Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - RickPowers

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 50

It's time to peel back the pseudonym and talk candidly with an essential leader of Planet GameCube.

Welcome to a series of special podcasts, hosted by your friends at Radio Free Nintendo. Former podcast host and website director Jonathan Metts is sharing his extensive interviews with current and former staff members from Nintendo World Report [the very site you are now reading, which is also still widely known as Planet GameCube (which is one of the long-term prices we've had to pay for the privilege of changing our name at the peak of our popularity).] These interviews are part of his research for an upcoming book about the long-running website, focusing on its vast array of dedicated, all-volunteer creators. This paragraph is painfully thorough because I want to reuse it for each subsequent release from this series, which is planned to continue throughout 2016!

This interview features Rob Stevens, but our long-time audience will know him better as "Rick Powers". Back in the day, he was one of our most outspoken writers, a strict community moderator, and an invaluable leader who was once the acting Director for two months -- in secret! We discuss all the misdirection, tough decisions, classic interviews, and yeah, even Denis Dyack and Penny Arcade.

If you haven't already, subscribe to Radio Free Nintendo with the links above to automatically receive all upcoming interviews in this series.

TalkBack / Re: Rick’s Rant - Episode 5: Powers Strikes Back
« on: January 27, 2009, 11:25:07 AM »
Wow, Justin managed to make my point, and did it succinctly?  :)

The main thesis of my argument is that Nintendo is doing very well financially, and the numbers are hiding a terrible secret ... they are starting to lose the very same market that they carved out for themselves, and they're losing it because even casual gamers will enjoy more complex games once you've whetted their appetite.  Sadly, those games aren't coming fast enough, and interest is dwindling.  The point is that the games that the "core" gamer is waiting for are ironically the same ones that the "casual" gamer wants.  The sales numbers hint strongly at that point.

Taking the Reality TV analogy a bit further, look at American Idol.  Still has the strongest ratings of almost any show on TV, but ratings are dropping and they're trying to find ways to fix it, like adding a fourth judge.  Dig into those ratings a bit further, and you uncover the terrible secret ... the people watching American Idol most are not the ones they were trying to attract.  Turns out it's older people, and not the teenagers sought after by advertisers.  Trust me when I tell you that there was a bit of shock when they finally realized that.

I'm hoping that Nintendo will realize that their short-term success has a potential long-term cost, and maybe the financial crisis just has me a little pissed at companies so focused on the short-term that they ignore the potential pitfalls, but this is an easily solvable problem as long as Nintendo isn't so focused on this new market that they fail to see that they've done exactly what they're claiming to have done and can't capitalize on it.

And before I forget, while you make some very good points, OptimusPrime, essentially saying I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to disruptive innovations is just not accurate.  Two of the research papers I wrote in business school were about disruptive innovation, and deep within all your analysis you're missing the one important detail ... Nintendo is also disrupting the people that they need to succeed WITH them, and that is not the kind of disruption any company wants.  A successful, healthy business is about having multiple, long-term revenue streams.  Licensing is one of those streams for Nintendo, and if third-parties can't replicate Nintendo's success, that revenue stream is going to dry up.

Nintendo has not disrupted "every content provider on the planet."  Despite Nintendo's original desire to have the Wii be a message board, news center, etc ... it's just not being used like that.  A great many people are consuming other kinds of content on other devices ... Xbox 360, PS3, iPhone, etc.  The Wii is not a disruptive product.  You might be able to claim that for the controller, but if that were true, Xbox 360 and PS3 would have clones by now, and while they've researched it, there's no need.  Casual games on those systems are doing just fine.

Nintendo's business model is disruptive, but again, I would suggest not in the "textbook definition", and certainly not in a way that is healthy for their long-term success or the success of their partners.  Apple's business model for the iPod and iTunes was disruptive, but their success also translated to success for their partners.  Nintendo doesn't have full control over their business model; they knew where was money to be made and moved there with a product that market wanted.  That's just classic business strategy, not a true disruptive business model.

And this will be your only warning about hurling insults ("old fart") ... attack the ideas freely, but leave personal attacks out of it.

