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Wii

What Bubble?

by Nick DiMola - December 15, 2008, 11:46 am EST
Total comments: 64

Wrong. The Wii is here to stay whether people like it or not. Did the DS bubble ever burst? Of course it didn't, because it wasn't (isn't) a fad. I find it particularly surprising that people still don't see the parallels between Nintendo's two systems.

Casuals signed on with the DS when Brain Age, Nintendogs, Animal Crossing, and New Super Mario Bros. made their debut, and since then the system has become one of the best selling pieces of hardware in gaming history. Furthermore, the system has become a haven for all games of any type, not just a dumping ground for shovelware and cash-in "casual" games.

I can only assume stubbornness has prevented most big companies from jumping on the Wii bandwagon, but it looks like with Dragon Quest X and Monster Hunter Tri in line for Wii releases, it's going to be impossible to eschew Wii development. Similarly, the "hardcore" crowd will be forced into a Wii purchase in order to continue playing the series they covet from prior generations.

A recession won't stop this train either. Even if it does drag down entertainment sales as a whole, the Wii is no more likely to lose sales than either the PS3 or the Xbox 360, especially with its competitive pricing.

Perhaps people want to keep predicting when the "fad" will end because they fear they will have to sacrifice what they covet about gaming. Traditional games will not cease to exist simply because companies shift focus to the Wii. More than likely, shifting these properties to Wii will ensure them a healthier future and a larger user base. Though games will suffer a resolution hit, it will hopefully allow a larger portion of the budget to be focused on substance rather than flash.

I say sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride, because the Wii has got this generation on lockdown.

Talkback

NinGurl69 *hugglesDecember 15, 2008

There is no bubble, just one big ocean.

Come sail with me.

PlugabugzDecember 15, 2008

Quote from: NinGurl69

There is no bubble, just one big ocean.

Come sail with me.

Lets fly lets fly away.............

UrkelDecember 15, 2008

Once everybody buys an HDTV they'll realize just how shitty their Wii games look on it and then they'll sell it for a PS3 to get Killzone 2.

...Or that's when Wii HD will come out.

DAaaMan64December 15, 2008

Eh I hook up AC via RCA onto a nice 42" and it looks crisp, with very little jaggies. Thats good enough for now.

DjunknownDecember 16, 2008

Quote:

Similarly, the "hardcore" crowd will be forced into a Wii purchase in order to continue playing the series they covet from prior generations.

Or, they'll quit gaming altogether, cursing up a storm saying Nintendo 'ruined' gaming, stamping their feet like spoiled children saying that gaming stopped being about them. In short, they'll cut their nose to spite their face.

Good, short blog post.

Eh, I own two HDTVs and while Wii games do look a bit worse on average than on standard def, they aren't chasing me off or anything. Some games definitely are hurt more by HDTVs than others...but just like how high-quality GC games looked better on an HDTV, so do high-quality Wii visuals.

UrkelDecember 16, 2008

Lol, my comment about the Wii and HD was sarcastic.

That was the sort of thing Wii haters were saying a year ago, as if all these Wii owners didn't care about the graphical gap between Wii Sports and Gears of War, but would suddenly care once something with even more awesome graphics came out.

KDR_11kDecember 16, 2008

This may have been relevant a year ago but I think even Pachter has shut up by now.

This whole "oh noes SD is hurting mah eyes" talk seems to me more like buyer's remorse. When the N64 came out PC gamers were already playing in 640x480, when the Gamecube came it was up to around 1280x960 already and now that consoles are HD some people are playing at 2560x1920. Yet people have never whined about consoles running at SD (or 320x240 or lower) before. Why did people suddently start complaining about SD when HD came out despite gaming at HD resolutions having been commonplace on the PC for a long time already? If SD is so unbearable why haven't you gone PC-only last gen?

One theory I heard was that many people have HDTVs that are REALLY bad at coping with lower resolutions, thereby making SD uglier than it should be.

chrono disorderDecember 16, 2008

I can't see why everyone here is focusing on resolution as a limit to traditional gaming. The issue, for me, is control.
Traditional gaming, particularly in Nintendo's history is about giving unobstructed  precise control to the gamer. Nintendo broke this tradition with the Wii remote : it is badly designed, with poorly placed face buttons. I understand the reasons behind their placement, but I can't believe the investment in a better arrangement would not have been worth it. Because of the current design, traditional games lack the flexibility required to come up with good button layouts and end up using some unoriginal gesture to fill up the most essential functions. Unfortunately, shaking the Wii remote to perform basic attack movement is imprecise, distracting, anti-ergonomic and embarrassing, while having no advantage from a gameplay perspective. Having a Wii MotionPlus level of precision would probably have compensated, if more relevant and precision-conscious gesture had been used, and if the device is successful,  my faith may return in the future. For now, the Wii is nothing more than a good casual-gaming device.
I rented Super Mario Galaxy, the sequel to one of my favorite game of all time, Super Mario 64, and I was happy with mostly everything. Now I am waiting for a solution to experience this Wii game in  its deserved glory : with a face button as an attack trigger. I hope I don't have to wait for Wii emulation on PC but rather that  some clever person soon comes up with a way of tricking the Wii into perceiving traditional input from a traditional controller as if it was a gimmicky gesture from a Wii remote. I hope more and more games allow the optional use of the traditional controller and Gamecube controller, but what about those that won't, like Super Mario Galaxy? Nintendo has yet to allow people to launch Super Smash Bros Brawl with a Gamecube controller, that alone would raise the concern of people still attached to “hardcore” gaming on Nintendo's home system.

KDR_11kDecember 16, 2008

Generally if you start mapping digital commands to analog inputs you should step back and think if there's really no better way (i.e. something that actually benefits from analog inputs being mapped there instead). Maybe you could drop some of the actions you added that aren't really useful anyway or merge them together, many games have massive bloat there that was probably just added to have some features the previous iteration of the series didn't have.

I don't see a problem with the movement to attack in SMG though, it's a rare command anyway and the slapping gesture is fitting, like saying "get outta my face!". If you can't execute that consistently maybe you should go and see a doctor.

Movement also adds something to the game since it releases more adrenaline and creates a stronger connection with the action. Quick, snappy actions being performed by a quick movement of the controller can very well increase the fun in a game. Many games use pretty sloppy movements though where you have to repeat the input a lot to actually trigger it (I think the grabbing thing in Metroid Prime 3 was unresponsive at times), that hurts the game massively because it creates a disconnect and sometimes makes it just annoying.

Ian SaneDecember 16, 2008

The DS isn't a fad and no one considers it one anymore.  But it actually deserves it's success now.  It has a pretty respectable library of games.  G!mmicky bullsh!t touchscreen usage has been toned down and the DS is more like the next Gameboy now, that just happens to have a touchscreen.

