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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nintendo Believes In...

Jaysun am I:
Yes, I'm linking to another article, but just to credit. Kotaku via Ign has hands on a purported "Project Cafe" specs. "Cafe" is the project name for Nintendo's new console system. We have heard "Gamecube like controllers with a touch screen" and full HD video (1080p).  Concept seen here (this is definitely NOT actual).

Nintendo has been making multiple strides to match the success of another tech company over the past 7 years, Apple. The first mark being the design of the initial Nintendo DS Lite. The white plastic chassis immediately brought to mind the classic iPod design. The trend continued with the design of the Wii, in the same white plastic design. Granted these are cosmetics design choices, and not so much technical machinations. But with the supposed choices for this console, I can't help but compare to Apple. So let's go in order plus my commentary, shall we?

GPU= AMD R700 architecture. Ok, not much here to compare. Apple has gone back and forth on specific GPU's for their products. But, this shows comparison of a very closed system, something both companies thrive on. Combining the hardware and software experience to the end user, not relying on 3rd party for their key features. This contrasts Microsoft and Sony's 3rd Party and more open system parameters (excusing the 360's HDD).

CPU= IBM Power-PC Triple Core processor. Well look at that. The tried and true CPU of Apple for years and years. Much to the dismay of many a Mac user for that time (well, not all of them). Seeing this used as the processor only made me smile and triggered this article.

Visual= 1080p. "May" have 3D. 3D is a "no" to Apple, but I doubt this will matter to the console. 1080p though shows they are playing hard, and at the cutting edge of display technology, much like Apple. Currently, the Xbox 360 and PS3 typically run games at 720p, and sometimes up-scaled. Not a lot of games have full HD resolution. Nintendo is looking to fix that apparently. Apple does this as well, look at the Retina Display of iPhone 4, and glass 1080p Technology of Mac lines.

Design= Apparently it will by as large as an XBox 360, and a "futuristic Super Nintendo". This is backwards to Apples policy of "sleeker and smaller." Wii and DS Lite were great examples of this as discussed earlier. Though, to meet these specs, this is likely. Much like a Mac Pro. 
Price= It may be from $350-400. This is DEFINITELY Apple-like, called the "Apple Tax" by both detractors and cheerleaders for the tech giant. All Nintendo consoles launched at $200, except the Wii at $250. Budget conscience, and made for the family. Except $200 in 1984 wasn't TOO budget conscience, but I'm sure you see my point. 

Release Date= Apparently the console is ready to ship by October of this year, but could hold back to launch with 3rd Party support. This is not something Apple or Nintendo have cared about. Both rely on their 1st Party software to maintain their identity on the marketplace. Launch titles for Nintendo gaming units usually include one great 1st party title, and wait for 3rd party to catch up. Buzz going around sees Nintendo embracing 3rd Party more intensely than the past. This is not something that really matters to the culture of Nintendo. Wii proves they can dominate without, DS as well. But imagine this instead. Like an Apple product launch, Reggie emerges after an spectacular opening video and stage package. Slideshow of Wii's accomplishments. Then...silence...THE NEW CONSOLE! Reggie then says, "Available in 4 months, Oct 15th, 2011!" "$349.99." Maybe more than one version. Apple never announces a product until its ready to manufacture and distribute within the same quarter of that year. That's the excitement, that's how they became the company to emulate. And for all the things that people take from them; their design, logos, commercials, cutting-edge mentality they fail to embrace THE deciding factor in Apple's dominance...mind-share. When the product is announced (except White iPhone 4, but we get it), you can hold it right then, and developers start making. But if the product is amazing, 3rd Party companies WILL make games for it. They will beg Nintendo for prime spots. This, I feel, is what Nintendo is truly doing, get a 3 year jump on the competition. It's not the Wii is REALLY part of this console generation. It's more like 6.5th generation. This would make them stand apart, that they have worked hard to make this right, that it is ready, and we can have it almost as soon as it's announced. From 3DS to release was on of the shortest I've seen in videogame hardware history. This trend will continue, and Nintendo will finally get the greatest lesson Apple has tried to teaching technology. Don't Make Us Wait... 

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