Think the Nintendo Project Cafe rumors are crazy? We take a look back at pre-Wii release chatter to find that some rumors are harder to believe than others.
Nintendo has officially confirmed that its next system, code-named Project Cafe (or Stream, depending on whom you talk to), will not only be on display at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, but will also be playable in some form. Additionally, the company has seemingly ruled out 3D as a main attraction of the new console, since Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata said that 3D televisions are not a mass-market item. He added that the company will be "offering something new to home game consoles." Unfortunately, those are the only official details we have on the next system, but the vacuum of information has left an opportunity for various rumors to surface (we have some of our own theories)--the most prominent of which is about the controller, which reportedly sports a 6.2-inch screen combined with a more traditional controller setup. Additionally, there are reports that the system's performance matches (or even surpasses) that of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
What's particularly interesting about these rumors is that they're far tamer than anything we've seen for previous Nintendo consoles. Before the release of the Wii, we were deluged with conceptual mock-ups of the system and rumors that ranged from plausible to just flat-out crazy talk.
The Original Rumor, January 21, 2005:
[The Revolution] will have dual processors, four controller ports, built-in broadband, and an Xbox-esque hard drive that can store downloaded and saved content. (Can you say, "Son of 64DD?") While the Revolution will be backward-compatible with GameCube games, it will not have Game Boy Advance or DS connectivity. Instead, it will link up to the vaunted Game Boy Evolution, the near-mythical successor to the GBA. Games in development include--shocker--a Mario game, a Zelda game, and a Super Smash Bros. game. But when the poster's source asked his inside source at Nintendo what "revolutionary" functionality the console would have, the mole balked. He would only say, "If you think too hard you'll never guess what it is. It's nothing 'new,' technically speaking. It's just something that hasn't really been applied to video games yet."
The Wii does have Wi-Fi, four controller ports, backward compatibility, and SD card support. And while the Game Boy Evolution portion sounds ridiculous, the GameCube and Game Boy Advance connectivity gave the rumor some weight, and if anything, this kind of rumor still persists with Project Cafe and its purported controller-tablet hybrid. As for the "revolutionary functionality" being what we know as the motion control, the rumor wasn't too far off, considering motion control technology had been around for quite some time.
Previously all but unheard of, 4 Color Rebellion became the center of a lot of attention this week when it published an account from someone who claimed to be present during a Nintendo shareholders meeting. At said meeting, officials from the House of Mario reportedly showed off the next-gen "Revolution" console. The witness said the final name of the console will be the "Nintendo 21," and it will hit the market at the end of this year. It will have a "Home Game function," codeveloped with Kyocera, that uses an IEEE protocol to wirelessly "locate and communicate with other Nintendo 21s in the vicinity," as well as unspecified handheld game devices. The 21 will also have a pressure-sensitive controller that allows for DS-style rubbing on either the buttons or the grip. For media, the console will use a two-sided 5.4GB disc with a UMD-esque shell case, and it will be inserted into the top of the GameCube-esque machine. The unit will also have digital A/V outputs and sport an N64-esque logo. The witness even drew a picture of what he recalled (pictured), with notations in Japanese.
If someone drew a picture of the new console, it must be true! Everything about this rumor was just horribly wrong. There was no IEEE communication with other systems. There was no weird pressure-sensitive controller, and there most certainly was no UMD-style casing for the discs. But really, what takes the cake is the name: Nintendo 21. While the implication is that the system was of proper age to indulge in the world of adult beverages, it just didn't make any sense from a marketing standpoint. Sure, 21 was more than the two or the three that would conceivably surround new consoles from Microsoft or Sony at the time, but why would Nintendo go backward from 64 to 21? Also of note: The sketch of the console looks like Master Chief's head.
GameCubers were double-fisting rumors this week, when a one-two shot of photographic "proof" of the console hit the Web. First up was the Engadget photo (pictured) of "what is supposed to be an in-house development system of Nintendo's next-gen game console," which the site claims came from the Nintendo.com forums. However, even by Engadget's often-loose standards, the machine pictured "could [be] (and probably is) totally, totally fake." Slightly more credible were the mock-ups that appeared on Gearlive, which showed a computer-generated model of an elegant, saucerlike console. But it, too, was discredited, with Gearlive editors branding it as "a very clever mock-up." However, re-posters of the images--which also surfaced on the GameSpot forums--were not so cautious, sparking off a round of speculation that will hopefully stop here.
Well, they got the four controller ports right, sort of. At the very least, the Roomba-inspired design is nice. Also, the knock against Engadget was completely unnecessary.
The Original Rumor, March 25, 2005:
According to the latest Game Informer, Nintendo is planning something very different for the controller for its next-generation console. "There is no analog stick or shoulder buttons. The touch screen on the face of the controller is designed to be fully customizable, so the developer can configure the buttons any way they see fit, or in other cases will not use buttons at all, instead opting for virtual levers and or other stylus-related inputs." The article goes on to cite sources that say that "Nintendo is actually requiring developers to take advantage of unique touch-screen aspects if it wants to get approval." It also says many publishers are "skeptical" of the concept. Sound insane? So did the DS--before it sold nearly 5 million units. Plus, the very name "Revolution" means Nintendo has something industry-shaking planned for the next generation. "It wouldn't surprise me if Nintendo was that crazy," said one source close to the company.