TalkBack / Re: Rick’s Rant - Episode 5: Powers Strikes Back
« on: January 26, 2009, 07:18:37 PM »
Some interesting replies here.  First, to Yoshidious, be careful using terms like "long-tail success" if you aren't sure what that means.  A "long-tail" business strategy refers to being able to profitably service a niche.  Mario Kart DS and New Super Mario Bros. are not niche titles.  A better analogue would be a company like Atlus making RPG's that appeal to a small market segment.  If Nintendo's strategy were truly long tail, you wouldn't be hearing third-parties complain, and Nintendo wouldn't be dominating sales of software.

OptimusPrime brings up an intriguing argument about the Wii being a disruptive product.  But again, the problem here is that a truly disruptive product is disruptive only to COMPETITORS and to other industries, not to partners, licensees, and such.  One thing I've noticed is that Nintendo likes to toss a word like "disruptive" around like it's a good thing.  It's not.

The iPod / iTunes combination was a disruptive technology and business model.  While other similar products had been out for a while, it had the right mix of price, features, promotion, and "curb appeal" to get the market to latch on, and it completely upset the business strategies of the content producing industries (record companies, etc.)

Similarly TiVo is a disruptive technology.  Advertisers are still struggling to find ways to cope with people skipping ads.  TiVo has been smart in partnering with advertisers, to try to minimize some of that disruption.  TiVo hasn't been as successful, because of flaws in it's business model, but the technology itself is disruptive.

For the Wii to be called truly disruptive, it would have to be threatening the business model of a previously unrelated industry, or it would have to give Nintendo such an obvious competitive advantage that everyone else would have to take a back seat.  Neither has happened.  If you want to call the Wii disruptive to anything, perhaps it's to other forms of entertainment that it mimics with motion controls (like bowling), and even that's a stretch, since I don't hear tennis racket manufacturers complaining.

No, the problem here is that Nintendo has simply created a business model where they lowered development costs at the same time increasing profit margins.  They've manage to do this by realizing that there was a market that doesn't care about quality or depth and for whom a short, repeatable play experience is acceptable.  Why spend money creating an epic game when you can lower your costs 90% by making a game some people will enjoy playing for just an hour or two?

I'm oversimplifying in my last statement, but the point is that third-party developers are trying to duplicate that success by making clones of Nintendo's games, and rather than rejecting the games lack of any originality, they pass it on through.  Why wouldn't you if you're going to make your money whether it sells or not?  Doubly so if it pushes people to your superior game where your profits are higher.

The issue is that as satisfied as the casual market has been with Nintendo's games so far, I think there's an attrition rate that is getting ignored.  Nintendo has been able to ignore it to a degree, because you haven't been seeing the Wii end up on the secondary markets in large numbers (yet).  But I believe that eventually the "Wii fatigue" is going to set in and people are going to realize that their money might be better spent elsewhere.

What's going to be very interesting is how Wii Motion Plus is received.  It's not an innovation, it's a refinement of an idea.  It's what many thought the Wii was going to be in the first place.  It's possible the core gamers may reject it, having moved on to other systems or games, or deciding that the cost is too high to upgrade their multiple controllers.  Casual gamers may fail to see the need for it, or even what it gets them ... these are the people that are perfectly satisfied with the imprecision they get with the regular controller.

Or it's possible that it could be a wild success, the Trojan horse designed to bring the core gamer back into the fold.  But that's going to take software.  Curious that we haven't seen anything about a new Zelda title yet ...

TalkBack / Re: EDITORIALS: Rick’s Rant - Episode 5: Powers Strikes Back
« on: January 26, 2009, 03:53:29 PM »
Now this is a new one. You're suggesting Nintendo is deliberately encouraging third parties to make sub-par games in an effort to funnel people burned on crappy games towards their own first party efforts?

And since when did Nintendo ever quality test 3rd party software, aside from making sure the game actually ran?

No, I said that Nintendo is allowing third-party software into the marketplace without what used to be a more stringent quality control process because it makes them more money, and makes their software look superior.  They're not encouraging bad games, but they're not discouraging them either.

And Nintendo did indeed quality test 3rd party software through the GameCube era.  No, that doesn't mean that there weren't disastrous failures of that process, but it was less of an issue.  Nintendo used to be able to deny you releasing the game if they just didn't like the game idea.

By the way, apparently I'm not the only one noticing these trends.

And while it's not Wii-related, I suspect we're going to start seeing articles like this one about Wii Fit or Wii Sports soon as well.  Mostly due to Nintendo being a huge target, but there's some glimmers of truth here.

