It's been nearly a full week now since news broke on Nintendo's forthcoming HD console, currently referred to as Project Cafe internally and as Wii 2 by almost everyone else. In that time we've learned an incredible amount of information about the system, including some preliminary tech specs and a number of details about its innovative controller design.
Then there is the news about Project Cafe's games. The rumor that Grand Theft Auto 5 may be a launch title for the new system is fairly shocking, but possibly indicative of what Nintendo wants to accomplish with the console -- that being to re-take the hardcore gamers who have spent most of the current generation playing PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 instead of Wii.
But what about the legion of loyal Nintendo fans who just want new versions of classic Nintendo franchises to play on Wii 2? Not to worry. Rumors are flying that two such games are already in development, and may just be ready for the system's launch: Pikmin and Star Fox.
This news comes courtesy Gameolosophy, who claim to have "reliable sources," and a few more rumors to share. Check out the highlights below.
- Square Enix, Capcom, Sega, Konami, Activision, Rockstar/Take Two, Electronic Arts, Namco and Ubisoft all have development kits.
- Expect Nintendo to roll out the red carpet for third parties so their games don’t get overshadowed. Nintendo has been preaching to third parties that third parties won’t get screwed this time around, so if you’re expecting a ton of amazing first party games at launch…well…think again. Nintendo wants a launch that creates confidence in third parties again so expect very few first party games at launch similar to the 3DS.
- Star Fox is coming. I can’t say when. Very good chance that it WONT be at E3. I am hearing Star Fox is coming for the new Nintendo system, but it is very early in development.
- Nintendo solved every storage issue a third party could possibly have with the new console. I don’t know if it’s a harddrive or a different, cheaper way to store data.
- Nintendo revamping their WiiWare and virtual console services. I don’t think it will be called WiiWare anymore.
- Almost positive that we’ll be seeing Pikmin in some shape or form.
- Don’t listen to anyone who says new Nintendo console will launch by end of 2011. They are idiots. This holiday season is all about the 3DS and Nintendo’s E3 show will focus on that.
- Nintendo is thinking about launching Zelda: Skyward Sword around the same time as Wii 2 since Wii 2 is backwards compatible with Wii 1 games. They want to follow the same strategy when they launched Pokemon Black/White when 3DS was coming out.
- Nintendo approached Hideo Kojima about the new Nintendo console. Nintendo and Hideo Kojima have a good relationship with each other.
- A Resident Evil game is in development for the new Nintendo system. I don’t know if Capcom is developing an RE spinoff or something part of the “main” Resident Evil series.
News of fresh entries in the Star Fox and Pikmin franchises are exciting developments for a number of reasons. We've been hearing stories of a new Pikmin title for years, and Shigeru Miyamoto himself has commented that development is "well under way." Most recently, speculation has been that there would be a Pikmin title for the Nintendo 3DS. Perhaps there still will be, but given all the details on Project Cafe's controller, I'd be awfully curious to see how the game would play on the new system.
Star Fox, on the other hand, is confirmed to make an appearance on Nintendo's new handheld as Star Fox 64 3D. Despite the lingering fondness many fans feel for Star Fox 64, the game is fourteen years old and yet remains the most recent Nintendo developed entry in the franchise. What could Nintendo first party do with a space combat game on hardware more powerful that the current consoles? I, for one, would love to find out.
As to the other rumors reported by Gameolosophy, let's take them one at a time. The list of publishers who currently have development kits certainly looks promising (and believable). The only obvious candidate not named is probably THQ, though the list doesn't claim to be definitive. That there won't be loads of first party launch titles is disappointing, but not surprising after the same thing happened with the 3DS.
I hope Nintendo does have Wii 2's storage issues taken care of, but I still want to know how it's being handled -- hard drive, solid state, USB, flash memory, etc. WiiWare obviously wouldn't make sense for a console not called the Wii, besides which I don't think the service has left a wholly positive impression on gamers.
This is clearly the year of 3DS for Nintendo, and it's hard to believe that anyone takes a 2011 launch for Project Cafe very seriously. However, holding Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword until the next console launches doesn't strike me as a particularly bright idea, especially given the dearth of Wii games so far this year. I'm always curious about what Kojima has a hand in, and Resident Evil seems to be everywhere lately, so to learn it's on the way to Project Cafe isn't too surprising.
As with everything Project Cafe/Wii 2 related, we'd like to remind you that for now this all remains in the realm of rumor -- any of it or none of it may ultimately prove to be true. Still, much of it sounds credible enough, and E3 2011 is coming up fast. We're likely to have our answers sooner than later.
What do you think of the latest Project Cafe rumors? Would you like to play new Star Fox and Pikmin games on the system? Which of the rumors do you believe, and which do you have your doubts about? Let us know in the comments below.
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