GUN, the largest consultancy firm dedicated to gaming, told IndustryGamers that Nintendo is in for a bumpy ride with their projected launch of Project Café sometime in 2012. They simply will not be able to capture the same market that was so interested in the Wii.
“The thing is, Nintendo has to convince third parties to put their best hardcore games on this new platform or else it will just be a disappointing Wii 2,” says Dan Hsu, former EGM Editor-in-Chief, GUN consultant and co-founder of Bitmob.
“If Project Cafe can secure superior versions of Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto, for example, then the core gamers will get on board. From there, it'll be easy to convince the casual consumers to get on the bandwagon as well. Problem is Nintendo's platforms haven't been great for hardcore third-party titles for quite some time now."
“Judging from the controller prototypes that we’ve seen so far, I don't think Nintendo's trying to replicate the Wii's casual-market success with Project Cafe – and if it is, I'm worried,” comments Demian Linn, another consultant for GUN and co-founder of Bitmob.
“Rather, this looks like an attempt to create a console that bridges this generation and the next-gen Xbox and PlayStation; with the hope that Cafe's install base will be large enough when those new boxes launch those publishers will keep Cafe as the lead platform and port titles to the other hardware”
“If Nintendo wants to continue to show positive growth in the causal market, I think they need to allow for the free-to-play model within their marketplace,” notes Wes Keltner, co-founder of GUN. “They don't have to rely on big publishers like EA to make this happen."
“This could generate a very unique opportunity for titles from the indie dev crowd via Wii-ware. The free-to-play model is showing a phenomenal growth curve both in participation from gamers and revenue for publishers. If Nintendo passes on this opportunity, it would be a huge missed opportunity for 'Project Cafe'."
Enter the specifications listed for Nintendo’s Project Café. With HD capability, Nintendo pedigree and a confirmed touchscreen controller, the console is set to tackle the core gaming audience while appealing to the same casual audience captured by the allure of the Wii. Nintendo might be in for a tough time come Project Café’s release.