TalkBack / Re: EDITORIALS: Rick’s Rant - Episode 5: Powers Strikes Back
« on: January 26, 2009, 03:15:42 PM »
Did IanSane just agree with me?  I might have to rethink this entire argument.  ;)

Thanks for the link to the Gamasutra article, Lindy.  I knew I had seen the numbers before, I just couldn't remember where from.  The memory is the first thing to go, kids.

So the issue here is two-pronged.  First, there are a LOT of third-party titles, because there's so much money to be made from the installed base that a third-party simply can't say no.  Plus, it's so easy to make games for the Wii, that there's a lot of people doing it.

Second, the quality of the third-party titles doesn't come close to approaching first-party efforts, and further, that's it's a more or less intentional effort on the part of Nintendo.  Partly because it brings in licensing monies, and party because poor third-party software pushes people towards first-party software.  As support for that viewpoint, I can only point to the disastrously bad Super Monkey Ball for Wii.  That game should have been a home-run, and in an era where Nintendo was quality testing third-party software, it would have been.

The maddening thing about it is that because the money is rolling in, Nintendo doesn't see a problem.  Nintendo used to be for Quality over Quantity, and now they've got the other way.  They've been successful, business-wise on both sides of that fence.  What's I'd really like to see them do is knock the fence down and raise the bar now that they've got everyone's attention.

Is there a reason this is an editorial as opposed to a blog?

I wish I could say it was because the NWR staff wanted me back, but also wanted to disavow everything to do with me.  That would certainly help my mystique.  But the honest truth is, I posted it to the wrong place.  :)

TalkBack / Re: EDITORIALS: Rick’s Rant - Episode 5: Powers Strikes Back
« on: January 26, 2009, 01:51:49 PM »
The interesting thing about numbers, Kairon, is that they lie.

You mentioned that the high sales rate of the main Wii console is bringing down the attach rate.  The question then becomes, how many games are selling to the hardcore Wii fans to bring the average attach rate down?  An average is a truly deceptive number, statistically speaking.  (Be careful with blanket statements like "high attach rates are bad because."  Try telling a third-party developer that high attach rates are bad.)

For example, an average can suggest a very positive result (as in this case), and it's completely wrong if you end up with a bi-modal result set.  And while I don't have the numbers to completely back it up (yet ...), the discussions I've had with retailers and gamers suggests just that; Casual gamers are making up one bell curve, with "core" gamers making up an entirely different bell curve.  Your suggestion that Nintendo is trying to create "bridge titles" suggests Nintendo's own admission that this is the case.  The core gamers are still an incredibly outspoken minority, and their purchases are skewing the results.

It's funny that you bring up Mario Kart to defend your point, because I would point to it to defend mine.  How many games outside of Nintendo's stable are making up that high attach rate?  If I were to suggest that out of a six-game attach rate, those games are likely to be Wii Play (because of the cheap Wii-mote), Super Mario Galaxy, Twilight Princess, Wii Fit, Metroid, and Mario Kart ... how happy do you think third-parties are likely to be with that?  49% of all software sold in 2008 was for a Nintendo platform.  And how much of that was made by Nintendo?  Give me that number, and I'll think about conceding your point.

Wow, so toys are digital junkfood? You really haven't followed Nintendo's, and even Miyamoto's, unifying theme throughout their history: entertainment for everyone, evoking emotions and smiles from regular people instead of evoking drool from cloistered gamers, and using innovation to surprise and expand, not dig themselves deeper into a hole.

Not only have I followed Nintendo's mantra of making games accessible, but I was one of their biggest supporters.  The problem is that they've realized, much like the TV networks, that they can spend less money (thereby making more money) by giving us shallow game experiences and a nifty plastic add-on ... the gaming analogue of Reality TV.  Link's Crossbow Training?  Seriously?  Look at all the ridiculous plastic add-ons for Wii Sports, the yoga mats that I can buy in Best Buy on any given weekend.  You don't see those accessory manufacturers trying to make stuff that works with other games. 

