May will obviously be filled with rumors, leaks, and predictions about the upcoming E3, mostly focusing on Nintendo’s new console. The madness begins with a leak exclusively via Kotaku as usual. Gotta love these guys.
We all know that the console will output HD graphics and be more powerful than its competitors, but the kicker lies in its obvious repercussions; disc format. Kotaku says that it will hold up to 25GB of storage, comparable to the standard single-layer blu-ray discs…yet what’s interesting is that they neglected to mention the type of disc they’ll be using. Is it based on existing formats, i.e. DVD and blu-ray? Or will it be custom-made from the ground-up like the GameCube’s Panasonic mini-DVDs? I’d like say that it will be blu-ray (a wise choice from the big N) but my gut says otherwise. Looking at their usual trend, Nintendo has always used custom formats with the exception of the Wii. On the plus side, picking a custom format will completely eliminate piracy from the equation. On the negative side, it’s another hurdle for developers to jump over. Custom formats will most likely be associated with additional fees and special mass production costs. I really don’t know how this will play in the long run, but keep in mind that one of the biggest reasons the Wii has succeeded as a console is its use of standard DVDs, making them so easy to pirate. Ironically, DVDs have also been their downfall in some ways as Wii software sales (especially third-party games) are usually down in the toilet. Not so much for the PS3 since blu-ray is still a new format and not many people are willing to download 10-25 GB of data just to play a game. The hack-ability of the hardware itself also comes to play of course, but the type of format used definitely give a leeway for easy pirating.
Another interesting leak off Kotaku is the console’s internal storage capacity, which absolutely baffles me. 8 GB of internal memory? Really, Nintendo? Either you’re really gutsy or just plain stupid. While this helps lower the price of the console, it won’t help gamers who own too many games or are download-happy. If this leak is true, then we’re positively sure that Nintendo as usual are not hopping the train wagon of their competitors by keeping their console as a gaming device first, everything else second. In other words, don’t expect a media hub. Don’t expect to download movies (but stream them). Don’t expect to download fully functional Wii and GameCube games. Now that’s all fine and dandy for some people, but I’m worried about game patches, DLC, saves, and downloadable games off their Ware store. Is 8 GB truly enough for all these in the long run? I know that they’ll still keep going with the SD card input for convenience, but don’t you think it’s time to give consumers more choices? What’s wrong with multiple SKUs, Nintendo? Give me the choice to pay an extra 50$ or 100$ for an internal/external HDD of some sort. That way, I know I’m safe for the next 5 years. They did get a lot of flak with the Wii’s limited storage, although to be honest I didn’t feel that I needed more than a 1 GB SD card to compliment my internal storage, and for good reason…no game patches, DLC, and updates. This same strategy won’t fly with Project Cafe.
What does everybody think of our latest rumors? Sound off in the comments as usual!