Our happy-go-lucky Postal bro Mike "everyone spells my goddamned last name wrong" Hrusecky has unleased the latest version of the PlanetN2000 mailbag. With it's exclusive "born on dating" and "odor lock" technology...you know it's fresh.
Eyken314 asks, Do any of
you notice that many of the rants about Nintendo being to "kiddie"
is from ignorant casual gamers who would pledge allegiance to the
system with the most blood? The games considered "kiddie"
have some of the best gameplay elements ever, like Mario, Donkey
Kong, and even Pokemon. Why is it they are kiddie games and Crash
Bandicoot isn't? Crash isn't all that mature either. Sony fans
look past the fact that their more mature games aren't always that
good. When a mature game would come to Nintendo it would be a
miracle, because Nintendo = Good Gameplay. A lot of Sony fans
haven't been gamers long enough to see how good games could be,
Says: My opinion is pretty simple. I DON'T CARE what anybody
labels games. If the content is right and the gameplay is there, I
buy it and I don't give a second thought to how "cute"
it is. "Cuteness" is never a part of my process of
deciding if I want to buy a game or not. In fact, I LIKE
cartoon-style animation. If Mario, DK, StarFox, and Banjo are all
kiddie/cute/child games, then fine -- I like kiddie games. Laugh
all you want.
I don't know if the majority of gamers actually care to label
games "mature" or "kiddie." From my own
experience, and nobody else's, the loudest voice has come from
hardcore PlayStation gamers, and demographically they are
generally older than N64 users. Hardcore gamers aren't the
majority, just the loudest, so that is a bit of perspective as
well. To me, it is just a hammer used to target N64 users to try
to prove why their system is best, just as N64 users have hammers
of their own.
Says: Let me put it this way: a lot of people like to make fun
of Pokemon and call it a "cutesy" game...until they play
it. And then they just lock themselves in a room with the GB and
lots of batteries for the next couple of weeks. Game stereotyping,
as like to call it, is when you make a judgement about a game
before you play it, and it's something that I wish was much less
prevalent in the gaming world. What difference should outward
appearances make? I'm not going to abstain from a great game based
on its kiddy demeanor anymore than I'm going to gush over a
horrible game just because it attempts to appeal to my age group.
(Although, on a side note, I would certainly like to know why a
taste for blood and violence is necessarily associated with a
only concern I have over this issue is the average person's view
of Nintendo's library, which honestly is usually skewed towards
themes that people associate with children. That's why I'm glad
Nintendo is branching out its image to cover not only Mario and
Pokemon types but also Eternal Darkness and Sin and Punishment.
What's important about this movement is that the quality of
gameplay is totally consistent; Nintendo is simply broadening
outward appearances to appeal to folks who don't look as deeply as
you and I. So, in the next generation, an outsider won't be able
to compare Nintendo's great kiddie games to Sony's crappy adult
games, he'll have to compare Nintendo's great adult games to
Sony's crappy adult games. Makes the decision a whole lot easier,
Steven Says: pssst
... (let me tell you a little secret).
ALL VIDEOGAMES ARE FOR KIDS!!!
Every single one of them. Face it, it is pretty damn immature to
get consumed by videogames as an adult ... at least by some
"social" standards. The good news is ... some of us
The only analogy I can think about for all this, is the theme park
analogy. Well, it applies here in Southern California, anyway. As
a kid of course, Disneyland ruled. As you approach the pre-teen
and teen years, Six Flags was the hot ticket because, after all ..
they had all of the really cool roller-coasters that you had to be
a "certain" age to even ride. As you get older again,
however Disneyland seems to come back into favor. It seems that
the certain child-like "charm" that Disneyland possesses
is rather appealing. Plus, there is the added essence of
Max Says: Actually, I
have to disagree with our distinguished Mr. Steven Thomas. Saying
"all video games are for kids" is pretty short-sighted.
It's like saying "All movies are for kids" or "all
comic books are for kids." Bollocks to that! I mean, isn't
this kind of philosophy part of the reason the entire
entertainment biz is in politically hot water right now? Some
games, movies, comics (or whatever medium) contain content that is
absolutely not for kids. For example (stickin'
w/games), is Resident Evil for kids? No way! Without writing an
editorial, I'll just say that content can totally transcend the
child-like target audience of its medium.
What I will agree to
is that most video games are for people who are "kids at
heart." This is why I like Nintendo games so much. But at the
heart of my "Nintendo luvin'" is the sheer enjoyment I
get from the unaparalled gameplay. Few games, "kiddie"
or no, match the depth and innovation of gameplay in most of
Nintendo's software. Anyone who's overly concerned about "kiddiness?"