Nintendo made a conscious, deliberate business decision this generation to lower quality control on third-party submissions, because the market they wanted to tap into wanted the illusion of choice.  Illusion ... because even the least educated consumer knows you won't go wrong buying a game made by the company that made the console.  Not to mention that if they're going to ask a sales clerk for advice on what to get, they'll steer them towards a AAA title every time.  Meanwhiles, sales of games like Boom Blox suffer because of the halo effect from other third-party drivel. 

So while Nintendo is making money hand over fist, a great deal of it is either from their own AAA titles, hardware (either controllers/balance boards or controller "shells"), and of course, licensing.  Third parties have been VERY vocal about how their software isn't selling.  If you're going to tell me that Nintendo has no control over that, you'd be wrong, because it hasn't been as much of an issue in other console generations.  This one in particular is unique, and it's due to these decisions.  Yes, Nintendo grew the games business, but only for themselves, despite having had the power to grow it for everybody.  Yes, the third party titles have, by and large, sucked, but I think there's blame to be shared all around.

I will say this, Nintendo has been outrageously successful, and they did it entirely on their own.  And if they can keep that up, good for them!  But if the third-party support evaporates because they can't make money too, they'll be back where they were with the Nintendo 64.

TalkBack / Rick’s Rant - Episode 5: Powers Strikes Back
« on: January 26, 2009, 12:27:21 PM »


There’s no way I’m letting that Nation guy hog the “out of retirement” spotlight.  Sure, he might have the family and still be a “long-winded … opinionated blowhard”, but deep down he’s just depressed that he was never as cool as good ol’ Rick.  You wouldn’t think two years would make that much of a difference between “cool older guy” and “over-the-hill family man,” but it does.  So if he thinks he can jump back in because the water’s warm, he’d better think again, because the shark is back in the ocean!    

While I’ve been gone from Nintendo World Report (formerly Planet GameCube) for some time now, I continued blogging on technology and games for my good friend Andru Edwards and his network of sites until last year.  I took some time out for myself and made a series of sweeping life changes, but when I ran into Justin Nation on Facebook I figured it was as good a time as any to put the band back together.  This might just be a one-time reunion, or maybe I’ll go out on tour.  Who knows?    

Unlike Nation, I’m not going to bore you all to tears talking about how old I am or how hard we had it back in the day.  I’m here to continue my tirades on Nintendo, calling them out on decisions they’ve made and continue to make, and I’ll do it out of love.  Or at least, do it out of some deep-seated need to be right all the time.  It’s only because I’m almost always right anyways.  Speaking of which, I clearly whiffed on my diatribe regarding the selection of “Wii” as a product name.  Yes, it was non-sensical, and yes, Nintendo still faced all of the challenges I outlined.  And as the title of my editorial suggested, we did indeed get over it and led Nintendo to where it is now, quite literally writing themselves blank checks.    

But let’s move on.  My last editorial for NWR was about Nintendo whiffing on their PAX ’06 appearance.  Since then, Nintendo has changed in some ways, but has also stayed the same.  I waited in line for my Wii in November ’06 (along with Andru) just like a lot of Nintendo’s hardcore fans, because it was clear Nintendo was trying to innovate in the gaming space.  Two years later, I hardly turn my Wii on any more.  It’s currently at my girlfriend’s house, where she and her sister use it to “play” Wii Fit.  I figured it was better off over there than gathering dust on the shelf at my place.    

Does that make Wii Fit a brilliant move by Nintendo to capture the casual market?  Absolutely.  Business-wise, Nintendo struck gold with their “blue-ocean strategy”;  they’re attracting a whole new market with games like Wii Sports and Wii Fit.  Nintendo owns the casual market right now, and they’re perfectly happy selling to people that will turn the Wii on once a day to work out, or once a month when they have a kegger on campus.  They make enough money on the console (and controllers, and peripherals, and licensing) that they really don’t care much about the attach rate.  And that’s where their fatal flaw lies: Nintendo doesn’t know how to transform this casual market into consumers that will buy more software.    

The Wii is priced to be an impulse purchase for the market they’re tapping.  Nintendo is quite happily boasting about being  responsible for 99% of the industry’s growth, but were they really?  If Wii owners bought it for Wii Sports alone, or for Wii Fit, can you really claim to have grown the segment?  Until Nintendo can prove that they can convince those people to buy more software, more GAME software, they’ll continue to get the same eye-rolling response they did when they made that statement.  A rising tide is supposed to raise ALL the boats, not just the ones owned by Nintendo.    

