New Nintendo Console Announced, Our Predictions

Thanks to IGN user Aaron Carr for this mock up.

After weeks of speculation that Nintendo are ready to unveil their new console, codenamed ‘Project Café’, at E3 2011 the company confirmed that they would indeed be doing so this past week.
Of course this isn’t the most interesting news. Most gamers I know, that follow the industry, have predicted this for months. After all the Wii’s sales are slowing, there hadn’t been many games announced for 2011 and the console is definitely showing it’s age. What is interesting are the many rumours surrounding the console.
Hit the jump to see our predictions on what the next Nintendo console will feature…

The biggest rumours at this point are the fact that the console will supposedly be “significantly more powerful than the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360” and that it will include a regular (ala Xbox 360) controller which has a six inch touchscreen that can “stream entire games to the device from the console”.
So those are the two rumours that seem to be most likely but the most exciting thing about a new console that hasn’t yet been unveiled are the predictions as to what it will feature.
Day and Date Digital Distribution
Perhaps this isn’t the most sensible prediction, especially after the recent demise of the PSP Go. However, the PSP Go was ahead of its time, overpriced and under supported. I don’t believe Nintendo would make the same mistakes, not with a (comparatively) cheap console that starts at around $350 (The current rumoured price). That’s almost half the price of the launch PS3 and is $50 cheaper than the current 250GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle.
So that’s the price issues out of the way. Sony’s second mistake was not releasing all of it’s PSP games on PSN the same day they released in stores, or at all in the case of Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Providing Nintendo went with Digital Distribution from the start (assuming they do both Digital and Physical) then they can put the rules in place that makes sure all games are released online day and date with the Physical version.
The final issue that has plagued Digital Distribution on consoles thus far is game pricing. The prices of full games on both XBL and PSN are, for the most part, ridiculous. Just last week Halo: Reach was £59.99 ($100) on Games on Demand. Not only is that game over six months old, that price is £20 ($33) more than the typical Amazon release day price. This is a problem. Steam has, of course, handled Digital Distribution perfectly. If Nintendo takes a few pages out of Valve’s book then I’d hope that Digital Distribution could be the future for consoles like it has the PC. Even with the recent rumours that the new Nintendo HD will only include 8GB of flash memory I am still holding out hope. After all if they’re using SD cards again the savvy consumers among us can always upgrade the storage.
Nintendo 3DS controller
A few weeks ago this prediction would have seemed much more outlandish than it does now. With all the rumours of this new Nintendo console including a standard controller that has a touch screen embedded in it, this prediction doesn’t seem so crazy.
One of the first things I saw people say when the new controller was first rumoured was “Isn’t that just an NGP?” assuming the rumours are true then the new controller shall be very much like an NGP. What does Nintendo have that isn’t so different from the NGP? The 3DS. All of a sudden the new slider on the 3DS seems to have an inherent purpose, other than making 3DS games better.
How great would it be to be able to have 3DS and Nintendo HD compatibility that the PSP and PS3 share, except done well? The possibilities for being able to use the 3DS as a controller are great. Heck, who doesn’t want to play their $350 console with $250 controllers?
So that’s what I think but what do the other GeeksFTW writers predict?
Nintendo have a record of making a profit from the very beginning of their console launches. The fact that the PS3 and 360 have, supposedly, only recently been in profit suggests that the tech is now cheap enough for Nintendo to be as powerful as the PS3 without breaking the bank. Therefore the new system probably won’t be more powerful than the PS3 though it will do HD. There will be backwards compatibility with the Wii and there will be some sort of gimmick like the Wii (Six inch screen on the controller?).
Dark DJ
The system will move into the HD era meaning it will have HDMI though it will be a proprietary cable that forces people to buy Nintendo’s cable. Similar to the PS2 and it’s proprietary scart cable.
Nintendo will finally move into the hard drive space with a built in hard drive (latest rumours suggest 8gb flash) and Nintendo will therefore have better downloadable games. The console will also be backwards compatible; perhaps more virtual console games to tie into the increase in downloadable games?
The rumoured screen that will be built into the controller will be a HD screen. Could this make proper games playable on it?
Finally, the next Nintendo console will drop the Wii name and Nintendo will go in a different direction with the branding for the new console. Whether this will be centred on a gimmick like the Wii, hardcore games or more family fun is anybodies guess.
There will be a rebooted Nintendo online service. A service that really competes with the likes of Xbox Live and Playstation Network. The 3DS online space (when available) is probably the precursor to this. The 3DS online is the training wheels for this new consoles online feature, hopefully that is a good thing.
DVD is dead in the water in terms of gaming. If Nintendo wants to be competitive in the next generation they will need more than the 8Gbs of data that DVDs provide. In this case they will have their own proprietary format in order to get around Sony’s hold over Blu-Ray, similar to the GameCube’s games.
3DS games will be transferable between the 3DS and the new console. In a way similar to what people want the NGP and PS3 to do. If the rumours about the screen on the controller are true then we could see real compatibility between the two, similar to the PSP and PS3 but taken to the next level.

Wrap up
So those are some of our opinions and predictions. With E3 just a month away (boy that crept up fast) we will no doubt find the answers to most, if not all, of these predictions very soon. All we can do now is hope to be suitably impressed with whatever Nintendo brings to the table for the next console generation. Hopefully we don’t have to endure five more dark years of Nintendo casual gaming.

Why not write your predictions in the comment section and feel free to sound off in the comments about any predictions you may agree or disagree with.

Disclaimer: My fellow writers’ predictions are adapted from a list of bulletpointed predictions given to me by each of them. In other words, it’s my fault if you don’t like the write up of their predictions 🙂