Destructoid Discusses: The Wii 2


This week was crazy!

Everyone in the gaming industry was just minding their own business, enjoying the beautiful spring weather, playing indie games on Steam to get Portal 2 released early ... when all of a sudden the most random of rumors popped up revealing Nintendo's newest addition to the console market.

Currently going by the Wii 2 or Project Cafe, this mysterious console is said to be more powerful than a PlayStation 3 with an interesting (to say the least) controller that supposedly comes with a 6" high-def touch-screen built in. What the heck?!

This news definitely got all of us here at Destructoid talking. Are we excited about this rumor? Or are we reserving judgment until more solid information is revealed? Check out our thoughts and then let us know what you think. LET THE DISCUSSION BEGIN!

Chad Concelmo

We all knew it was coming eventually, but it was still quite the surprise to hear about all the rumors of the Wii 2 this week.

High-def graphics. Significantly more powerful than the PlayStation 3. Designed to get the "hardcore gamers" back. HD touch screen controller. OH MY!

As a Nintendo fanboy through and through, I have to say that I flipped out when I heard this news. I love my Wii, but it has been a little underused in the last few months. And with no real killer, first-party games coming out for it anytime soon, this rumor about the Wii's successor could not have come at a better time. I have no idea how this new console will play, but just the thought of a Zelda game in gorgeous high-def is giving me the vapors.

Seriously. You don't want to be around me when the first screenshots of a Zelda HD are revealed. I will either make forceful love to you or murder you on the spot. There is no telling what I will do.

Sure, none of this could be true, but with more anonymous sources coming forward, it sounds like the real deal!

What do you think about these rumors? Do you think Nintendo is heading in the right direction? Are you excited about the prospect of such a powerful console coming from Nintendo? What do you make of the fancy touchscreen controller?

Conrad Zimmerman

You can call me Pierre.

It's simply too early for anybody to be forming an opinion on the matter. If you like Nintendo, your answer will be that you plan to buy this console eventually. I'll admit interest in the applications of a touchscreen on the controller. But that's essentially what the DS is, so you'll have to pardon me for not looking for a change of shorts.

After E3, after some mention of it has been made by Nintendo and we have some verifiable facts about the device, then I'll start paying attention.

Maurice Tan

Conrad causes nerd erectile dysfunction on a global scale.

Since we just have to go with what the rumors tell us for now, the hardware specs do sound interesting for the market at large. I'm not buying that it's going to be that much faster than a 360 or PS3, though. At best it would be like an Xbox1 compared to a PS2: something that would have some extra graphical power in theory, but nothing that third party publishers will likely capitalize on.

This would just allow Nintendo to compete with Microsoft and Sony while allowing ports of older games and new ones, and the Wii backwards compatibility would still ruin Kinect and Move. And it would be affordable by now, meaning they can wait and one-up MS and Sony after they launch something new. But are we going to buy one straight away? Most of us already have a 360 or PS3, so the first-party lineup had better be strong as hell.

The touch screen thing is arguably the biggest new thing about it, so we'll have to see what that will be like during E3. Will you be able to plug in a touch screen and take it out to carry around? That would just make it compete with the 3DS. And, eh, I throw my controllers around on the couch a lot and sometimes they fall on the ground. I can see MadKatz already planning a protective thing for that.

Chad Concelmo

I agree with you, Conrad, that it is too early to get excited about something that may not even exist, but if this is all true it is pretty huge news.

This is the first time in five years that anyone has started talking about an actual "next generation" console without just saying "Eh. They will come out eventually."

There used to be such a strict five-year life cycle for consoles, and this current generation is the first time this timeline has been broken. Just to know the next set of consoles is starting to reveal itself is exciting all by itself!

Throw in some of these scant details, though (touchscreen controller, powerful hardware), and, sorry, I do need a change of shorts.

Granted, I am easily excitable, but, again, ZELDA HD!

Conrad Zimmerman

You make it sound as if this console life cycle is dramatically longer than they've been in the past. Probably because that's what every console manufacturer has been trying to drilling into our heads since shortly after the seventh generation of consoles launched. How many times did we hear, "it's a ten-year cycle" out of Sony and Microsoft?

The Wii released in late 2006, a mere four and a half years ago now, fitting within the five year cycle. It seems longer because Nintendo sold a console which was not on the cutting edge of technology when it released, but it's still only been five years.

Chad Concelmo

Oh, yes, I know it's only been four+ years since the Wii launched, but, if these rumors are true (launching late 2012), that would put the Wii 2's release about six years after the Wii. And, remember, the Xbox 360 launched a year before the Wii and PlayStation 3.

And with no word from either Microsoft and Sony on what their next plans are, that would put this life cycle of consoles well past the five year mark.

