Today's edition asks the question "What's in a name?" among many other inquiries...
asks, How many games do you think will be ready by Dolphin's
Personal guess here. Frisk me if I'm wrong. Nintendo may be fixing
many of the problems that they had with the N64, but expedient
access to development tools isn't one of them, in my view. I'm
going to guess in the neighborhood of 4 or 5 games tops, with a
big slew to follow 1-3 months later, but I damn sure hope I am
Kosta Says: I think I'll be a little more ambitious than
Mike and make and educated guess of roughly 7-10 titles ready for
launch. Now don't go away saying that it wont happen as the
Dolphin will absolutely not share any resemblance to the N64's
launch of merely 3 games (well here in Australia). Nintendo have a
slew (yes I used the word slew) of developers first, second and
third ready to support the launch of the almost mythical system.
We're talking Nintendo EAD, possibly HAL, Rare, Retro Studios,
Left Field, Sillicon Knights, Acclaim, Capcom, Konami and much
more. Retro themselves were bold enough to say that they will have
5, yes count them, 5 titles ready for launch. Anyway to put it
into perspective expect something big, all those years of
"N64 drought" will come to an end, and Dolphin will
definitely have the support (in terms of software not the kind
you're thinking of) that we are all looking for.
Ed Says: Well, if you take Nintendo's statements from March
at face value, we'll have the largest launch library for any
Nintendo system...not that that means much. Somewhere in the 10-15
range sounds fine though...as long as there's a steady stream of
good titles afterwards. Perhaps something like EAD (1-2), Rare
(1), Retro (2), Konami (1-2), Midway (2-3), Left Field (1), Factor
5 (1), Acclaim (1-2), NST (1), Saffire (1). That seems reasonable
to me...but the real trick will be to have that steady stream of
titles in the months that follow.
Billy Says: This will be interesting. Nintendo has stated
that it will be the biggest launch ever. I am agreeing more with
Ed on this one. 10-15 titles would be Nintendo's biggest launch.
If Nintendo launches with that many solid titles, they will have a
very successful launch.
I expect Mario, Pokemon, Wave Race, and something Star Wars ready
I don't know if I would go as far as to say 10 - 15... that may be
what their intention is, but you know how that can be sometimes.
Games that may be scheduled to be finished by that date currently
will probably more than likely experience delays of some kind...
they always do. However, as close to 10 as is reasonable seem
likely to me.
Personally, I dont think it needs to be much higher than that.
People have a tendancy of being rather spontaneous when it comes
to buying games ... always the latest and greatest right there and
then. Too many launch titles, while it may look good from a launch
standpoint, may cause some stellar titles to get forgotten about.
I could buy maybe 2 or 3 tops at launch, what is important to me
is a steady flow of games. That way they are much more like a
magazine subscription if you will.
asks, I noticed that you guys listed a new Metroid game as a
"dream game." Do any of you remember "Kid Icarus"
Metroids sister game? That would be great to see in a new system.
I wish Nintendo would get respect for their older games which made
them so popular. This game would be cool with clouds everywhere
all angelic, and demonic. It could be really cool.
Yes I remember Kid Icarus, what a great game. It was one of the
first games I got for the NES and had me and my sister hooked for
months. I've always have been secretly hoping that a sequel would
pop up on another Nintendo system, but it never did. First came
the SNES and no sign of Kid Icarus, then the N64 and again no
Icarus. As for the Dolphin well I think the same thing might
happen, but dont loose hope. NST (the guys behing Ridge Racer 64)
are supposedly working on a game based on a past franchise, some
people have gone as far as to say its Metroid, but I'd rather it
be Kid Icarus. Don't get me wrong I love Metroid, but I played Kid
Icarus first and I have them most memories with it. Just
remembering the title music brings a smile.
Ed Says: Ah yes, Kid Icarus...how could anyone forget the
feeling of being turned into an eggplant? That's a franchise that
I'd love to see updated, though I'm not sure how Nintendo feels
about this. They're well aware of the demand for a Metroid sequel
so I'm sure we'll get one eventually. I don't think Kid Icarus is
quite as popular, but we did see an Excitebike update without much
public demand. Who knows? One concern though, as with a possible
Metroid update, is how the possible transition from 2d to 3d will
affect the game. As much as I'd like to see a 3d Metroid or Kid
Icarus, I think I'd be equally happy with a new 2d version for AGB.
Billy Says: Just take a gander at the Most Wanted page, and
you'll notice theirs quite a bit of Kid Icarus fans out there. I'd
love to see a sequel. My ex-girlfriend turned me on to that game 2
years ago. I admit I had never played it before. I would love to
see a sequel. Nintendo generally doesn't have a problem with
bringing back old franchises, so it could happen.
