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Official GDC Keynote Summary

March 23, 2006, 11:42 am PST
Total comments: 35

Genesis and TurboGrafx games to be playable on Revolution's Virtual Console service.

Nintendo President Challenges Developers to Create Bold New Games

Nintendo Also Announces Plans to Offer Classic Sega and TurboGrafx Games

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Nintendo President Satoru Iwata

today challenged a crowd of game developers to think differently and take a

fresh approach to the creation of video games. During his keynote address at

the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., Iwata said Nintendo will

provide developers with the tools they need to disrupt the traditional methods

of game creation, much as the company already has.

These tools include the controller for Nintendo's next home console

(code-named Revolution), which lets users control the action on their

television screens through the motion of the controller itself. The

controller lets game developers create new kinds of gaming experiences, ones

that enhance the experience for hard-core gamers while making video games more

accessible and less intimidating to novices. The new forms of innovative

software that can be created by any size developer will be made available for

download via Revolution's Virtual Console service.

"This new approach is like stepping onto an unexplored continent for the

first time, with all the potential for discovery that suggests," Iwata said.

"No one else can match the environment we're creating for expanding the game

experience to everyone. Our path is not linear, but dynamic."

Iwata also announced partnerships with Sega and Hudson to offer

downloadable access to their classic games via Revolution's Virtual Console.

Revolution owners will be able to relive their past gaming glories from the

Sega Genesis console by playing a "best of" selection from more than 1,000

Genesis titles, as well as games sold for the TurboGrafx console (a system

jointly developed by NEC and Hudson). These games join Revolution's access to

20 years of fan-favorite Nintendo games from the NES(R), Super NES(R) and

Nintendo(R) 64 eras.

Iwata also revealed for the first time that a new game called The Legend

of Zelda(R): Phantom Hourglass would be released for Nintendo DS later this

year.

Iwata, a game developer himself, revealed behind-the-scenes stories about

the development of three key initiatives.

For the industry leading Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, internal engineers and

developers overcame a series of hurdles to make the system seamless and

flexible enough to allow players to choose to play wirelessly either with

friends or against unknown opponents. The Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection reached

1 million unique users in just 18 weeks -- nearly five times the adoption rate

of the leading online game console network.

He described a pivotal meeting in coming to agreement on development of

the incredibly popular "brain games" in Japan. A leading Japanese scientist

attached a sci-fi-looking wired helmet to a Nintendo staffer and then visually

demonstrated stimulation of brain activity as the staffer played prototype

software.

Finally, he described the hundreds of sketches, dozens of prototypes and

company-wide collaboration that led to the final form of the unique Revolution

controller system, which resembles a traditional TV remote control. He called

the related research and manufacturing costs of the new control system,

"...our method to disrupt the market...realizing a new way to connect a player

to his game."

Talkback

LarsonMarch 23, 2006

GENESIS GAMES!!!! face-icon-small-happy.gifface-icon-small-happy.gif

BlkPaladinMarch 23, 2006

Well that confirms the rumor of Sega working with the downloadable service.

The Turbo Graphix announcment is pleasently surprising. It also kind of cement that there will be some kind of shell ship with the Revolution.

Hostile CreationMarch 23, 2006

Nintendo is perfect. I'm not arguing about it, either.

NinGurl69 *hugglesMarch 23, 2006

SPAAAAAANNUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNND!!

MarioMarch 23, 2006

SPANNUUUUUND GET!!!

Today is a great day

KDR_11kMarch 23, 2006

Cool. I was pretty sure Sega would go with MS, seeing how they love pain so much.

CalibanMarch 23, 2006

Yes, hopefully one of the games they make available is "Phantasy Star IV", and the "Sonic" games obviously.

jasonditzMarch 23, 2006

I've already got most of my Genesis faves (and a Nomad to play them on), but I'm looking forward to being able to get Shining in the Darkness.

vuduMarch 23, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: KDR_11k
Cool. I was pretty sure Sega would go with MS, seeing how they love pain so much.
What makes you think they won't do both? Nothing was said about exclusivity (was there?). Knowing Sega, they'll put their games on PS3, too. I believe a lot of them are already availabile on Wire Tap.

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorMarch 23, 2006

can someone explain the spanuuuud thing to me?

Something about a Danish or German Rev hype article perhaps? I remember reading somewhere it basically translates into "coooooool."

So...indie developers can have their games downloaded onto the Rev via the virtual console? Does that say what I think it does?

~Carmine M. Red
Kairon@aol.com

FroMarch 23, 2006

Yep, sounds like something similar to X-Box Live Arcade where developers can release small games via Virtual Console that use the Rev Controller.

