IBM working with Nintendo again for next console

PC World reports, via NeoGAF: “IBM is working with gaming machine vendors including Nintendo and Sony, said Jai Menon, CTO of IBM’s Systems and Technology Group, during an interview Thursday. ‘We’re working with all of the game folks to provide our capabilities into those next-generation machines,’ he said.”

As a reminder, IBM supplied Nintendo with processors for both the GameCube and Wii. As NeoGAF notes, however, it sounds as though IBM is still in the bidding process with Nintendo, as opposed to having secured the contract, which would imply upcoming production.

Translation: Nintendo is obviously planning its next console, but it’s highly unlikely it’ll be ready within the next year or so. You know, console shelf life being lengthened and all that.

12 Responses to IBM working with Nintendo again for next console

  1. Kale says:

    There are only so many chip makers out there (even less now than there were when the current hardware generation launched), and it’s always all about production ability, which usually whittles it down to Intel, IBM, Samsung, and one or two others. I’d really love for one of the next-gen consoles (don’t care whose) to really try for a fully-integrated processor design like the stuff that both Intel and IBM are busy designing right now, i.e. unified multi-core processors that eliminate the need for separate GPUs, physics processors, etc. This was what IBM’s Cell Processor was originally going for, but just doesn’t quite get there because of a seriously convoluted processing architecture. Looking at tech like the iPad, you get an idea of what I’m talking about, though. Without the need for a massive, independent GPU, you no longer need all those additional components like fans, boards, etc. creating heat and consuming power. This will lead to smaller, cheaper, and more reliable (not to mention more simplified development pipelines) consoles, PCs, mobile devices, etc. Imagine your video game console being something the size of your iPod Touch that just hooks up to your TV/monitor via a single HDMI or USB cable (power and data on the same line, so you even eliminate the clutter of all those video and power cables). Hell, you could even just have it built into the TV, running on wi-fi with a solid-state hard drive or SD storage and just buy the games from an app store… It’s the future, man. We may not have flying DeLoreans or hoverboards (you have FIVE years, Mattel!), but damned if we ain’t got some slick-a$$ gaming tech on the horizon. With the way the Wii seriously shook things us this generation, though, it’s anybody’s guess as to what the next batch of machines will ultimately be like. 😉

  2. Greg in PA says:

    @ kale
    very interesting points especially about how nintendo shook everything up, I hope microsoft and sony continue their arms race for the latest and greatest technology because I cant imagine what they will be able to give us in two years time, thoughts of 3d games running in full 1080p at 60 fps with an increase in graphical quality keep me up all night just thinking of how mind blowing that would be

  3. grumpydavid says:

    @kale – I am not sure how much sense what you are saying makes. What are the benefits of no physical media and tiny consoles in the industry in this day and age? It would end up killing gamestop. The games section in retail stores would nearly disappear. It should mean cheaper games but it would also hurts sales in many ways. Consumer awareness, etc. Smaller consoles are not going to make my life easier and it’ll need more than hdmi out. Still gonna need Controllers, a camera and mic perhaps, sure they’ll be wireless but I wanna be able to charge them and not swap expensive batteries so I want at least two charge ports. I like retail discs. I dont wanna wait around for games to download. I dont wanna be restricted by hdd space, I want backwards compatability with my last gen discs. Another big issue of course is download speeds. I have 3 megs down and if I am downloading a big ps3 update file or game it can take an hour and it will bog down my whole network. Yeah that may be the future of gaming but it will have to be a carefully fleshed out transition. I doubt it will happen with the next gen. Definitely not Nintendos next console. The transition is akin to getting off gasoline. How does an economy handle that? All the old cars on the road, phasing out gas stations… that kind of transition takes decades.

  4. EdEN says:

    Well, if IBM is set to provide the innards of the next Nintendo console then BC with the GC and Wii is a given which is always a plus (it was one of the reasons why when the PS3 dropped in price BUT removed BC I waited until price made up for not having BC).

  5. chris_wing says:

    I’d like for Nintendo to continue backwards compatibility. I have lots of GC and Wii games and I’d like to have one box that can play them all plus the new stuff. Realistically Wii compatibility is likely, but GCN support will likely be left with the Wii. The Wireless Wii controllers should be ably to sync to the New Nintendo system, but GCN controllers would require physical ports, something Nintendo would look at and drop when streamlining the cost of the new system.

  6. Austin says:

    I totally agree with chris_wing. People are probably asking well what about wii games with GCN controller compatibility?! Get over it. Just use the new damn classic controller pro.

  7. Mohan says:

    Not surprising at all, they have been working together since GameCube days. What would be cool is if they put the Cell processor in the next console 😉

  8. Greg in PA says:

    @ mohan
    I doubt they would use the cell but because the strategy of powering the wii based on slightly souped up last gen tech was so successful for the big n i expect their next gen console to be comparable to something like the cell, although i hope im wrong and nintendo uses their tremendous wealth to their advantage puts it into R&D and comes up with some more horsepower under the hood of their next console

  9. Ashraf_2003 says:

    Isn’t it early to talk about next Nintendo console.

  10. grumpydavid says:

    its not early to be talking about nintendos next console. unlike the ps3 & 360 the wii does not have the tech to stay around for another 4 years. hdtv is in a lot of homes now and the wii’s last gen specs are really starting to show.

  11. David says:

    well…nintendo isnt in a position where they need a new system now. Maybe in 2012 or so…and even then…it should only release a new system if it can innovate the way they were able to with the wii.

    they need to leapfrog the competition again…..because if they dont…then they’ll basically put out a system that is more or less the same as what sony and microsoft currently offer….hd graphics…better online infrastructure…upped motion controls…3d?……they need to do something that will set it apart from the other consoles. Until they are able to, they should probably hold off on a new console. They need to innovate again….its just a matter of how they are gonna do it?

    anybody here got any ideas as to what is next in the gaming world…besides 3d….?

  12. wiiu hell yeah i will says:

    powerpc 32 bit broadway 2 tri-core cpu based on upgraded broadway core using soc 45nm 128 bit ring bus like powerpc-476fp does…

    3x powerpc 32bit @45nm system on chip 128bit bus and catch snoop bus ati 4800 series custom gpu Edram to cpu maybe gpu also..

    256mb fcram, 1gb gddr3 ram,custom high speed bluray drive.

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