IGN did what nobody else really felt like doing. They took the time to build Nintendo’s next-generation console, or Project Cafe, and tested its performance with some modern games.
You can see how their mock-Cafe faired below the break.
Here is what is in their box:
- CPU: 3.2 GHz Triple Core AMD Athlon II X3 450
- GPU: XFX Radeon HD 4850 GPU with 1GBs of VRAM
- Motherboard: BIOSTAR A780L3L Micro ATX
- Power Supply: Rosewill RV350 ATX 1.3
- Hard Drive: 80GB WD Caviar Blue 7200RPM
The components they included in their build were based off of what sources told them the console would be running. Namely a custom triple core CPU, a graphics processor built on AMD’s R700 architecture, around 1GB of RAM and a CPU roughly clocked above 3.2GHz.The total price of the system was $423.93. Keep in mind this includes retail markup, so this is not representative of Nintendo’s actual price–but it is a nice ballpark.
After they matched the system the best they could, they threw some graphically intensive games at it.
Call of Duty: Black Ops is definitely no slouch, and their mock-Cafe performed notably better than the console versions. The framerate on the other hand suffered a bit, jumping between 32 and 56 frames-per-second.
Valve’s Source Engine in Portal 2 ended up looking slightly better on their system compared to the consoles, and the framerate sustained a solid 60 frames-per-second with maxed out graphical settings.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit is a beautiful game. Unfortunately, the mock-Cafe stayed relatively the same as the consoles. There were only slight differences in sharper edges and legible license plates.
Running at 1080p and on “Very High” settings Crysis 2 ran smoothly on the mock-Cafe. The framerate never dipped below 30 frames-per-second. The current-gen consoles admittedly ran the same, but with subtle impacts to lighting, textures, and edge detail.
None of this is extremely telling of how the real console will perform, but it does put it’s power in perspective. Building a custom PC to try to match a specialized machine will almost never be completely accurate, and that’s not accounting for the console having to output video to the rumored controller.
All of these questions will hopefully be answered on June 7th, when Nintendo finally unveils this mysterious Project Cafe.