According to sources close to Kotaku, Nintendo’s new console, dubbed “Project Cafe”, will incorporate an 8 GB flash based memory. This is 16 times the capacity of the Wii, but still far short of the standard 20 GB hard drive of the Xbox 360 back in 2005, and even more miniscule compared to that of current generation which sports 250 GB for the high-end PS3s and 360s.
8GB is enough space for retro games, like those found on the Virtual Console for the Wii. It is also enough for patches and updates as needed. But downloadable map packs for games like Call of Duty? Forget it. Some of those maps can be up to 650 MB, which would eat up memory real quick. Downloadable full length games and movies are definitely out of the picture, but it will be able to stream linear content like Netflix movies like the Wii currently does.
Among other bits of speculation are that graphical output will be HD quality and comparable to the current capabilities of the Xbox 360 and the PS3. The disc format will hold 25 GB of data, which is the equivalent of single-layer Blu-Ray discs on the PS3.
Nintendo’s executives have stated that the new console will distinguish itself from the competition, so that it’s not all about hardware power. This is a familiar pattern as we’ve seen with the GameCube and the Wii. The main draw seems to be the unusual screen-based controller. It is like some sort of hybrid of the traditional twin-stick controller and touchscreen tablet. It will serve multiple functions, but what those functions are specifically are subject to speculation. My immediate reference is the Sega Dreamcast’s controller which incorporated a tiny LCD screen. It worked well, but I’m not sure how user friendly an iPad duct taped to two Wii Remotes will be.
I’m exaggerating of course, so we’ll just have to wait until E3 when Nintendo officially unveils Project Cafe, which is like the douchiest codename for a new console ever. Good luck courting those hardcore gamers. At least the Wii was called the “Revolution”.