However, this is still assuming that the PS4/720 will be leagues stronger in power, which they simply cannot. Sure, they may have pieces in place that can run frames, and aliasing etc at faster speeds, but GRAPHICALLY, what they will be able to achieve with these consoles will not be that much greater than what Café can do. You must realize, such exaggerated power will cost more than most publishers can sustain to afford. You cannot just make everything look like crisis on food stamps and elbow grease.
The situation with Café is not the same as it was with the Wii in 2005. Nintendo is not coming off their worst-selling console (ignore Virtual Boy). No one is expecting their marketshare to dwindle to 15%. The company itself is reaching out to others to secure exclusives and ensure a stable library. They are adopting the same strategy with the 3DS, letting 3rd parties have a shot early on. Part of the reason they complained of Wii in the 1st place was due to space limitations and power – even when PS4/720 release that still won’t be seen as an issue.
The leap will not be as large between consoles. Besides, are you telling me that they will skip out entirely on a Café-compatible engine to make a bleeding-edge one for the others. By the way you make it sound, it seems like 3rd parties will avoid the console completely and make it go Dreamcast. Even if that frustrating circumstance did occur, whats to stop Nintendo from repeating the same strategy adopted by the Wii again to succeed despite lackluster support?
As you said, the Dreamcast failed for a variety of reasons. The only you can relate to the console is the timing of its release. Besides, the position Sony was in, and the postion Sega was in were two COMPLETELY different things, and the circumstances this time around are nowhere near the same.
It does not matter how mindful they are of how they make it, the parts will still come at a price. Lets assume these consoles are coming in TWO years time, 2013. Since R&D has already begun, it makes sense they will use parts from this year right? If that is the case, which graphics cards can they use now which quadruple the PS3 in strength and still be profitable with? Who can afford to create every game with a budget around $60 million (Ubisoft stated this will be the average - http://kotaku.com/5293126/ubisoft-ceo-expects-60-million-game-budgets-next-gen)
Graphical strength will not be the only upgrade the console will have over this generation either. E3 is only about a week away, so it will be confirmed there, but what is to say the Interface will not take main precedence like it did with the Wii? What if the controller is revolutionary/innovative and is unique like motion controls was? Storage? Compatibility? Resolution? 3D? Holograms? Streaming? Vitality Sensor?
Graphics will not be the only determining factor whether Nintendo sinks or swims this time.
Well, firstly, not every game will cost 60 million to make. Just as technology gets both better and more affordable over time, making more complex games gets cheaper. Games that would've taken a full team on the NES can be crafted by single individuals these days--and it happens all the time. Once complex and difficult design elements get cheaper over time.
Sure, the next Sony and Microsoft systems will be, likely, using hardware designed and existing right now, but Cafe is using hardware designed in 2006 or 2007. Maybe 2008 at the latest.
And I'm certainly not talking just graphics. If the only problem was graphics, some of these engines could've (like Unreal) could've, in theory, been designed to run on the Wii. But it's a lot more than graphics. It's physics, particles, depth of programming for A.I., sizes of stages, and the ability to handle other complex operations, such as vast online multiplayer games with massive numbers of players.
Again, it's silly to assume that the PS4 or X720 will not be massive leaps over Cafe. Of course they will be. And they'll be pricey, but not PS3 pricey. Is it costly to develop on this vastly higher hardware? Of course it is. But Microsoft and Sony aren't going to put out new systems that are barely improvements over their current systems. They'll be damn powerful compared to the current generation, and compared to Cafe. They're going to A) give consumers a reason to upgrade to these monstrously high-tech new machines and B) they're going to give developers as much room for growth, experimentation, and development as possible.
As for 3rd parties not supporting Cafe after about 2 years, well, for one thing, it happened before: The GameCube was essentially everything the Xbox and PS2 were, but in typical Nintendo fan fashion, third party games were largely ignored for Nintendo's stuff. I guess having two or three more Mario party games was just "better" to Nintendo fans than having Beyond Good & Evil, Call of Duty or Prince of Persia (etc). Third party stuff doesn't sell on Nintendo systems. Sure, Nintendo "stepped back" to let 3rd parties have some space on the 3DS, but the 3DS launch was less than stellar, and sales haven't exactly been impressive. Plus, the 3rd party companies didn't care all that much--and neither did Nintendo.
Which is another thing--adopting the same strategy as the 3DS. It doesn't seem like the strategy is working. Aside from Street Fighter, DoA, and Ghost Recon, everything on the 3DS so far seems to be terrible. And the 3DS itself just doesn't seem to be that much of a leap forward over the now-classic DS line, plus, it's wicked expensive. If this is the strategy Nintendo's going for, then they're going to have similar sales issues with Cafe--and that thing certainly doesn't sound cheap. Controllers with HD touch-screens, compatible with Wii Remotes, possibly with microphones and their own motion controls? These things alone will probably retail for a hundred bucks. The system itself sounds like it'll be $400 or more. When did Nintendo turn into Sony? "Yeah, we can charge whatever. People will pay for it. Because we tell 'em to." At least when Sony was selling a system for $600, they were selling it for a loss. Nintendo's no doubt going to charge $100 or more above development cost of Cafe.
I think Nintendo is getting arrogant on the success of the Wii and DS, and the pricing and poor launch of the 3DS is evidence to this.
Third party companies will likely port some stuff to Cafe since it'll port easily from Xbox360 and PS3, but after about two years when the next Xbox and Playstation launch (and Nintendo fans continue to ignore the 3rd party games), they'll upgrade to the vastly more powerful next Xbox and Playstation.
None of this stuff about Cafe looks good to me. Yeah, sure, Nintendo's finally making an HD system. They're finally going to have some kind of "normal" controller. But then again, they're going to release what is essentially a current-gen system towards the end of this generation. It's likely going to cost more than the competing systems, and will have a prohibitively expensive controller. (If they don't include two controllers with launch systems, I'm calling shenanigans on them, because otherwise, they're going to price themselves out of multiplayer gaming.) If their goal is to follow 3DS strategy, then it's going to be a rocky start, and both Microsoft and Sony will watch carefully, and counter with punishing force. And again, it doesn't really matter if they have 3rd party support or not, since, as usual, Nintendo fans don't buy 3rd party software--this stuff almost always sells better on pretty much any other system.
And another thing that irks me about whether or not they lamely follow "3DS" strategy: Look at how pathetic their early 3DS strategy is. We're getting, thus far, one unique, new, fairly original game. Just Kid Icarus. Other than that, we have a barely evolved sequel (Nintendogs), an old revamped DS demo (Steel Diver), and two ports from a system nearly 15 years old (Zelda and StarFox). What about this fills anyone with warm feelings concerning Cafe? What, are we going to get on there? A forgotten Wii demo? Two "HD and touch-screen-upgraded" GameCube titles? One original game?
Do you really want them following the highly questionable, and generally embarrassing 3DS strategy? Maybe we'll get lucky. Maybe the early Wii demo to find new life as a Cafe launch title will be Project HAMMER. But I doubt that. We'll probably get Luigi's Mansion HD-Touch and Wind Waker HD-Touch.
Honestly, I have never felt so "un-thrilled" for a new Nintendo system in my life. And I love this company. Look below here, in my signature, look how much of their crap I own: