Does Project Cafe's real, official name hint further at the return of hardcore old Nintendo?

In the same way that you've never owned an Ultra 64, Dolphin or Revolution, Nintendo's new home console, Project Cafe, isn't going to be called Project Cafe when it's sitting under your TV. Why? Because that would just be stupid. Its final name? There are several theories. Wii 2 and WiiHD are the obvious ones, but I seriously doubt they'll come to fruition. Beem and Stream are also knocking around, as a result of rumours that the console's similarly rumoured in-controller screens will stream the gameplay display into your very hands.

But now there's another name knocking around. A simpler, more concise one. One that may at first sound utterly ridiculous, but which with a but of thought suddenly starts to make a lot of sense. Sense that bodes very well for those of us hoping for a return to the hardcore old Ninty we grew up with.

Nintendo. That's the new suggestion coming from GameInformer. Not the Nintendo WiiStreamHDStarCubeBox64. Not even the Nintendo Nintendo. Just the Nintendo. Sound rubbish? Well if the suggestion is true, then I'm rather excited.

Why? Because as you might remember, when Nintendo unveiled the Wii, they made a point of emphasising that they wanted to distance their company name from the console as far as possible. It was not to be called the Nintendo Wii. Just the Wii. The Nintendo logo was barely anywhere to be seen on the machine, its packaging or its controller, and when it did appear it was in the form of either a barely perceptible white-on-white engraving or a nondescript grey shadow of its former bright-and-exciting red self. The Wii was a machine for the casuals, and Nintendo was separating its branding from the company's long-standing hardcore gaming legacy by as great a distance as it could.

But now a hardcore-specced HD console with a controller gimmick which doesn't alienate proper, traditional game design? With the word "Nintendo" not only back in its name, but making up the entirety of its name? That sounds like what we might be getting, my friends. And if it is, then by Gandalf's mighty beard, it's one hell of a statement of intent. More blatent and more meaningful than even Nintendo's step away from centre-stage with the Wii. Don't forget that before the Wii, every Nintendo home console had the company's name as an inseparable part of its official title. There was no officially (or even colloquially) monickered Microsoft Xbox, or even Sony PlayStation 2, but there was a Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo 64 and Nintendo GameCube (officially abbreviated to NGC).

Above: Four of these things belong together, four of these things are kind of the same...

Also, in much the way that "Hoover" became the default name for any brand of vacuum cleaner, there was a time when the dominance of the NES made the phrase "playing Nintendo" synonymous with gaming. I've discussed the reasoning for my suspicions of a new hardcore age of Nintendo before, but what do you reckon? Does this potential new name back up that thinking? Or am I being an excitable old fanboy who's set to be woefully disappointed when the whole machine turns out to be based around the Vitality Sensor tomorrow?

June 06, 2011


E3 Nintendo


  • Darkwun - June 7, 2011 2:16 p.m.

    kudos on the (lmost) lack of wii stream an pii nes jokes i see a plethora on EVERY other thread about this subject! i too would love a variation of the NES moniker-would be like starting my son off in my gaming hey days all over! thats if nintendo pulls this off and doesnt wipe their arse with my rose tinted specs and use my mario 1 up socks for some casual gamer's posh wank
  • therealmaggo - June 7, 2011 12:56 a.m.

    Alternatively, the Nintendo Puu? I thought Wii was a rubbish name, but it sold... so why not use the next logical step and name it's successor the Puu? Anybody? No?
  • therealmaggo - June 7, 2011 12:55 a.m.

    NES 2 or SNES 2 would get a roar of approval I would've thought. Could forecast a return to the days of hardcore dominance. Although Nintendo have never been a fan of tagging a number on the end of a pre-existing console name, unlike others...
  • SparkleDevon - June 6, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    I hate when people call the NES, The Nintendo, because that isn't its name. The Nintendo Entertainment System is its name. >.< Anyways, I am very excited about this. I can't wait to hear more about it.
  • NightCrawler_358 - June 6, 2011 7:25 p.m.

    Oh man i hope so! I am so excited/nervous that it will be "core." At the very least just have a regular default controller! If so, I'll make this my main system over PS3, and buy it day 1!
  • LOZ4EVAH - June 6, 2011 7:22 p.m.