Ian SaneMarch 23, 2006

I just thought of something involving the Genesis and TG-16 stuff. Would Genesis also include Sega CD or 32X titles? The TG-16 in Japan also has a CD add-on and one of the game for it is Dracula X: Rondo of Blood! Having that game for download would be pretty cool. Though obviously with CD games there are download issues due to the bigger size. But with Sega CD support games like Snatcher and Lunar could be included.

Karl Castaneda #2March 23, 2006

Ian, when they say Genesis games, I pretty sure they mean first party stuff. Since Rondo of Blood is a Konami game, I think it'd be up to them.

Ian SaneMarch 23, 2006

"Ian, when they say Genesis games, I pretty sure they mean first party stuff. Since Rondo of Blood is a Konami game, I think it'd up to them."

I would hope that the Genesis and TG-16 emulator would be available to everyone. But then who gets the licencing fees? Ideally Sega or Hudson would be deserving of a cut in that situation and I doubt Nintendo would like that. Plus there's the issue of games released for both the Genesis and SNES. Earthworm Jim is available on both but the Genesis version is clearly superior since it has an extra level. If Nintendo had a system where they get all the licence fees for Nintendo system games but has to share for Genesis and TG-16 they probably would only want the SNES version to ever be available leaving us with the "inferior" SNES version.

I say Nintendo shouldn't stop here. They should get MAME on this thing and then get some arcade games on here too. Get SNK involved as well.

KnoxxvilleMarch 23, 2006

Get OUT!! I'm telling ya'll, Nintendo seems like they are ready to take back what is rightfully theirs. Plus the PS3 is delayed? GO GET 'EM NINTY!!

vuduMarch 23, 2006

Here's a question, do we know if the 64DD is going to be supported? Also, how about the Sega Saturn?

Quote

The TG-16 in Japan also has a CD add-on and one of the game for it is Dracula X: Rondo of Blood! Having that game for download would be pretty cool.
Give up Rondo of Blood, F-Zero Expansion Kit, Radiant Silvergun and Sin & Punishment and every hardcore gamer in the world will buy one.

HocotateMarch 23, 2006

Oh wow!! What's next, PSX games!? lol

If Ninty can get even more consoles on this like 3DO, Jaguar, and Neo-Geo, then there will be NO excuse not to buy a Rev!!

TMWMarch 23, 2006

Come on CD-I!

Gimme my Wand of Gamelon!

PryopizmStan Ferguson, Staff AlumnusMarch 23, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: TMW
Come on CD-I!

Gimme my Wand of Gamelon!


Truth.

By the way, I hate to put a damper on things, but it's time for a reality check:

Guess we'll have to wait til E3 to find out anything more pertinent.

No release date, no official name, no Rev games shown. What's going on that Nintendo is focusing so much on their handheld and practically ignoring their next major console release? Ah yeah, wait for E3. Outside of the hardcore fan, who even knows what E3 is? While the casual gamer drools at the mere thought of the next PS3, Nintendo is catering to its niche fan base with talk of "Blue Ocean."

In fairness, the strategy is working well in Japan. The DS and its games (particularly the Brain series) are selling like hotcakes. In the US, they're quickly falling behind the PSP. Anyone hoping that Metroid will save it need only remember back as far as 2002 when Metroid Prime was soundly beaten in sales by Splinter Cell.

Nintendo seems to be ignoring the western market. It's nice to hear that they're not ignoring the casual gamer, but how about trying to sell to him, too?

Where's the hype Nintendo? How come, outside of the internet, hardly anyone I've met even knows that Nintendo has a new system coming out?

jasonditzMarch 23, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
"Ian, when they say Genesis games, I pretty sure they mean first party stuff. Since Rondo of Blood is a Konami game, I think it'd up to them."

I would hope that the Genesis and TG-16 emulator would be available to everyone. But then who gets the licencing fees? Ideally Sega or Hudson would be deserving of a cut in that situation and I doubt Nintendo would like that. Plus there's the issue of games released for both the Genesis and SNES. Earthworm Jim is available on both but the Genesis version is clearly superior since it has an extra level. If Nintendo had a system where they get all the licence fees for Nintendo system games but has to share for Genesis and TG-16 they probably would only want the SNES version to ever be available leaving us with the "inferior" SNES version.

I say Nintendo shouldn't stop here. They should get MAME on this thing and then get some arcade games on here too. Get SNK involved as well.


There could be a structure of who gets the money like... say they charge $0.99 per ROM.

$0.19 goes to the download service (Nintendo)
$0.30 goes to the hardware being emulated to play the ROM (mostly Nintendo, sometimes Sega or NEC)
$0.50 goes to the company that owns the rights to the game itself.

or whatever pricing model makes the most sense.

GoldenPhoenixMarch 23, 2006

Well to begin comparing GC game and hardware sales to DS hardware and game sales is like comparing apples to oranges, they are two different markets. I still think alot of the PSP sales are for its multimedia features and necessarily the games. With that said I think people create their own hype for these keynote speeches, they build themselves up for dissapointment, it is not Nintendo's fault.