This particular rumor was completely off, but it's still interesting because, again, it introduced the idea of an integrated screen in the controller. Ultimately, it would seem that the introduction of the Nintendo DS and its touch screen technology left such a mark on us that all subsequent Nintendo console rumors would bring up this particular feature over and over.
The Original Rumor, April 25, 2005:
Ever since last week, the Web has been bubbling with conflicting rumors about whether or not Nintendo will unveil the Revolution at E3. GamesRadar cites sources that "suggest that nothing more than a few rolling videos of in-development titles will be available." Others say the only thing MIA will be the Revolution's controllers, which are rumored to feature everything from gyroscopes to touch screens. GameSpot's Japan correspondent gave that latter theory some ammunition, pointing to an article on Japanese fan site Nintendo Inside. "The [Japanese] article emphasizes only the part about the Revolution controller being a no-show, citing previous comments from [Nintendo president Satoru] Iwata, who said before that the Revolution has a unique controller he doesn't want copied by other companies," he said. However, the question remains exactly how much of the Revolution E3 attendees will actually see. In January, Iwata flatly said the console will be unveiled at E3. The following month, Nintendo publicity chief Ken Toyota backpedaled, saying, "E3 will be the starting point for the Revolution. [We haven't decided] whether we will show the real machine, videos, or unveil the concept. We want to receive some level of evaluation, but releasing too much information is also another issue."
This rumor was completely true. Nintendo showed only the system itself at its E3 2005 press conference and gave some details about its capabilities, including the Virtual Console downloads, but the Wii Remote was a no-show. What's interesting is that we're in a similar situation now with Project Cafe. Nintendo has officially said that the new system will be playable at E3, which ostensibly means that the new controller will be on display as well. However, this is a company known for holding information back to prevent competitors from copying its ideas, so how much of Project Cafe's capabilities will be shown at E3 2011 remains in question.
The Original Rumor, April 29, 2005:
This week saw some new rumors about Nintendo's next-generation console surface. The most interesting of these came from Burgess, who has long-standing ties to Nintendo. In his blog, he reflected on attending the ShoWest conference in March. There, he heard Sin City director Robert Rodriguez mention how he and other filmmakers that are eager to make 3D movies, including James Cameron and Peter Jackson, had become "aware of a game machine beating them to the mainstream 3D market." Burgess [creator of anime Broken Saints] then heard from an "industry pundit" that Nintendo had already shown off a stereoscopic peripheral capable of projecting 3D images at last year's E3 for the GameCube and was planning something even more advanced for the Revolution. A forum post on the same blog also claimed the Revolution will come "equipped with a short-range wireless mapping camera that will somehow make the software 'adapt' itself to [the player's] surroundings," presumably to customize the 3D projections. But since Nintendo is saying nothing, there's not enough information to call this one way or the other.
Nintendo absolutely loves 3D, so featuring the technology in some form wasn't a stretch, but the idea of 3D projection was a little odd. On some level, though, the camera technology mentioned in this rumor sounds a little bit like the Kinect, so that part wasn't completely absurd. It was just the wrong system.
I don't see many obvious advantages to having a touchscreen control other than it would be easier for new gamers to learn the layout of the controller as they could already look at the controller while they're playing. Then again, it's Nintendo's console, not mine. Hopefully they do something cool with it.
real NINTENDO GAME sangat lama untuk menanmatkan nya... jadi jangan pernah bilang game nintendo tidak hardcore merka hanya kulitnya saja yg tidak hardcore seperti gambar yg lucu dan imut tapi dibalik itu semua game nya sangat susah...
meh Nintendo lost my interest when they got rid of classic control, when i play games i like to sit down on my bum and use my thumbs, if i want exercise i can go outside and run for an hour,
So what are the LAUNCH titles going to be? I can't get excited about this unless i see some awesome games along with it. The Wii is fun as hell but the list of games, that take full advantage of the motion controls, is disappointing.
I hope nintendo can draw me in to this new system better than they did the wii. Make a system adults can appreciate, then create some games for the kiddos. Dont make a gimmick system with children as the main demographic.
Very nice look-back article. I still remember all those GO rumors haha, and one day completely shocked (and as a Nintendo fan, unsure) when the whole Wii thing was revealed. That ON helmet takes the cake for the best never-existing "console reveal" ever. Who still remembers the Nintendo Nexus? XD
I lol'd at the artists rendition, I'm not sure what to believe regarding the Project Cafe rumours but I'm enjoying them while they come since I love console announcements.
