Will “Project Cafe” (Wii 2) Change Everything, Again?

French site 01net claims it knows more about the next Nintendo console than most, suggesting that the Wii follow-up will feature a custom IBM PowerPC CPU (with three cores), an ATI 700 GPU and at least half a GB of RAM.  Reasonably close then, in terms of basic architecture at least, to the Xbox 360.

Of course, this is all speculation, but at the moment there’s a lot of sources all pointing to very similar results – Nintendo’s next home console will be hugely powerful, relatively anyway, and will certainly be better placed to stand up to what the PS3 and 360 are presently doing, performance wise.

[drop2]01net also suggest that Project Cafe (as it’s being referred to, translated here) will also play GameCube and Wii games, as we’ve heard before.  The trick, again, as we’ve mentioned, will be a six-inch touch screen on the controller, a front-facing camera and a full set of regular physical buttons.

But what does this mean for gamers?  As everyone knows, the Nintendo Wii’s been instrumental in attracting a whole new range of more casual and older gamers to the industry, via a range of easier to play, physical titles that rely less on rote knowledge of which button does which, and more about actually just playing.

But some have balked, ignorantly perhaps, at the low resolution offered by the Wii in comparison to the PS3 and Xbox 360.  It doesn’t matter to the majority of Wii gamers, but developers have clearly struggled with porting over key multiformat titles due to a lack of grunt – if Nintendo can convince publishers that 1:1 ports of current HD titles can make their way to a Nintendo platform, they’ll be quids in.

Of course, when the Wii 2 does release (again, all this is currently clearly just rumour) the PS3 and Xbox 360 will be edging towards moving over to the next generations, and then developers will have higher targets to aim at, potentially leaving Project Cafe behind once more.  Is this all too little too late?

And that controller – it sounds like something the scale of an NGP but with a bigger screen (and presumably lots of motion control) – surely it won’t be a good idea to start throwing something that expensive around as you pretend to be whacking a tennis ball back and forth, or will the controller form the base, and things will just ‘connect’ to it, like the nunchuck?

Interesting times, for sure – the Wii changed everything, not always for the better, but anyone currently ignoring Nintendo should be keeping them firmly in their sights.

All eyes on E3, then.



  1. I just hope they don’t go down the road of slapping ‘HD’ at the end of everything. And, is HD really important for the Wii? Wii games still look good enough on a 32″ screen.
    Unless, they are bringing another ‘game changer’ to home entertainment.

  2. Sounds a bit to good, to be true :P

  3. we’ll see. i’d be happier playing hd versions of wii classics as the pixels hurt my eyes on anything bigger than a 19″ tellybocks

  4. I owned every Nintendo home console from NES to Gamecube. I love first party Nintendo titles. I have never bought a Wii because to me it veers so far from the Nintendo ethos in terms of the titles available and the depth of gameplay in the majority of titles.

    I will await this announcement with baited breath. If I wanted to play shovelware in HD I would buy Sports Champions.

  5. The rumours are suspicious, but I can only think that the console might not need to use a TV with the current rumoured specifications of the controller. Just throwing out some weird idea…

  6. If this was true, I’d buy one, I love my Gamecube, still play it rather regularly. There was not enough on the Wii to keep me entertained but hopefully this will turn things around.

  7. I have always thought that this is what Apple could do. Combining their iPhone “controller” with a small box under the TV could be a winning category. The touch screen would allow infinite types of input from keyboard to analogue sticks.

  8. I’m just sceptical that after months of no details or nothing, we’re suddenly being inundated with information, right down to specs…
    I mean, right now, I could probably find out more about this console online than the NGP. Crazy.
    I might be more inclined to believe it if not for the controller described. Can you imagine paying for lots of those? You know children are going to go for a ‘Wii 2’ or whatever they’d call it.
    And you know they’re going to break the controller sooner or later.
    I always thought the DualShock was ridiculously expensive, but this would either be literally taking the mickey with it’s price, or make a mockery of Nintendo’s fine business strategy of late- selling hardware at a profit.
    Then again, going by the sales of the DS and Wii, they could afford to take a hit, I guess…

    • I agree.
      Everything bar the controller is pretty much what is expected and entirely believable. I can’t see what use the controller of that size and spec would be for but who knows for sure?
      A few things are for certain, it will be more powerful (than the Wii) and move into HD resolutions.
      They know that price plays a big part in the market share game so the last thing that they would want to do is force the consumers to shell out big bucks. As an option perhaps, but not as standard. Maybe they’ll use it for some sort of AR extension a la 3DS.

  9. Would be all over this like a tramp on chips, the touchscreen should stand it in good stead to head off Apple as surely it’s only a matter of time before iOS games are beamed to your TV via AirPlay & Apple TV acting as the ‘dummy client console’ and your iDevice acting as the controller. We know Ninty aren’t concerned with the direction Sony are going in Move certainly hasn’t seen a mass exodus of Wii upgraders as Sony continue to market Move to their core which is relatively niche in comparison to the mainstream battleground of iOS/Wii & possibly Kinect.

    One thing I hope is that it plays Blu-ray movies & has a DLNA client, I think the mainstream is ready, oh and a robust online network with enhanced Xbox style party features

  10. We have two Wii’s in my house, and like most people, we don’t play them aside for using one for Netflix access (which is actually horrible because it’s not HD). While I really only owned my first console in 2003, which was a GameCube, my favorite titles were always Mario and Zelda. Literally no other series’ match up.

    This obviously ended with the Wii because while it may be cool, I can’t stand the WiiMote or the little oval classic pad. I can say that as long as we get a console that has ANY for of high definition output and a controller with enough buttons to support other titles.

    • *Then I will buy it, regardless of what Sony and Microsoft do next.

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