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Your Questions Answered

by Steven Rodriguez - October 14, 2007, 10:49 pm PDT

Have you been waiting a while for the return of the mailbag? So have I. Get your questions in for next time!

Hey hey NWR,

I just have a quick question about the GameCube controllers you guys probably have lying around in the office. Being that the Wii is backwards compatible with the 'Cube (and every other previous Nintendo console and then some for that matter), you guys probably use the 'Cube controllers as much as the Wii-motes to get your Nintendo fix. So, I'm wondering if those 'Cube controllers are still working for you. You see, I've gone through my share of these controllers through the 'Cubes's lifespan. More than six or so from my last count as a matter of fact. The first gen controllers had that soft button issue so those were replaced within a matter of months. However, every controller I've purchased thereafter, even the Wavebird, suffered the same fate: The analog triggers and sticks lost calibration. I can't use my Wavebird anymore because the L-trigger and the main analog stick don't read properly at all. My brother's Wavebird analog and at least two other controllers I have (one of them barely a year old) suffer the same thing. Every time I boot up a game and use any of these controllers the analog never stays center, and the calibration reset trick never works.

Now if I recall correctly, I believe it was stated somewhere on this site a while back that Nintendo has stopped making 'Cube related products in order to push Wii hardware. I'm pretty sure if I send the controllers to Nintendo they could fix them, but I'm equally sure there will be some compensation for services rendered. Aside from that option, is there a chance that there could be some brand new 'Cube controllers amongst the myriad of retailers out there? The places I've checked either don't carry them anymore or never have them in stock. So is there a chance, even if I have to buy them secondhand?

I can't think of playing Brawl without the controller that made me feel most comfortable playing Melee.

- Icarus

I'm sure you can find GameCube controllers out there. You'll just need to prioritize your searches to the second-hand market, or perhaps luck out and find a major retailer with new controllers. Nintendo has made it clear that it doesn't want you to use GameCube controllers on the Wii (that's what the Classic controller is for) since it has apparently ceased production of just about everything GameCube.

I've said that many times before, but just in case there are some of you out there who still don't understand it, it bears repeating. The GameCube, and therefore all of its accessories, are no longer. It's been almost a year since the Wii launch, and although the console is backwards compatible with GameCube games, I don't see any GameCube games being put on store shelves like how PS2 games are still rolling off the line. I do know that memory cards and some other vital accessories are still trickling out and are available to buy, but I've only seen third-party controllers in places like Best Buy or Target.

But what about durability of existing GameCube controllers? I haven't had a problem with any of my four controllers or my Wavebird, except for the rubber covering of the analog stick on my black and orange controller getting eradicated through fault of my own. (No, they didn't make black and orange controllers. I did, though!) For all the hours I've put into GameCube games, including the controller-breaking Super Smash Bros. Melee, and with all the hours other people are still putting into the game, it's astonishing that, for the most part, the stuff is still going strong almost six years later. Naturally, things will break with enough use over time, but Nintendo products seem to last. My stuff does, that's for sure.

For your plight, I would suggest driving down to your local EB Games or GameStop store and picking up a used GameCube controller. I'd bet you a dollar they have some first-party ones in stock, used. If not, don't be afraid to crack open your own controllers to try some self-service repairs.

Why is it that Wii owners can have Madden but no NHL? I officially retired my PS2 when Wii came along, and I'm really disappointed that I'm not going to be able to get my puck on unless I un-retire my PS2 or break down and by a 360 or a PS3. What gives?

- HockeyNut08

EA Sports is still transitioning its games lineup to the Wii. The first year was Madden and Tiger Woods. This year, NBA Live and FIFA came over. Next year, I expect EA to really get the ball rolling. NASCAR should be one of their big Wii sports games for 2008 (if not, someone over there should be fired) and possibly an NHL game with some fancy Wii controls.

