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Nintendo Project Café Rumour Analysis

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thefriscokid 4th May 2011, 13:34 Quote
June 7th for their E3 conference.
Scroome 4th May 2011, 13:44 Quote
I wonder if Nintendo will revive their old N64 advertising campaign of saying their console is the fastest, most powerful on earth?
Guinevere 4th May 2011, 13:50 Quote
A 6" screen on a controller would be a bit of a waste if it's "just" a controller.

It'll be useless for maps, HUD info etc if you have to:

- stop use the controller
- look down
- refocus
- find your destination on the map
- look up
- refocus
- panic as you've spotted the motion controller has kept moving you while you were checking the map
- realise you've just been p0wned / fallen of a cliff / crashed / died (Delete as appropriate)

So what then?

Maybe handle mini games on it? Like back when dreamcast started the whole craze of embedding displays & mini games in controllers / memory cards:

http://homepage2.nifty.com/shinu/pic/bleemdc02.jpg

Oh wait, it wasn't a craze was it? No, you're right - it was kind of lame.

So what then? Augmented reality? Have a semi transparent screen for overlays?

Maybe they'll just do what everyone does with a flat screen these days... install honeycomb on it and call it an iPad 2 killer.
memeroot 4th May 2011, 13:59 Quote
a slightly better 360 will do fine
NuTech 4th May 2011, 14:03 Quote
There has got to be more to this controller than we've heard so far. I just can't see Nintendo sticking a 6" screen to a dual stick pad then promoting it as the standard controller.

Current generation controllers are hideously expensive as it is, so what will a touchscreen - and all the electronics that come a long with it - add to the cost (remember, Nintendo doesn't ever lose money on hardware)? How about battery life? Will you now have to remember to put it back on charge after every time you finish playing with it? Or will it be wired (highly doubtful)? How big will it be and how much will it weigh? Will children struggle to use it?

If this controller does come to fruition, I suspect it will be an optional accessory similar to the Wii Balance Board. But doesn't it then risk splitting the install base, leading to only a handful of first-party titles supporting it?
Mentai 4th May 2011, 14:16 Quote
This was a pretty good article. Thinking of the graphics processors in consoles in the same way as in PC's is a little deceptive though. For example, even though the 360 chip is based in DX9, it has the ability to do tessellation. Also, while the PS3 gpu is only geforce 7, correct utilisation of the cell processor allows different graphical effects as well. Of course the articles overall point is correct however, that a DX10 based GPU will help PC out too. Though at this stage of the console life cycle I'm not sure the PC needs any help as devs commit more resources to having great screenshots based on PC graphics to sell 360 copies.
arcticstoat 4th May 2011, 14:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
what will a touchscreen - and all the electronics that come a long with it - add to the cost (remember, Nintendo doesn't ever lose money on hardware)? How about battery life?

Well, it's all rumour at the moment, so it may not even exist. However, I'd imagine that it's not that hard or expensive to make a touchscreen controller now. The Nintendo DS had a touchscreen controller, as well as a standard screen and all the console electronics for £99 when it launched in early 2005 - I'd wager that making a controller with just a touchscreen and some buttons won't be significantly more expensive than the Wiimote and Nun-chuck combo was in 2006, particularly if Nintendo only bundles one in the box. Small-medium sized touchscreens are now mass-produced on a large scale for all sorts of devices - GPS, tablets, POS, cash machines - it's not infeasible that Nintendo could put one in an affordable controller now. Power-wise, I'd imagine it'll come with a rechargeable battery - if people are happy to recharge their smartphones every other day, then it's not a huge leap to imagine they could do the same with their console controller.

The controller is probably going to be a key factor here - Nintendo needs to produce something that distinguishes itself from the competition and has more wow factor than the Xbox 360 and PS3 - the specs alone aren't likely to do that (as with the GameCube) - a flashy touchscreen controller could be just what Nintendo needs to get the wow factor.
j_jay4 4th May 2011, 14:22 Quote
What have you got against two pints of lager and a packet of crisps?
arcticstoat 4th May 2011, 14:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by j_jay4
What have you got against two pints of lager and a packet of crisps?

It's one of the worst programmes that's ever been made, that's what.
Da_Rude_Baboon 4th May 2011, 14:35 Quote
Quote:
A touchscreen removes these problems, providing more precision, while also providing a flexibile mouse-like controller that you simply can't get from a pair of thumbsticks.

