IGN Wii posted an article with a collection of rumors surfacing on the Internet. Apparently one rumor is based on a mystery source stating that IBM is working on reducing the size of the Wii’s Broadway CPU for use in a “future Nintendo handheld– presumably one that plays Gamecube disks.” Shortly thereafter, the rumor was removed from the article. The idea of a Gamecube handheld is not new, but it is very interesting that it would show its way onto IGN and then disappear.
This is what every Nintendo fanboy dreams of, right? To play Metroid Prime while taking the bus to work? It is easy to assume that this refers to a portable version of the Gamecube, but the rumor really only makes mention of a handheld using IBM’s Broadway CPU. Then a presumption is make that it will play Gamecube disks. It makes no mention of playing Gamecube games. In comparison to the Xbox 360 and PS3, the Wii’s CPU is presumably inexpensive to produce. With further development and modifications it could be very cheap to mass produce in a few years time- cheap enough to use in a handheld sold for the price of a Nintendo DS. Using similar architecture to the Gamecube and Wii would make development easy. To take advantage of the power, the system could use disk based media, like a Gamecube disk.
This sounds reasonable. However, a portable Gamecube is not. Imagine trying to see your character, much less items, in a Super Smash Bros. Melee battle on a three inch screen? Or dodging laser blasts in Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader? It would be next to impossible. Not to mention Nintendo would collect less royalties off of new software sales, since many people already have a large Gamecube collection. I want new games on a new Nintendo handheld, don’t you?