The Wii comes across as a fad because it doesn't deserve its sales.  It has a really weak ass lineup of games.  Third party support, until the current DQX announcement, was a complete joke and Nintendo now actually releases crap games (like Wii Music or Wii Play) and those actually sell.  Crap sells on the Wii.  That is the most backwards bizarro-logic in the world.  So of course it seems like a fad.  Great games get released on the other consoles and make no impact while junk sells like hotcakes on the Wii.  Now the DS was like that at first as well.  The DS was crap at first.  Total crap with crap games.  But it got better.

My only concern about the Wii is it's potential to get better.  It's not exactly the same as the DS as it has two major restrictions holding it back.

1. The hardware is not a significant upgrade from last gen.  The DS however is a significant step-up from the GBA comparable to the jump from SNES to N64.

2. The controller is inflexible and g!mmicky.  It's been out for two years and I can say it's a crappy controller.  With the odd exception like Wii Sports it's unsuitable as a controller standard.  It's like a lightgun or a flight stick or a dance pad in that it's suitable for certain games but is too unconventional and inflexible to be a default controller.  The DS has no such issue.  The touchscreen is an ADDITION to the GBA control scheme.  Take it away and the DS still has a SNES controller based design that is perfectly suitable for portable gaming.

Take away the g!mmicky controls and the DS becomes what a conventional follow-up to the GBA would have been anyway - a clear step up in hardware power, 3D capabilities, online gaming and two extra face buttons.  Do the same for the Wii and you've got Gamecube 1.5 that doesn't even come with the conventional controller.  Uh oh.  See the difference?  The only real step up is the online gaming that Nintendo SHOULD have introduced last gen anyway.

The whole justification for the Wii is the remote.  But it's not a suitable conventional controller.  It's quite clear the whole design for it was based on the theory that a, you know, USEFUL controller is too confusing so an NES controller with waggle will get your parents to buy videogames.  It's a marketing tool like R.O.B. except it actually has some decent games that use it.  The problem is for the Wii to truly turn out like the DS it has to make a transitional from g!mmicky non-gamer system to conventional videogame system that just happens to also be popular with non-gamers.  It has less potential to do so because unlike the DS the ideal conventional hardware isn't hidden within the g!mmicky shell.

I hope DQX will attract some decent third party support but to truly shed the fad label waggle has got to go.  Maybe Motion+ can do it but I think we need to start seeing the Classic Controller be regarded as the default and the remote as the speciality controller that only gets used when appropriate.  That was for the most part what happened with the DS.  The system got going once everyone realized the touchscreen sucked and stopped using it.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusDecember 16, 2008

Ian by your definition a  Blu-ray Movies and UMD movies are a fad do people give a shit about them? No because DVDs are cheaper, still look pretty damn good (even upscaled on my PS3) and is still the predominant format because of the HDTV and HDMI fad ;).

Out of the two dozen or so Wii games that I own I can't think of a single one of them that would control significantly better with a standard controller but I can think of quite a few that would be worse with one.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusDecember 16, 2008

Quote from: insanolord

Out of the two dozen or so Wii games that I own I can't think of a single one of them that would control significantly better with a standard controller but I can think of quite a few that would be worse with one.

Well Insano the interesting thing is some of the games that might control better on a traditional controller probably have classic controller or gamecube controller support.

KDR_11kDecember 16, 2008

Ian, don't censor your language by hand, the forums have a filter that fails to work if you do that (wasn't it even against the rules to circumvent the filter?) and those who browse with the filter disabled are just confused.

Also you can't call Wii Play crap, many people actually enjoy it. It's not a shoddy game that you wish you'd never bought, it's actually good enough to warrant buying. Other people might very well enjoy what you don't like.

I don't think you can go "traditional" without losing the new customers from the new approach, they don't want "traditional" gaming.

(isn't UMD an ended fad that was never big?)

Quote from: Flames_of_chaos

Quote from: insanolord

Out of the two dozen or so Wii games that I own I can't think of a single one of them that would control significantly better with a standard controller but I can think of quite a few that would be worse with one.

Well Insano the interesting thing is some of the games that might control better on a traditional controller probably have classic controller or gamecube controller support.

Yeah I didn't count Brawl or Mario Kart because they give the option, even though I personally play Brawl with remote/nunchuk.

D_AverageDecember 16, 2008

The bubble has already burst for many gamers but the casuals will continue to stare at it and be amazed.

I however, don't regret purchasing the Wii as it successfully sucked my wife into gaming and now she makes me play Pixeljunk Monsters until my eyes bleed.  So I say well done Nintendo, "Mission Accomplished!"

DAaaMan64December 16, 2008

Quote from: KDR_11k

Also you can't call Wii Play crap, many people actually enjoy it. It's not a shoddy game that you wish you'd never bought, it's actually good enough to warrant buying. Other people might very well enjoy what you don't like.

Plus it was only 10 bucks. It was worth that.

According to some youtube videos, Wii Play is a hardcore game. *scared*

Ian SaneDecember 16, 2008

Quote:

Ian, don't censor your language by hand, the forums have a filter that fails to work if you do that (wasn't it even against the rules to circumvent the filter?) and those who browse with the filter disabled are just confused.

What do you mean by this?  What is my manual censorship doing to the post?

Does NWR still censor normal words like g-i-m-m-i-c-k or k-i-d-d-y?  I can understand the censorship of swear words but with anything else if using the word without a manual censorship is going to prevent my post from making any sense I'm going to manually get around the block.

Quote:

Also you can't call Wii Play crap, many people actually enjoy it.

What the hell logic is that?  Many people like it?  SO?  There's a whole huge gaggle of non-gamers that like all sorts of crap.  I can't call a game crap because it's popular?

Quote:

Ian by your definition a  Blu-ray Movies and UMD movies are a fad do people give a **** about them? No because DVDs are cheaper, still look pretty damn good (even upscaled on my PS3) and is still the predominant format because of the HDTV and HDMI fad

UMD wasn't a fad because it was never popular. ;)  It was just a dumb idea that the public justifiably rejected.  Blu-ray is a niche format comparible to Laserdisc for videophiles.  While something will likely replace DVD someday it will be far enough away the Blu-ray likely won't be the successor.  It probably won't even be an optical disc.  HDTV is not a fad, it's the new standard of television like how color TV was way back when.

No one crapped on HD until Nintendo declined to support it.  Now it sucks just like online sucked last gen but doesn't now because Nintendo now supports it.

DAaaMan64December 16, 2008

gimmick kiddy

Quote from: Ian

Now it sucks just like online sucked last gen but doesn't now because Nintendo now supports it.

What are you talking about? Online still sucks.

I'm still waiting for an MMO to make me feel like the next generation of consistent online worlds has arrived, or at least to last more than 6 months against the WoW juggernaut that was nice but which I have since quit forever. I'm still waiting for people to be connected to each other by things more meaningful than their urge to blow each other up, though yes Team Fortress has created an experience that manages to reduce a lot of the excess aggression that can boil over. And I'd still rather play a game with people in my own living room, even if Mario Kart Wii goes Online just fine.

D_AverageDecember 16, 2008

Quote from: Kairon

Quote from: Ian

Now it sucks just like online sucked last gen but doesn't now because Nintendo now supports it.

What are you talking about? Online still sucks.

"Sucks" is an understatement.  Nintendo basically re-released Melee so we could finally Smash online and they STILL haven't fixed it.  Grrrrrrrrrr

Brawl is much more than a re-release of Melee, with or without online play.

KDR_11kDecember 17, 2008

Quote from: Kairon

I'm still waiting for an MMO to make me feel like the next generation of consistent online worlds has arrived, or at least to last more than 6 months against the WoW juggernaut that was nice but which I have since quit forever. I'm still waiting for people to be connected to each other by things more meaningful than their urge to blow each other up, though yes Team Fortress has created an experience that manages to reduce a lot of the excess aggression that can boil over. And I'd still rather play a game with people in my own living room, even if Mario Kart Wii goes Online just fine.

The "virtual world" is the kind of idea that sounds nice on paper. Sony Home is just the latest demonstration that it's a stupid idea (what, waiting in line just to play a goddamn singleplayer game because the system ties it to a specific object in the virtual world that only one person can use at a time?). MMOs almost always have goals (Second Life is more of a MMO devkit, it seems to be a lot about developing different things to have fun with in the virtual world) and are still games. A virtual world is more of an obstacle than an asset, when you e.g. want to get a game going it's much more convenient to hit a quickmatch button or open a game browser and pick one than having to go into the right place with a virtual avatar and such. Chatting? Much easier with a chat application. Virtual worlds are just an added layer of abstraction between the user and the task when you really want to remove layers of abstraction.

planetidiotDecember 17, 2008

As someone who has fallen off the Wii wagon, I can say this:  No the Wii is not a fad, the "bubble" won't burst any more than the PS2's "bubble" did.  There's a huge install base and only a very small minority of disillusioned gamers are selling their Wiis on eBay and abandoning ship for more HD, online and hardcore* pastures.  I know a guy who is doing this.  I'm not.

I am holding out hope for Wii Motion+ and the next killer Nintendo game, as I still have faith Nintendo can produce innovative quality titles.  But I must admit, I only turned my Wii on recently to play Mega Man 9, and I could have done that on the PS3 -- it just didn't feel right on anything but a Nintendo.  I feel the games available on the Wii aren't as engaging as I had hoped, the motion controls aren't as accurate as I'd imagined and the online is, frankly, worthless.  Their success makes it worse because they aren't doing anything to address the online complaints, and the quality games are slow in coming. Again, maybe Wii Motion+ will make things more interesting but I would be lying if I said Fallout 3 wasn't the greatest game I've played since Grand Theft Auto IV, and I just didn't enjoy anything on the Wii as much as either of those games.  Not to say that Super Mario Galaxy wasn't great, it was as was Twilight Princess and Metroid.  Just in my opinion, there are titles on the HD systems that are more fun. 

You will disagree, and you are not wrong to do so.  I stress that I and people like me are the minority, and while the more disgruntled Wii owners will probably be the loudest, they won't be louder than the sound of hundreds of thousands of new Wii consoles flying off shelves all the time.  The fact is Sony is in trouble, Microsoft is just turning a profit, and Nintendo has been raking in cash since the dawn of time.  They will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.

So relax, enjoy your games and stop worrying about stuff like this.  Nintendo is doing fine.

*Just generalizing games that aren't "casual", and not that there's anything wrong with casual games.

IceColdDecember 17, 2008

Quote from: Kairon

According to some youtube videos, Wii Play is a hardcore game. *scared*

The shooting gallery game can become pretty hardcore. I spent a lot of time on it.

D_AverageDecember 17, 2008

Quote from: IceCold

Quote from: Kairon

According to some youtube videos, Wii Play is a hardcore game. *scared*

The shooting gallery game can become pretty hardcore. I spent a lot of time on it.

I spent a lot of time on the tanks, cuz I'm a "tough guy!"

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 22, 2008

The reality is that people will keep preaching doom and gloom till the next Nintendo console arrives. Now that the Wii topped 20 million in November they will say "Its only downhill from there", or "The Wii has reached popularity. Now let's see if it declines".

Then when the 5 years are up and Nintendo announces the next console they will start saying "The new console will never see the success the Wii got last generation", beginning the cycle anew.

I believe the reason why people refuse to accept the Wii as the winning console this gen is because everyone and their grandma bet everything that selling a low gen console to a different audience would explode in their faces. Not to mention that this strategy would mean adopting a new strategy that would alienate some fans. So seeing that Nintendo is killing everyone with this everyone is struggling to accept it, hence why we keep hearing that sooner or later the Wii will die off because they want to be proven partly right and not be remembered as the fools who doubted the biggest console this generation.

NinGurl69 *hugglesDecember 22, 2008

Sucks to be them!  Hope they finally give up "gaming" and go away.

Ian SaneDecember 22, 2008

Quote:

I believe the reason why people refuse to accept the Wii as the winning console this gen is because everyone and their grandma bet everything that selling a low gen console to a different audience would explode in their faces. Not to mention that this strategy would mean adopting a new strategy that would alienate some fans. So seeing that Nintendo is killing everyone with this everyone is struggling to accept it, hence why we keep hearing that sooner or later the Wii will die off because they want to be proven partly right and not be remembered as the fools who doubted the biggest console this generation.

For me I don't care at all about being wrong or right.  I just don't like the direction Nintendo has gone in from the perspective of game quality and I don't like the influence it will have on the industry.  I'm concerned Nintendo is leading videogaming into a dark age critically, despite financial success.  Thus I, deep down, want their strategy to fail in the longrun.  It's the same reason I always wanted Sony to fail though ironically Nintendo has become worse than Sony was.  What I've always wanted is for quality games to be a requirement for success and shovelware doesn't sell.  Nintendo has made things worse and made shovelware a more successful venture than quality games.  I don't care about looking like a fool because I made the wrong prediction.  The Wii is number one but is the least deserving of the three consoles.  That is wrong, that is bad for gaming, that needs to stop.  Thus I hope for failure.

Though really I don't care for all three console makers.  It might be best if we have another crash, all three die off, and we start fresh.  But then it would just be nice if Nintendo could make it so that the Wii is WORTHY of its success. A better Nintendo and a better Wii would be great for gaming.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 22, 2008

Thank you Ian for proving another point as to why some people keep preaching doom: FEAR.

Like I mentioned before, the Wii and DS were a drastic change of pace, one that focused on people other than core gamers. Had this failed everyone would have been fine since gaming would have kept its steady pace with little to no change whatsoever. But, since Nintendo was proven highly successful they now fear that the rest follow suit, affecting game development radically in favor of arcade like games everyone can play. Which means no more epic games like Zelda, Final Fantasy or even Halo.

Both Sony and MS have admitted that Nintendo was right in following their bold strategy. Now they are trying to reach that audience. MS is now using avatars and focusing on arcade games (most of the commercials I've seen talk about family gaming) while Sony touts its multimedia capabilities (something they have been doing since the PSone days) in hopes of attracting new players to their system (they've gone as far as to advertise their party games to cool casual gamers).

To be honest, though, I don't see the change happening anytime. This generation of gaming JUST started, the Wii is only 2 years old, the PS3 is also two years old and the 360 is 3. The future is always uncertain, meaning that either gaming will go completely casual or will go back to core gamers once this generation ends.

KDR_11kDecember 22, 2008

Game quality? I could see complaints about quantity (though that's mostly due to the lacking third party support) but quality? I know you love calling games you don't like shoddy but that doesn't make them badly made games, just games for people who aren't you.

And please taste the grass on the other side before complaining that it's greener. I bought a 360, I hardly see any games I'd want for it. The game selection sucks on all consoles at the moment. The HD consoles get more high profile titles but an unusually high number of them turns out shit. Maybe companies can just afford fewer so every game is high budget and high profile but Sturgeon's Law applies just as before.

Worse games just sell on the Wii because there's little competition as noone except Nintnedo has a clue on how to make a successful Wii game and Nintendo is so busy they can't make many. Third parties just copy what they see like birdmen, some get lucky and make something people actually want (I bet many people actually wanted a home version of the various carnival games and that one game just happened to be the first one available).

Oh don't worry, it looks likwe we're heading for a crash... of hardcore gaming. Developers get destroyed by their budgets as they frantically try to get enough money together to finish their flagship title (which then sells nowhere near enough and kills them...). Hell, even the mighty EA got hurt badly by these costs. Let's see how many survive this generation and how many actually want to stay the course.

Nick DiMolaNick DiMola, Staff AlumnusDecember 22, 2008

I don't hardcore games are going to die, though I agree they are in trouble. I'm guessing that hardcore games will simply migrate to Wii. The graphics won't be of quite the same quality as they are on the 360 and PS3, but the quality and content will be similar.

Oh and I also agree, the Wii's game quality far outpaces that of both the PS3 and 360, trust me I own both of them.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 22, 2008

Here's a summed up version of my post:
The reason hardcore gamers want companies to focus on them is because they feel that since they are the most demanding section of the fanbase games will always be high in quality, with amazing presentation, deep gameplay and tons of bonus content. Companies focus on THEM because they know they can spring their biggest titles and they will get the admiration and respect of that sector.

The reason they fear the casual change is because they believe that if simple gaming triumphs over epic gaming it will revert back to the dark days of Atari in which developers kept releasing bad, cheap titles and over flooded the market. They fear developers will no longer spend years creating epic games like Zelda, Halo, Final Fantasy and such because they no longer see the profit they want to make and instead focus on smaller titles that can be completed within 6 to 8 months and cost very little to make.

To them, casual gamers have low standards when it comes to gaming. It doesn't matter what you release, if they like it they will buy it, and will buy it by the drones. So once again if developers were to focus on just casuals games will lack polish and revert back to the days where simple gaming ruled.

Long story short... if hardcore gamers win we get lots of Gears, Metal Gears and Halos. If casual gamers win we get lots of Wii Sports, Wii Fit and Wii Music.

To even believe this is being an extremist. Any smart analyst will tell you that a company needs to cater to both audiences in order to see constant revenue, even after their games were released. Hardcore gamers net profit, so do casual gamers. If you were to focus on just one of them you will lose a great amount of profit. Its why we hear so many studios closing down; they decided to focus on just one sector of the audience and the results weren't as great as expected.

Both audiences are niche. If you combine the two you find a wide selection of gamers that will give you their money for your titles. In a way, casual gaming is helping the hardcore, and the hardcore is helping casual gaming. Its a never ending cycle in which EVERYBODY wins. Cut it short...

Quote from: Ian

For me I don't care at all about being wrong or right.  I just don't like the direction Nintendo has gone in from the perspective of game quality and I don't like the influence it will have on the industry.  I'm concerned Nintendo is leading videogaming into a dark age critically, despite financial success.  Thus I, deep down, want their strategy to fail in the longrun.  It's the same reason I always wanted Sony to fail though ironically Nintendo has become worse than Sony was.  What I've always wanted is for quality games to be a requirement for success and shovelware doesn't sell.  Nintendo has made things worse and made shovelware a more successful venture than quality games.  I don't care about looking like a fool because I made the wrong prediction.  The Wii is number one but is the least deserving of the three consoles.  That is wrong, that is bad for gaming, that needs to stop.  Thus I hope for failure.

Though really I don't care for all three console makers.  It might be best if we have another crash, all three die off, and we start fresh.  But then it would just be nice if Nintendo could make it so that the Wii is WORTHY of its success. A better Nintendo and a better Wii would be great for gaming.

I disagree COMPLETELY.

The Wii is making Nintendo do what I've always wished they'd do as a fan. No, not winning. The N64 didn't win, and that was my golden age.

Instead, Nintendo is actually exploring new directions in gaming. What you call a critical dark age I call a ripe expansion in the genres, types, styles, customers, and definitions in gaming. You think this is going to bring down gaming. I think the opposite: this is Nintendo preemptively waging a war on behalf of gaming's survival by bringing in new consumers, popularizing the activity, gaining mainstream acceptance, and making gaming something that's accessible and appealing to more than the select in-danger-of-becoming-like-comic-book-fans few.

And to lay the "shovelware" charge at Nintendo's doorstep is ludicrous.  Not only has Nintendo delivered its biggest core franchises in an amazingly short while, but they've spend vast amounts of time, money, and ShigeruMiyamotoHours on delivering games like Wii Fit and Wii Music. They may not be aimed at you, but with their levels of sophistication, detail, and their price, they're far from shovelware. However, even Wii Play shouldn't be given that term given the inherent oldschool appeal of several of its minigames, and the unique price point strategy that Nintendo is attempting with it. Wii Play is almost like the first WiiWare sized game, a unique twist on how to position, and sell, games with much less epic scope than oscar-worthy-10-winning Grand Theft Auto IV. And of course, Wii Sports is this genre's killer app.

Even among the strangest third-party success stories, there's new unexplored facets of interactivity to be mined. Carnival Games surprised me excessively in how appealing it was, almost like an arcade compilation with microgames, but with a fairground simulation and the excitement of trading up prizes. Deca Sports I reviewed with a 6.0, but I can't deny that there were elements of that which I found worthy and which left me thirsting for more. As for Rayman Raving Rabbids, I may have been underwhelmed with it, but my older cousin swears by it. And I trust her. She played Donkey Kong Country with me during all-nighters when I was a kid, also Marble Madness on the NES and Aladdin on the Genesis. If she stopped playing games, it would be this industry's loss, and mine.

Nintendo, in creating an environment where my cousin can keep playing games, where companies can keep costs down in this tough time, where more people of different graphics view games not just as acceptable but also as enjoyable, is creating an industry with diversity as its strength, breadth as its insurance, and versatility as its virtue. There's still the obsession, depth, and competition of traditional core gaming, but the world is bigger than the young male demographic, and the videogame world is too.

Sure, I'm not holding the keys to the kingdom anymore. But on this journey I'm willing to give up my supposed right to bend a multi-billion dollar industry to my will. In exchange I gain new travelling companions, new ideas, and new possibilities for the future. Those things give my future more security than past privileges gripped tightly in a clenched fist.

Ian SaneDecember 22, 2008

Quote:

Thank you Ian for proving another point as to why some people keep preaching doom: FEAR.

Yes.  Exactly.  And I think it's justifiable fear.

People talk of the revolution.  Well we're the status quo being overthrown.  So, yeah, I don't really care for that.  Unlike some of you I can't just reprogram my tastes to whatever Nintendo is currently pushing.  I like what I like.  Nintendo threatens that.  If the Nintendo of today was around in 1985 no Super Mario Bros, no Kid Icarus, no Metroid, no Zelda.  That's all about complexity and depth.  They would have kept to making single screen platformers so as to avoid confusing people.

When I hear Iwata talk about non-gamers he gives me the impression that Super Mario Bros was a mistake because it introduced epic games with depth and complexity.  Nintendo is the very reason why that important game evolution occured in the first place.  For 20 years this design philosophy gained their fanbase and created the videogame market altogether.  Then the decided to go back 20 years and start again.  Well you're going to get some backlash when you do something as drastic as that.

Makes you wonder if in another 20 years Nintendo is going to have a core gaming revolution and the cycle starts again.

Quote:

Instead, Nintendo is actually exploring new directions in gaming.

I don't see it.  To me they're going back in time.  They have ceased going forward and are intentionally holding back.  Their design philosophy is entirely money driven.  IE: they will intentionally restrict a game from reaching it's full potential because they're afraid grandma won't buy it.  Case in point Wii Music which is dumbed down to the point of worthlessness when if it was allowed to be developed to it's full potential it could have been the definitive music game.  Nintendo's attitude is as corporate as EA's.  They're sell outs.  This isn't an artistic revolution.  It's a business one.  All that matters is the almighty buck.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 22, 2008

To add to Kairon's post I want to mention that the Wii and DS have done something the other consoles have failed to do...make gaming good.

Before the DS and Wii all we heard was the following...

- Gaming corrupts the young
- Gaming affects health
- Gaming only focuses on death and violence
- Gaming is for losers

While some of these might not have been true the reality is that gaming really was perceived this way. It was seen as an activity that only appealed to the young and the gaming elite, hence why it got so much crap this past generation.

But now with the success of the Wii and DS, and hell even Guitar Hero and Rock Band gaming is an activity worth following.

Now we hear the following...

- Gaming used in physical therapy
- Senior citizens are having fun playing games
- More families are playing games
- Kids are picking up real instruments

To be honest it really, really, REALLY bugs me how the gaming elite has crapped on this and do nothing but mock it. "Oooh old people are playing games". "Haha fat kids play Wii etc.". Let's be humble for a second here...

Being a senior citizen sucks...big time. Your body and mind begin to fail you in the worst way possible. Your activities begin to limit themselves. Your days are slowly ending and worst of all, the people you worked HARD to support during your youth see you as a bother and thus leave you to die in a nursing home. Its pretty damn depressing. So why do we make fun of them when they are happy playing Wii? Are we so elitist that we can't see that gaming is changing the life of these people? ALL of us will be heading down that path. We will never stay young so back off and show some respect.

Same with kids and their families. Isn't it nice that our all time favorite hobby is now seen as an alternative to get families together? My all time favorite gaming memory is when me and S_B played Wii Sports with my mom and nephew till 4:00 AM. We were sharing an activity with the people we love. I feel happy knowing that I can talk to my mother about gaming without alienating her. In fact, it gets her excited.

So again, why all the criticism and mockery? Did gamers sell their hearts and souls in the name of achievements?

Oh and Ian, in order to discover the future you have to go to the past.

You don't see it because you don't want to. You want to justify your fears and anger in hopes that sooner or later you are proven right. Again, this is being an extremist and in the end the bigger loser is you.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 22, 2008

Since Ian believes that Nintendo is "going back" rather than going forward let's look at some of the complaints heard throughout this generation of gaming...

Story: Developers are focusing too much on story rather than making compelling gameplay. There is far too much emphasis on cutscenes rather than gameplay.

MGS4 is one of the year's most revered titles. Yet, even the biggest fans got annoyed at the fact that you saw more cutscenes than gameplay.

Graphics: We all of these great technology and all developers want to make are gray, brown, depressing worlds.

Really, I thought gaming was supposed to explore worlds that were never imaginable during the 8-bit days. If so, why all we are getting are destroyed worlds?

Gameplay: After three titles last generation and three more on the PSP Rockstar still can't get aiming and driving right.

Again, we are supposed to live in a generation in which all of this should have been fixed or perfected. Yet, we are struggling with 3D controls and character movement, despite touting next gen gameplay.

So what I am getting with this? Ian says that Nintendo is going backward instead of developing gaming forward. If you ask any hardcore gamer they will say that gamer needs to be in the same league as movies in terms of visual presentation and stories. But as we have seen gamers will never be movies. This search for the prestige was actually hurting gaming and people fail to realize that that videogames ARE TOYS. The have the word GAMES at the end of it. Games are meant to be FUN, not epic.

Not saying that a game can't tell story or be epic, just that gameplay shouldn't be sacrificed for the sake of it.

Now let's take a look at last's year's titles.

Mario Galaxy, Portal and Bioshock were easily the best reviewed titles of 2007. Why? Because they were actually smart and creative enough to truly push gaming forward.

Mario Galaxy created beautiful and imaginative worlds that could only be seen in games. It mixed traditional gameplay with unique control methods and the marriage was seamless. Portal and Bioshock were highly praised for taking the concept of shooters and adding a twist to them. Not to mention that their stories were developed as the story went along. In other words, they never stopped just to show you a cutscene.

Bioshock developed its story through your interaction with the environment. Portal had its story sprinkled throughout its walls. You didn't see GLADOS, but you knew she was EVERYWHERE, making her both a beloved and feared antagonist.

See what I am getting at? These games truly moved things forward because they implement the most desired elements in gaming and evolved them in a way that it attracted many new gamers.

In short, all of these elements that fans believe is moving gaming forward is actually holding them back because developers are preferring one over the other, all in the name of prestige and respect. Since Nintendo decided to say "screw YOU" now they lack that respected.

Quote from: Ian

they will intentionally restrict a game from reaching it's full potential because they're afraid grandma won't buy it.

You're entirely missing the point IanSane. The whole reason for such a game IS grandma buying it. That's it's full potential: outreach. Inclusion. Sharing. There are games that are made to be all they can be, and those are great. And there are games that are made to bring people together. We need those as well.

Quote from: Ian

When I hear Iwata talk about non-gamers he gives me the impression that Super Mario Bros was a mistake because it introduced epic games with depth and complexity.

I don't think that Super Mario Bros. was a success because it was epic and complex. I believe the opposite. Mario was fun BECAUSE it was simple. You jump. The NES had two buttons, and you only rarely used the second one. Yes, Mario required depth to sell the experience (just as Wii Sports requires actual depth to remain as sticky as it is), but it was everything it needed to be even if you weren't epic and played just the first couple levels, which I'm certain were all of the game that many of its millions ever saw.

There's a reason that Miyamoto was talking about playing games with "one button" back during the GameCube era. Super Mario Bros. was almost exactly that. Yes, maybe Nintendo has gone back in time. But you think they're doing it to destroy values. I think they're doing it to bring them back.

Quote from: Ian

People talk of the revolution.  Well we're the status quo being overthrown.  So, yeah, I don't really care for that.

Ironically, it's not like people weren't warned. &P

KDR_11kDecember 22, 2008

Quote from: Ian

If the Nintendo of today was around in 1985 no Super Mario Bros, no Kid Icarus, no Metroid, no Zelda.  That's all about complexity and depth.  They would have kept to making single screen platformers so as to avoid confusing people.

They were around in the NES era. What you think of as complex and deep was casual kiddy fodder to the hardcore computer gamers (which, BTW, weren't affected by the console gaming crash). Going from a full keyboard and joystick setup down to a mere four buttons and dpad? Weaker graphics? Game-only system? Have you seen the old complex computer games compared to your "complex" Nintendo games? Try grabbing Last Ninja off the VC and read the manual.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 22, 2008

How could I miss such an enthusiastic debate. Sadly I don't think I can contribute anything besides saying.

Fallout 3 greatest game ever since GTAIV? LOL.

Don't get me wrong, Fallout 3 is a great game, but I think people are letting visuals get in the way of determining what is "great", at least in GTAIV's case.

Ok I'm done.

Ian SaneDecember 22, 2008

Quote:

I don't think that Super Mario Bros. was a success because it was epic and complex. I believe the opposite. Mario was fun BECAUSE it was simple.

Have you ever played Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. or Mario Bros?  The scope of Super Mario Bros compared to those games is HUGE.  We went from four single screens being a big game to having 32 levels each several screens wide.  We see it as simple NOW because compared to what followed it is very simple.  But at the time that was a huge step up.  That's why it was a killer app, not because it was "easy to get into".  If THAT'S what mattered then why bother with the NES as the Atari had one button and a joystick and all of its good games were incredibly easy to get into?  Nintendo was taking a big step forward.  And the game was longer and bigger so it required more of a time investment and more dedication and more skill.  It wasn't like Pac-Man where you could play for two minutes and turn it off.

Nintendo arguably did all this AGAIN with Super Mario 64.  "This is even bigger.  This is even more complex.  This is a huge step up from playing and thinking in two dimensions.  You're going to have to learn this new analog stick and learn to control a camera.  But if you're willing to put that investment in you'll see that this game is amazing."  And we all the took the plunge and Super Mario 64 was as influencial for 3D gaming as Super Mario Bros was for 2D.  That was a point where Nintendo was incredibly ambitious in game design.  It was like they were aiming at making a GOTY every time.

Quote:

Mario Galaxy, Portal and Bioshock were easily the best reviewed titles of 2007. Why? Because they were actually smart and creative enough to truly push gaming forward.

I agree.  This is what I want the future to be.  Not the Wii ____ series.  It shows that Nintendo still has the talent if they choose to but they didn't make the Wii to make games like Super Mario Galaxy, they made it for games like Wii Sports.  Mario Galaxy's remote usage is largely unnecessary and forced anyway.  Meanwhile Portal and Bioshock are guess what?  On every console BUT the Wii.  D'oh!  I agree though that MGS is silly with the cutscenes and GTA controls like crap.  But that doesn't damn all of core gaming.  Case in point your three examples are core games.  I see Nintendo's direction to have the effect where games like Bioshock are not developed because the market doesn't want them.

Quote:

the Wii and DS have done something the other consoles have failed to do...make gaming good.

I suppose this is a good thing but we could have gotten politicians off our back if we censored gaming as well.  I'd argue Nintendo has acheived this by compromising videogames.  I would have preferred if we were accepted as we were and didn't have to make family focused non-games to get them to accept us.

Quote:

Isn't it nice that our all time favorite hobby is now seen as an alternative to get families together?

I don't care.  I invited my parents to play games with their sons and they never gave it even the slightest chance.  They would have likely enjoyed themselves if they weren't biased and put some effort into learning the basic skills (my Mom gave up on PAC-MAN after 1 minute).  My Dad and I enjoy cycling together.  For years my Dad tried to get all his sons interested in his hobby but only I showed enough interest to put the effort in.  So only my Dad and I have that bond.  Well that sucks for my brothers but they had and still have every chance to join in.  I suppose my Dad could have watered down his interest to the point where my close-minded brothers would show interest but why bother?  He wouldn't enjoy himself then.  But he and I still have a great time and do so on our terms.

So while I now CAN play games with my parents I don't really enjoy it that much because the experience is so compromised it doesn't hold my interest that much.  I would rather play a more involved game with my brothers and my friends who actually show the same level of interest I do.  I only care about sharing an interest with someone if everyone involved is has the same level of interest as I do.  Personally that's just me.  I want the family to get together and play core games.  And I think that was going to happen eventually anyway.  My parents didn't have videogames when they were kids.  I did.  My kids will.  It's a generation gap that was going to close anyway.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusDecember 22, 2008

This bubble was never about the Wii or Nintendo. It was about the industry as a whole. Throw in the current economic crisis, things have just been accelerated.

The economies of making bigger, prettier games haven't caught up with the resources needed to make them. This is especially true if one develops on the PS3 or the 360. By limiting the power, Nintendo is a rather heavy handed way, limited how much a game costs to make. This isn't movies where there is one TV for every person in the world. Never mind the fact every 5 years this number goes back to zero. It's getting harder and harder to reach break even. Processing power double every 18 months, how ever, games and the market doesn't double every 18 months. It was becoming unsustainable.

I am not saying that we should stay here forever, but the tools and how we make games need to catch up. Like the examples Pap64 gave, some very basic questions have yet to be solved.

For the record, I LOVE Donkey Kong Jr. I'd played my 1-level Game & Watch of that thing for hours. I have the NES game on my VC too!

Ian, I get what you're saying. Technology makes games better. No one disputes that. It allowed SMB to be fun to play, no matter if you could beat the game... or you couldn't... I couldn't. T_T

But it's just that technology has also skewed values in today's gaming world. Yes, we have standouts like Portal, (I also wonder what Mirror's Edge is like) but generally speaking we've become a slave to that graphical drive. Not only is it becoming financially infeasible, it's gotten to the point that game design and innovation is becoming compromised. This narrowing of gaming has even caused a slew of traditional core genres to go extinct, or at the very least go through a shocking contraction, like adventure games (bless the Wii and DS for their revival!), platformers, brawlers and even recent genres like survival horror. A lot of people are afraid that JRPG are on their way out, and even the FPS genre may face a similar contraction down the line.

Nintendo's taken a radical step, yes, but they've at least taken a very firm stand on the topic. Make games that are appealing, and you don't need to hide behind the Unreal 3 engine.

It's not that traditional games are undesirable, they're very desirable! it's just that games like Tetris, Lemmings, Family Fun Fitness(the Power Pad), and Mario Paint too, are just as desirable for a lot of people. Why shouldn't Bejeweled (waitasec... Bejeweled ain't on WiiWare?), Toki Tori, We Cheer, or Trauma Center be embraced as fully as the successors of Doom? And why shouldn't we try to create some new ones along the way?

GoldenPhoenixDecember 22, 2008

I appreciate what Nintendo's intentions are behind the visuals. Personally, I'm getting sick of hearing how great a game is because how beautiful the visuals are (not necessarily artistic), and how things like physics etc make it such a great game. Case in point is GTAIV. THe primary thing that distinguishes it from previous games is more on the technical side of things, but because of that some say it is the greatest game ever. I don't like that trend in gaming one bit. Graphics should always remain a vessel to gameplay, not the other way around.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 23, 2008

Quote from: oohhboy

This bubble was never about the Wii or Nintendo. It was about the industry as a whole. Throw in the current economic crisis, things have just been accelerated.

The economies of making bigger, prettier games haven't caught up with the resources needed to make them. This is especially true if one develops on the PS3 or the 360. By limiting the power, Nintendo is a rather heavy handed way, limited how much a game costs to make. This isn't movies where there is one TV for every person in the world. Never mind the fact every 5 years this number goes back to zero. It's getting harder and harder to reach break even. Processing power double every 18 months, how ever, games and the market doesn't double every 18 months. It was becoming unsustainable.

I am not saying that we should stay here forever, but the tools and how we make games need to catch up. Like the examples Pap64 gave, some very basic questions have yet to be solved.

I believe that the next Nintendo console will be HD and maybe feature HD graphics because by then the HD adoption rate will be higher and it will cost less. TVs will be cheap and TV signals will be digital next year, meaning that Nintendo can finally dive in and join the HD revolution.

Its like Nintendo foresaw all of this. HD gaming is still part of a niche sector of the market, and developers are putting millions into that market, forgetting the rest. Thus why we have titles that aren't doing as well as expected.

de Blob is slowly reaching 500,000 units sold, yet I am sure its giving THQ more profit than Saints Row 2, a million seller.

Then there's the fact that the PS3 versions of multiplatform games are selling like crap. That's part of profit being cut since part of the audience is biting.

I just find it amusing how analysts are preaching doom for the Wii when the 360 and PS3, as well as developers are facing far worse.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 23, 2008

I would like to hear statistics on what the average "upper tier" Wii game costs to develop vs a "upper tier" 360 or PS3 game costs, and how many units they have to sell to even break even. I'd think in many cases the budget for a good PS3/360 game is close to 4-5 times more than a Wii game. So while they may have to sell 1 million units to break even, the Wii version could sell like 200k or so to get to that same point. If that is the case, it shows how silly it is to compare units sold when the most important number is profit.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 23, 2008

Not to mention that 360 and PS3 titles cost 60 dollars. So it would be funny if cheaper Wii titles make more money than full priced titles.

I think Brawl and Wii Fit were pretty expensive to make. Brawl has a TON of talent involved, including licensing fees for Konami and Sega. Wii Fit has the balance board, which might cost a pretty penny to manufacture.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 23, 2008

Quote from: pap64

Not to mention that 360 and PS3 titles cost 60 dollars. So it would be funny if cheaper Wii titles make more money than full priced titles.

I think Brawl and Wii Fit were pretty expensive to make. Brawl has a TON of talent involved, including licensing fees for Konami and Sega. Wii Fit has the balance board, which might cost a pretty penny to manufacture.

It is too bad you can't get that information unlike movies where budgets are pretty easy to find!

KDR_11kDecember 23, 2008

Quote from: Ian

Have you ever played Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. or Mario Bros?  The scope of Super Mario Bros compared to those games is HUGE.

And have you played Last Ninja or Elite?

ArbokDecember 23, 2008

Quote from: Ian

This is what I want the future to be.  Not the Wii ____ series.  It shows that Nintendo still has the talent if they choose to...

Nintendo still has talent, period. Galaxy, Brawl, Mario Kart, Metroid, Zelda... I have been a pretty sated gamer versus what the Gamecube gave me and what I liked there.

Reality is, though, that Nintendo has little reason to keep pushing these franchises out now at their old rates. The longer they wait, the more sales they will probably get on the next iteration and the less chance they have of a franchise becoming saturated. Furthermore, it allows them to ensure that each new release is a quality title, as there is no reason to jeopardize a franchise with a sub par release. This means more time spent on titles, but also allows them the chance to test the water with older franchises like Punch Out and Sin & Punishment... stuff that they never did on the Gamecube, outside of Pikmin, as they were pressured to keep sales up with the key franchises due to lagging performance of the console.

At least in theory... I'm sure there will still be a couple of titles, like Wario: Master of Disguise, where they pass development to another studio who botch it... yet they release it anyway.

Quote from: Ian

I see Nintendo's direction to have the effect where games like Bioshock are not developed because the market doesn't want them.

If that's the case, then the market never did. This isn't the case, as sales show, but Nintendo didn't force people to go crazy about the Wii _ series... they did that on their own and now Nintendo has a huge market to cater to. To complain that they have been successful doing that is silly. You should be angry at consumers if anything for the ones who now demand that type of software, not Nintendo for doing what a company does: meet the demand of consumers. To suggest that they leave money on the table is fairly silly, in truth.

Ian SaneDecember 23, 2008

Quote:

Nintendo didn't force people to go crazy about the Wii _ series... they did that on their own and now Nintendo has a huge market to cater to. To complain that they have been successful doing that is silly. You should be angry at consumers if anything for the ones who now demand that type of software, not Nintendo for doing what a company does: meet the demand of consumers.

Well I think Nintendo is somewhat at fault for specifically targetting that segment of the market in the first place.  It isn't like the public was demanding non-games and Nintendo is just following the trend.  And it isn't like Nintendo released a game specifically for the old market and, whoa, all these non-gamers liked it so they decided to continue giving the public what they wanted.  Nintendo introduced the whole thing.  They specifically seeked that market out and I think that makes them responsible.  Hell they get credit for it so how are they not "at fault"?

And for years Nintendo actually DIDN'T specifically give the public what they wanted.  Remember when mature games were all the rage and Nintendo refused to cater to that market?  The money was there but they never chased it.  Now I think Nintendo should have made more of an effort to balance their lineup better with "mature" and "family friendly" games as an 'M' rating didn't have to mean exploitive violence and sexual content as Nintendo themselves had demonstrated with games like Perfect Dark and Eternal Darkness.  But Nintendo never really made a serious effort to target that very large group.  At the time many Nintendo fans praised them for not compromising their games for money.  I think Nintendo was overly conservative about that but if I suggested that I got "do you want to see Mario killing hookers" reactions.  Of course those same people who acted as if all mature games had to be exploitive like GTA went bonkers over Resident Evil 4 but that's another topic.

