THQ Excited by Nintendo's Project Café - Chief Executive

THQ to "Support" Nintendo's Next-Generation Home Console

by Anton Shilov
05/04/2011 | 10:16 PM

THQ, one of the largest game publishers in the industry, indicated that the next-generation home game console by Nintendo known as project Café leaves positive impressions and promised to support the system with titles. Unfortunately, no actual details were unveiled and the nature of games designed for Café was not revealed.


"We are going to respect Nintendo's request to disclose the details about their system till E3. But what we will say is that we are excited about the prospects of new hardware due next year. We look forward to work very closely on that system," said Brian Farrell, chief executive officer and president of THQ, said during the quarterly conference call with financial analysts.

It is generally a good news for Nintendo that a third-party game publisher makes positive comments about the next-generation console and does not omit comments. Unfortunately, THQ did not confirm that the Cafe is aimed at hardcore gamers and not just casual gamers, which would be a good positioning from a third-party game developer point of view.

It is noteworthy that THQ sees Microsoft Xbox 360 with Kinect and Sony PlayStation 3 with Move video game consoles to be key drivers of sales. Indirectly, this means that the company does not see Nintendo's current-generation Wii as a platform with high potential.

Earlier it was reported that the next-generation console from Nintendo is internally called "Cafe" and architecturally resembles Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360, but sports higher amount of compute power. Nintendo Cafe is based on custom triple-core IBM Power microprocessor and features ATI R700-like (Evergreen) custom graphics engine. The system will have 512MB or higher amount of memory.

The specifications are likely to be very preliminary and exact levels of performance are unknown. Still, DirectX 11-like graphics capabilities seem to be up-to-date, but in 2012 will rather be outdated. Nonetheless, specifically tailored games running on a triple-core processors and with DirectX 11-class graphics at even 720p resolutions should look significantly better than present.

The choice of architecture is rather logical as Nintendo will need to ensure that its new console will not only be able to play popular high-definition cross-platform games that are already available, but will also be quickly adopted by game-developers currently designing games due in 2012 and later.

The console will also feature a rather innovative game controller, which will feature a large touch-screen as well as traditional gamepad controls, according to reports not confirmed by Nintendo.