Ever since we heard that Nintendo was preparing to release its next console, the air has been filled with the buzzing of rumors. Whether or not you like Nintendo, it's hard not to get excited about the beginning of a brand new console generation. But let's just sit down for a moment and separate the facts from fiction, and maybe come up with some new fiction of our own.
What we know for sure
We've heard several things about Nintendo's new console now. However, most of this has been hearsay. What has Nintendo officially said so far? Well, not a whole lot. Basically, Nintendo has confirmed (in a fairly roundabout manner) that there is indeed a new console on the way, it will be coming out in 2012, and there will be a playable version at E3 this year. That's not a whole lot to go on, so for the juicier stuff, we must turn to the rumor mill.
Some other things we've heard
Most of what we think we know about the upcoming console has come to us in the form of rumors. Some of these have originated from "inside sources," while others are most likely just speculation. Of course, no matter the source, these rumors must be taken with a grain of salt.
Nintendo's next console has been codenamed "Project Café." While final version of this thing will probably not keep that name (remember the whole Nintendo Dolphin thing?), I have to call it something. So for now, I'm going to stick with the "Café."
The Café will have an actual controller. No, it's not some goofy thing you swing like a flyswatter or wear on your head or any of those other things Nintendo is able to get us to do with our controllers. However, this thing is supposed to have a touchscreen on it. There is a staggering amount of possible gimmicks that such a controller could bring to the Café, but what Nintendo will actually do with this potential is anyone's guess.
The Café will support HD output, but whether this means 1080p or 1080i still seems to be up for debate. Whichever it is, it will certainly be more powerful than the Wii. And as long Nintendo doesn't go back to that whole Toon Link thing, we might even get an amazing-looking Zelda title this generation. Hyrule in HD? Yes, please.
An interesting decision that Nintendo made was to not put a hard drive in the Café. It will have internal flash-based memory, capable of storing up to 8 GB (gigabytes) of data. While this is considerably more than the Wii had, it's pretty wimpy when compared with the PS3's 320 GB model or the Xbox 360's 250 GB model. It looks like Nintendo will spend yet another generation with weak DLC options. Come on, I really hoped the next Smash Bros. game would include an ever-expanding roster of characters that I could endlessly shell out money on.
Speaking of money, how much will all this cost? The rumored launch price is $350-400. While that's a bit more than the Wii was at launch, it's still right around what the Xbox 360's original cost. Oh yeah, and it's way less than the PS3's launch day price tag of $500-600.
Oh yes, and someone said the Café would look a little bit like the Super NES.