Apparently! Now, I usually peruse Joystiq for my game news since I don't expect them to print stories that immediately invoke a reaction of, "What, no, that's dumb, stop being dumb", yet, I still had that moment today. A story appeared earlier today claiming Nintendo's next console will be announced at E3, more powerful than the PS3/360, which, I mean, is dumb. Flat-out dumb for more than a few reasons, unless Nintendo is really, really trying to not be themselves right now.
Now, first off, while I am likely not the person you go to for, well, anything Nintendo, seeing as I've outright said quite a few times in this blog that I'm just not enthralled with a lot of stuff Ninty puts out, save for a few select things that start with P and end with okemon, but that doesn't mean I'm completely ignorant of how they do things. Mostly because how they do things, when you look at it completely objectively, is pretty much what everyone aspires to do, re: business-y things.
So when I say this is dumb, I'm sure a few of you are already agreeing, because, well, this is not what Nintendo do. (Intentionally spelled that way.) This is not the way they operate.
Now, reason number one is entirely because of the 'selling point' of 'significantly more powerful than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.' See, because, Nintendo doesn't do moar power. Even now with the release of the 3DS, it's quite a leap from the DS, sure, but from the PSP? Not that much. And that's fine. Nintendo prides themselves on keeping power requirements low and working within the restraints that causes. So to say that they're suddenly going to release a console (sometime after announcing it at E3, which, I'll get to next) that is not only more powerful, but significantly so, is just completely outside of the bounds.
Completely thinking in the spectrum of power, I imagine the only way Nintendo could release something 'significantly more powerful' than the PS3/360, would be to follow the Loss-Leader strategy, which, say it with me now, Nintendo does not do. Once again, let us refer to the 3DS, which might only cost around $100 to make. The DSi, hell, the DS line, as far as I know, was the same way. Just as the Wii was. So unless Nintendo is going to go super-crazy and announce this supposed next Console for upwards of $400 or so, this is not going to work.
Reason number two, on why this is dumb is because of the way Nintendo likes to release things. They don't like to do the thing some other companies do, and go, 'Horror game. Planned Trilogy. 2013.' drop the mic, and walk off. They go, '3DS. Early Next year. Now let's look at all these games on it.' and play around with it for an hour to make game journalists salivate. My point is, they do a quick turn-around, so to suggest they've been sitting on this to release it in their own time constraints of 'soon' is ridiculous, which would lead us to think they're going to announce it at E3 for TBA or late 2012/early 2013. If you see the pattern, you know what goes here.
Just speaking about it in the terms of the 3DS not even existing makes it seem very un-Nintendo-like, but to think they'll release it, again in their Nintendo time, as we are guessing since this is Nintendo, which would put it this close to the release of the 3DS is insanity of the highest caliber. Nintendo doesn't create this kind of confusing market for their customers, as far as I know. One could argue that releasing the 3DS only a few months after the DSi XL might refute that, but this isn't the same thing, clearly. And the DSi XL came out a full year following the DSi proper.
So let's ignore reality and create a fantasy-land where this rumor is all true and follow the Nintendo time-line. We'll imagine that they announce this new console at E3. When are they supposed to release it? Anything before February 26th of 2012 in Japan is less than a full year following the 3DS release (For reference, the difference between the DS and the Wii was exactly two years) and March isn't the time to release a new console. Which means they push it back to, what, September? So this is a year and a half in advance. More powerful than the PS3/360, and ridiculously priced accordingly.
Dumb. Dumb. This is DUMB.
Now, I'm not saying all this because I like Nintendo or anything. I mean, I am giving them a lot of credit here, so don't get any ideas. (Happy, Haplo?) But absolutely nothing about this rumor follows Nintendo-logic. So either the rumor is flawed and wrong, or Nintendo has gone mad with power. I, for one, do not see a repeat of the N64 years happening so quickly, which makes me once again re-iterate: This rumor is dumb.
It wouldn't be the first time I've been wrong, I guess, but it would certainly be the most confusing time. We'll just have to see what E3 brings.