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Monday April 25, 2011 3:49 pm

Nintendo confirms Wii successor to be shown at E3 in June




Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: E3, Hardware, Nintendo, Rumors

Nintendo Project Cafe

Time to start your wrist exercises: IGN has gotten its hands on new details about Nintendo's upcoming Wii 2 console, codenamed "Project Café," and the system's specs look pretty beefy on paper. But we should preface this all by saying that Wii 2 is just a nickname for Nintendo's Wii successor. According to IGN, Nintendo is floating around alternate names for the platform, including "Stream." This morning Nintendo confirmed that they'd be showing the console at E3 this June:

Nintendo Co., Ltd. has decided to launch in 2012 a system to succeed Wii, which the company has sold 86.01 million units on a consolidated shipment basis between its launch in 2006 and the end of March 2011.
 
We will show a playable model of the new system and announce more specifications at the E3 Expo, which will be held June 7-9, 2011, in Los Angeles.
 
Sales of this new system have not been included in the financial forecasts announced today for the fiscal term ending March 2012.

That name is itself interesting, as the Wii successor will finally have the power to be able to output high-definition video–1080p content–but it's still not expected to have a physical way to read HD content like Blu-ray discs.

The 1080p compatibility will be partially thanks to the custom-built tri-core IBM PowerPC chipset that'll serve as the Wii 2's brains. It's going to be the same kind of setup that you'll find on Microsoft's Xbox 360 console. Only, Nintendo will allegedly up the clock speeds to beat out the three 64-bit, 3.2-Ghz cores of Microsoft's competing device, among other enhancements.

 

To dispel previous rumors, Nintendo is not expected to switch up to AMD's fusion platform. An AMD GPU will still power the graphics for the device, but it'll come from a juiced-up version of the company's R700 architecture.

And like its console peers, Nintendo might very mix a few features from AMD's successor platform into the mix as well—R800, for those keeping track at home. The GPU should be able to tap into 512 megabytes of memory, which shouldn't be confused with the undisclosed amount of physical RAM that the console itself will have.

In total, the specs should be enough to put the Wii 2 in direct graphical competition with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. That'll be a welcome relief for gamers that prefer better-looking titles: A common criticism of Nintendo's predecessor platform was that the look and feel of the Wii's games was a step back from the more realistic environments found in games for the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. Nintendo's console also lacked high-definition support in the form of a physical HD-DVD or Blu-ray reader, and that's not expected to change for the Wii 2.

Nintendo's release of its Wii 2–currently pegged for April of 2012–comes at a critical juncture for the company. Its Wii console leads the U.S. console market in sales (34.5 million units sold as of April 2011), and Nintendo's rumored 2012 launch of the Wii 2 will give the company at least two years or so of exclusivity before new offerings from Microsoft or Sony pop onto shelves. Will that be enough for Nintendo to cement its new console as a comparable offering–hardware-wise–for what rivals both have and have yet to offer?

The retail price of the Wii 2 is currently expected to clock around $350 to $400, based on the costs of the console's rumored parts.

This article, written by David Murphy, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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