As the Wii U struggles, reports and specs of Nintendo’s next-gen consoles spread
By Grant Brunner on January 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm
Nintendo is in dire straights. The Wii U sold poorly over the 2013 holiday season, and the Kyoto company is anticipating substantial losses going forward. Now, rumors are bubbling up that Nintendo is already working on its next console, and it sounds quite promising. With superior hardware and better handheld connectivity, this has the potential to turn the table once more in Nintendo’s favor.
An enthusiast site by the name of Nintendo News recently reported a number of interesting tidbits, and it all sounds too good to be true. First off, the author proposes that “Fusion” could be the name of Nintendo’s next console. The evidence, a domain name purchased over a decade ago, seems like a stretch at best. The domain NintendoFusion.com does exist, and it seems as if Nintendo is actually the owner. However, Nintendo News points out itself that the domain likely exists because of the Fusion Tour that Nintendo held in the early aughts. While the name sounds relatively plausible, I wouldn’t bet any money on it. Even if it’s true, remember that the Nintendo Wii was codenamed “Revolution,” and the GameCube once went by “Dolphin.”
The proposed spec-sheets of the “Fusion DS” and “Fusion Terminal” are available in the post as well. The handheld supposedly sports an ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, an Adreno 420 GPU, 3GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and two 960×640 capacitive touchscreens. On the console side, the “Terminal” is reported to have a 2.2GHz 8-core PowerPC CPU, a custom Radeon-based GPU, 4GB of DDR4 RAM, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 4K-compatible HDMI 2.0 output. Those definitely sound like compelling upgrades to the existing hardware, but Nintendo’s problems don’t lie solely with its underpowered hardware. If Nintendo wants hardware adoption, it’s going to need a flood of outstanding first-party titles that the Wii U just hasn’t offered.
With a name like Fusion, this rumor is pointing towards the potential of cross-compatibility between the console and handheld — following Sony’s lead. With cross-buy, cross-play, and remote play, Sony has been knocking it out of the park with the PlayStation Vita in the last few months. Since Nintendo has such a strong hold on the handheld market, it would be wise to follow suit here.
Even if this specific rumor turns out to be bogus, its clear that Nintendo has to do something. The company is hemorrhaging money, and the stock price just fell off of a cliff. It’s highly unlikely that Nintendo will abandon the hardware market in favor of PS4 and iPhone support, so the solution is clear: new hardware.
Nintendo needs to cut its losses with the Wii U, double down on 3DS development, and start anew in the console market in a few years. In the meantime, Nintendo needs to fire much of its leadership, and find a better way to leverage its entire back catalog. With Nintendo’s amazing software library, the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Consoles could be pure profit machines. Instead, Nintendo has squandered this opportunity by only releasing a handful of titles at a time. Frankly, Nintendo better shape up, or prepare for the impending shareholder revolt.
“Nintendo Fusion” Could Be Nintendo’s Next-Gen Hardware Name
By Kevin McMinn On 21 January 2014
Nintendo Fusion isn’t just an arbitrary name with no meaning.
We have just received an anonymous tip from one of our very reputable sources regarding possible information related to Nintendo’s next-generation hardware; for both its home and portable consoles.
First of all, if this is your first time on Nintendo News, I want to personally make it clear that we have an impeccable reputation when it comes to delivering information that’s credible and newsworthy. Secondly, thank you for taking the time to read what we offer. Third, and most important, none of the information is 100% guaranteed. Then again, nothing in life is either. Please use caution when viewing the below information, especially with regard to the technical specifications. Let’s have a look at the information we have received.
Perhaps the most important question is, “what is Nintendo working on”? As many may already be aware, Nintendo is already fast at work on their next set of home and portable hardware. Nintendo, in particular, seem to work on succeeding hardware anywhere from six months to two years after their current generation lineup is released on the market. What we know is that “Nintendo Fusion” is a possible name that Nintendo is using for their next-gen hardware.
