Project Cafe: The Tech Behind Nintendo's Next Console
New pricing, hardware, design, and release information uncovered.
April 21, 2011
More details of Nintendo's forthcoming console, codenamed Project Cafe aka Wii 2, have been revealed to IGN, including the system's estimated pricing, release, console design, processing architecture, and name.
According to sources with knowledge of the project, Nintendo's next console could have a retail price of anywhere between $350 and $400 based on manufacturing costs, and will ship from Taiwanese manufacturer, Foxconn, this October, putting the earliest possible retail release anywhere between mid-October and early November.
However, Nintendo could also opt to build up a sizable supply of the system and allocate more time for software and games development by launching in early 2012. Similarly, Nintendo could attempt to lower the retail price of the system with lower profit margins to make the price more alluring.
Since the manufacturing is taking place in Taiwan, the earthquakes and tsunami that hit Japan last month will not impact the console hardware as previously expected.
Additionally, IGN has learned that the system will be based on a revamped version of AMD's R700 GPU architecture, not AMD's Fusion technology as previously believed, which will, as previously reported, out perform the PlayStation 3's NVIDIA 7800GTX-based processor. Like the Xbox 360, the system's CPU will be a custom-built triple-core IBM PowerPC chipset, but the clocking speeds will be faster. The system will support 1080p output with the potential for stereoscopic 3D as well, though it has not been determined whether that will be a staple feature.
In terms of the design of the console itself, the overall size will be comparable to that of the original Xbox 360 and the system is likely to resemble a modernized version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).
As reported last week, it will indeed utilize controllers with integrated touchscreens and be capable of streaming games to each controller, though given the power of the system, could also feasibly provide a virtualized console for each individual unit.
Finally, Nintendo is considering naming the console Stream, though it is potentially one of several names currently being vetted by the company.
We contacted Nintendo representatives, but they declined to comment on "rumors or speculation."
For more on Project Cafe, stay tuned to IGN.com.