Remember though, as much as it pains me to say this, the fact is that the NHL is a second-tier sport in America. Golf is more popular than hockey, for crying out loud. Once the hockey audience is on the Wii, we'll have a hockey game from EA. Or better yet, let's get Midway to make another NHL Hitz game. Those were awesome.

Now Super Smash Brothers Melee is the #1 selling gamecube game , so it easily has the hardcore base. However with high sales of Wii and casual market who eats up Mario Party 8 is it safe to assume Brawl might also get higher than expected sales? Brawl is simple enough anyone can really get into, and it's easily the best party game ever created, so do you think casuals will jump on board to smash?

- adv2k1
Arlington, Texas

The reason why Super Smash Bros. Melee was so successful is because the casual market did exactly that. Many people know characters like Mario, Link, Kirby, Pokémon, and the rest, so having a game where all of those mascot characters battle each other is something people can easily relate to. It helped that the game was the best and deepest multiplayer experience on the GameCube. Almost one out of every four GameCube owners bought Melee; I wouldn't consider the majority of the five million-plus owners of the game to be hardcore gamers.

Personally, I don't think Brawl will do better than expected because I expect it to do better. Even with that expectation, the sales figures will have potential to be ridiculously high, not only at launch but also for the months and years following February 2008.

Sorry, if this has been covered already, but if you wouldn't mind, please give me your input on whether we should buy a Wii (and GameCube) here in the United States (so as to have English instructions) or purchase one in Japan (which is where we are moving to for the next two years).

We've promised one to our kids and can't seem to find the answer to this question.


- Dawn
moving to Japan

In a situation like this, I would advise someone in your situation to go with the American console. A game system is a long-term investment. If you were to buy a Wii in Japan, once you bring it back to the States you would need to import all of your games from Japan if you want to continue using it. Additionally, you wouldn't be able to use the Wii Shop Channel at all unless you imported points cards from Japan too(though you could still use credit cards), as the catalog is totally different over there. That might be a good thing for some people, but I don't think that, long-term, it would be worth it in your case.

However, two years is an awfully long time to go with importing games from America. Although you won't get Wii Sports for free if you buy a Japanese system, I think the money you'd save from over importing games from America and buying local instead may counteract that over such an extended period of time. And two years from now, the Wii should be dirt cheap. If you did buy a Wii over there, you could simply get another Wii over here when you came back and then you could have both. That may be impractical and confusing, though.

I still think you should go American. Get the games in the language you know, and then keep playing on it when you get back. It may be a bit pricey here and there, but worth it in the end.

HEY Nintendo World Report, saw something a little

disturbing in the USA Today paper regarding Wi-Fi. Titled CITIES TURNING OFF PLANS FOR WI_FI. 9/20/07 it goes on to talk about some of of the big cities either delaying or abandoning building wi-fi networks in their cities. Given that Nintendo's Internet plans are involved on wi-fi, what would happen if it went down completely? your thoughts on the matter?

- Art_de_Cat

For those not familiar, this is referring to a movement for major metropolitan cities to be blanketed with a city-provided wireless network. A lot of cities, San Francisco in particular, have been exploring the idea for a while now, but at the moment it doesn't make a whole lot of logistical or financial sense. Many places are starting to scrap the idea altogether.

This really won't affect Nintendo's Wi-fi plans. Coffee shops, restaurants, public areas, schools, and other public places that already provide a wireless connection will still offer them, and always offer them. And the number of wireless networks being set up at home is growing. Right now there is a plentiful supply of wireless Internet connections in places where people gather, and that's all there needs to be for Nintendo's online plans to push forward.

Greetings Earthlings,

A bit of speculation required for this question. I've always been a solid Nintendo fan since "Duck-hunt" (I'm 27) and I've always believed that competition has been good for the industry. My question has to do with the viability of the other console manufacturers - is it possible that they've bitten off more than they can chew? With the gaming division of MS over US$500 million in the red (that's half a billion in debt) and rather lack-luster sales of the PS3 do you think we'll be seeing a re-adjustment in the big players in the near future?

