Posted on April 18 2011 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
Project Cafe, Wii 2, whatever you want to call it isn’t some recently arrived project like many have speculated. After all, one figures the system only recently has been in the 3rd parties hands, which is why the information has been leaked now. Turns out the information getting leaked now is pure coincidence, as major third party developers have had the dev kits for months. Knowing this, a 2012 launch seems very likely since 3rd parties have even more time to get launch titles ready, or titles for shortly after launch. In addition, it’s actually technically enough time to at least get some trailers and/or basic gameplay demo’s set for E3 of this year. The Nintendo 3DS debuted showing off lots of 3rd party support, and my money has it that they will do the same with this next console. However, how do we know these third parties have had the dev kit for a bit?
Back in February, THQ president Brian Farrell all but said they already have the Nintendo dev kit for Project Cafe:
“Now that game costs have gone up so much, these cycles have gotten longer, so it’s harder to understand how to play the console cycle,” he added. “We don’t expect new hardware any time soon from either Microsoft or Sony. It’s difficult on Nintendo – we’ll let them announce their new hardware.”
Our well informed readers know that the hint there is that THQ already knew what the new hardware was, and they were going to let Nintendo deal with the announcement. The reason it was asked is because new console generations have generally sparked increased revenue and stock into game developers. Of course, just because THQ has a dev kit doesn’t necessarily mean they have focused a lot of resources to it. They said almost all of their money is focused on the 360 and PS3 the next 2 years, but that could hint they wont have a game ready till 2013. In either case, if they had one back then it stands to reason everyone else did as well.
Lost in all of our system reporting last week is the fact that the same sources confirming the rumors also happen to be the sources that have confirmed that EA, Activision, and Ubisoft have had dev kits for months. That means, in all likliehood, most every source originated from those companies. It’s not surprising: Even we at Zelda Informer happen to have a contact inside Activision, so it’s likely the information on this comes from the horses mouth. One other nice little tidbit in this is that it is rumored that the motion capability have been enhanced to create a higher fidelity than the Playstation Move.
Of course, we all knew Nintendo wasn’t going to abandon motion controls, so the question remains on if they switched from a sensor bar to a camera (or this case, included both for backwards capability) to possibly enter the realm of Kinect. Who knows at this point (apparently, third parties know).
However, with the system in all these people’s hands one has to wonder why information was leaked now instead of months ago. I would say the biggest reason is because when the new hardware arrives for development you want time to actually see what it’s capable of. Then it so happened one of the third parties team members happened to talk to someone at Game Informer, which started the questions and rumors. From there (Game Informer is one of the most trusted gaming resources on the net), major game sites began to spider out into their own industry contacts. Once the information was out there, it’s likely most felt no need to try and shy away from it anymore, thus all the multiple “confirmations” of parts of the rumors. So, it just happened to be happenstance it all came out now, since it really just took one person to get the ball rolling.
This has only made the upcoming investors meeting on the 26th in Japan all the more interesting for Nintendo, because they can’t just completely ignore the leaks when they are facing the people that help fund their company. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll get official confirmation on the 26th, but they we could get confirmation of a reveal at E3 at that time. We’ll be keeping our ears to the ground on that one.