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Rumors regarding Project Cafe’s have died down in recent weeks, though now that E3 is fast approaching, the speculation is beginning to pick up once again. Develop has published a bit of gossip they’ve been hearing from their sources, most of which pertains to a front-facing camera system for the console’s controller.

The site claims that they can confirm some of the previous rumors spread by other outlets, such as the six inch touch screen on the controller. A stylus may or may not be used – that’s unclear at this point.

New to the rumor pile is the apparent front-facing camera, which can be used for in-game images. Develop did not provide any additional information. The site’s source does have reason to believe that the 3DS could be used as a replacement controller, though that, too, is just speculation.

“The functions are the same. It is a standard wireless controller added with a front-facing camera and touch screen. That sounds far too much like a 3DS to me. But I can’t confirm this, Nintendo is being very cautious about the details.”

I’m really quite surprised as to how much attention this video is getting. I mean, there already have been numerous attempts at “leaked Project Cafe” information. This video also screams fake to me. Sure, there is the 1% chance that it’s legitimate, but the chances of that aren’t very likely.

So, this is rather interesting. IGN has “built” Project Cafe. I know, that probably doesn’t make much sense… But they were able to create the hardware using specifications provided by sources and PC components comparable to the ones Nintendo will apparently use in their own console.

It’s definitely a rough idea of what Project Cafe will actually turn out to be – and Nintendo hasn’t, of course, confirmed any hardware rumors – but the results are very interesting (see the video and images below).


CPU: 3.2GHz Triple Core AMD Athlon II X3 450
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 4850 GPU with 1GBs of VRAM
Motherboard: BIOSTAR A780L3L Micro ATX
RAM: 2GBs of Kingston DDR3
Power Supply: Rosewill RV350 ATX 1.3
Hard Drive: 80GB WD Caviar Blue 7200RPM

Images of the hardware and game comparisons. Xbox 360 on the left, Project Cafe on the right.


Tecmo Koei came right out of the gate with a launch title for the 3DS. According to CEO Yoichi Erikawa, the company would like to follow the same path with Project Cafe. Erikawa explained that hardware manufacturers rely on Tecmo Koei for launch titles, so the company hopes to have numerous games ready by the time Project Cafe releases.


Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot recently provided a few comments regarding Project Cafe. Although specific information about the system’s functionality was not revealed, the remarks are interesting since Ubisoft is the first-third-party to share significant thoughts about Nintendo’s next console. Guillemot said the following on an investor’s call:

“The platform Nintendo is coming with is really a fantastic platform. We think it will be extremely successful. What we see is that we will be able to leverage a lot of the work we do for Xbox 360 and PS3 while we create games for the platform. So we will not have to redo completely the games that we create. We’ll be able to use all the capacity the console is giving but also use all the work we do for the other platforms.”

Looks like Project Cafe could be getting a decent amount of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 games in the future. I suppose that’s not necessarily a bad thing! The Wii has missed out on some tremendous third-party releases…


Nintendo hasn’t said when they’ll release Project Cafe. The only guarantee they’ve provided is that the console will not launch until after April 2012. There’s a very good chance that we won’t receive Project Cafe’s release date at E3, though there is some speculation that it could arrive in early 2012.

Zumba Fitness 2 was revealed for Wii today, but I’m sure most of you probably don’t care about that announcement. The press release did contain the following blurb, though:

“ZumbaFitness 2 will also launch on another-to-be announced platform in early 2012.”

Of course, it’s very speculative to assume that: a) the “another-to-be announced” platform is Nintendo related, b) is indeed for Project Cafe and c) Majesco has already confirmed with the Big N that the console will be out in early 2012. Still, this does make things very interesting…


These mockups are a bit more interesting than the last batch we posted. This time around we get to see some of the ideas fans are thinking about in terms of the actual hardware built rather than just the controller. These are some images of the controller as well, but things are pretty varied.

What do you guys think? Do any of these mockups interest you?


Nintendo is apparently putting a big focus on hands for Project Cafe. That is, for the E3 trailers at least.

According to Twitter user Supererogatory, who has been spot on with many rumors in the past, the Big N wrapped production on promotional videos for the console last week. Again, Nintendo was looking for actors with the finest of hands, which supposedly needed to be “flawless.”

Project Cafe’s controller will most likely be a central part of the videos, so perhaps Nintendo simply wanted to feature hands that look nice. Then again, maybe there’s something more to it… We’ll find out in a little under five weeks.

“Told Nintendo filmed Cafe E3 promotional videos last week in Orange County with a bunch of seeming hand models cast ‘based on their hands.’ The hands ‘had to be flawless’ and ‘couldn’t have blemishes, wrinkles or a lot of hair.'”


Reggie Fils-Aime discussing the Wii price drop…

“For us this is a very important move. This is only the second price reduction for Wii hardware since we launched back in November 2006. And in the last home console cycle, the leading system at the time sold almost 50 percent of its volume at a price point of $149 or below.”

Reggie on why consumers would purchase a Wii with Project Cafe on the horizon…

“When we launch our new home system sometime in 2012 we think the consumer buying in will look very different than the consumer who’s going to be buying a Wii now. What we’ve seen in this business it that there are certain consumers who love being first – they have to have the absolute latest hardware – and there are other consumers that are perfectly happy to wait until the game library is much more robust and they have a wider range of options.”

Reggie on slipping Wii sales…

“Typically a system peaks in the second year of availability and then gradually declines. Wii was fortunate to have a number of very strong selling years in its 3rd and 4th year of availability. And from our perspective, the curve that we’re on is natural and to be expected but importantly, the sales curve is higher than any other system.”

Reggie’s thoughts on why May 15 is the perfect timing for the Wii price drop…

“There are a lot of households where kids will be off from school and the parents are either looking for celebratory presents as the children finish the school year or they’re looking for a fun exercise to keep the kids busy and happy during the summer time frame. We think there is a wide range of consumers that are wanting to purchase a Wii and what they have been waiting for is this type of announcement.”


Understandably, third-parties are tight-lipped when it comes to talking about Project Cafe. We’ll likely see at least a few announcements from companies other than Nintendo at E3, but until then, don’t expect developers and publishers to openly discuss their thoughts on the system’s capabilities and reveal any games they are working on. However, THQ did offer the following quote during a financial results conference call that took place just a short while ago:

“We are excited about the prospect of new hardware next year and look forward to working on that system.”