"Go" sounded like a good name. The part where "Go" means five was a nice touch. Too bad it didn't come up during brainstorming. :P
Just proves to point that rumors are just that... rumors. Speculation is fun, I have to admit. On a side note; being a Nintendo fan, I'm really excited about this. I was sort of put off by the 3DS (at least the titles that it launched with it) and I really want to see what new home console they're brewing. I've had great experiences from the Wii and I'm expecting bigger and better things with this next console!
@iAmAbel The 360 and PS3 are technologically better then anything nintendo has ever put on market. The majority of games are also better because more 3rd party publishers make games for PS3 and 360. I'm not saying nintendo doesnt have its great titles, but they are all games that have been around forever, give us something new. I'm personally sick of zelda and mario. Yea the Conduit series and Monster Hunter Tri are good AND new, but the call of duty experience is worse, and there is less market for the more underpowered system. That is why nintendo is forced to bump a new system out in 2012, while sony and microsoft can sit on what they have.
I hope their next system can shut up those people who say Nintendo sucks all the time and Xbox and Ps3 are better... Im tired of them.
nintendo needs to make another system, hopefully one that doesnt involve motion controllers or anything like that, and sony should just work on getting their psn in order, microsoft needs to work on games and maybe better graphics and a portable handheld system.
I can only agree with hewoks. Sony and Microsoft are taking their time because they still haven't done everything they can. I can guess that nintendo needs some more moneys right now so they are releasing the console before the other two as well as possibly not seeing any point in waiting just to be competed against in the area of next gen consoles
When I was younger, I made up my own Nintendo game system... I strangely dubbed it the 'Diamond Tree'. Yeah, I can't believe I called it that either. Didn't know what I was thinking... :P
People are all freaking out like "Really already a new console?" but when you think of it, it has been more time since the release of the wii than the time it took between the gamecube and wii release. + they arent planing on releasing before next year, 6 years is the life lenght must of the console ever got. And to be honest, Since I hate the wii but still like Nintendo, it is the only company I want to release a new console. microsoft need to focus more on their games right now, and sony, well fix that psn already.
Just give us VR already. I know i know they stated it was an odd idea but! they will have to bring back the virtual boy sometime in the future when nintendo has run out of ideas. Can't wait till june.
@King_of_Kingfz85 Thank you! Final someone who agrees with me on this. *Now insert console wars, off-topic discussion*
So the controller is going to be a tablet?! Hello $150 controllers....guess it will keep people from huriling it to the ground in frustration.
A gamer is a gamer whether he's a COD master or can't play Rock Band above easy it's about having fun ultimately and no amount of fanboyism will change that.
This is problebly not for a nintendo console but I would like a fps that will send playstation and x-box running to their mommies
Better online environments and accessibility are key to win over today's world. Not only that, but it's pretty easy to do, nintendo has just always been stubborn with that kind of stuff. Although I think these recent sales dips will force them to see that they need to live up to the gaming community's new standards that cannot be denied anymore. Its graphics will most likely be on par or a bit better than 360/PS3, Once that's done, Nintendo will have that major monkey off it's back titled "Lack of Graphics". I think this has been one of the top arguments many have thrown towards Nintendo, but once it is out of the way Nintendo has the chance to take over everything. Even if/when the new Sony and Microsoft consoles come out and are then probably a bit better concerning graphics, the difference will be small enough to not matter. At least when it comes to ensuring that all can equally handle most 3rd party and major games.
@antiredcap Yes. In summary most of the rumors were way off. But an informed person could have had some idea what to expect: as far as hardware limits. Motion control was definitely original and hard to predict.
@CrossFire312 The touch screen controls wouldn't be bad if they could sort it all out and make it more accurate than the DS. I think it would be pretty cool -- a touch screen controller with a look that is customized by the game developer. One game would have a, say, four-button layout and the "controller" would be green, and the next could have eight buttons and be red. Or, even better, let the user create their own controller skin and put it on their... err... whatever they would call it if they did make it.
I just want to see Nintendo come back the original crowd and not so much family orientated console. It can be both this time. hah, (light bulb) how about a "Family Edition" Nintendo system and a "Gamer" Edition. lol. It doesn't matter, Nintendo does fine without everyones bright ideas.
I really hope it is as "Revolutionary" as they say because I'm getting tired with the same ol' every day routines, controlers, consoles etc.
System's performance matches (or even surpasses) that of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 OK wait, first answer this nintendo, is this console going to be for HardCore Gamers if so Iīm sold!!! If it is for kids like Wii donīt even want to try it and really donīt care that is superior to X360 and PS3. Anyway good news I guess.
Soooooooooo, what you're saying is... ...don't bother reading/listening/making up any rumours, because you'll never be able to tell which are remotely close to reality in the sea of bullsh*t, basically?
NEVER use the words Nintendo & Power in the same system. Even the magazine with that name failed eventually.
Oh yeah I almost forgot, would it kill you guys to put a little power in your systems? Just a little !? As for that "concept art" it is clearly the gamecube :P