The point is a few years ago it was unpopular around here to suggest that Nintendo release more mature games and less cutesy games to balance out their lineup, overcome a negative image they had been branded with, and thus make a serious effort to win back the gamers they lost to the competition over the years.  This was often seen as Nintendo compromising their integrity for financial gain.  I never thought it was but a lot of people saw it that way.  Now they're catering specifically to a large segment of the mainstream market and have made games specifically for that audience.  Yet very few people on these forums consider THAT to be compromising their integrity for financial gain.  But I don't see why making mature games would have been bad while making non-games is okay?  If making mature games is being a sell out why wouldn't making non-games be the same thing?  At least making a mature game would just be a different theme and setting but without any compromise to gameplay.  With non-games the gameplay itself is affected.

The only difference is see is that Nintendo didn't do the mature thing but did do the non-gamer one.  This current strategy isn't some hypothetical situation being suggested by a forumer, it's real and Nintendo really did it.  Suggesting the mature focus was counter-culture to what Nintendo was doing but supporting the non-gamer focus is following along with Nintendo.  One makes you a rebel, one makes you a fan.  What Nintendo does is always good, what Nintendo chooses not to do is always bad.

Quote from: Ian

Now they're catering specifically to a large segment of the mainstream market and have made games specifically for that audience.  Yet very few people on these forums consider THAT to be compromising their integrity for financial gain.  But I don't see why making mature games would have been bad while making non-games is okay?

Your answer lies earlier in your post.

Quote from: Ian

It isn't like the public was demanding non-games and Nintendo is just following the trend.
...
Nintendo introduced the whole thing.

It's not considered compromising your integrity if you've always been on that path to begin with. Nintendo has ALWAYS targeted the 5-95 gamer. From the Power Pad's World Class Track Meet to Mario Paint to their consistent erring on the side of family-friendly-caution, you're right in saying that "supporting the non-gamer focus is following along with Nintendo." Nintendo's had that focus for ages.

Now, there's obviously many angles to being a Nintendo fan. But I do think that anyone who has interest in Nintendo beyond what they see on store shelves has to see that historical background, connection and theme. No matter your stance today, I think you'd have to acknowledge that the Wii reaches back to the NES era for a lot of its values. Heck, even the Miis got their start on the famicom disk drive.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 24, 2008

Wait Nintendo is FOLLOWING the trend? Thought everyone was following Nintendo's trend. Come on Ian, you can do better than that. What Nintendo do is accepted as being daring and yes smart. Heck when you have professors talking about Nintendo with the Wii, you know they did something more than "follow a trend".

DeguelloJeff Shirley, Staff AlumnusDecember 24, 2008

Another thing I think Ian misses either by accident or cynically on purpose is that all of Nintendo's core games like Mario Galaxy and Zelda and even Metroid have all outperformed their previous iterations meaning that, while Nintendo has a lot of incentive to making "Wii ___ Games" they have just as much to make what has made them famous and those that "their fans have supported and put them where they are today." (And still put them, going by these figures.)  And because of lower-budget (not Low or shoestring budget) games like Wii Sports and Wii Fit and such, Nintendo will have enough spare dough to make all those artistic and whatnot games.  Again, rising tide, all boats.  Same as DS.

This is an epic argument though that will never end. Nintendo fans have been debating the essence of Nintendo since, well, the N64 days at least.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 24, 2008

Quote from: Kairon

This is an epic argument though that will never end. Nintendo fans have been debating the essence of Nintendo since, well, the N64 days at least.

Especially when it is with Ian.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterDecember 24, 2008

Quote from: Kairon

This is an epic argument though that will never end. Nintendo fans have been debating the essence of Nintendo since, well, the N64 days at least.

Funny you mentioned the N64.

Sean Malstrom once mentioned that perhaps the reason gamers are criticizing the Wii is because these are young gamers who grew up with the N64 and GC, missing the NES and SNES entirely.

If you look back at the N64 he might have a point. Many of its best titles were innovative entries in their core franchises (Mario and Zelda). Since the N64 barely had any noteworthy third party titles they kept their games coming while second parties like Rare supplied the system with new IPs that were graphically impressive.

The GC focused even more on its core fanbase and franchises, with the innovation aimed solely at them (like GBA/GC connectivity, e-Reader cards and such).

So when they see Nintendo placing its attention upon a new audience they cry foul because Nintendo catered heavily to their fanbase the last two generations and focused its innovation on them and their franchises. Hell, even a game like Wii Fit wouldn't exist during said days. It would have been deemed too risky for them.

Meanwhile, the NES and SNES catered to a wide audience. The NES in particular was sold to an audience that was burned before by gaming, and did so by creating new IPs that were easy to learn but hard to master.

Why do you think so many people remember Mario with fondness? Because it was an innovative new franchise that anyone could play.

See the relations between the NES and Wii? They both came at a crucial time in gaming and did so by providing an experience no one else dared to follow.

If you go back EVEN FURTHER you'll learn that gaming was advertised as a family/children's activity, A HIGHLY TECHNOLOGICAL TOY.

Chris Buffa of Game Daily once said that hardcore gamers were the ones that moved the industry to where it is today. He couldn't be farther from the truth.

True, hardcore games did help establish some elements. But if you look past Sony and Microsoft you'll see that there once was an Atari that gave birth and killed gaming while Nintendo picked up the pieces and ran away with it, and they did so thanks to the help of families who were impressed by the technology.

KDR_11kDecember 24, 2008

Ian, your perception of what people want is skewed by what you read on the internet. Noone posted on the internet (well, the parts of it that you read) about how he wanted simpler games for everyone so you assume noone wanted them. What people say and what people do are two different things, especially when the vast majority doesn't say anything. What people did was playing tons of flash based browser games. Actions speak louder than words so Nintendo figured they wanted something similarily simple to get into but with lasting appeal and it turns out Nintendo guessed right.

The internet cried for more "mature" games but did the market actually want more of those or was there more of a market for something that doesn't focus so much on the 12-24 year olds? Well, we could dig up sales numbers from the time but that's too much work for me :P. It does seem to me like most of Nintendo's "for everyone" games sold to a large part of the "mature" market as well while a "mature" game would have trouble selling outside its dedicated market. Looks to me like Nintendo has a monopoly on everyone outside the 12-24 year old male demographic and a significant share even inside that bracket.

Also "the market" sounds so impersonal, it sounds like an evil machinery with no humanity, the market is made up of people though, people with their own desires and expectations. What "the market" wants is what the people in it want. Sometimes they don't know they want it before they see it so simply asking them is the wrong approach. Making what people say they want ends up with the Xbox (including the old controller).

I...liked the big old XBox controller... I don't see why everyone gave it so much flack. I hate the smaller S controller which is what the current 360 controller's based on...

Only thing I can think of is that it ripped off the DCast's controller

Quote from: Zap

Only thing I can think of is that it ripped off the DCast's controller

Yeah, I realized the same thing. I like the DC's controller too, except it didn't mold to my hands quite as well as I would've liked.

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