Nintendo Co., Ltd. has decided to launch in 2012 a system to succeed Wii, which the company has sold 86.01 million units on a consolidated shipment basis between its launch in 2006 and the end of March 2011.
We will show a playable model of the new system and announce more specifications at the E3 Expo, which will be held June 7-9, 2011, in Los Angeles.
Sales of this new system have not been included in the financial forecasts announced today for the fiscal term ending March 2012.
The last sentence implies that the launch date will be no earlier than April of next year.
Recapping on all rumours so far, the system appears to:
- be called Stream and bear the codename Project Café
- feature a tri-core PowerPC CPU by IBM, an R700 series GPU by AMD and at least 512MB RAM
- be capable of outputting 1080p resolution
- be capable of stereoscopic 3D (contested by another source)
- feature motion controls
- feature a controller with a 6.2 inch HD touchscreen, to which content is streamed from the console, also bearing two analogue sticks, a camera and eight buttons
- be backwards compatible with Wii software as well as with Wii controllers
- feature a Blu-ray drive (contested by another source)
- be already be in the hands of various developers, including Ubisoft, Activision, EA and Rockstar
- get ´Grand Theft Auto V´, developed by Rockstar, perhaps even for launch
- get the successor to ´Donkey Kong Country Returns´, developed by Retro Studios
- cost between 350 and 400 US-Dollars
In the meantime, various images have popped up purporting to be internal Nintendo documents.The first one appeared on someone's TinyPic account.
Under the headline Innovation reinvented, the text reads:
Project Café is simply the most developer friendly SDK the industry has ever seen. Deliver unparalleled next generation performance at current generation costs. It doesn't get any easier than this.
- Easy portability from PC, Xbox360
- Anytime live update past release
- Integrated M-Live framework
The image itself could, in theory, be genuine. The design of both the alleged presentation slide and the console appear professional enough. But I cannot imagine what kind of presentation such a slide might be from. I do not believe that Nintendo visits publishers with an interest in their top secret SDK to show them a PowerPoint presentation that is designed to convince them of the kit. They do cost money, obviously, but I do not believe that you need to convince a publisher with corny sales slogans like "It doesn't get any easier than this".
Also, if such presentations really were made, they would likely feature lots of technical details and not the general mumbo-jumbo you find in the first paragraph. Lastly, the second bullet point appears to be not too well worded. Okay, even the brief financial statement above contains a syntax error (it should read "of which the company has sold") but I would assume such slides to be compiled with more care. There is no real evidence to go by, but I believe the image to be fake.
On to the second piece. In the following collage of images being sent to TechnoBuffalo, we see the outline of the same console, along with more text.
Here, the text reads:
Screen stream takes the 1080p image and pushes each rendered quarter to the player's personal TV screen.
If the first image was slightly dubious, these ones are doubly so. Any kind of presentation would use renders rather than simple outlines. Such basic images are only ever used in patent documents. This is surely a fake.
Of course, we are free to speculate what the controller may look like and many mockups are circulating, from serious suggestions to plain humorous. In my mind, the idea that we will get a standard, pre-Wii controller with a touchscreen slapped onto it is obviously wrong.
Such a standard controller with an HD touchscreen would not only receive gaming content streamed from the home console, it would have to double as a handheld console to justify the high price. And if so, these sales would cannibalise sales of the DS line. The same is true of a standard tablet setup, though perhaps to a lesser extent.
For this reason alone, I cannot see the controller being a standard setup. Also, remember how we knew the basic elements of the Revolution controller in 2005 but noone actually thought of it mirroring a remote control. I am sure that Nintendo will surprise us in a similar manner this time. Either the 3DS is the Stream's controller or the controller will take a very different shape to whatever we can imagine.
EDIT The following images have surfaced via Wii HD Rumors. They show the same console design present in the other images above.
I continue to believe that they are fake. Firstly, this cannot be a development kit. Such units look more functional and have less of an emphasis on design. The Dolphin (the GameCube dev kit) looks like an ugly PC and the Wii's dev kit is a simple black box with open LEDs. So this can only be a design prototype for the final console, if real. But judging by the hardware specs the size is too small, while the Nintendo logo, from a design perspective, is far too big. Also, it is very early for a final design to be shown to anyone, even internally. Only very few people within Nintendo are privy to this and it is near impossible that one of these privileged people shares photos such as these.
EDIT Now, another photo of the alleged console has surfaced, courtesy of Wii 2 Blog. Here it is. Thanks to Spazer for the heads-up.
The image has apprently been sent to the blog accompanied by the following information.
This is not the final design, this unit does not have a working drive or final parts. The unit powers on and is an internal test kit that is no longer being used because more complete units have now been distributed. The design is close to what we will see at E3. The colour scheme does not necessarily reflect that of the final model either.
The blog author continues:
My source said that the photo was taken by a friend of his who sent the picture to him. His friend does not work directly for Nintendo, but she “has access to early kits.” Lastly, he told me that the final kit will probably be thinner and more detailed.
These words practically prove that these units are all fake. The claim is that the source does not even work for Nintendo. It is obvious that noone outside of Nintendo will have seen any of the final design prototypes. Not a single person. This is true of NCL in Japan and more so of Nintendo of America. Ask yourselves the simple question: would anyone at Nintendo of America even need to see such prototypes? Of course not. And it is way too early to show the design to accessory manufacturers.
The claim that it is an "early kit" is also misinformed. Early kits are development kits and bear no design whatsoever. These are purely functional units. Design prototypes are something different altogether and it is highly likely that even NOA president Reggie has not seen one of those yet.
EDIT Since there have been assertions that the unit shown here could actually be the dev kit, allow me to make this point very clear: dev kits are purely functional units. Have a look at the Wii dev kit right here. This is the GameCube's dev kit. Notice any design kinks? No? No, you wouldn't. Also, this thing is way too small for a first generation dev kit. Compare it to the first PlayStation3 dev kit. Even the PSP dev kit is bigger than this alleged unit. You can check out more images right here. To suggest that this could be a dev kit is just really misinformed and that is being polite.
I have also come across another image in the style of the very first one, this one bearing the logos of both IBM and AMD. It originates from an image sharing website and originally shows a collage of images.
The text is cut off, but there is mention of the terms Streamplay and StreamWare, as well as of N-Live middleware. The collage of three images with the outlined console and controller above, though, mentions Screen Stream instead, while the sister image to this new one almost definitely makes note of an M-Live framework. How many different technologies with similar names could be at work here? Clearly, there are way too many technical terms flung around. Also, most of these are trademarked within software development. This alone should unmask at least some images as fake.