Sadly, Nintendo doesn’t realize that not only could they have it all, but they’re at risk of losing the casual market with the same strategy that got them there in the first place.  The same people that lauded the Wii’s ability to get gamers off the couch and active are starting to realize that those games have little depth, and are only fun for such a brief time that their benefits are minimal.  Even Wii Fit owners are coming to the conclusion that it’s no replacement for “real” exercise.  If the dearth of entertaining software continues out of Nintendo, they’re seriously at risk of losing that same market they’ve fought so hard to attract, through what I call “Wii fatigue.”  I suspect that for every Wii they sell, someone stops using theirs.  Those Wii’s aren’t getting traded in though, so Nintendo still has an opportunity to capture those hearts again.    

Which leads me into my closing statement: I received some very disturbing news recently and turned to gaming as a way to ease the pain.  With all the gaming systems I had access to and all the games I could play, I went back and spent time with my old friends Donald and Goofy.  I loaded up Kingdom Hearts 2 (via my PS3), and enjoyed every moment with these childhood friends.  I passed up playing with Mario, or Link, or any of my former favorites.  Square-Enix recently released an updated Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories for the PS2, which used to be a Game Boy Advance title.  Why did Nintendo not pursue having this game on the Wii?  The audience for a game like Kingdom Hearts should be right up their alley.  Instead, they’re satisfied with having an upcoming DS game while Square-Enix releases similar games on the PSP and mobile phones.  This is a gaming franchise perfect for the casual market built by Wii, with recognizable characters from outside the gaming world, and Nintendo let it get past them.    

Nintendo is fat, dumb, and happy.  They’re in a place right now where they have become complacent in their success with casual gamers (similar to their GameCube-era complacency), and it’s showing in the kinds of product they’re selling.  Uninspired and shallow Wii Remote experiences; third-party shovelware that is a slap in the face to those that still remember the Nintendo Seal of Quality; Wii-makes of N64 and GameCube games that hearken back to a time when Nintendo was more innovative; plastic, high-margin accessories that do nothing but inspire even more plastic, high-margin accessories from licensed vendors.  Nintendo used to inspire the best kind of copy cats, people who would steal Nintendo’s innovative ideas and release software that raised the level of competition.  Now the only competition they inspire is for the space in the box that holds all my plastic crap.  Nintendo is slipping into the realm of being merely an expensive toy manufacturer, a purveyor of plastic and digital bits, the equivalent of gaming junk food.  Nintendo hasn’t just partnered with McDonalds, Nintendo has become McDonalds - the 800-pound gorilla selling whatever you’ll buy to anyone who will walk in the door, empty calories in a pretty white box.    

At least now you have a scale in your living room to weigh yourself afterwards.

TalkBack / RE: Kaplan, Llewelyn, and Harrison All Call it Quits
« on: June 06, 2007, 09:20:30 AM »
You guys are totally off base.  I can tell you for an absolute fact that Perrin wanted to change a lot of the ways Nintendo was marketed in the US, and the decisions were largely taken out of her hands by NCL.

That said, I'm absolutely stunned by this development.  It's definitely a changing of the guard, that's for sure.  But I'm not surprised ... you were asking people to move to two of the most expensive places to live in the country, and Seattle wasn't really cheap to begin with.  I can't blame them for not wanting to uproot their families.  Still, it's going to be a massive change for the company.

TalkBack / RE:EDITORIALS: The State of Nintendo Online
« on: February 10, 2007, 03:34:35 AM »

Originally posted by: TheYoungerPlumber be honest, I have to agree with Entroper here partially.  Mass market presence was Nintendo's primary goal, and that's where they put their money.  No online games right now is not a huge problem--it's that they don't have a clear online for third parties DOWN THE ROAD yet. What's taking them so long to coordinate with third parties?  I thought this was the new, third party-friendly Nintendo spearheaded by Iwata!

We do need to see real online gaming on Wii within 2007, or else we never really will.

With all due respect, this is horsepocky.

This is exactly the same problem the GameCube had.  You had developers willing to put online features in their games, supporting them on their own, and all they needed from Nintendo is specs on how to talk to the network adapter.  Nintendo flatly REFUSED to give them they tools they needed.  Bear in mind, this wasn't a matter of the tools not existing, because Nintendo has released games with LAN functionality, and had given the info to at least one other company (Sega, for Phantasy Star Online).  Nintendo just didn't want to give the information to anyone else for reasons undisclosed.