I dont know, you do see a cult following for the game ... but not
Sayain asks, Do you guys think that Tony Hawk or Exitebike 64 will
get a chance to come back on Dolphin? Also, since Zelda might be a
launch game, couldn't that take down the later part of Dolphin's
life cycle hype? Zelda 64 helped the 64 get back in there later in
the middle of the life cycle. It gave the system a LOT more hype!
So what does Shiggy plan do do after the first Zelda Dolphin game?
Granted I don't follow skateboarding, but for as long as Tony Hawk
is a name that remains prominent and in the spotlight (a la Tiger
Woods), then we'll likely continue to see his name on sequels. The
games are pretty cool, so it wouldn't surprise me if Activision
were to at least port or improve the game's engine and release
similar skateboarding titles in the future, with or without the
Considering how WAY overdue Excitebike was on N64, it probably
wouldn't be a priority on Dolphin either. Anyone's guess here. I
doubt even Nintendo knows for sure.
Nintendo PR told me a long time ago, "There is ALWAYS a Mario
and Zelda in the works." I am going to assume that after the
first Mario and Zelda Dolphin games... will come more. :) By
Shiggy's own admission, I think we'll see Zeldas and Marios in
more frequency to capitalize on their fan base.
Ed Says: I'd bet on seeing Tony Hawk on the next console.
As far as I know, even though I'm a big skateboarding fan Tony
Hawk is the Michael Jordan of his sport. That and the fact that
the original has done so well leads me to believe that Activision
will definitely continue the franchise.
As for Excitebike, I think it's doing fairly well in the sales
department. Nothing like the major franchises, but something
respectable. I suppose if Left Field enjoyed working on the game
enough, they'd get around to making a sequel...imagine trying to
fight through a pack of 20 racers on a muddy jungle track...that
could get messy. :>
And what will Miyamoto do after the latest Zelda? Rest for a day
and get to work on the next Mario! Actually, I think he now
oversees a lot of projects at once so I don't think the what's
next approach is the best...it's more like which one of his
projects needs more of his attention. And just what are those
projects? Zelda, Mario, "creation" games, a bit of
Pokemon, various 2nd party games, Metroid?,
"communication" games and other new genres/franchises.
Billy Says: I think Tony Hawk is a franchise that will live
on for a while. As far as I am concerned it's an excellent title
on the N64, and I would hope to see it on Dolphin. Seeing is N64
isn't getting a sequel, one would hope it's getting readied for
Excitebike....yes. Why not? Excitebike 64 is another amazing title
for the 64. I still personally think that Wave Race is better (I
want the imported rumble version), but I would also hope this
title gets a new life on Dolphin as well.
Zelda will not be a launch title. I wouldn't be surprised if we
didn't see the Dolphin Zelda title until 2002 or 2003. As far as
what Shiggy will be doing after he completes Zelda? Having a beer
I hope, and then getting his ass back to work on something else
Kosta Says: Tony Hawk will most likely get another run on a
future Nintendo console seeming how well the first title sold.
Excitebike? Well I think we'll see another Waverace before a new
Excitebike, the possibility of this title appearing on Dolphin
woud most likely turn up a little later in the console's life
cycle. As for a Zelda at launch well I think that most people will
agree that this is most likely not gonig to happen, and expect it
once the Dolphin or whatever its going to be called has an
established user base.
Well, like Mike says it may not be Tony Hawk due to name
popularity reasons, but skateboarding is always fun, especially as
a video game. Someone, somewhere always does a skateboarding game
for any particular console during its life, it seems.
asks, Can the name of a system effect how it sells? For example,
if the "Dolphin" is named "Starcube" could
that affect how it will sell? Cause would your rather buy
something called StarCube or XBox? Well, when you think about,
their both kind of screwed. Ah well, they better name it Dolphin!
Name branding is always important. Notice:
NINTENDO Entertainment System, Super NINTENDO, NINTENDO 64.
GameBOY, Virtual BOY, GameBOY Advance.
I thought Dreamcast was the shits for a console name, but it
managed to catch on, barely. StarCube would be another tough one
to swallow. If nothing else, Dolphin at least rolls off the tongue
more easily. Regardless of the name, the games will ultimately
tell the tale of the system's success.
Ed Says: I think the system name won't have too much of an
impact on sales. You'll still get "Starcube" if you want
to play the next Mario, Zelda, or Metroid. It might affect the
casual gamer's opinion but even then, they'll want to know what
games if plays. I still think Dreamcast is a pretty weak name, but
it works well enough. I actually don't like "Starcube"
either and have gotten used to "Dolphin" but I'm kind of
hoping for Ultra NES, NES 2000, or something with the Nintendo
Entertainment System in it...well, maybe not NES Starcube.
