddieE - 4/18/11 at 9:06am
post #10 of 54

If the rumors are true, looks like Nintendo is content with continuing the trailing edge hardware strategy that they've used in their last four consoles. They'll have about a two year window where they can take advantage of easy multiplatform development, but that'll stop once the next gen PS360s roll out in 2013/2014. Even if the hardware keeps pace, I don't see them drawing too many "core" gamers due to their quixotic online strategy. It's pretty depressing that it's been almost two full generation since the original Xbox Live and Nintendo hasn't even been able to get close.


Not that it matters. The console market estabilished this generation that battling for "core" gamers is a sucker's game for hardware and software devs. Sony's done a pretty good job at wiping out the profits they made in the console game during the PS2 era just to reestablish themselves as a player with the PS3. Microsoft's been continuing their quest to prove that you can make millions if you're willing to burn billions. Devs are even worse off as spiraling development costs are forcing them to choose between selling out to publishers or betting the farm on every single release. Barring any game changers, Nintendo should still easily dominate the casual gaming market (read: the larger portion of the console market) as long as they keep releasing the standard bearing franchises, remain competitive on pricing, and continue to promote family friendly fare.


Really, the primary threat to Nintendo's market success seems to be from low end iOS/Android gaming. Iwata wasn't off the mark when he declared Apple the enemy of the future. Take a refreshed A5 equipped iTV, toss in a iTouch/iPhone as a controller and you've got your mass market gaming system of the future.

Edited by marvin - 4/18/11 at 5:23pm
post #11 of 54
Originally Posted by davesmith View Post

wow, replacement controllers will be expensive

That would certainly reduce the rates of people spiking their controllers in rage :p

post #12 of 54

I'm fully prepared to eat my words on this one, but this will fail hard.

post #13 of 54

The  remote video-play for the controllers will be good mostly for Visual Novels, a genre that does not reach USA/UK, and RPGs. Action games and others will be impractical.


Why is the 3DS Region Locked?!!!!!!

Really nintendo? I have to buy a second 3DS???

Edited by Infoseeker - 4/18/11 at 6:05pm
post #14 of 54
Originally Posted by BobSaysHi View Post

I'm fully prepared to eat my words on this one, but this will fail hard.

Heh, probably a good bet that you'll have to eat your words. Nintendo handily dominated the last generation on the strength of two products that were written off by "core" gamers the moment they were announced.

post #15 of 54

I cant see the 'porting the consoles output to the controller' idea working. I think they would more likely use it as a secondary screen for extra functionality alongside the main screen.

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