Half of the speculation is over, confirmation came today that Nintendo is going to release a successor to the Wii in 2012. Project Café is going to force Sony & Microsoft to make a tough decision about their next consoles—and it has nothing to do with a release date. Nope, it’s something that could have a greater impact on who comes out on top next generation.
This tough decision is, should they “copy” Project Café’s controller from the start, or wait and see if it takes off, and risk being late to the party like they were with motion controls. There are pros and cons for waiting or answering Café from the start.
Let’s start with the pros of answering Café at launch. By making a controller like Café’s, Sony & Microsoft would take a lot of steam away from Nintendo’s new console early on. Then we could see a repeat of the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube generation. For Sony and Microsoft, this choice might be better than letting the Café have something that set’s it apart from their consoles, thus guaranteeing it’ll get a bigger spotlight.
The major con of answering is—no one knows if Café will be a success. Sony & Microsoft could be jumping on a sinking ship, just to spite Nintendo. But you can’t deny that Nintendo is a trend setter, if Café can stream full games to it’s controller flawlessly, it’ll be a huge hit with hardcore and casual gamers. You could start a game on the sofa and finish it in the bathroom. This brings us one step closer to consoles and handhelds merging.
The pro for waiting is the same as the con for answering. No one knows if the Café will be a success, they could save themselves a major embarrassment if Café doesn’t take off. They’d also save money on R & D and with the extra cash they could focus on other aspects of their next consoles (beefier graphics card). Who knows, Nintendo could have another Virtual Boy on their hands. I don’t need to go over the con of waiting; it overlaps with what I already said. By waiting they might be helping Nintendo sell consoles.
Personally, if I ran Sony or Microsoft, I’d release a Café type controller at launch. To take some air out of Nintendo’s balloon. But, I don’t run any billion dollar gaming companies. More than likely, they’ll wait, and if it takes off, release their own versions of Café’s controller years later, like they did with Kinect and move. Anyways, what are your thoughts on the subject?