Billy Says: I still like the Nintendo BADASS the best.
StarCube doesn't really do anything for me. It doesn't have that
ring to it.
Kosta Says: Well I still don't have an opinion on this whole
"StarCube" issue, but I do remember the first time I
heard the title "Project Dolphin." I thought that it was
a pretty stupid name to be honest. But like everything else once
you hear it a few times you get used to the name. I mean take
Billy for example, I remember the first time I heard his surname
"Berghammer", man I must have laughed for days. But once
I got used to the name and his peculiar cross-dressing habits I
couldn't imagine Billy, or the Dolphin for that matter, any other
A "star" is just an "X" on steroids, a
"cube" is also a "box". Hmmm.
asks, Do you know if Pokemon for Dolphin is in the works? And if
it is how do you feel about that? Me, I think that Pokemon Dolphin
will be a great game. I loved Pokemon red/blue for Gameboy.
I hate Pokemon. Pikachi can suck my ass. But I like the name
Jigglypuff. Who doesn't? But seriously, there will be a Pokemon
presense on the Dolphin. Nintendo couldn't possibly pass that up.
The consumers have spoken.
Ed Says: Pokemon World Online makes too much sense for
Nintendo not to make a game like that. I mean, battling and
training Pokemon is the core of the game. Creating a persistent
online Pokemon World for trainers everywhere to trade and battle
Pokemon is a no-brainer...plus you don't have to worry much about
stories/quests since the original game had a fairly simplistic
"become the greatest Pokemon trainer" plot that could
easily be accepted as the main plot in the online game.
Billy Says: Jeez Mike how do you really feel? C'mon man,
let it out! Heheheheh. Pikachu rocks. You know you eat Pokemon
Cereal and pop tarts everyday.
You can pretty
much count on Pokemon being ready for launch for GBA and Dolphin.
I would pretty much guarantee that there will be some sort of
cross compatability with these games, as well as network
I would also
predict that Nintendo will make sh%oads of money with this
It's a launch title, or one very shortly after launch, perhaps
just at that point just before the "mainstream" begins
to adopt. Whatever the case is, certainly by the holiday season
Will asks, How
will you save your games on Dolphin? I am assuming that some kind
of memory card will be needed because there is no way to write
onto DVDs. This worries me though because I hate using the memory
paks on N64 because they are so expensive and unreliable. Is there
any word on how this will work on Dolphin?
I don't think there's been any official word on the matter yet.
Memory card is the first guess, though I'm wondering if this could
be an area where 64DD tech is incorporated into Dolphin. That's
total speculation but it seems possible. Btw, whenever I've stuck
with Nintendo brand memory paks, I haven't had any problems. Third
party paks, however, have often been problematic. Best solution
for the N64, get a Dexdrive and back-up info on the your hard
Mike Says: Like most things, this is way open to
speculation and imagination. Like Ed, a memory card seems to be
the first and most logical guess.
But to get everyone's imagination all riled up, here's a clip from
my part of last year's N64 HQ Reunion Tour article. I like my idea
will remember the trayless CD-ROM drives of the past that
required the CD to be placed in a caddy ... [I]t wouldn't
surprise me if Nintendo were to sell their DVD games inside
caddies to keep them protected from damage, not to mention as an
anti-piracy measure. Those caddies could then in theory contain
memory, as was planned for the SNES CD.
I still stick by my wild-assed theory that a DD type device will
Ertain Asks, What are you
expecting at Spaceworld next month? I'm hoping for great Mario
demos and some RPGs.
Ed Says: Hmm,
expectations for Spaceworld. Mario demo, of course, with 2 or 3
other NCL demos as well; Zelda in some form, probably video,
possibly as one of the demos; Pokemon; 1 or 2 games from Rare and
Retro; a HAL game and an NST game; Thornado; maybe some
Konami/Mobile 21 stuff; at least one RPG (perhaps from Retro);
connectivity with AGB, Super Metroid, Mario Kart, and Starfox for
AGB; maybe a new franchise or two. Actually, that would be a very
impressive showing. Hopefully we'll get two-thirds of that.
Billy Says: With all
of the people lately thinking that Nintendo may not even show
Dolphin, I am not discouraged a bit. I still think Nintendo will
at least show Mario on Dolphin. I think it will even be playable.
I know there are many companies out there that have Dolphin
projects in the works, and are waiting until Spaceworld to show
them. I think ultimately, the ball will fall in Nintendo's court.
