The Wii U was a flop. Fans have known it for a while. Nintendo themselves have recently announced it. E3's still a little way off, but what better time to start up the rumor mill than now? It should come as no surprise to anyone that R&D has likely already started on the Wii U and 3DS's successors. Things like this take time and you don't just dream up a new system with specs, games, and everything the night before E3 or another major game expo.
What might come as a surprise, however, is an anonymous source supposedly leaked the current iteration of hardware specs along with the current code names Fusion DS and Fusion Terminal. As with any rumor, these specs should be taken with a grain of salt even though they don't seem all that farfetched. The source had this to say:
“Before I go into the detail on the Softwear [sic] and OS features I overheard, I will like to do a upgraded recap on the specs of both machines. The codename is now 'FUSION' and many the R&D want to keep that name for the main console release. The Handheld unit is called the 'FUSION DS' while the home unit is called 'FUSION TERMINAL.' Nintendo has already begin making demo software for the targeted prototype hardware in efforts to curb the Wii U mistake in the software pipeline (they started creating software after prototyping and were unable to give major software push the first two years as a result). Nintendo plans to make most of the software prototypes into games and applications around the launch of the unit.”
If Nintendo means too many Mario games and taking forever to announce a good Legend of Zelda when they say "Wii U mistake," I'm sure many in our community would agree based on the comments from our recent article, despite what individual opinions may be for the failure of Nintendo's latest system.
At any rate, here's the hardware lineup for the Fusion line of Nintendo systems based on our current rumor:
- CPU: ARMv8-A Cortex-A53
- GPU: Custom Adreno 420-based AMD GPU
- 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 Gigbytes)
- Nintendo 3DS Cart Slot
- SDHC “Holographic Enhanced” Card Slot up to 128 Gigabyte Limit
- Mini USB I/O
- 3300 mAh Li-Ion battery
- 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 1: IBM 64-Bit Custom POWER 8-Based IBM 8-Core Processor CODENAME JUMPMAN (2.2 GHz, Shared 6 MB L4 cache)
- CPU 2: IBM PowerPC 750-based 1.24 GHz Tri-Core Co-Processor CODENAME HAMMER
- MEMORY: 4 Gigabytes of Unified DDR4 SDRAM CODENAME 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 or 4 DSc
- 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.
It looks like Nintendo's finally making the move to true HD with the Terminal if this list holds water. HDMI and surround sound are a big step forward for a company that's focused on making games that are fun for the whole family rather than games that look good. I guess they've found out the hard way that good looking games can still be fun. They're also still big on backwards compatibility unlike Sony and Microsoft, as the disk-based version of the Terminal will be able to play not only Wii U games, but also 3DS games based on this list.
It's still too early to start making any claims or assumptions about what Nintendo has in mind, but if this winds up being true, even if it's just a prototype, I can't wait to hack and slash my way through Hyrule in 1080p.