While I do believe that Sony has some staying power and think that PS3 sales will improve over time (once it gets some killer titles) it'll be a near impossible job to match its last generation success. Having said that I just don't know how Microsoft could justify pouring more money into a business that has yet to see a single red penny of profit. Remember, the last thing the gaming scene needs is a one horse race and, dare I say it, especially if that horse is Nintendo.

So, with (albeit, totally unsubstantiated) rumblings around the net of Apple possibly joining the console race and the two graphics powerhouses taking an absolute smashing by hurricane Wii what do you guys think the industry will look like in a few years time? Exits, mergers, take-overs, re-entries? It's going to be exciting no matter what.

- Nick
Brisbane, Australia

I don't think the Dyackian "one-console future" will ever happen. The past, current, and future console manufacturers all have different ideas for what makes the ideal gaming platform, and trying to fit them all into a do-all box at a profit-generating affordable price is unrealistic. Even though Sony and Microsoft are seeing their respective gaming divisions losing loads of money (although they have other divisions that easily offset those losses), they both see gaming as a long-term investment. They both know that gaming generates huge dollars in the long run. Sony is making incredible money from the PS2 right now, and after six years, the Xbox 360 is about to turn the corner for Microsoft. Well, it would have, if not for the 360's numerous hardware problems.

If you want me to be realistic about things, I would say that in six years there will be a new game system from Nintendo (Wii 2, or whatever it'll be called), a new PlayStation system from Sony, and a new Xbox from Microsoft. There's nothing I see that will change that inevitability. Nintendo has disrupted the status quo enough that the new round of systems will be a little different than what we're seeing now, however.

Now, if you want me to be speculative, I see a different possibility in the future. The PlayStation 3 should recover and do alright for Sony, but if it stumbles out of the gate with the PS4, it might be time for it to seriously worry. Microsoft should be in a very strong position and ready to launch a new platform, but given its track record with hardware it will likely have numerous costs in keeping its consoles working. So then, with all the software houses merging, why shouldn't Sony and Microsoft join forces? Both see HD gaming as the future. Sony has dependable hardware and the brand name, and Microsoft has the online service. In fact, Sony has plethora of music and film labels under its wing, which would be the perfect thing for MS's content delivery system. A partnership would benefit consumers and developers since they would only need to worry about a single high-end system, making it cheaper all around.

Of course, that's not going to happen, either. Sony and Microsoft would make more money by competing with each other instead of working together, even if such teamwork would be better for the greater good. At least we know (or we're assuming, anyway) that Nintendo's next console will be practical and affordable.

Any new information on the Wii storage front? i.e. is Nintendo going to allow games to directly access the memory card instead of copying things in and out? The Wii in our house is shared amongst 3 kids and an adult-kid and now the non-adult kids are clamoring to buy Wii-points cards, which means we'll be hitting the ceiling soon once they start buying stuff from the Shop.

Also has anyone written in to complain about the little doors for the GameCube ports of the Wii? Ours broke off within the first few days, I didn't care too much until I moved it and made it upright and now it's not as pretty.

- KlingonCola
Montreal, Canada

Playing games from the SD card would be nice, wouldn't it? I think it's never going to happen, honestly, because if the Wii was capable of accessing executable programs from the SD card, someone's going to find a way to exploit it and start making free Wii games for everyone. In Nintendo's view, being able to re-download games from the Wii Shop Channel whenever you want is going to be the only way to store more than 48 channels' worth on the console. Yes, you're going to have to delete some of your games from your Wii to be able to download more of them, but then you'll be able to delete other games and re-download the ones you deleted previously if you want to play them again. If you prefer, you can just copy those games to an SD card, but you'll still need to do some file manipulation to get the games you want to play. Talk about convenience!

