Don’t get me wrong, I’m as excited as the next man about Project Café. But would it be unjust to think that compromise is lurking just around the corner? That Nintendo’s history might shed more light on the specifics, as opposed to the rumours? Admittedly, it’d be foolish to think one could shatter the hype at this stage, but what’s to say Nintendo won’t do that themselves come E3? With that in mind, here’s a rundown of what to expect if – like me – you’re more pessimistic than the average fanboy.
…with a gimmicky touch.
The prospect of a touch screen controller may seem enticing for gamers, but the likelihood of it being anything more than a simple, low-powered user interface for menus and video content is slim, with battery life being the key indicator. Personally, I would love to see downloadable titles make their way onto the device (provided it offers portability), but I just can’t shake the feeling that that won’t be the case. Perhaps it’s their lack of third-party support or pathetic attempts at promoting Wiiware titles, I don’t know.
…with no Blu-ray movie playback.
The rumour of a Blu-ray drive can only mean good things for a neoteric console. Up to 50 gigabytes storage on one disk (when dual-layer) basically means bigger, better games. But Blu-ray movie playback could very well be excluded from the mix. It sounds utterly illogical, but remember Nintendo did the exact same thing with DVD on the Wii, claiming it brought the unit cost down.
Interactive online community!
…with friend codes.
Nintendo’s approach to creating online communities is, at best, a little behind the times. So it’s understandable to think they’d take a note from the competition and improve it for their next console. But cast your mind back only a few months and you’ll recall that Nintendo’s most recent portable outing, the 3DS, still champions the use of friend codes as a viable wireless communications option. Hardly a step in the right direction. In reality, it leaves the impression that Nintendo are likely to stick with it come Project Café’s release.
…to swap Miis.
A touch screen controller indicates little 3DS connectivity as an input device or controller, but what about transfers from shop purchases? It’s an established idea, what with the PSP and PS3, but is it one Nintendo will be willing to adopt? Considering their broken promises of DS and Wii connectivity, it’s possible it may end up with little more than Mii transfer functionality.
Core titles and mature games!
…ported from Xbox 360 and PS3.
Perhaps one of the more obvious conclusions that can be drawn from all the rumour, is the fact that a high-definition Nintendo console will attract third-party developers to port titles from its HD counterparts (predecessors?). However, it could be argued that Project Café’s innovative controller and hardware justify this: any title where a player’s inventory is mapped to a touch screen could bring a whole new level of speed and efficiency to gameplay (think GPS system in GTA IV).
Third-party developer support!
…about as good as ever.
Many appear to have taken Project Café’s leap into HD as indication that Nintendo are reworking their third-party support model. Whilst that may be the case, it’s never been their strong point. So the question is, will their new-found support rival that of the competition? It’s improbable given the years of experience and rooted third-party connections Sony and Microsoft have, but as with everything Nintendo does, it’s hardly impossible to imagine a reinvention of the norm.
A truly next-gen Zelda title!
…within the first 3 years.
With Skyward Sword lacking even a release date, it’s pretty clear we won’t be seeing a proper series entry to the Zelda universe for quite some time. That may be disappointing, but it can be viewed as a good thing when you consider a well-developed Zelda title would receive better reception when compared to a rushed one.
So there you have it, a brief, realistic outlook on Project Café’s imminent announcement. Take all this knowledge with you to the Nintendo E3 press conference and I guarantee you won’t feel as disappointed when Miyamoto practically reads off what’s been said here.