As the Wii U struggles, reports and specs of Nintendo’s next-gen consoles spread

Nintendo Fusion

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 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.”

Sad Wii UThe 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 andiPhone 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.

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