What? Have you tried using games that utilise the touch screen as a d-pad on the ipad? I've been playing speedball two evolution which uses that kind of controls and they are awful. You have no tactile feedback and it's inferior to thumb sticks or the good old fashioned d-pad.
xaser04 4th May 2011, 14:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
However, the amount of power and cooling needed for 800 stream processors in a cramped space isn't going to make the Radeon HD 4850, 4870 and 4890 GPUs look attractive for use in a console either.

AMD (ATI) managed fine with the HD48xx mobility line (literally downclocked versions of their desktop counterparts) so in theory a full 800sp model is do-able from a thermal point of view although cost could be an issue.
V3ctor 4th May 2011, 14:59 Quote
I would love that the GPU would be a DX11 type... If everyone goes for DX10 in their next console iteration, then we are dooomed... dooomed.....
jrs77 4th May 2011, 15:13 Quote
The biggest success-factor for consoles isn't the hardware and it never really was. The reason why consoles are successful is, that they're as easy to use as a DVD-player: put in the disc and start playing.

There's especially two areas, where consoles are far superior to PCs and that's sports and arcade-titles and these are exactly the titles, that are the most successful.

Now, especially the arcade-titles do not really depend on most advanced graphics, but on gameplay and the sports-titles don't depend on large levels or huge drawing-distances lowering the requirements for processing-power aswell.
The gameplay got alot more fun during the last two or three years with the introduction of the several motion-control-systems and tbh, especially the partygames don't really need fancy graphics.

The tech-savvy people on tech-forums really need to approach these topics from another POV sometimes to understand the success of consoles like the Wii.

So, if the new Nintendo-console can combine the graphics of the Xbox360/PS3 with the gameplay-experience of their successful arcade and sport-titles then it'll be a huge success allready for the next years to come.

I'm more into MMORPGs, so I'm not too much interested in consoles, as there's not that much MMOs available for consoles, but if all the new MMOs would be available for consoles (SWTOR, TERA, TSW, etc) then I wouldn't need my PC for playing games anymore at all. And yes, you can use USB/Bluetooth mouse and keyboards with consoles, if the usual controllers aren't your thing. And think about playing TERA with a motion-controller... that'd be awesome imho.

So, consoles still have alot of potential imho, even if they don't offer the best graphics.
arcticstoat 4th May 2011, 15:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Da_Rude_Baboon
What? Have you tried using games that utilise the touch screen as a d-pad on the ipad? I've been playing speedball two evolution which uses that kind of controls and they are awful. You have no tactile feedback and it's inferior to thumb sticks or the good old fashioned d-pad.

Maybe I didn't make this clear enough, but my thought was that it wouldn't replace the D-pad for the exact reasons you mention; it would work as a mouse-like controller in addition to the D-pad - for controlling things like POV in a first person shooter, much like the controls on the DS. This would be much more precise than a Wiimote or a second thumbstick when it comes to controlling your POV.
SMIFFYDUDE 4th May 2011, 16:09 Quote
The only place for touch screens is the job centre or the dump.
Guinevere 4th May 2011, 16:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by arcticstoat
for controlling things like POV in a first person shooter

But have you ever tried it? I've played many a game on my iPhone and iPad and when it comes to touch screens emulating a standard control configuration all titles have one thing in common.

The controls suck!

Now come at it from a different direction, and a big touch screen is fab. There's something wonderful about playing multi touch compatible world of goo HD with my 4yo twins where I'm frantically trying to stop the damn tower from toppling over and they're not. You can't get that on any other platforms.
arcticstoat 4th May 2011, 17:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinevere
But have you ever tried it? I've played many a game on my iPhone and iPad and when it comes to touch screens emulating a standard control configuration all titles have one thing in common.

Yes, I have an Android phone - the controls in games generally suck. I also have a DS, on which the touchscreen controls are generally brilliant, because it's accompanied by a D-Pad and sensibly-placed buttons for gaming - it's a winning combination. I'm not arguing for an all-touchscreen controller here - just saying it makes an ideal mouse-like controller to complement the existing controls.
Farfalho 4th May 2011, 17:54 Quote
Please don't screw this =)
StoneyMahoney 4th May 2011, 20:34 Quote
I can't see Nintendo dumping the Wiimote, but then why would they need to? It's a bluetooth device run by a software stack paired up with a couple of IR LEDs in a cheap plastic stand. Maintaining support for that is p*ss easy.

