The idea behind remote gaming isn't a new one. While OnLive attempt to bring the concept to the forefront on a grand scale (cloud computing), companies like Sony have dabbled in similar ventures on a much smaller level. With the PS3 for example, you could directly stream videogame content from the unit to the PSP, thus using the handheld device as a portable PS3 controller while also being able to play select games on it as a result. This was a headlining feature touted by Factor 5's Lair, although it goes unused by most developers.
Now a similar concept is said to be behind the very heart of the Wii 2. Nintendo's latest machine will apparently feature a 6" LCD screen directly on the controller - much like the Sega Dreamcast and its VMU display - in which users of Nintendo's new console will be able to wirelessly stream their games directly from the Wii 2 to the system's controller for portable play.
So far, from what we gather this appears to be just for local wireless play at present, although there's no stopping Nintendo from expanding this concept online via a broadband connection. At this point, it should be noted that the PS3 (with Lair) managed to achieve game streaming over wireless broadband regardless of your location. The quality and speed of both your connection and the remote wireless network dictated how laggy an experience you got, with fast connections obviously allowing for far less input latency.
Additionally, Nintendo's controller for their next machine will reportedly feature the standard dual analogue stick, four buttons and a d-pad approach missing on the Wii's Remote and Nunchuck set-up. Other interesting tidbits include backwards compatibility with the Wii (emulation in HD perhaps) and that the new controller's LCD display actually has touch screen functionality. This LCD screen is also considered to be 'HD'. However that doesn't simply imply a native 720p resolution, as the NGP and iPhone 4 has shown.
The company is also said to be targeting the hardcore gaming audience with the Wii 2 after languishing behind in this area with the current Wii and NDS consoles, thus the return to traditional controllers.
As a result sources have been told to expect HD graphics from the console (a given really), and a system that exceeds the capabilities of the PS3. It has been indicated that Nintendo could be using a custom, three core IBM PowerPC CPU, and a ATI R700 family GPU with shader model 4.1 extensions. Curiously, the inclusion of a mere 512MB of RAM seems a little low. We expect that 1GB is far more reasonable for a 2012 release machine. But this is all hearsay and conjecture at the moment.
One thing we do know, is that Nintendo is planning to fully unveil the machine, along with both first and third-party software for the system at this year's E3, with an announcement to be forthcoming ahead of the show.
Sources sighted: GameInformer, Develop, and CVG.