The ye 'ol merry Mailmen are back with another Mailbag! See what's new (and old) this week...I think you will find this edition "revealing."
asks, I know Nintendo has been saying it would show Dolphin at
Spaceworld since before the new year, and I know they have said it
again and again, but I hate this nagging feeling that they won't
have it ready, and the GBA is NOT good enough for me!
With that rant
over with, with Rayman 3 and Tribes announced, do you think more
3rd party developers will admit to their games before Spaceworld,
or will they wait until then, or what? I know Nintendo will be as
tight as a virgin on her wedding night about the matter.
Nintendo announce games at Spaceworld that they won't show? Back
in the day, at the Spaceworld where the N64 was shown, they showed
the public something like 14 games, but did not say a damn thing
about any other games they were developing.
Mike Says: Now
that you got the entire staff and audience turned on by your
analogy, I think there could be a few more titles
"leaked" out before Spaceworld, but I think the show
will be the big dance to showcase and officially announce their
As for announcing unshown
titles, that could be anyone's guess. I tend to think Nintendo's
absolutely best stuff will be at the show in some fashion, though.
Ed Says: I'd expect most third parties to wait for
Spaceworld to reveal their projects. As for announced but unshown
games from Nintendo, I would expect any games from Nintendo to
have some demo or video footage to accompany them, perhaps with
the exception of a Metroid game, which they could get away with
only showing some conceptual art if they had to. But who knows for
sure... we'll just have to wait for the wedding night, er,
Spaceworld for Nintendo to open up... um, reveal their goods... er,
spread 'em... ah you get the idea... and hopefully there'll be
something good inside. :>
Billy Says: Where
the hell are the virgins? Hehehe. As far as what I know about the
NDAs that Nintendo is holding over these developers and
publishers, is that they aren't allowed to say anything official
If Nintendo takes the wraps
of Dolphin (which I still believe they will) at Spaceworld this
year... there will be more information than most people can deal
with. I don't expect many developers to announce much before hand.
You don't want to get Shiggy mad!
Shouldn't the analogy be "as tight as a virgin before her
wedding night," because on her wedding night she would...
[snip - Ed]. Anyway, onto the question.
If, and I use the word
loosely (ha!), the Dolphin and or software that Nintendo plan to
unveil at Spaceworld isn't ready, then the show will get delayed.
There's just no other way around it. I'm pretty sure they're on
track for August and will have some definite aces up their sleeves
to show to the public. If any third-party companies have games
that they wish to reveal, then they'll have to be approved by
Nintendo before they allow it into the show. Let's get this clear,
Nintendo do not want the Dolphin to be shown without the very best
software displaying its capabilities. This is not your average
half-assed Playstation 2 or X-Box demonstration. This is the real
deal. Oh and... Virgin! (Sorry, everyone else wrote it so I had to
Some Jabroni asks, Will Dolphin launch with
internet capabilities, and if so will it be broadband or
Short answer, Yes. Dolphin will definitely have networking
"capabilities" from the start, be it 100% built-in or
not. For the type of connection, narrow is the easiest, given the
still-limited availability of broadband solutions. Broadband will
be the future of video gaming, however, it's just not ready (or
available) for primetime yet.
I'm not as positive as Mike, but I can't really see them not
having some sort of network solution, though. It's just that there
hasn't been any official word yet. Granted, there hasn't been much
official word on many things. With luck, you can get a definitive
answer come Spaceworld where the virgin Nintendo will hopefully
reveal all. Damn that imagery... think unsexy thoughts, think
Personally I just want to hook my 300 baud c64 Modem up to this
thing! Kidding... obviously.
been made official, but what I would like to see is consumers
having a choice. Modem, Cable Modem, etc. It's easier to have an
actual set standard, yes, but after playing Q3A, and UT over a
cable modem, I don't want to go back to a 56K connection.
Hopefully we'll know more at Spaceworld.
Kosta Says: Count the days
until Spaceworld is probably the only answer with any real 'truth'
that we can provide. Sure, my colleagues like to pass of their
speculation and opinion as educated guesses but who are we
kidding. We're dealing with one of the most secretive and
perplexing companies in the business. Nintendo.
