Nintendo’s New Console Called ‘Stream’? Leaked Specs Inside

IGN, Computer and Videogames, and literally dozens of other reliable gaming sites have all sent their trusted sources to work in order to bring all of us the latest leaked goods on Project Café, AKA Nintendo 6.  To begin with, let’s look at the price.  According to what all the sources say, the price range thus far is set between $350 and $400 USD.  Foxconn, the city-size work plant that puts together all of Apple’s devices is said to have scored the manufacturing contract from Nintendo.  Based on these same sources, the new console will start shipping out of Foxconn beginning this October for a potential launch anywhere starting right thereafter.  Obviously Nintendo will want to mass produce the console, but it’s not out of the question to see a potential release sometime later this year.  Whether this will be one territory or a global launch is anyone’s guess at this point.

Realistically I would look for a global launch sometime in early 2012 or a staggered launch beginning later this year.  I think a global launch would be huge for fans, but it really depends on the logistics Nintendo wants to deal with.  By the same token, should Nintendo decide on a lower profit margin it is entirely possible we could see the system priced at $299.99 USD.  Considering the 3DS is priced at $249.99, I’m not sure how realistic that is.  Personally, if I were a gambling man, I’d say $349.99 USD is the asking price.

In terms of specs, the GPU is said to be a revamped AMD R700.  The CPU is based on Intel’s triple-core PowerPC chipset, but will be faster and overall stronger than either the PlayStation 3 or the Xbox 360.  The system will easily be able to display games at a resolution of 1080p HD, and stereoscopic 3D, but sources have yet to confirm whether Nintendo will be marketing that feature or not.  1080p HD is indeed going to be a marketed feature.

IGN’s sources have even revealed what the system will look like.  Apparently it will be a modern re-imagining of the Super NES, and will be roughly the size of the original Xbox.  That seems mighty large considering Nintendo has almost always opted for the unusual or creative and small technology designs with their consoles.  I’m not entirely convinced on this rumor myself, but we’ll be finding out shortly.

Now as for the name, apparently Nintendo is throwing around several names, but Stream seems to be one the company is most attached to.  It makes sense if the other rumors hold out.  Apparently the console will be able to stream games wirelessly to the console’s controllers’ screen, even allowing multiple people to take part in multiplayer games from their own controller.  I’m not entirely sure how this is going to work within the realms of console games.  Like Ahmed mentioned in the other article I wrote several days ago, perhaps this really is a reworking of the GBA-GCN connectivity.  Either way, we’ll know at E3 in just over a month and a week or so.

IGN's mockup shows how a screen could be integrated into the controller.

As always, we’ll be right here to feed you all the rumors and the official news as it breaks.  I’ll tell you this though, Nintendo’s latest offering is sure shaping up to be quite the beast and as I’ve said before, that may be all it takes to get me back into them after over five years of having virtually no Nintendo in my life.

Good times await!

Update:

It looks like Kotaku also has a rumor up saying the controller will have a 6.2″ screen built into it.  It will have eight action buttons as well.  The new console will also fully support Wii controllers and games can be programmed so that one player can use a Wiimote and another this new screen-controller.  I’m really scratching my head on this one.  There’s thinking outside the box and then there’s WTF.  This would be one of those moments.  To give you an idea of how big a 6.2″ screen is, it’s bigger than the Kindle’s screen.  Yes, that’s right.  How in the blue blazes could there be an economic way to sell the system for $350 to $400 USD if it includes one of these bad boys?  Wouldn’t that make the second controller you buy cost around $200?  So far this rumor seems the more far fetched.  I just can’t picture any way for that to work.  I can fully see a screen build around a controller, but 6.2″…really…WTF?!?!

What do you think?

10 thoughts on “Nintendo’s New Console Called ‘Stream’? Leaked Specs Inside”

  1. With a potential built-in hard drive and a chip more powerful than the PS3 & 360, it’s hard for me to imagine the manufacturers keeping it as compact as the Wii, which is based off old technology. On the other hand, the GameCube was more powerful than the PS2 yet kept it small. Either way, size doesn’t matter to me much. This is all sounding good.

    I read somewhere before that the chipset is similar to the Xbox 360, which potentially allows for some easy cross platforming between the two console. If that turns out to be true, developers will eat it up. The transitional period between Nintendo’s new device co-existing with PS3 and 360 will prove to be most interesting. All the big hits Nintendo was missing out on with the Wii will most likely be featured on their new console as well, with potential ones such as the new GTA.