    It's a bold statement saying, "I'm back!" NINTENDO!
  • ichigoame - June 6, 2011 5:13 p.m.

    how about nintendo6 (or 7 if you count color tv game) ''nintendo'' sounds like the ultimatum, kind of like some self titled albums and whatnot. 6 sounds basic but it sort of reminds me of johnny5,just sounds cool after the name of the last one,they'll probably just call it the poo *aaaaaaaaaaaaah cringes*
  • Fro4show - June 6, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    I Still think a NES2 would be better, but then again Ninty has never loved sequel numbers.
  • markeywo - June 6, 2011 3:41 p.m.

    I wanna go back to the old Nintendo. If they can compete with Sony and Microsoft, I'm just gonna hang up all ties to my Playstation and let my 'Nintendo' system reside next to my brand new 3DS. Fuck yea.
  • GR_DavidHoughton - June 6, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    Me too, me too. I'd be gleeful like a pig in poop if they brought back the NES naming convention.
  • KuwaSanjuro - June 6, 2011 3:11 p.m.

    I think a new variation of Nintendo Entertainment System would be good, like the SNES but with a different word replacing 'Super' obviously.
  • CaseInPoint - June 6, 2011 2:53 p.m.

    Soon you can play with Mario Mario on your Nintendo Nintendo.
  • 8bitBaby - June 6, 2011 1:59 p.m.

    the word nintendo is kind of a pejorative. it certainly was in the 80s for a lot of old people, and a few kids but it was all new then. i could live with it. why does it have to have a fancy name? it is what it is nintendo. a house hold name.
  • shawksta - June 6, 2011 1:49 p.m.

    Tomorrow well see, good point though. I honestly dont care how people will think, The Wiis casual approach is just blinding people from the nintendo thats still there, Its just the feedback,need for realistic crap and its "inferior" thats shoving it down. Nintendo owned everyone with their first party titles and shows the need the "hardcore" gamers need it for. 2010 raped the industry with galaxy 2, no more heroes 2, many more and the titles at E3, Nintendos making themselves visible and to show that they mean business, The wiis ending with a bang with skyward sword, a new kirby game and who knows what? And for the love of god make a sequel to luigis mansion with the Nintendo or better yet, the wii, just because its not a mario game doesnt mean it wasnt great.
  • Spybreak8 - June 6, 2011 1:37 p.m.

    Well it's a good start if anything.
  • myguyfromthe80s - June 6, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    @andybeans I couldn't agree more. Ooooh, you don't want to go down the Sega road that's for sure *coughs* 32X, Saturn, Activator. Casual gamers are exactly that. If you only 'casually' play on your Wii, then your hardly casually gonna spend money on a new console or peripheral if the one you have does the job (Looking at you MOVE and KINECT). Bring it back Nintendo, bring it back with some Gusto!
  • mynameisjay - June 6, 2011 1:07 p.m.

    Introducing the Nintendo Nintendo! I doubt it. I'd like to see something simple, though like the "Ultra Nintendo"
  • andybeans - June 6, 2011 1:01 p.m.

    I think "Wii Stream" would be the most accurate ;) I don't really find Nintendo machines or games very appealing. I thought that Nintendo was on to a winner with the DS and Wii by exploring the concept of enhancing the interface between the user and machine (I studied Human Computer Interfaces at uni). However the poor quality of the Wiimote sensors and lack of interest in keeping up with the factors driving traditional console development (i.e. rendering speed, image quality and online connectivity) has pushed the Wii into the metaphorical backwaters; a stale area avoided by most hardcore gamers except those yearning back to Nintendo's NES-to-NGC glory days. The Wii has done it's job, Nintendo have dominated the new "casual gamer" market. However it has also scared off hardcore gamers who are the people who keep using their console and should be considered the primary market of every console manufacturer. It doesn't matter that Nintendo is (or has always) distanced itself from the Wii, the general public now view Nintendo machines as for kids or drunken parties. Project Cafe will have to dispel these perceptions or Nintendo may be forced down the same path as Sega within the next few years.
  • marrakoosh - June 6, 2011 1 p.m.

    Maybe they'll go with Nintendo HD, but with the HD in subscript (not super like 64).
  • myguyfromthe80s - June 6, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    I hope it is. It would be nice to see Nintendo take on the other big players, and turn up to the battle with an BFG instead of a water pistol.

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