The latest batch of rumors comes out of French tech site 01net. The site reported that the source that provided them with information about the NGP has now spilled the beans on the Wii 2.
The project to build the Wii’s successor is supposedly called “Project Cafe”. We have no idea why they want to call it Project Cafe. Maybe they were in need of coffee at the time? Or maybe they’re partnering with Starbucks? Who knows?
Now, I promised more rumors on the controller, and it’s time to deliver. The controller is supposedly tablet-style, featuring a sub-HD screen and Nintendo’s favorite buttons: the d-pad, L and R triggers, and unnamed others(perhaps a Slide Pad from the 3DS?). And it has a camera. Oh, and for all you guys worried about backwards compatibility with Wii games, here’s a sign that makes it seem more likely. The Wii 2’s controller has the current Wii sensor bar functionality, meaning that it doubles as a sensor bar for your Wii Remotes when playing Wii games.
Apparently, the Wii 2 is being built similarly to the Xbox 360, but with some major hardware improvements. According to Blu-ray.com, Nintendo is looking to use Blu-Ray discs as their game mediums. The Wii currently uses DVDs, but does not allow video playback; it us uncertain whether they would allow Blu-Ray disc video playback.
So, there are all the rumors. But what could all this mean? Currently, the controller is sounding very much like a DSi with the top screen snapped off and Sensor Bar functionality added. Perhaps some DSi games that took advantage of touch and camera functionality are moving up to the console? And the Wii 2’s similarity to the Xbox 360 is interesting and disturbing. On one side, it will allow games from the Xbox 360 to be easily ported to the Wii 2, and it may entice more third-party support for the machine. However, this whole thing could end catastrophically if it is too similar to the 360. It could mean that Microsoft could leapfrog the “Nintendo 360” with it’s own Xbox 720, perhaps sending Nintendo down the same path Sega took. All I know for certain is that June 7 can’t come fast enough.