    This, in my opinion, is what Nintendo missed out on because of the Wii’s different chipset. Only a handful of developers had the extra time and manpower to think outside of the box and cross platform 360 & PS3 games to the Wii. The rest either made exclusive Wii games from the ground up (which I didn’t mind, yet sadly sales weren’t exactly awesome) or went with more exposure in 360/PS3 multiplatform releases.

    Another small feature which has been out of the spotlight for so long is the Wii Vitality Sensor. Maybe Nintendo found a way to have it as a built-in accessory for their new console.

    About that controller btw, you’re right. It sounds really sweet, but how much will a stand-alone controller cost? This will be one of my biggest issues because as you know I’m a multiplayer guy. The Wii’s controllers alone cost me a fortune because of the separate remote & nunchuck issue.

  2. I’m not sure what the price of the controller will cost, especially if Kotaku’s rumor turns out to be true. 6.2″ inch screen would be really big, and therefore really expensive.

    As for the system size, I’m just surprised given this is Nintendo and they have always been form factor savvy. Regardless it doesn’t make any difference to me either.

    This could be the perfect time for Nintendo to attempt to bring back the hardcore crowd. So long as they can figure a way to keep the casual players this could really work for them. I’m hearing a lot of naysayers mention things like, they’re releasing too early, and blah blah blah but the truth is their chipset is identical to the 360, but much faster. The GPU is also much better than either the PS3 or 360, up to 6x the power. That will make an impact. As we all know, games are always scaled to the lowest common denominator, but since the chipset is so similar to that of the 360, it means we WILL see a big difference in games. That could very well make it so people choose the Nintendo option over the competition.

    Let’s be honest with each other though. We still know nothing of their online strategy, which will make or break the hardcore crowd switching over. If they don’t offer a robust network, it’s dead in the water in today’s market. No one will switch if they can’t have a seamless and comparable experience to Live and the PSN.

    The other factor is that of the controller. They have to make a controller that will compete with the 360’s, simple as that. Extra features are wonderful, but hardcore gamers are fickle and they require the bare minimum for their first-person shooters and fighters.

    Personally I think everything will depend on whom Nintendo is trying to swap here. If Wiimotes work, and your Wii library gets upscaled to HD, then that may work to their advantage. Casual fans can buy the new system for use on their fancy new TV, while not having to rebuy all their controllers and what have you. For the hardcore crowd, it comes down to the online service and how functional the controller is. If those two things pan out, we could be looking at a really interesting system here.

    Question is, what are Microsoft and Sony going to do. There’s no way they are going to pump in tons of tech because both saw what happens when you market a system at $599.99USD. It just doesn’t cut it, no matter what technology you have under the hood.

  3. I’m more or less hoping that this platform is the best of both worlds in terms of the market Nintendo captured with Wii, and bringing the core audience back. I have an inkling that this was their desire all along: to disrupt the market with motion control for one generation, then merge the best of that technology into a new box, and catering to those who shifted to the PS3 and/or X360.

    But like I told Tim on the boards…I’m not entertaining any of these concepts/rumors until Nintendo speaks for itself, prior to or during E3.

    I’m definitely most curious about this control, as I’ve read about the 4″ touch screen, an iPad-like gamepad (which could explain the 6.2″ inches, and all the different ways it could back the ‘Stream’ name. And I must say that ‘Stream’ is a nice name, even if nothing jumps out at you about it.

    Should be a lot of fun in June. I wonder if anyone has ever used consecutive E3s to unveil new hardware before? Pretty uncanny for the Big N.

  4. I too like Stream as a name Justin. I also think that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. We obviously can’t confirm or deny anything, but the speculation is certain entertaining :)

    What I really believe will happen is similar to what you said. I think they looked at the market, realize they have the casual market completely to themselves, and if they release a powerful system right now they can do so at good cost saving for the consumer, and yet be significantly more powerful than the competition. They can keep the motion aspects introduced with the Wii, but also spice up the traditional market with a new controller that can take hardcore gaming to the next level.

    The timing may also be perfect in the sense that the competition likely won’t be ready to counter attack for at least another one to two years. That means free reign. If the chipset is indeed similar to that of the 360, that means all ports will look much better on this new platform, and exclusive software will be far superior. Bottom line is, I can’t see this turning into a Dreamcast only because of the power Nintendo has and I really think this could be perfect timing for Nintendo.

    Everything will depend on how they attack the hardcore, because as we’ve all said, they have the casual market signed seal and delivered.

    1. The question is, Jarrod…for how long will the “transitional phase” last? In other words, when will Sony and Microsoft release their next-gen consoles? Nintendo may be in a good position for a year or two in which multiplatform ports will look superior with their console, but then the rumors say 2014 for the competition to release their new hardware…and then it’s back to square one all over again in which Nintendo is looked at as the inferior machine. On the other hand, however, if the competition adapts the latest tech which leans towards very high prices at launch, then it all goes in favor to Nintendo, just like you said in the previous comment.

