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Is Nintendo developing a new console?

It's no secret that Nintendo's position in the battle for top video game console isn't going very well. The Wii U, quality console that it may be, isn't selling as well as the Nintendo executive body had forecast and it's had a detrimental effect on the companies corporate fortunes. With that info all over the news, is it not terribly convenient that rumours of a new Nintendo console have suddenly surfaced.

NintendoLogo.jpg

Meet The Fusion

According to a reliable source that contacted Nintendo News, the Japanese company is in serious R&D mode, designing a new video game console that blurs the lines between a handheld and a full size console. Fusion, as the device is allegedly called, is separated into a 'Terminal' and a 'DS' unit, with the two devices designed to work in concert with each. Fusion Terminal would be the base unit that connects to your TV, while Fusion DS is a the portable device that can function independently of Terminal. Think of it as a Wii U that uses a 3DS as its default controller.

The tipster provided extensive technical specs for the two devices to provide credence to the claim. The specs are as follows:

Fusion DS:

  • CPU: ARMv8-A Cortex-A53 GPU: Custom Adreno 420-based AMD GPU
  • COM MEMORY: 3 GB LPDDR3 (2 GB Games, 1 GB OS)
  • 2 130 mm DVGA (960 x 640) Capacitive Touchscreen
  • Slide Out Design with Custom Swivel Tilt Hinge
  • Upper Screen made of Gorilla Glass, Comes with Magnetic Cover
  • Low End Vibration for Gameplay and App Alerts
  • 2 Motorized Circle Pads for Haptic Feedback
  • Thumbprint Security Scanner with Pulse Sensing Feedback
  • 2 1mp Stereoptic Cameras
  • Multi-Array Microphone
  • A, B, X, Y, D-Pad, L, R, 1, 2 Buttons
  • 3 Axis Tuning Fork Gyroscope, 3 Axis Accelerometer, Magnetometer
  • NFC Reader
  • 3G Chip with GPS Location
  • Bluetooth v4.0 BLE Command Node used to Interface with Bluetooth Devices such as Cell Phones, Tablets
  • 16 Gigabytes of Internal Flash Storage (Possible Future Unit With 32 Gigabytes)
  • Nintendo 3DS Cart Slot
  • SDHC "Holographic Enhanced" Card Slot up to 128 Gigabyte Limit
  • Mini USB I/O
  • 3300 mAh Li-Ion battery

Fusion Terminal:

  • GPU: Custom Radeon HD RX 200 GPU CODENAME LADY (2816 shaders @ 960 MHz, 4.60 TFLOP/s, Fillrates: 60.6 Gpixel/s, 170 Gtexel/s)
  • CPU: IBM 64-Bit Custom POWER 8-Based IBM 8-Core Processor CODENAME JUMPMAN (2.2 GHz, Shared 6 MB L4 cache)
  • Co-CPU: IBM PowerPC 750-based 1.24 GHz Tri-Core Co-Processor CODENAME HAMMER
  • MEMORY: 4 Gigabytes of Unified DDR4 SDRAM CODENAMED KONG, 2 GB DDR3 RAM @ 1600 MHz (12.8 GB/s) On Die CODENAMED BARREL
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wireless
  • Bluetooth v4.0 BLE
  • 2 USB 3.0
  • 1 Coaxial Cable Input
  • 1 CableCARD Slot
  • 4 Custom Stream-Interface Nodes up to 4 Wii U GamePads
  • Versions with Disk Drive play Wii U Optical Disk (4 Layers Maximum), FUSION Holographic Versatile Disc (HVD) and Nintendo 3DS Card Slot
  • 1 HDMI 2.0 1080p/4K Port
  • Dolby TrueHD 5.1 or 7.1 Surround Sound
  • Inductive Charging Surface for up to 4 FUSION DS or IC-Wii Remote Plus Controllers
  • Two versions: Disk Slot Version with 60 Gigs of Internal Flash Storage and Diskless Version with 300 Gigs of Internal Flash Storage

I'm no engineer, so I don't know if any of that is impressive or not, but it is a lot of detailed information, so I'm willing to give the rumour the benefit of the doubt. Then again, this source could just be a really dedicated troll. But true or not, there is something about this rumour that strikes me as awfully convenient: the timing. 

The Wii U Failure

WiiU.jpg

Nintendo were quite confident of the success of the Wii U forecasting that the device would sell 9 million units in 2013. As of November 2013, the company has only managed 4.3 million, an impressive number, but significantly less than 9 million. The 3DS has done much better, but even it has had its sales forecast lowered slightly from from 18 million to 13.5 million.

All these reports have seen the Nintendo's stock suffer and there's been talk of the company restructuring. But then suddenly we have rumours of a new device in the works. A seemingly innovative piece of tech, with hardware specifications to boot. Oohhh, isn't that nice. For me the issue isn't whether this rumour is true or not - it is mostly certainly true that Nintendo is working on something, not so certain are the additional details supplied - but the timing couldn't be more helpful for the company.

Given the their dire state, news like this comes in only two flavours. Either it's taken in a "ho-hum no one cares" kind of way, or everyone buys tickets for the hype train and jams themselves on board. Suddenly, everyone is all excited about Nintendo again. Whichever way the public takes to this rumour, it either helps Nintendo or has no effect and in the long run it costs them nothing to have it out there. And yes, before anyone asks, I am implying that Nintendo, or someone that works for Nintendo, is ultimately the source of this rumour. And since everyone seems to be talking about Fusion, it seems the latter scenario is playing out.

True or not, ultimately Fusion is not a bad thing for Nintendo. If Nintendo is working on it, goodie, it means we have some new tech to look forward to. If they aren't, we'll still have something to look forward to, we just know less about it at this point.

We are all still waiting to get excited about Nintendo

What this whole thing tells us in the long run, though, is that people are still willing to get excited about Nintendo and that is really the most important thing. People have been talking for months about how Nintendo needs to get out of the hardware game and go stick with software. And perhaps that is in their future, but it's not happening anytime soon.

Is the company in a spot of bother? Sure it is. And could this be their last hardware generation? Sure it could. But Nintendo's been in tough situations before and made it out just fine. I've personally predicted the company's collapse myself many times before and they're still here punching away. I've learnt to not bet against Nintendo.

If we, the gaming public can still sit up a bit straighter when new Nintendo news breaks, then it means their is still hope for the company's long term success. And that makes me very happy.

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd

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