The next console wars! PROJECT CAFE (Gen 7.5 Nintendo Wii-2)
The next console wars! PROJECT CAFE (Gen 7.5 Nintendo Wii-2)
With the announcement of NINTENDO's project CAFE, it looks like were seeing the first glimpses of what will no doubt amount to another epic battle for your video game dollars, with the usual suspects being, SONY, Microsoft, and Nintendo. The main question that has come to the debating table for me and my friends is the simple one of "weather" project CAFE, as the "announced" specs are, will be underpowered again, and will this be a wise decision?
Basically what the announcement about PROJECT CAFE is that it will feature hardware similar to the XBOX360 with a "better" but still old video card, by PC standards. Some people say that this is the right formula to follow, based on the success of the Nintendo, Wii, and some say it's a "losing next gen" (GEN-8) console. I think the LAW OF DIMINISHING GAINS, will be the deciding factor here. Question is "which way" will it spin? Is a "bad" GEN-8 console, going to be a "better gen-7" console, and will Nintendo release ANOTHER GEN-8 console? Only time will tell.
Cafe Wii-2 strategy?
No one will argue that the Nintendo Wii was not pretty successful, with the given price point of cafe at around $300-$400's it's looks like it's a well poised to be very competitive with the current gen consoles, featuring similar but "somewhat" better specs, and to be targeted for immediate porting, and cross platform support from people like BIOWARE, and Rockstar North. Similar to the gamecube timing, and strategy. Most of the anounced information, seems to point toward this type of strategy for nintendo, having "specs" a generation behind, all but the timing. The timing here, appears to be more reflective, of what wound amount to an early release of a GEN-8 console. It literally looks like a GEN-7.5 console, and this may be exactly what Nintendo have in mind, along with a new GEN-8 console after the release of XBX720 and PS4? It's hard to say for sure. This type of console, being the "wii" style configuration, made the Nintendo Wii' NOT the 1st development platform for many blockbuster games, it was simply incompatible with the blockbuster model, due to it's lack of hardware compatibility. On the other hand, the success of the Wii platform, made many developers who were specifically targeting the Wii, for Wii only releases. We also must remember here that the Wii , was indeed about $200's for a long time, this is not $400, and much of it's marketing was geared towards kids, and alternative gameplay and "physical activity",much of which is now a marketing annoyance, from all 3.
Contrary to the system specs, of project CAFE, timing, and certain feature sets (the touch screen buttons and keyboard thing), seem to indicate, the similar "Nintendo Revolution" style marketing that was initially intended for "Wii" but seemingly got "passed on" at the last minute by Nintendo, when the "Wii" was released as a "cheap" secondary console. The developers in my circle expected that the Nintendo revolution, would completely out spec the competitors, via a "super nintendo" like system. The specs for the console are definitely not a GEN-8 console, but could you say that it will be a "weak" GEN-8 console? Will the LAW OF DIMINISHING GAINS allow it to survive the transition to GEN-8, and still receive ports of the GEN-8 games without to much problem and degradation? It' is my belief that if a REVOLUTION style console, is planned with these specs, it will see some failure. This system, as it stands will not be able to get a lot of GEN-8 compatibility. The system specs, and no doubt small cache size of the "3 core PPC" chip used, will no doubt become the system bottleneck, when compared to 8-12 core CPU's with large cache memories. Will another "this gen" console, be atractive enough to BUY NOW? or will people simply wait for a GEN-8 PS4 or 360, with a "real upgrade", so they can preserve their PSN/Live investment. Will the button array make the difference, or will they "blow it" and screw up one of the best ideas in video game history of marketing strategy? timing? greed? After have you seen the SPARC-T3 processor running at 16 cores yet? For someone who actually knows how microchips are made, this whole thing becomes a bit questionable. Losing that initial "wow" of buying a new games console is a bit at risk here I think, as well as some other people at the debate table. Personally I think they should have spend some of that Wii "money pile" and invested it back into the company, and made this "Cafe project" more appealing to a "next gen console" seeker crowd, for possible even the $450 dollar market, and footed some of the bill themselves as usual, and used the law of diminishing gains to their advantage in the "GEN-8" instead of making a "jones" GEN-7 console, they just don't have the digital distribution "monopoly" as of yet to enforce thing kind of thing, like PS3,ad 360, and this may exactly their opportunity to lose it. Which REALLY makes me angry, because I'm betting the ENTIRE FARM, on virtual button screens, and dynamic huds on controllers. I see a VERY REAL, and logical reason to have "virtual buttons" with pictures on my games controller and that is "THE KEYBOARD" and it's VERY hard to argue with this. The introduction of the keyboard to the games console is going to be very important. Not to mention the "virtual button" arrays that will be in games, this to me is the TRUE REVOLUTION.
TRUE GEN-8 Specs??
6-8 core IBM POWER7 with 18-24 megs cache
7-8000 series ATI's, conceivable with 3-4000 stream processors, or 1024 FERMI cores.
4-8 GB or RAM
It is my belief that this type of system, will make it very difficult to make "Wii-2" compatible with GEN-8. It will indeed be relying once again, on "marketing", and trademark games like Zelda and Mario. BUT the question is, is EVERY GAMES CONSOLE GOING TO HAVE "a touch screen controller"?? Was it Nintendo's secret move to have this whole thing patented behind the scenes. If I was at Nintendo, I would recommend a "slightly underpowered" GEN-8 console, because of the law of diminishing gains, is more prevalent, the more shades, and cores that you have. Consider this system:
Gen 7.75 console?
6 core CPU, with 12-18 megs of Cache
Dual 6000's series GPU
6 GB of RAM
As you could see, Nintendo would have nothing to worry about, with blowing away a 360, and competing with a 720, with this kind of system. If I were at Nintendo, I would have forced them to get this console to market, and also had an "early entry point" for a GEN-9 console laid out, to "take back" Nintendo as being a reliable 1st development platform, meaning that all blockbuster games now, could rely on being compatible with Nintendo, and increase revenue for the games developers, and in turn gain their support. With the volatile stock market, I think Nintendo will get hammered in the GEN-8 if they do not release another games console, that may actually be MORE expensive for them to compete with SONY and Microsoft. On the other hand, Wii sure did make a lot of money,but everyone's got "motion controllers" now, and everyone will no doubt have "button arrays" and keyboards, if they catch on like I think they will. TIME WILL TELL!!
My recommendation to Nintendo:
DO NOT UNDER ESTIMATE TEXT MESSAGING, and quit being greedy!! Invest money, in this volatile time period, or you could just lose it in thin air.