On Thursday, May 29th, 2003, Nintendo of America Inc. purchased the domain name nintendofusion.com. They purchased the domain from the same Melbourne, Australia-based registrar they use for all of their other official domain names: Melbourne IT Ltd. At precisely 12:17 p.m. GMT on January 21st (just about an hour and a half ago), the WHOIS database record for nintendofusion.com was updated.
You can see all of the aforementioned information related to nintendofusion.com right here. Alternatively, we’ve listed it below for you.
Domain Name: nintendofusion.com
Registry Domain ID: 98528369_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.melbourneit.com
Registrar URL: http://www.melbourneit.com.au
Updated Date: 2013-04-02T09:18:58Z
Creation Date: 2003-05-29T19:33:46Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2014-05-30T05:33:46Z
Registrar: Melbourne IT Ltd
Registrant Name: Nintendo of America Inc.
Registrant Organization: Nintendo of America Inc.
Registrant Street: 4820 150th Avenue NE
Registrant City: Redmond
Registrant State/Province: WA
Registrant Postal Code: 98052
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.4258822040
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax: +1.4258823585
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email: email@example.com
Name Server: DNS1.NINTENDO.COM
Name Server: DNS2.NINTENDO.COM
Last update of WHOIS database: 2014-01-21T12:17:01Z
NOTE: nintendofusion.com was originally purchased because of the Nintendo Fusion Tour — a touring rock music and video game festival sponsored by Nintendo of America. The tour began in 2003, which explains the date of the domain name purchase. This may, or may not be, related to the tipped information below regarding Nintendo’s possible hardware. Additionally, the Nintendo Fusion Tour was last active in 2006.
Now, onto the other stuff.
The following information comes from our source, of whom which has provided us with possible hardware specifications related to Nintendo’s new hardware systems, said to be named “Fusion DS” and “Fusion Terminal,” respectively. I want to reiterate that everything below may not be guaranteed so please take that into consideration when viewing the information.
CPU: ARMv8-A Cortex-A53 GPU: Custom Adreno 420-based AMD GPU
COM 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
A, B, X, Y, D-Pad, L, R, 1, 2 Buttons
3 Axis Tuning Fork Gyroscope, 3 Axis Accelerometer, Magnetometer
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 Gigabytes)
Nintendo 3DS Cart Slot
SDHC “Holographic Enhanced” Card Slot up to 128 Gigabyte Limit
Mini USB I/O
3300 mAh Li-Ion battery
GPGPU: 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: IBM 64-Bit Custom POWER 8-Based IBM 8-Core Processor CODENAME JUMPMAN (2.2 GHz, Shared 6 MB L4 cache)
Co-CPU: IBM PowerPC 750-based 1.24 GHz Tri-Core Co-Processor CODENAME HAMMER
MEMORY: 4 Gigabytes of Unified DDR4 SDRAM CODENAMED 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
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
So, until Nintendo officially reveals their next-gen hardware lineup, don’t get too carried away with what we have presented in this article. The domain name, and information provided for the domain name, is entirely real. The hardware name and technical hardware specifications, along with some questionable code names, is another story.
Tracking Down The Odd Rumors About Nintendo's Next Console
Here at Kotaku, we love insider info. We like getting information both from random tipsters and our own sources. And because of those people—to whom we grant anonymity in our reporting—we're able to tell you stories you might not otherwise know about, and give you all the details about games like Titanfall and Alien: Isolation before they're even announced.
Of course, we're not the only ones: other outlets have also reported some terrific scoops using secret sources.
But the danger of anonymous sourcing is that when not handled judiciously, it can allow false information to spread.