As for those top flaps…. Nintendo recommends that you remove them if you plan to use the GameCube features of the Wii in the case that they do break off. The flaps are removable (they say so right on the flaps, I believe), but I assume that they didn't just pop out like they were designed to do. If that's the case and they are truly busted, you can buy replacements over at Nintendo's online store. The controller and memory card covers are only a dollar each (plus shipping), which isn't that much to pay to make your Wii beautiful again.

Now that the GBA is going to be completely replaced by the NDS even if Nintendo hasn't said it yet, what does NWR think is the best GBA game of all-time?

- Tony

We'll tell you later.

Yes, later.

Hey, I have a technical question about the Wii. If you have the component cables for the wii and are playing a gamecube game that supports 480p will it be able to display it at that resolution? Thanks for the info.

- Tim


With all these Wii keyboard updates floating around, does anyone know if wireless keyboards are supported? The idea of using a keyboard is enticing, but cords? Really, now.

- John

I don't, but I bet some of our readers do. If anyone's got a wireless USB keyboard, why don't you test it out and tell the mailbag about your results?

Do you think Nintendo will release a demo of smash bros brawl as a Wii update to all Wii owners?

- mal8608

Gosh, wouldn't that be nice? Unless the new Future-published Nintendo Power will include a demo disc, then I'm afraid I must say no.

Dear Mailbag,

What a crazy week, huh? Along with all the info comes a lot of questions, so here goes.

First, when do all these Wii Ware games actually come out? I read your summary of the event, but I still can't tell when the first of these original download-games will get to us. A little clarification is all I ask for.

Second, what do you guys make of the theory that Brawl was delayed to thin out Nintendo's holiday showings? I think that, given the choice, some people would have waited an extra two weeks and bought Brawl rather than Galaxy, but maybe that's just me. There's also the whole 3rd Party cannibalization thing to ponder.

Third, are you as annoyed as I am about all these freaking DS remakes? Fire Emblem is one thing; Westerners never got to play it, and apparently Intelligent prefers to focus their Fire Emblem efforts on consoles...but remaking Kirby's Super Star? Dr. Mario? Online play is nice, but if that's the only thing that's new...I think I'll pass.

Fourth, I think "muscle points" in Rygar is funny, but not in a "ha ha" way.

Fifth, and this is a slightly technical question that just happened to cross my mind today, when Nintendo (or any other company) "releases" screenshots, does that mean they e-mail members of the gaming press, or do you guys just take them from a website that gets updated, or what?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer my questions.

- Evil King Drool

First, as you read in our Nintendo Conference 2007 report, Nintendo is set to launch the first WiiWare games in Japan in March. I would say Nintendo of America is going to launch WiiWare at the same time. There's no reason to think otherwise right now.

Second, Brawl was delayed because it's not going to be ready before Christmas. "Thinning out" Nintendo's holiday lineup means that Nintendo is going to lose two months' worth of Brawl sales, which is two months of major revenue lost. It's not very beneficial to Nintendo if you look at it that way, now is it? Either way, Nintendo knows that just about everyone is going to buy Brawl and Galaxy eventually (which is why their prices won't drop below $50 for a very long time), so this isn't going to hurt them in the long run. It will, however, help out third parties. That $50 people were going to spend on Brawl before Christmas could turn into $50 that they will spend on other games. And remember to look at this from Nintendo's point of view too: If someone buys a Wii game published by Nintendo, it gets $50. If someone buys a Wii game from a third party, Nintendo only gets around $8 in licensing fees. How do you think Nintendo would like that someone to spend his or her $50?

Third: Hell, no! I love old games to death, but they are still old games. A game like Kirby Super Star deserves to get a remake because of its scope and its awesomeness. I don't care how many rehashes Nintendo pumps out, as long as all of them are good and there are more original games/new sequels to balance things out. All you need to do is turn the corner and look at Advance Wars DS 2. Holy crap is that hot.

Fifth (I skipped fourth), we obtain our screenshots directly from the companies in question. Sometimes they tell us they've got new shots, and sometimes we ask. Either way, we put them up on this very website for all to see!

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