Unlike the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the Nintendo Wii crashed into the scene, grabbed a new sector of gamers, and then slowly fizzled out like a balloon with a small puncture. We saw the decline coming, knowing that the sudden motion-sensing fad would eventually die out leaving players with a lot of cheesy titles. Even publishers like Sega tried to bring hardcore gaming to the console and discovered that there just wasn't a profitable market.
So when we hear talks about the next Nintendo console, there's certainly a little bit of skepticism. What will the gimmick be this time? What percentage of garbage will players have to sift through before finding an actual gem? Nintendo said the new platform will be more friendly to third parties, and hopefully that will indeed be the case. In fact, Ubisoft seems all gung-ho over the upcoming "Project Café" according to a recent statement heard by Eurogamer, perhaps giving an indication that the console will be more in tune with the Super Nintendo in terms of quality 3rd-party titles by the truckloads.
"The platform Nintendo is coming with is really a fantastic platform," said Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot in an investor call. "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."
That’s quite a tease. Nintendo hasn't officially revealed the specs of its next console, but there's indication that it will be a bit more meaty than the current Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. That might not be a good thing given that its two opponents are slated for a hardware refresh too, but if reports are true, Nintendo will at least have a small window where it will have the dominating hardware. Will Nintendo take advantage of the window? Will we see stellar third-party titles that may even pull PC gamers and Xbox 360 owners away?
Ok, that may be stretching into fantasy a bit. We'll find out what Nintendo has planned for us next month at E3 2011. Personally I'd like to be shocked to the point of changing underwear.