Fast forward another five years and it's the exact same scenario, except that this time, it's not even an issue of support for a peripheral ... it's a standard feature of the goddamned system!  And again, developers are willing to add the features if Nintendo will just tell them how to talk to the device, and they won't divulge the information, and again, won't say why.

TYP is right that it's not that big a deal that we don't have online titles right out of the gate (though it certainly didn't hurt Microsoft that Live support is practically mandatory).  What is a big deal is that developing the titles takes time, and when you're already past launch and developers aren't being given the information on connecting to a standard piece of the hardware to make their games ...

Well, it's just Nintendo's own stubbornness shining through again.  Especially when you consider that Nintendo designs their systems to encourage innovation, and at the same time, stifles it by not giving developers everything they need to fully tap their creativity.

Nintendo Gaming / RE:HD monitors
« on: January 03, 2007, 08:46:55 AM »
If your monitor has the right inputs, yes.  Every computer monitor made in the last decade is, by definition, at least capable of 480p.  That's not to say that you'll be able to get a signal into it ... but I'm sure someone will put out a VGA cable here at some point.

Nintendo Gaming / RE: HD monitors
« on: January 03, 2007, 07:49:13 AM »
S-Video is still 480i ... which means that at any given time, you're only seeing 240 lines.  Component enables a 480p signal, and will basically give you double the resolution.  Some people are more sensitive to the refresh rate of an interlaced signal than others, but the component cables should be a very noticeable upgrade for your screen.

Nintendo Gaming / RE:Wii play Audio CDs?
« on: January 03, 2007, 07:46:53 AM »

Originally posted by: JonLeung
I could be wrong, I'll admit that.

I was under the impression that a DVD laser would be adaptable to read CDs, since every DVD player I've come across has been capable of reading CDs.

That means every DVD player you've every come across has had two lasers in it.  One set to the CD wavelength, and one for the DVD wavelength.  There is no reliable process out there for refocusing a laser on the fly that is less expensive than simply including a second laser.

TalkBack / RE: Rare Founders Leave the Company
« on: January 02, 2007, 01:20:29 PM »
I say they're either going to ...

A) Quit the industry altogether


B) Start developing for Wii

What rare's games since leaving Nintendo have needed is Nintendo's guidance.  Their "family friendly" games on the Xbox 360 are almost exactly the same, but missing that familiar Nintendo spark that made them something special.  Maybe starting a new studio and making games for Wii will get that spark back again.

Blaze S-Video cable just arrived today.  As expected, there's a notable increase in sharpness and color vibrance, but really only something that I would notice.  In fact, my wife couldn't tell any difference at all.  Cleaning my TV screen produced a far more noticable reaction.  In fact, I'd recommend that everyone go take a Swiffer and some Windex to their TVs right now.  It's probably grimier than you think.

That said, the cables did precisely what I expected, and that was to get rid of the kudgy composite/S-Video thing I had going on that required me to switch both my receiver and TV's inputs in order to play Wii games.  And that made the $30 totally worth it to me.

Nintendo Gaming / RE: Japanese get MARIO KART 64
« on: December 27, 2006, 11:03:11 AM »
So are import games.  Doesn't stop many of us from playing them.  That's all we were asking for when we asked Nintendo not to region code the games.  Translate them or don't ... but let us import if we want.

Let me see if I can explain something, and then diagnose Wandering's eyes.

The main difference between S-Video and Composite on a decent TV would be improved color definition and a slight increase in sharpness.  S-Video separates the color from the brightness in the signal, which leads to the better saturation and more defined edges.  However, this is not to say S-Video is always better!  Some TVs and/or receivers can actually do a better job of separating the luminance and color (by virtual of an excellent comb filter) from a composite signal than the device can with an S-Video cable.  This could be why some people either can't see the difference or why they think composite looks better.

As for Wandering's issue, it's possible that you have a DVD player with cheap scaler, or that your HDTV is particularly good at scaling (or even particularly bad, which would explain the similarities).  However, I suspect that it's more likely that your eyes are made of phail.    Seriously, a clean digital signal in progressive scan over HDMI should yield a noticably cleaner and sharper picture, even after the HDTV scales the picture than a composite signal with half the picture data over an analog connection which your TV would need to both deinterlace and then scale in order to display properly.