Oh, and yes, I
believe the Dolphin will launch with internet capabilites 'out of
the box' so to speak.
Did someone say "box"?
Will the Dolphin likely have a VMU type device like Dreamcast, and
could that be used somehow with th GBA? (I don't even know what
the VMU is exactly for...)
For all intents and purposes, I think the GBA will be Dolphin's
"VMU". The difference is, the GBA won't absolutely suck
like some others that shall remain nameless.
Yes, GBA will be a VMU for the Dolphin, and then some. I believe
VMUs let you store data and play simple mini-games. Expect to be
able to do more than that with GBA/Dolphin connectivity. Playing
mini-games is just scratching the surface, as is playing one game
so you can open up new areas/items/cheats on its handheld/console
counter-part. Dolphin and GBA have been designed to work together
from the start. This is one area that people seem to overlook when
assessing strengths and weaknesses of the next-gen consoles. It
could very well revolutionize handheld/console gaming. I'm looking
forward to seeing what developers (NCL in particular) do with the
As far as what a VMU does, it's basically a memory card with a
little (and I mean LITTLE) LCD screen on it. You're supposed to
play mini-games and things on this, as well as see some in game
statistics on it. It's a nice device, and I hope Nintendo decides
to do something like this. The concept of choosing Football plays,
or seeing a character's inventory in an RPG would be very nice.
But cost is an issue too.
Then its agreed, the GBA or AGB or GAB or BGA or ABG will be the
VMU for the Dolphin. Case closed.
Nintendo has been keeping very quiet about their next-gen plans,
and I really doubt they would have slipped the name of their next-gen
console. I read tendo-box's article on the Starcube name, and I
believe that it will be the device that connects their console to
everything else like the GBA and an online network. To me, this
makes more sense. I would like to know if you guys think this may
I thought of this also, and I haven't made up my mind either way
yet. It's really going to continue to be speculation until
Nintendo opens their mouth... which is as tight as a virgin on her
I don't really
like StarCube as a console name, but the possibilities as an
accessory suggests the unit would have a lot of potential. It
would be kind of cool for a wireless networking device, don't you
think? Check out Apple's Airport device for what I mean. Being a
wireless LAN hub would make it a lot easier to connect to networks
and other compatible devices.
Hmm, the wheels
are turning. ::goes back to his lab::
I'm not totally convinced about Starcube being the console name
either. However, I'm pretty sure the GBA should connect fairly
directly to the console without the need for some other device. I
guess it's an assumption, but I always pictured the GBA being able
to hook up directly to the console. Still, it is definitely
possible that there's a central device for all networking needs.
Man, all this
talk about virgins, opening up, and connecting is getting to me.
"If anyone needs me I'll be in Holodeck 4!" :>
Starcube. Well, if you couldn't tell, I haven't been all that
impressed with that name. As I've stated before, I could give a
rats ass what they decide ultimately to call this thing.
I still think
Starcube will have to do with the networking between the GBA,
Dolphin, GBC and more. That's my opinion.
StarCube. StarCube. StarCube. No matter how many times I hear it,
I'm still not convinced that this will be the name of Nintendo's
next console, yet I wouldn't be suprised if it indeed turns out to
be. First time I heard the name Dolphin, my facial expression
pretty much read "????" and the same thing happened when
I read the name 'StarCube'.
At this point
in time the name 'Project Dolphin', which was changed to 'Next
Generation Nintendo Console' by the big N themselves, is the only
way in which most people refer to the mysterious console. All it
takes is time and everyone will get used to the name 'StarCube',
whatever it's referring too.
Slim asks, I hear everyone
saying online gaming will be great, and this and that. But let me
tell you my opinion. First of all, I think game consoles are made
to play with your friends in your house. Get a killer game like
Perfect Dark or Goldeneye, and play like mad. It's not that I
Here is my problem. I live
in Venezuela, South America, and no game companies care for us
here. I mean c'mon, we're a major market. People at Nintendo don't
even make games in Spanish for us, yet Spain gets some Spanish
games. Don't get me wrong, I love Nintendo and think they are and
always will be the best video game company ever, but let's get
real. Sega at least had a Spanish option for Sonic, which was
nice. My problem is that all these networks coming out are only
for American people, like Sega.net. We Latin Americans are also
important, aren't we?
