Brought to us by the N64 & enhanced by Dolphin, multiplayer games are at the crux of what make Nintendo enjoyable. Michael Sell writes an editorial on the subject.
Amongst all of these rumors, statements, and leaks about everything from how much ram it will have to how many polygons it will render, I find myself looking to the software, but most importantly, the aspect of the N64 that, at least to me, always made it rule over Sony. This of course being multiplayer gaming.
Looking to the Past, for A Hint to the Future
When I look back all the way past the N64, to a little old white and purple colored box, I like to call the Super Nintendo. Back then multi-play was relatively unknown, and god how unexpected it was. Sure a couple nice titles came by with multiplayer support, namely Secret of Mana and Contra. Still, with Secret of Mana you need a multitap just to use the max characters, which, I don't know about you, I never invested in.
I guess Nintendo, being the revolutionizers in the business, got a whiff of the stench that was people, mad that they only had two controller slots, because what did they do with the N64 but add two more slots. Ingenious, from any standpoint. Good for Nintendo because they sell more controllers, more profits. Especially good for us, the consumer, as we get to enjoy the best multiplayer gaming in the console industry.
What the Future Might Bring (Fingers Crossed...)
With Nintendo constantly finding ways to lead the industry into new directions, I find myself wondering just what to expect out of Dolphin. What always comes to mind is Networks. If any of you out there are big on LANs then you know what I'm talking about hen I talk about Networks. I want to see Nintendo put an Ethernet card into each Dolphin enabling you to be able to daisy chain your Dolphins in a line. I myself have 5 televisions in my house (true, one is a really old one, but it still works great). I can just imagine what it would be like to have all my friends come over, all with their Dolphins and network cables (Which Nintendo, being the nice guys I know they are, bundles right in with the system) and linking up through out my house. Multi-gaming bliss is what that would be........
Like I said, I have 5 TV's which would allow for 5 people to play, with no split screens at all. Or there is another idea rotting away in the infernal mush of my brain, and it is perhaps one of the most exciting possibilities yet. It is the fact that while I could have 5 people going head to head, what If on each TV I had 2 people, each on a team. That means that only you and your partner sees where you are, you can communicate with him. It is perfect. Then it would be 10 people in a game, all at once, with 5 separate teams. Oh man would that be cool. Finally you could communicate strategies with your teammate, while not with your enemies. Total surprise as opponents can't just cheat and look at your section of the screen. Not to mention that the visuals would be one up as the least amount of screen you could have is half. No more squinting, trying to see things in the distance out of a quarter of the screen.
There you have it, what I can imagine as one of the coolest ideas for Dolphin. Do not take this as anything more then speculation though, as that is all it is. As much as I would like to have Nintendo call a press conference tomorrow and confirm this, at this point all we can do Is sit back and wait. I have never known Nintendo to just release a system, I have known Nintendo to release the future of gaming, and I expect nothing less.