Four Swords on the GBC was brilliantly innovative but hardly played to it's full potential because of the cost of 4 GBA's. Private screen space is something PC gamers take for granted online and during LAN play (screenwatchers must die!) and decent screens mounted on controllers would be brilliant if your competitive game involves keeping secrets from the other players - your moveset in a Pokemon battle game for example - and I think it could actually be better for gaming than motion controls.

First DS game I played was that launch-title Metroid teaser and having the touchscreen with that lil nubbin thing alongside physical controls made it the most accurate control system I've ever used for a console FPS bar none. Ok, still not up to keyboard + mouse, but the best anyone's come up with to date.
VictorVonZeppelin 4th May 2011, 21:56 Quote
A nice bit of trigonometry shows that the diagonal of the Wii Remote is near exactly 6in. If that's the rumoured size for the screen, I could almost see a touchscreen Wiimote of exactly the same proportions...
Lazarus Dark 5th May 2011, 01:01 Quote
comparing to desktop graphics is useless. Desktop graphics have to support resolutions of 1920x1200, 2560x1600, multimonitors, framerates of 120+fps, etc. The MAXIMUM Cafe has to support is 1080p60 most likely, Nintendo isnt going to push any further than that, and 1080p with all settings on high is NOT hard to do on current, last gen, or even gen before last desktop graphics. This is not even trying to replace pc gaming, so it's not even a fair comparison in the least. For console-only gamers, Cafe will still be far and above the BEST video game graphics they have ever seen, and Nintendo will likely have a one to two year head start on xbox720 and ps4, so it will look amazing to all those it is aimed at. They just need a good lineup of launch titles and millions of parents will be streetfighting for the last Cafe at walmart for the first year of sales.
sja360 5th May 2011, 09:44 Quote
its more a fact that they cant push further than 1080p anyway as most new tv's are now full hd and thats it. and i doubt most people go and purchase desktop pc monitors solely for their consoles. Still like you said Lazarus, if they have the game selection their i can see it selling a lot as well. Certainly my mate is sick of his xbox and misses all his nintendo characters like mario, metroid etc but i can see him getting sick of the console if there isnt third party games like resi or something.
Jedibeeftrix 5th May 2011, 12:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by arcticstoat
Even with a great deal more processing power, it's unlikely that Project Café will have enough horsepower to play Wii games using pure software emulatio
great article, and good point in the quote above.

i am fairly sure that the difference in performance between the 729MHz single-issue PPC core and a ~2200MHz AMD Stars core would allow for emulation, but I certainly have no way to prove this and likewise respect the problems that exist with emulating even older consoles on x86.

if the sabine platform includes IOMMU it is even possible that the Wii would run as a virtualised OS...........

but i had not considered the case of Glo-Fo's experience with creating multi-chip-modules for the latest Xbox360 SKU.

all told, i think this article is quite probably right that an MCM with a die-shrunk R700 and cheap PPC cpu is the most likely option.

i still can't escape the potential of llano however given the advantages it holds for process manufacture (32nm), the cost benefit of a single SoC, and the commonality benefits of getting a DX11 gpu as will the norm for PC game programming throughout the Wii 2's life........

i also can't under stand why they would go to the trouble of die-shrinking an R700 gpu and then maintaining it as a long-life product when AMD have just announced their 480 shader embedded product with a production life that will extend to 2016.
Puzzu 5th May 2011, 14:25 Quote
As lazarus mentioned,

Cafe would only need to support 1080p,

What's not been mentioned is will it support 3D, this is something that's not really been mentioned and with lack of air time on this matter it I think it's going to be in the pipe line.

The touch screen controller would be better suited to a 3D screen as game play in 3D would very odd with maps/power ups floating in space on the screen. This would tie in nicely on why the need for a 2nd screen.

Imagine Mario/Zelda in a full 3D enviroment and all the powerups/maps on the touch screen.

It's not something we're thought we needed but them who thought Wii controller was something we needed.
memeroot 6th May 2011, 10:46 Quote
if it manages 360 games at 1080p I'll buy....

nuff said
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