Nintendo Gaming / RE: Why I Plan on Re-Buying All My Old School Games on VC
« on: December 27, 2006, 10:26:44 AM »
Here's my problem with the VC as it stands right now.  It's a money grab.

Seriously, the games I (and I have to assume most others) would be most likely to buy are the ones I already own at least once, if not MULTIPLE times.  Zelda (in Animal Crossing, Zelda Compilation Disc), Mario Bros. (every Mario GBA game to date) and SMB (Animal Crossing) I have in at least one form if not many.  For Zelda and SMB ... I still have the original NES carts!  I don't want to buy these games again just for the convenience and prestige of playing them on the VC.  Nintendo has already shown that they have the ability to register games on the MyNintendo site ... let us put the in the product codes from games we already own and give us the VC versions of the games for free, dammit!

That said, I suspect the VC is going to be the only way to get back in touch with games I no longer have or never got to play.  I'm desperately hoping for Blast Corps and Sin and Punishment to be released on VC, but it's looking doubtful (Blast Corps was a Rare game, S&P was Japan-only).

Imported the Blaze cables on your recommendation, Pro.  I'll let everyone know what I think when they come in.  If anything, it'll be nice to get rid of the kludgy setup I have now.

Nintendo Gaming / RE: Japanese get MARIO KART 64
« on: December 27, 2006, 09:50:36 AM »
Can't you already hack your Wii?  Set your region to Japan, and I think that will let you see their store.

Nintendo Gaming / RE: Is Twilight Princess too long?
« on: December 27, 2006, 09:49:38 AM »
Zelda games are pretty much the only ones that I get around to finishing ... I just don't have enough time for much else.  Zelda is my one exception.  

Nintendo Gaming / RE: Wii Strap Replacements are coming
« on: December 27, 2006, 09:48:13 AM »
I just drove over to Nintendo today and picked up two for my original Wiimotes.  Near as I can tell (I didn't compare), my new Wiimotes should already have them.

Nintendo Gaming / RE: What's the FRIGGIN' hold up!?
« on: December 27, 2006, 09:45:51 AM »
My wife got in line with me at the last minute at launch, and offered to buy a second one we could put on eBay.  I turned her down, because I didn't want to screw someone who was waiting in line all night by taking two after they counted out people.  Karma works.

Nintendo Gaming / RE: Should I buy a SD Card for my Wii?
« on: December 27, 2006, 09:42:00 AM »
Moving the Wii Internet Browser to my SD card made it unusable.  I had to move it back.  Unless you want to view photos or listen to MP3s in ExciteTruck, the SD card is pretty useless at this point.  Feel free to wait ... prices will only keep going down.

Nintendo Gaming / Wii goes over Big at my Dad's
« on: December 27, 2006, 09:40:10 AM »
Made a blog post today about the Wii-stravaganza at my Dad's over Christmas.  I still don't have my Wii back, everyone loved it so much, so I left it behind so they could play while all the kids (although they're my age) are in town.  Bowling was a big hit, Tennis was frantic (partially due to lack of room which had us spread out in a staggered formation), and Baseball was fun.

Went to Nintendo today and picked up a couple Classic Controllers, a blank Wii DVD case (for Wii Sports), and two replacement Wii straps.

Nintendo Gaming / RE: Wii Component still looks pixilated?
« on: December 14, 2006, 06:16:10 AM »
That depends on the TV, but yes, you're usually better off starting with a sharpness of zero, because many TV's have noise reduction filters and whatnot that are not active when the sharpness is set at zero.  At first, the picture may feel a bit "soft", but that's only because you're used to seeing an "oversharp" picture.  Once you get used to it, you'll find that setting it any higher is just ugly to look at.

As for the 480P games looking pixelated, it is going to depend on the quality of the scaler in your TV.  Some TV's can upscale a 480P picture to 720P (or higher) better than others.  This is the main reason why I wished Nintendo had made 720p the default.  The only way you're going to be able to fix this is by getting a new TV, or by getting an outboard video scaler that can send a native signal to your TV.  Either option is fairly expensive.  There are some home theater receivers that do a decent job of upscaling signals, which may be an alternative.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 50