Not that I care -- I still love all three of my current consoles! -- but just hearing about something brand new (that's not a handheld) is super exciting!

Maurice Tan

Let's stop calling it the Wii 2 for starters.

Also is it really that new? It sounds like a 360 with SM 4.1 support and a new controller to me on rumored paper.

Chad Concelmo

Man, this is starting to turn into me just defending my beloved Nintendo. Haha.

Is it something new? We have no idea yet. But for Nintendo, this news is HUGE! In the console world, they have always been behind for the last few generations.

The Nintendo 64? OMG LOOK AT SUPER MARIO 64! Oh ... it still uses cartridges and Final Fantasy decided to go elsewhere.

The GameCube? UH OH. NINTENDO JUST UPPED THE GAME IN GRAPHICS! Oh ... the PlayStation 2 offers a lot more must-have games.

The Wii? MOTION CONTROLS! Oh ... the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are vastly more powerful and offer much better online experiences.

If the Wii 2 (what else should we call it for now?) is more powerful than a PlayStation 3 and uses some kind of hybrid Dreamcast/DS controller, it will be the first time in years that Nintendo supplies a console that is the technological leader in the market.

That would be pretty great for a fanboy like me! 

Also ... Zelda HD? Wooooo? Anybody?

Hamza Aziz

Keep calling it the Wii 2. We called the NGP PSP 2 until we learned of the codename. Everyone else will be doing the same.

Jonathan Ross


Maurice Tan

It's codenamed Project Cafe, FYI.

Hamza Aziz

It's an unconfirmed codename though.

Maurice Tan

That's true. Wii 2 just kind of implies that it is like the Wii, which we don't really have any indication of that it will be anything like it (other than support the peripherals). No idea what else to call it, though.

I'm with Conrad with regard to console cycles. Also this would be more of a catch-up console with potentially an innovative controller than something "next-gen" for lack of a better word. The 360/PS3 are already lagging behind on PCs even though it doesn't show as much in games yet.

Conrad Zimmerman

And before that, the sixth console generation started with the Dreamcast in 1999, six years before the Xbox 360 released. Sony spent six years developing the PS3. My point is just that to suggest that people should get excited because it's been so long since we heard about a new game console is silly. 

Nintendo is due to make an announcement of a new console first. It just makes sense. They have the furthest to go technologically and some level of resentment from their core, early-adopting audience over the Wii that they need to be first out of the gate this time with something impressive if they want to retain that audience. Maybe they don't, I don't know. 

Sony and Microsoft can afford to wait another year. The Xbox 360 is still riding high on Kinect and expect that to carry them for a little bit. And Sony's machine is really only now seeing its potential unlocked by developers. We'll probably hear something from at least one of them in 2012 about a new machine.

Maurice Tan

Sony will focus on Move titles and how many units they have shipped. MS will talk about how great Kinect is and how many units they have sold. Both will say how they think Nintendo has an interesting approach, and then say how their system is better because they already have a bigger library of games with that kind of graphical power.

Then Nintendo will show Mario/Zelda tech demos running on the new hardware, and everyone including MS/Sony will shit themselves while I go play The Witcher 2. Which is good though, because Move and Kinect need more and better games. Hopefully that won't also mean that MS and Sony will rush the games they already have in production, just to get them out there.

Jonathan Holmes

There are so many reasons to be excited for the Project Cafe/Wii 2 announcement. My mind is all a flutter with all the ways that this thing could lead to awesome, amazing things. I'm literally counting down the days to E3.

For one, I can't wait to see how the gaming world reacts to it. The gaming press was totally hyped for the 3DS, but so far, consumers are showing considerable less enthusiasm for the thing. It was the same way with the PSP, which never really did pick up steam here in the United States, but before release, was being touted as "the ultimate gaming device" by many in the gaming world. Likewise, the gaming press was largely cold to the Wii when it was first announced, and that went on to become Nintendo best selling home console ever.

Will there be a similar disconnect between the opinions of the gaming press and gaming consumers when Nintendo's next console is released? I can't wait to find out. Gamer sociology is an endlessly interesting topic to me, and nothing shows us where game developers, publishers reports, and players are at better than the announcement of a new console.

More specific to the pending Project Cafe/Wii 2 announcement is the prospect of the console that could truly unify all aspects of the gaming community today; HD gamers, motion control gamers, and portable gamers, all under one system. If the Project Cafe/Wii 2 console is noticeably more powerful than the 360 and PS3, then it could draw in 3rd party developers (and fans of those 3rd party developers) in ways that the Wii never could. If the console's controller really is an iPhone-style portable console onto itself, it could bring in the hordes of great (and not so great)  iPhone/Android developers as well, and the gamers who love them.