I like the experience of having friends over for multiplayer
sessions, too, but online gaming doesn't necessarily eliminate
that scenario, it should just compliment it.
As for games in
Spanish, well, make enough noise and hopefully people will listen.
The Spanish versions of games for Spain that you speak of are
should be PAL formatted. I'm assuming Venezuala is NTSC which is
why they haven't released them over there. Though if you're using
PAL, then it shouldn't be too hard to twist Nintendo's arm to
release it there. Either way, I'd say your best bet is to write to
Nintendo and get your friends to do the same. I believe Nintendo
catered to the Quebecois when they demanded French games, you may
be able to do the same since the Latin American market should be
larger than the Quebec market.
Billy Says: Personally, I am 27 years old, and very few of
my friends that are near me play console games. If they do, I
crush them with my mad skills. The concept of getting into an
online tournament with real people that are actually good at games
excites me beyond belief.
this fall Sega will be unleashing a bunch of games that will be
playable online. I have played a bunch of these at E3, and let me
tell you, they will be HUGE.
It's too bad
you live in a country that doesn't get as much attention as the
U.S. and Japan with language and formatting issues. Seeing is that
Spanish is probably one of the top 5 languages spoken in the
world, I am very surprised. Hopefully with Dolphin, things will
change. As Ed said, a letter writing campaign is a good idea!
Adam asks, Has
there been any info on Dolphin's projected price? I've heard
anything from $150 to $300! What would you estimate it to be? I am
hoping for a $175 launch without a Panasonic DVD, maybe $300+
with. If It costs below $200, then that will REALLY help the
sales. Not only is the system CHEAPER than PS2, it has better
games, and the controller HAS TO be better than that re-worked
piece o' crap PSX controller. Also, do you think that the physical
layout of the controller for a system is important? I do... just
wondering what you think!
Nintendo has repeatedly said that Dolphin/Starcube will be
competitively priced. I've taken that to mean that we'll see a
launch cost of $200 at most.
layout of a controller is definitely important. If the controller
is uncomfortable or unwieldy to a lot of people, you're bound to
lose some customers. Of course, with the plethora of third-party
controllers, it shouldn't be too hard to find a controller that
feels good (whether it's as reliable as a first party controller
is another issue). Personally, I liked the N64 controller a lot.
People with large hands had complaints, but seeing as my hands
aren't too big, I was fine with it. I'm hoping we'll see something
just as cool, or better, for the new controller.
Mike Says: I definitely agree with Ed in the price target.
As far as I know, Nintendo hasn't even yet so much suggested a
price point like they had very early on with the N64. $200 for a
later '01 launch sounds very plausible.
I think the
controller is the second most important aspect of gaming because
it's your connection to the action on the screen. Second only to
the game content, of course. I really like the N64 controller
myself. The one thing I disliked was how the legs extended from
the body perpendicularly. Extending them from the body at, say, a
45 degree angle, would offer a much more natural and comfortable
grip, especially for those of us with bigger hands, so I am all
for some sort of condensed, ergonomic variation to the N64
controller. I wanna have a nice, tight grip... as tight as a
virgin on her wedding night. C'mon, Big N, spread those legs
Well I'll agree with the others on this one. $200 seems about
right. With a proprietary DVD, don't expect to be viewing DVD
movies on this puppy. It's probably not going to happen here in
controllers are and have always been, revolutionary. I also do
believe that the layout is important. That's why I will never pick
up a 3rd party controller for the N64. Anything but the original
doesn't feel right in my hands. I expect something revolutionary
with the Dolphin controller as well. IGN has posted up some mock
up concepts on their site last Friday. Those designs are
interesting, but I feel Nintendo has something interesting up
their sleeves for this design. I can't wait to get my hands on
whatever it is, this August at Spaceworld.