If Mario isn't ready, Nintendo will not show Dolphin (and those
companies will not show their Dolphin projects either). It's that
simple. But my current belief is that it will be shown. Zelda
probably on video. And then all the other companies will also show
GBA will be shown full on. As will the next generation of portable
Pokemon fun. I also feel Nintendo will reveal it's online
strategies as well, with GBA, and Dolphin.
Steven Says: I am only going to go by what I have
personally been told by Nintendo. Dolphin at Spaceworld, and I
gather a pretty much full blow-out.
Kosta Says: A little
eaves dropping done at NCL revealed the following startling
information through a conversation between head honcho Yamauchi
and super game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, (translated into its
EXACT english counterpart).
Yamauchi: "I tell ya Shiggy, when people see this baby, then
victory will be ours."
Miyamoto: "So what do you think the reaction will be when you
reveal the Dolphin's true name?"
Yamauchi: "A little startling at first but once we drill it
into their heads a few times they'll get the point."
Miyamoto: "Your not going to go the same route as Sony and
let the fame get to your head and think your bigger than
Yamauchi: "Why of course not. If it wasn't for some backlash
by some American companies, the Playstation 2 would have been
called "Playstation: Bigger Than Jesus" or BTJ for
Miyamoto: "Yeah even so, I still think that sounds better
than Playstation 2, I mean come on, talk about unoriginal."*
*All of the above was fabricated by an ex-memeber of PlanetN2000**
**The ex-member whom wrote the trully blasphemous article above
has just been rehired due to his impecable hygene standards.***
***Of course upon further inspection the staff memeber was proven
guilty and deemed as filthy as the rest of the PlanetN2000
**** and no I am not on drugs.
asks, How can Nintendo possibly have a better launch in the states
when PS2 is gonna have over 20 titles?
Heh, "quality not quantity!" Nintendo may not have a
bigger launch than PS2, but it may very well have more quality
titles. It's really too early to say how the launch will go since
we don't know what titles will be there...hell, we don't even know
the final name yet. Still, it's pretty much a guarantee that there
will be at least one "killer ap" at launch, hopefully
more. Nintendo realizes that the games sell the system so we won't
see the new console until there's some awesome games to sell with
Sony, on the other hand, just seems to want to have as many titles
as possible for launch. There may be some good ones, but I have no
idea what they'll be. I recently pre-ordered a PS2 and looked at
the games for launch. There were a couple of games that were
interesting, but none that I knew were must have...I'll have to
wait for reviews before I decide. This is the complete opposite of
Nintendo, where I know I'll pick up the next Miyamoto game without
even reading any reviews. Oh, and before you start shouting
"bias", I do have high hopes for some games (Bouncer,
GT2000, Gameday) but in general, from the games I saw at E3, the
graphics seemed nice, but the gameplay was average. That's why I
have a wait and see attitude for most PS2 titles.
Billy Says: The Quality versus Quantity arguement is a
scary one to bring up. Nintendo said that in 1996 when the N64
launched. The N64 launch (though I did love it anyway--SM64 and
PW64 are still amazing games) was medicore at best. Granted Mario
64 was the "Game of the Decade" or whatever...but it
still was a weak launch. 2 titles.
I do believe that with the continuing delays that Dolphin has seen
has allowed Developers to create a number of games that should be
ready by launch. A solid launch would be between 15-20 titles.
Granted, I don't believe Dolphin will have a US launch with more
titles than the PS2, but the quality of those titles will be
This is a new launch, and Dolphin is a lot more Developer friendly
than the N64. Many Dolphin developers out there have assured me of
it's ease of Development over the PS2, as well of it's overall
beauty. When Dolphin launches, the shit will hit the fan.
Mike Says: I am usually quite optimistic, but I sometimes
find myself being pessimistic with Nintendo. I'm a big fan of
their product output, though the politics don't impress me.
It traces back to the delayed and cancelled SNES CD, 3 N64 delays,
delayed Dolphin, and the belief the launch will be Fall '01 in the
U.S. We could see these things coming a mile away, but the
grandstanding made me feel like I'm being taken for a fool. My
hopes as a hardcore gamer during that time period were raised
quite a bit, and then Nintendo didn't follow through. Premature
announcements, for the sake of taking excitement away from
competing products, suck.
I look at Quantity vs. Quality as just marketing because Nintendo
didn't have any other easy way of explaining the rocky support for
the system. Developers decided to wait and see before diving in,
and that screwed up the launch pretty badly, along with the rocky
support for said developers that DID make that dive.
But anyway, I think the Dolphin launch will be better than N64's
in terms of both quantity and quality. Compared to PSX2, I'd say
Nintendo will catch the win in quality, but not quantity. I'll
suck up the delays as always, but Dolphin's launch will kick ass.
Kosta Says: And thus ends our mailbag for this week. Keep
those questions coming!