New details on Project Café controller, including resolution and streaming

THQ UDraw Tablet

THQ's UDraw Tablet

A new article from 01net, one of the leading sources of Wii HD rumors, claims that the system’s touchscreen controller is not actually HD, and instead has a resolution of 800×500 pixels. While it’s not HD, it’s still a decently high resolution for 6.2 inches, and should look about as crisp as one of the 3DS’s screens.

The site also said that the controller was a “close cousin” of THQ’s much-publicized UDraw tablet (pictured at right), meaning it might function akin to an iPod Touch or iPad with physical controls.

Unnamed developers supposedly mentioned a June 2012 release date, and 01net noted that Nintendo would have ample time to change the controller’s design by then. They included the following mockup with the article that is supposedly the closest representation of the controller yet:

Project Café Controller Mockup


01net then said that “Stream,” the name IGN leaked out, was a “plausible and clever choice,” (urine jokes notwithstanding). We then get the following quote regarding the streaming functionality of the controllers:

The console will be able to wirelessly stream multiple types of streams (different media, games) to the controllers. This will make it possible to play without turning on the TV, or start a frenzied game on the big screen and continue uninterrupted into the toilet.

It sounds like the idea of streaming is one the rumour mill is really running with. But how exactly might this streaming work on a technical level? 01net partially answered that question, too, saying that they may work without relying on badly-compressed video streams (that current streaming services like OnLive are notorious for):

The console and the controllers could operate on the principle of “virtualization,” the bulk of the calculations being performed by the console itself, and the controllers serving as terminals capable of displaying the code pre-calculated. This system would distribute the game in high quality to the controllers, without significant latency and without using a compressed video stream and being demanding in terms of bandwidth.

The one concern I have with all of this data flying around between the console and controllers is that the latter is starting to sound very, very expensive. Even if most of the game code the controller displays is “pre-calculated,” Nintendo would still have to include some kind of processing circuitry, however low-end it may be, in the controllers to actually run the code.

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Comments, Reactions, and General Hooliganism

  1. Jikayaki

    No real need to worry about the cost of controllers. We’re likely looking at controllers that cost $25 to $30 dollars to manufacture and Nintendo may merely choose to make less profit off accessories than normal selling them for some where between $60-$80. I’m not yet convinced we may be looking at any more than ten bucks more than a PS3 controller.

    • F0

      Nintendo’s always been about making as much profit as possible. To potentially cut major profits on controller sales seems a bit like an un-Nintendo thing to do. I’m afraid that if they sell the controllers real cheap, they’ll have to jack up the price of something else…like the games.

    • Jikayaki

      Nintendo will likely at least make a small profit off of hardware an a similar amount of profit off of next gen Wii remotes (if they do update the remotes) compared to current gen Wii remotes. There simply may not be the drive at Nintendo to risk the consoles success by selling the Cafe screen controller for a excessive price. Nintendo seems to be reusing the ideas it had with Gamecube and GBA connectivity simply upping it to another level. One of the issues with GBA connectivity was the price of the handheld, which was quite cheap by today’s standards. There simply is more to gain by lowering profit margins on the Cafe controllers regarding its adaption then the extra profit.

  2. Cafelava


    In their first article with the specs, 01net said the tablet/controller will include a processing unit. They don’t know what type yet, but they bet on some kind of cheap ARM-based solution apparently.

  3. real gamer

    the controller will not need big processing power…..ether non at all or a little bit to run things any truth in this im getting scared a move away from motion and mouse is a move BACKWARDS not NEXT GEN a new wii controller or a continuation along side the touch screen set up ill except

    motion gaming and pointer gaming doesnt work on CLASIC pads and anone playing fps on wii will not want to go back to twin sticks bt single stick and touch screen also works as a CORE mouse like FPS controller

    a choice of wii remote nunchuck or analog and touch screen will do for me as both offer a CORE tight fast precision experience

    twin analog is out dated and auto aim rubbish

  4. Nick

    I really hope that controller is fake because it just may be the worst controller design Nintendo has ever put out. When Googling other ‘Project Cafe’ prototypes, I found many that looked way better than this. This design is far too clunky. It’s too large; hardly any gamers I know are going to want to play on that! But, seeing as if there are so many other controller designs out there, I’m thinking this is just a photoshopped rumor just like everything else.