Nintendo Demos Next-Generation Game Console to Partners - Report

Another Report Points to Unveiling of Next-Gen Nintendo Console at E3

by Anton Shilov
04/14/2011 | 05:50 PM

Nintendo is already showing off prototypes of its next-generation non-portable game console to game developers in a bid to attract their attention and ensure they have enough time to create titles, according to a media report. The system is allegedly due in late 2012 and will be showcased first at this year's E3 show. While it is late for Nintendo to release an HD console in 2012, it may make a lot sense.


The new home console from Nintendo, which the company reportedly currently demos to game designers, is capable of running video games at high-definition resolutions, but it is not clear whether the system is capable of rendering in 720p (1280x720) or 1080p (1920x1080), several sources of GameInformer web-site revealed. Other capabilities of the console are unclear, but it is likely that the company will continue to add consumer-oriented features in a bid to make casual gamers who bought Wii to get the new system as well.

"Nintendo is doing this one right. [It's] not a gimmick like the Wii," said an anonymous source.

The game console designer is projected to launch the new game console, which will succeed Wii, in time for the holiday season 2012. The firm had already started to showcase the system to game developers in a bid to get them  interested and give them enough time to develop third-party titles for the launch. The general public will, according to the report, first see the new console at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) trade show, which will take place June 7-9, 2011, in Los Angeles, California.

The next-gen Nintendo console is projected to be based on a quad-core Marvell Armada system-on-chip that is compliant with ARM architecture, will feature integrated Blu-ray reader and will sport "a mobile projector of some sort", according to some media reports. The rumoured specifications do not seem to be credible, though. Nintendo used microprocessors based on IBM's Power architecture as well as proprietary optical disc standards for both GameCube and Wii consoles and it is not very likely that the company decides to radically change its approach with the next-generation console. Interestingly, but the rumoured console even does not have a code-name.

It is tremendously late for Nintendo to release a high-definition video-game console in 2012, but there are scenarios in which it makes a lot of sense.

Nintendo Wii will have the shortest life-cycle of six years in the current generation, similar to that of Nintendo GameCube. If the information that Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. only intend to release next-gen systems in 2015 and 2016, respectively, is correct, then in case the next-gen Nintendo provides significantly improved graphics quality and overall user experience, it will have three years of successful sales without competition. When Microsoft releases its next Xbox in 2015 (which will likely beat Nintendo's offering technologically), the hypothetical Wii 2 will have a broad portfolio of games, low price and reputation among consumers. As a result, the console will quite easily sell in good numbers for years. While the system will absolutely be beaten by Sony's PlayStation 4 in 2016, it will have to survive for one holiday season and two years before the next refresh in 2018.

Of course, such a good scenario will only work if Nintendo ensures that the next-generation home console provides significantly better user experience compared to the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 in terms of graphics quality, quality and availability of games from Nintendo and third-parties, availability of content services and many other factors. Besides, Nintendo will have to ensure that game designers receive appropriate tools and support.

Nintendo did not comment on the news-story.