There's certainly a lot of talk about a new Nintendo product: a revamped Wii console with HD support, a new DS model with motion-sensing technology, so on and so on. Like clockwork, whatever floats out there on the Internet has been outright denied and deemed as mere rumor by Nintendo, and that's probably all true in view of recent comments. But somewhere under all the rubble is a hint of truth we haven't really conceptualized. Something is going on, and there's a chance we'll finally find out what that "something" is in the next few weeks.
According to VideoGamer.com, developers are busily working on a "new Nintendo platform" that may rear its mysterious little head next month at GDC. Notice those words: new platform. That doesn't mean a revised DSi or a revised Wii. That could very well mean an entirely new product, and it's rather safe to assume it isn't the successor to either existing platforms.
But with Project Natal and Sony's Arc (or Sphere or whatever it decides to call the thing) hitting shelves this year, Nintendo is probably feeling the oncoming storm. The Nintendo Wii is losing its momentum, and Apple is chewing up a chunk of the mobile market with the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and their gaming potential. Granted Apple's devices don't have Pokemon or Mario, the hot new trend of downloadable apps has already forced Nintendo to revamp its Nintendo DS series.
With that said, could Nintendo be working on a gaming tablet? While the idea is convenient with the reveal of Apple's notorious iPad and other manufactures jumping onto the tablet bandwagon, it isn't really all that far-fetched. The current Nintendo DSi isn't far from the tablet form factor: it has a touch screen, access to the Internet, and an app store that features games and other useful tools. Would it be so incredible that Nintendo creates a device that takes on the same features, but also includes books, manga, and streaming Netflix?
It's quite possible that Satoru Iwata wasn't impressed with the Apple iPad because he believes his product is better. Perhaps he wants to tackle the tablet market before Apple gets too strong of a trend-setting foothold as it did in the mobile market (with the iPhone and iPod Touch). If so, what would Nintendo have to offer that would rival the iPad? Iwata said the iPad didn't offer anything new. Would a Nintendo tablet provide that innovative, unique experience provided by the Wii and DS?
Of course, this is all speculation. We're hoping this supposed reveal is something spectacular... if it exists at all. A Nintendo spokesperson told VideoGamer.com that all the "new Platform" chatter is merely rumor and speculation. For all we know, the "new platform" could merely be the third generation of the Wii controller, taking it one step up from the current Wii MotionPlus.
Honestly, that would be a big yawn.
UPDATE: Nintendo will showcase the new Zelda game using the Wii MotionPlus controller at E3 2010, so it's probably safe to assume the mystery platform isn't related to the speculated 3rd generation controller.