The big chase that we have been on for the past couple of days is an all out effort to try to learn more information on the hardware that will make up Nintendo’s Project Café, or the Wii2. From the shadows we have been able to get some answers, but some of it will have to wait till the office announcement at Nintendo’s E3 press conference.
From the whispers we hear, we expect the new Wii2 to be powered by an IBM Tri-core PowerPC CPU that we expect to be clocked at the same speed or slightly higher than the CPU in the Xbox 360. The GPU will be again powered by AMD and sourced from the ATI R700 family, featuring a shader unit version 4.1 support; and we expect GPU to have access to 512MB of RAM. A revised controller is rumored to feature an HD touch screen.
Depending on the exact clock speeds, we suspect that the Wii2 will have performance that is close to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 or maybe slightly better, but that is hard to say. We are expecting the use of 32nm and 40nm chips for Wii2. Despite a lot of talk about the possibility of the Wii2 using AMD’s Fusion technology, our sources tell us that it isn’t happening because it is simply just too expensive at this point.
The biggest question is storage, and that does not seem to be one that is going to be easy to answer. Sources say that Nintendo is at least resistant to adding a hard drive and we prefer to stick with flash memory, which means that talk of two slots to hold flash memory is possible; and these flash memory units will have a lot more in common with older generation SSDs as they will be large. Initial sizes are expected to be 64GB or 128GB to start with. We find the talk of large flash storage to be a load of bunk, as we just think no matter how Nintendo slices it that it will just be too expensive, and they will end up with a hard drive in the end as at least an option that users can purchase and add.
Expect no change on the disc front. It will continue to use DVD-ROM drive and we are told there is no chance that the Wii2 will offer Blu-ray support. This really isn’t a surprise when you think about it. Expect more details to come our direction as we get closer to E3 and we are able to flush things out a little more.
We are also told that it will arrive next year, but a release is more likely for April than March of 2012. From the latest that we are hearing, we don’t expect any new console from Microsoft or Sony before 2014; so Nintendo will be on their own with a console that is said to be not much more than equal to or better than the current generation offerings from Microsoft and Sony. Still, as one of our shadow dwellers said, it is still much better than what they have to work with today, which could lead to some very interesting releases from Nintendo for the platform.