Take "Nintendo Fusion," the recently-rumored "next Nintendo console" that you might have seen reported on major gaming websites like Destructoid, The Escapist, and VentureBeat. The rumor is this: in the wake of a rough 2013, Nintendo has started development on their next console, Nintendo Fusion, which will have two parts, called the Fusion DS and Fusion Terminal. There's also a giant list of specs for the system, including some questionable bullet-points like "Thumbprint Security Scanner with Pulse Sensing Feedback" and "SDHC 'Holographic Enhanced' Card Slot up to 128 Gigabyte Limit."
The timing is suspect, given that news just came out about Nintendo's rough 2013, and given that the company's last console launched just over a year ago. But while the list is full of red flags, the premise is certainly possible—plenty of pundits and observers would love to see Nintendo use its mighty developer talent for one hybrid console, rather than two. (Nintendo, when asked about the rumor, told me they don't comment on rumors and speculation.)
There's one bigger problem with this rumor: sketchy sourcing.
Where did all this come from? The above gaming sites all cite this article, written by Kevin McMinn for a website called Nintendo News, which says that this Nintendo Fusion rumor came from "an anonymous tip from one of [their] very reputable sources." Nintendo News presents the specs and information as a possibility, not a guarantee, and they warn readers to be skeptical about what's written there.
But when reached by e-mail last night, McMinn told me he doesn't actually know who gave him this Nintendo Fusion story. Although he believes that this is a "very reputable source," McMinn said he doesn't know who they are or how they might be privy to so many specific details about a new Nintendo console.
"I know little to nothing about the person who sent the email with the information," McMinn said. "All I know is that the person has been proven to have inside information and has given details to other sources as well; not just Nintendo News."
McMinn didn't elaborate, but said he hasn't published everything he's received from this anonymous tipster in the past, and what's more, he seems to regret allowing a rumor like this to spread.
"I'm really not sure why the Internet is blowing up right now over this," McMinn told me. "I've made it completely clear on numerous occasions throughout the article that the information is not 100% guaranteed and for readers to take caution when viewing the contents. I'm at a point now where I'll probably just keep tips to myself and not publish the info. This one article has been nothing more than a pain in the neck, really."
But the rumor might not have even started at Nintendo News. Yesterday, a website called GaminRealm also published those same specs, complete with one hell of a warning:
"Before I go any further though, let me make a disclaimer: Take all of this with a huge grain of salt. I'm not going to lie and make it out to seem like I have inside industry sources, because I don't. The information you're about to see comes from an anonymous origin, and an acquaintance of mine brought this to my attention – I'm just being honest with you. Yep, it's one of those situations."
In other words, GaminRealm's tipster could have been anyone ranging from Shigeru Miyamoto to a 14-year-old 4channer. Both websites list the same spec breakdown for this alleged Nintendo Fusion, and neither writer seems to know who provided the information in the first place.
It's not our norm to ask other reporters about their sources, but when a rumor is spreading and the origin of that rumor seems potentially suspect, we have to ask for any context that will help us size things up and discern what's worth sharing with our readers. So in an attempt to distinguish fact from fiction and untangle the confusing sourcing here, I asked GaminRealm founder Marlon Reid for more context.
"Our information came from one of our own sources whose information I cannot disclose," Reid told me in an e-mail. "I am well aware of [Nintendo News]. Unfortunately for them, my reporter was the first to have that info and has had that info for a while now."
Reid wouldn't elaborate on who sent GaminRealm the information or why they put a disclaimer like that, insisting in a follow-up e-mail that he "can not disclose source information," although the article itself makes it quite clear that writer Jahmai Williams did not know who sent in this info or whether it's real or not.
Meanwhile, Nintendo News's McMinn said he isn't sure whether the rumor he reported is legitimate.
"With regard to the hardware specifications, I can't give you an accurate answer," he told me in an e-mail. "I don't know enough about the listed hardware to provide you with an educated answer. For that reason alone, I cannot tell you if I think it holds any weight."
This is how the sausage gets made—from one or two anonymous e-mails to some of the largest websites in gaming. Flimsy rumors like Nintendo Fusion illustrate just how strange some of this stuff can get.