      Then again, pricing their new console at 350-400$ range…despite sounding affordable, it’s going to be a tough sell to the hardcore because as you know the PS3 and 360 already have very competitive prices. They absolutely need good third-party support at launch (timed exclusives), along with a major Nintendo franchise being present as well. They can’t take it easy like the 3DS because they’re launching into direct competition (unlike the 3DS having a head start on NGP), and they should keep this in mind instead of saying that “they’re a market on their own”. It worked with the Wii, but now that time has passed and it won’t work twice unless they surprise the heck out of us and pull off a really innovative feature that will likely be never featured on other consoles, something even cooler than touchscreen on a controller.

      My personal “seal the deal” feature is if Nintendo includes simple ports in the architecture of the console so that they can easily create an expansion pack to feature more power to the hardware in the future, much like what they did on the n64 in the later half of the console’s life (remember the expansion pack?). This can really work well once the competition releases their new consoles. It’s not 100% practical, but it’s at least something that will enable them to fight later.

  5. There are certainly a lot of “ifs” Ahmed. Like you said, if Nintendo can’t get a foothold within the next two to three years than Sony and MS could technically come in and steamroll right over this new Nintendo hardware. That said, it really depends. If the new Nintendo console were to launch this holiday period and the competition launched holiday 2014, that gives Nintendo three years on the market. Technically Nintendo would be mid-cycle by the time the competition were to hit. Know what I mean?

    Nintendo has really added a curve ball to the industry with this new hardware. It throws off what everyone else is doing and could put them in a position whereby Sony and MS are either forced to rush their consoles or it could hurt Nintendo. As you said, you can buy a Blu-ray player, extreme media hub, etc for $299.99. That’s extremely impressive. Now if Nintendo comes out and yet again has no plans for the “digital living room” than yes, asking $350 to $400 won’t convince the hardcore to come over. Then again, have an exclusive Metal Gear, the best looking version of GTA V, a new Mario, and well, you get the idea.

    1. Yeah, man. Right again. I’ll be surprised if they don’t opt for blu-ray with an asking price of 350-400$. If your console is more powerful than the 360 and PS3, then blu-ray is a must in my opinion. I don’t want Nintendo to be arrogant just because blu-ray is basically a Sony-based format. Then again, knowing Nintendo and their arrogance with software format, anything is expected. It took them two generations of consoles to stick their head out of the mud and use a mainstream format when they could’ve used the CD as early as 1997’s n64 release. Part of the Wii’s success is the long-overdue use of DVDs after all.

      Remember that we’re comparing the prices bare-boned. If you want to get technical, the PS3 and Xbox 360 including their motion controllers are asking for much more, 350-400$ depending on the hard drive included. Comparing those bundles to the base asking price of the new Nintendo console, and you find that it isn’t so bad. If they’re smart enough, Nintendo could also use the multiple SKU route with varying prices, so that the hardcore will pick their own appropriate bundle.

      A 2011 worldwide holiday launch will surprise the heck out of me. Can they have enough launch games in time? They really can’t go with the “launch window” strategy ala 3DS because it’s not practical at all.

  6. I’ve been thinking of something else as well. What’s stopping Sony and MS from lowering their asking price? That would really make things interesting. Also, let’s look at this in reverse. What’s stopping Nintendo from lowering the price of Stream in 2014 when the next-gen Sony and MS systems launch? See how complicated this can get?

  7. We can also talk about the media-hub potential of the Stream versus the PS3 and Xbox 360. Whatever Nintendo might come up with, Sony and MS will surely be leagues better once their hardware is out. Again though, if Nintendo were to lower their asking price to $299 right when the PS4 and Xbox…whatever were to launch that could be somewhat damaging.

    This is the first time we’ve ever been in a situation like this. We’ve had hardware launch a year before the competition, but not two years before. That really changes the spectrum. On top of that, like you said, the Xbox 360 and PS3 still have a lot of potential left in them.

    If we look at MGS3 and how stunning the final battle against The Boss was, and now try to picture that jump at the end of the Xbox 360 and PS3’s lifespans and I think you’re right that this could be a tough sell for Nintendo.

    Everything will come down to software, and if Nintendo rushes this out of the gate that might prove to be a fatal flaw. Then again, I’m hearing that this could be the easiest system to develop for ever. There are strong rumors even suggesting that the price to develop a Stream game will be exactly the same as it is for current Xbox 360 and PS3 prices, which is to say nowhere near as high as it will be for PS4 games.

Leave a Reply