With the media arriving at E3 2011 and Nintendo busy setting up the last few stanchions in its E3 booth, the Wii 2 rumors are flying a mile a minute here in downtown Los Angeles. Some of the latest Wii 2 rumors actually started this morning on the NeoGAF forums, but they’re picking up steam as we inch closer to Nintendo’s E3 2011 press conference on Tuesday morning.
The latest Wii 2 rumor coming out of E3 has some beefy specs attached to the Wii successor, both from a graphical and a raw horsepower standpoint. And if these Wii 2 rumors turn out to be true, all those soccer moms and casual gamers who bought the original Wii for its yoga and tennis capabilities will soon find those activities to have been little more than a gateway drug into the real next generation of gaming.
According to the latest Wii 2 rumors, the forthcoming system will use a custom IBM processor, a strategy Nintendo has used in the past, but this time it will be a triple-core CPU running at 3.6GHz per core. The RAM, meanwhile, will hover around 1.5GB, and the graphics will be handled by an AMD R700 video card with architecture that supports “much higher” clock speeds. With all that visual horsepower, the games will all run native 1080p HD.
In terms of hardware appearances, the Wii 2 — or whatever Nintendo’s next console will be called — is reportedly the approximate color of the original SNES. Meanwhile, the size of the Wii 2 development kit, which is roughly sized like an Xbox 360, may indicate that the Wii 2 is much larger than the current Nintendo Wii.
The Wii 2 controller has long been rumored to have a touchscreen, and the latest Wii 2 rumors uphold that train of thought. According to the scuttlebutt, the Wii 2 has a 5.7-inch touchscreen (960 x 640-pixel), two analog sticks, four face buttons, three middle buttons (Select, Home and Start), two shoulder buttons and two triggers. The Wii 2 touchscreen also has its own battery and is detachable from the controller unit. It also has its own on-board memory for when the screen is detached, thus giving developers the ability to store data on it for screen-only applications (playbooks in sports games, inventory lists in RPGs, etc.). When the screen is attached to the controller, it works by streaming content directly from the Wii 2 console.
Here’s where things get fishy, though, and where the rumors may point to someone blowing smoke: The controller has a gyroscope, but motion controls aren’t the driving force of the Wii 2 or the Wii 2 controller, whereas that was the lifeblood of the first Nintendo Wii. With the Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move picking up steam, Nintendo could very well zig while the rest of the industry zags, perhaps even claiming that motion controls are passe. But if the rest of the Wii 2 rumors are true, and Nintendo’s next console has that much horsepower, without motion controls the Wii 2 could very well seem “outdated” to a certain degree compared to its now-motion-equipped competitors.
Other Wii 2 rumors swirling around the halls of the LA Convention center include Nintendo working on an online network that puts Xbox Live and PSN to shame, the development of an online Pokemon RPG, and a Mario game launching day and date with the Wii 2 — something that hasn’t been done since the N64.
But again, these are all rumors and are subject to change. And, frankly, they’re subject to being completely false. We’ll learn more Tuesday morning before E3 officially kicks off — maybe even sooner — and we’ll bring you information as soon as it’s available.