Sunday, June 5, 2011

Project Cafe Speculation

Since we're a couple days away from Nintendo's presser at E3, I'm calling last chance to speculate on what Nintendo has up their sleeves with "Project Cafe" that hasn't already been leaked.

The most fervent rumor discussion is around the controller, which is supposed to be some kind of tablet with a 6 inch screen, buttons and a d-pad on the side, and tilt sensors and the like.

Anyhow, here's my prediction:

- Nintendo will claim the controller can also play stand-alone games.
- They will position the controller as being a "tablet that comes free with your console" and will show some entertainment functions for it
- The 'comes free' is a bit of a ruse, as buying a second controller will have a hefty price tag
- They will put on a brave face about the 3DS and that business being alive and well

Over time, though, I believe they see the writing on the wall about their hand-held businesses being commoditize and subsumed by phones and tablets, and so this is their attempt to in turn commoditize those businesses. I think its a weak attempt to do so, but there's some logic to the strategy and should allow them to circle the wagons with their core base.

It'll be interesting to see whether Nintendo can pull off yet another hail-mary pass (like they did with the Wii and the DS).

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