Besides the GDC is not nearly as big as E3, so even if some big secret was revealed the casual gamers still wouldn't know! E3 is the best venue for this, and Nintendo has made it quite clear that E3 will be when the top is blown off of things. Consoles only need 5-6 months of hype before release, before that time only those closely following things will know. Anyway I think this was a solid keynote speech, a new Zelda was revealed (looks great), and the announcement of Sega games for Rev is great news. I'm sorry but Rev's backward capabilities will whip X360s arcade, which is still quite lame!

TMWMarch 23, 2006

SO, theoretically, someone can make an NES game and have it available for download?

ThePermMarch 23, 2006

46 days till e3

PaleMike Gamin, Contributing EditorMarch 23, 2006

Check out this sweet thread over at PA..

http://www.penny-arcade.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1073820759

If you are wondering anything about the Turbo Grafx 16, it's a great place to start. face-icon-small-smile.gif

RennyMarch 23, 2006

Damn. Can't wait to explore all the TG16 games I missed as a kid, due to obvious budget constraints. They better be cheap.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorMarch 23, 2006

I think I need to go change my underwear.

I never had a TG-16. Never knew anyone who did. But man, I *loved* playing the demo kiosk at Childern's Palace. I don't know if it was because the games were loads of fun or if it was just because they were games that I didn't normally have access to, but I know I spent a large chunk of time there playing them.

Yippie.

DjunknownMarch 23, 2006

Quote

Plus there's the issue of games released for both the Genesis and SNES. Earthworm Jim is available on both but the Genesis version is clearly superior since it has an extra level.


I'd be guessing that the SNES version would get the nod. Circumstantial evidence is the Megaman Anniversary collection: Mega Man 8 was the PSone version, not the Saturn Version with Cutsman/Gutsman. The superior version tends to be 'forgotten' by the big-wigs (also see Castlevania Symphony of the Night Saturn version...)

All I want out of this is simple: The Streets of Rage >Final Fight series. Though it'd be a blast to play TG-16 titles, I always wanted to play Bonk's Adventure.

Quote

In fairness, the strategy is working well in Japan. The DS and its games (particularly the Brain series) are selling like hotcakes. In the US, they're quickly falling behind the PSP. Anyone hoping that Metroid will save it need only remember back as far as 2002 when Metroid Prime was soundly beaten in sales by Splinter Cell.


Point taken. I still remember the shock when I saw the sales figures that year. The motherland is safe and secure; what about where the real money is made? I guess we'll see if Brain Training becomes a gateway drug game for the non-gamer market in North America and beyond when it the time comes.

LouieturkeyMarch 23, 2006

I'd like to mention that it's very unlikely for us to see Jaguar or CD-i(zelda CD-i anyone?) or Saturn games because they were CD based and Nintendo is looking at smaller gamefile sizes from what they have said about the PSP's download service. Hopefully, though, they will include PC Engine CD stuff and that will open the door for Saturn/CD-i/Jaguar as well.

Smash_BrotherMarch 23, 2006

I'll be downloading "Bonk" of Turbographix 16 phame.

Jaguar had a cart system and a CD addon. The cartridges could be downloaded pretty easily, I bet.

Alien vs. Predator on the Rev? Schweet...

ruby_onixMarch 23, 2006

If Nintendo's building legitimate Genesis and Turbografx emulators into the Rev to play downloaded cart/card games, they need to spend the extra five minutes to make the system able to play actual Sega CD and TGCD discs. The Rev's CD/DVD drive can already read the discs without any effort.

KDR_11kMarch 23, 2006

Something about a Danish or German Rev hype article perhaps? I remember reading somewhere it basically translates into "coooooool."

Must be danish because the closest thing in German is "Spannung" and that translates to "tension".

Pale: WTF? Dragonball vs. Batman?

KnoxxvilleMarch 24, 2006

What would be sweet is if Ninty releases actual replica pads of the emulated consoles, which could either be wired and connect the the gamecube controller ports, or maybe even RF wireless through said ports (a'la Wavebird). I think that would kick way more azz than a shell that you have to park the Rev remote into.

IceColdMarch 24, 2006

They might do that for each of the Nintendo consoles too..

jasonditzMarch 24, 2006

Quote

Originally posted by: Smash_Brother
I'll be downloading "Bonk" of Turbographix 16 phame.

Jaguar had a cart system and a CD addon. The cartridges could be downloaded pretty easily, I bet.

Alien vs. Predator on the Rev? Schweet...


The Jaguar's got 17 buttons on its standard controller. There's no way Nintendo's going to make the shell controller capable of simulating that monstrosity.

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