updated 05:30 pm EDT, Thu April 21, 2011
Nintendo Project Cafe may use touchscreen gamepad
Nintendo may be planning a radical revision to its controllers with its increasingly expected sequel to the Wii. Supposedly codenamed Project Café, one of the game system's controllers would revolve around a very large 6.2-inch touchscreen. It would still have two analog sticks and eight buttons but would add a camera, Kotaku said.
Games would use the touchscreen to show information similar to the way the 3DS handles them today, such as putting the inventory or maps on the controller to remove clutter on the main screen. It could be used for entirely separate apps. The camera could be used to integrate photos with a game or for live video.
The system would still use motion controllers like the Wii, but it wasn't certain which of the two would be the default or if the remote would even change. Gamers might have the option of giving the motion remote to one player while another used the touchscreen gamepad.
None of the rumor has been confirmed by Nintendo and is fresh, leaving room for at least some doubt in the plans. It would however line up with Nintendo's tendency to rethink its control scheme with each new generation and would create a harmony between the 3DS and the TV console.
Project Café if real could appear at the E3 show in June, but whether or not it's ready to launch this year is uncertain. A 2012 launch may be more probable without a nearly complete system and major developer support.