There's also the fact that a home console with a touch screen for a controller is essentially a giant Dual Screen system, which invites all of the gameplay innovations that have happened on the DS over the past six years to finally come to the home market. Combine all that to the still largely unexplored world of motion controlled gaming, and the option to mix and match with traditional dual analog controls as well, you have a console with nearly limitless potential.

How incredible would it be for the next Nintendo console to be a portable and a home system at the same time, one that could properly house the next Call of Duty, the next Angry Birds, the next Wii Sports, as well as the next No More Heroes, the next Sword and Sworcery EP, and of course, Nintendo first-party titles, all with the same level of excellence? Would that not be the console to end all consoles? Isn't that worth getting excited about?

Of course, we could get something entirely different from that. The console might be garbage. If this new touch screen enabled controller doesn't support traditional analog controls as well, it's never going to win over the PS3/360 crowd. Likewise, if it's too unwieldy for the millions of less dedicated gamers who have fallen in love with the Wii remote over the years, then Nintendo runs the risk of alienating the "casual" audience that they've so painstakingly cultivated over the past five years.

Then of course, there is the question as to whether 3rd parties are up to the challenge of developing games for yet another weird Nintendo home console. History has show that with the Wii, they clearly were not willing or able to take that challenge. Creating quality games for a console that required developers to think outside the standard "Make a sequel with HD graphics and online play" design technique that works so well on the PS3/360, was clearly too much for Nintendo to ask of 3rd parties. Will it be too much to ask for them to think of effective ways to make use of a console that allows for use of two screen simultaneously, and potential for both home and portable play?

I can't wait to find out.

Regardless of the quality of Nintendo's next home console, regardless if it's even something I want to buy, it's bound to present all new challenges and opportunities for game developers, publishers, and players. How game developers, publishers, and players approach those challenges and opportunities will show us yet another side of what the gaming community at large is really like. For me, that's what being in the game industry, and working for Destructoid, is really all about: connecting with all aspects of the videogame world, and getting to to know what that world is all about. It's so exciting to be a part of an industry that is always growing, always changing. It always feels like the next step in the evolution in gaming is right around the corner.

For better or worse, the Project Cafe/Wii 2 announcement will a major part of that evolution, while potentially supplying us with the most interesting, all encompassing home game console ever made.

If you were to look up the word "exciting" in the dictionary inside my brain, that's the definition that you'd find there. 

Maurice Tan

We'll see! There's too little to predict anything at the moment. I think it could be anything between what the Xbox1 was to the PS2 (99% same games, some slightly better looking unique ones) to an interesting console that will last until 1-2 years after newer consoles have launched. The latter would still give Nintendo 2012-2016-ish to bank on, if they can sell Cafe at a profit.

At this stage, the touch controls would be perfect for social media and TV/movies streaming too. Basically you could have a big Logitech Harmony to text from as a controller, and that alone would sell for $100. Consoles are becoming home media hubs for a while now, and Nintendo has a lot of catching up to do on that front.

Jonathan Holmes

Irony: Saying it's too early to predict anything, then making two predictions in the next sentence. Predictions into the year 2016 no less.

You are one ironic son of a bitch, Maurice.

Maurice Tan

Haha. Sorry! You have to go with what you have, to say anything but "too early to tell." But it's worth highlighting that we don't know shit. MS and Sony want to give their hardware a longer lifespan through motion gaming while they work on new hardware designs, that's a given. HD is now more mainstream than it was at the Xbox 360 launch, and Nintendo needs to jump in now to be relevant in the future, in my opinion. Not just for games, but also to compete in the living room for non-gaming functionality. Besides with PC hardware going the way it is going now, and DICE stating that PC primary platforms will be the future, the 360/PS3 are going to show their age a lot by 2014-ish. I don't even know if Move/Kinect will keep driving the consoles as they want it to.

If the hardware specs from 01net's source are correct, who also leaked the NGP hardware specs in advance, then this would position Nintendo as the 3rd console of this HD generation with a lot of catching up to do. Will we buy it just for the few HD Nintendo games and the possibility of innovative controls? Do we want to look at a touchscreen, then back at the TV, then back at the touchscreen? Time will tell.

Chad Concelmo

What Jonathan said.

While all of my excitement is pretty unfounded at this point, just the idea of a brand new Nintendo console is exciting. After the huge risk that was the Wii, I truly can't wait to see what the company will unveil next!

And for the love of Farore ... ZELDA HD!

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Chad Concelmo
Chad ConcelmoFormer contributor   gamer profile

Destructoid's former Features Editor. Chad loves the Super Nintendo, pinball, Pixar, and dolphins. His dream is to one day be taken to the undersea kingdom of the dolphins and made their new king... more + disclosures


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