Well, they're missing out if ya ask me! (And what do ya know, you
Zosha Says: Hmmm...
Well from what I can see about the N64 final big holiday season
and the NGC's launch, I don't believe that anyone will be
mistaking Nintendo's consoles as for "children".
Ogre Battle isn't for kids, despite the "cutesy"
graphics. Eternal Darkness certainly is going to be rated
"M". Hell even Zelda is a bit "darker" than
Max is right though: not all games are for kids. If my
sisters had been 12 or 13 instead of 16 when I was playing
Resident Evil, I wouldn't have let them watch.
But even then, I never considered Star Fox, Zelda or Mario to be
particularly "childish" anyway. I suppose that people
who can only find satisfaction in slandering other consoles with
no true facts to back them up are the true "children"...
Billy Says: As far as
I am concerned, that's a WEAK BS excuse. All of Nintendo's games
aren't kiddie. Granted Mario-esqe games are a bit, but, if a gamer
wasn't shallow, they could see right through it.
Nintendo's games have what no other have...and that's personality.
I own a PS, DC, and a N64. Nintendo has the most character of them
all. Sega also has some impressive game play. Sony...well they
need to take some lessons. Hell, Sony doesn't even really make
I guess what I am saying is this. If a gamer is a true gamer they
would see through the kiddie image and just enjoy the game. I'm
not making excuses for the fact that I am 28 and am in love with
Mario Tennis, Pokemon, and Samba de Amigo. Cough. I love the
games. Hell, I hate Mickey Mouse but I'll get Mickey Speedway USA
in a heartbeat. The racing is too good not too.
jac-jer asks, Nintendo
Gamecube uses 1T-SRAM. What is it and why is it good? Do you think
Nintendo's plan to use 64MB SD memory cards is better or worse
Mike H. Says: 1T-SRAM
is good. 1T-SRAM is God. You will blindlessly love 1T-SRAM just
because Nintendo is using it. You will use 1T-SRAM as a reason to
explain why Gamecube is superior to PS2 and XBox, even though you
don't know what it is. 1T-SRAM is good. 1T-SRAM is God. You will
But seriously, 1T-SRAM (or 1 transistor-static RAM) is a method
Nintendo is using to pump data to the CPU as fast as possible. To
achieve the graphic intensity of the Gamecube that they do, they
need a fast memory system to offset the bottleneck from RAM to
CPU. This sucker is fast -- 3 nanosecond cycle time compared to 60
nanoseconds for DRAM.
In terms that matter to us,
it means that graphic performance will be primo. Things like
framerates will not drop for the sake of graphic detail, or vise
versa. We can have both.
I don't know if using 64MB
memory cards would be worse than a theoretical hard drive. It
depends on their applications, and I'm not clear on what they are,
if they even have any in the works.
I tend to think that people
would be more likely to go out and pick up a memory card than they
are a whole system add-on. Also, including a memory card with a
game would be easier to do that including a hard drive. But hard
drives store a LOT more, so they both have their advantages and
Jonathan Says: I'll
pass on the RAM question, so as to avoid making a fool of myself
amidst our more technically enlightened staffers. ;-)
Sony and Microsoft seem to
be touting their hard drives as ways to buy games and movies and
such online and make use of their broadband networks. It all goes
back to the focus on games, really; Nintendo probably isn't
designing their network to be nearly as integral to the system as
the other guys are, and subsequently, a hard drive would not be as
useful. Plus, the big memory card has the advantage of
portability, relative cheapness, and hot-swapping. It has more
than enough room for game saves and rewritability material, and
you might even be able to put a game mod on there that you
downloaded off the Net. So overall, I think it's the better
choice, especially for the kind of functionality that the GameCube
is designed for.
Steven Says: Heh .. I
only wish that Mosys was a publicly traded company. I seem to
remember getting rather knowledgeable about Rambus back in 1996
when I got my N64. Read all the stuff about how it could be used
in PC's, started watching the stock saying that "I would buy,
if I had the money".
Sure enough, some of the big
boys announced Rambus support .. 2 years after Nintendo used it in
the N64, and the stock went through the roof. I literally could
have quadrupled my money.
1T-SRAM is the next great
thing. There should be no question as to whether Nintendo is
serious about always using the best stuff available to make their
machines. It was true at the time with the N64, and it is even
more true now with the Gamecube.
On the subject of stocks and
technology, there have been a few calls that I have made that have
always proven true. I only make a few calls, I'm not an expert ..
but when I give something my seal of approval, I have always been
right so far. Next on the list for hot stocks is SGI and ATI.
Trust me. I wont go into detail here why.
Yes, I think the decision to
use the SD Disk is better than the choice to use a hard drive.
With a twist. Here's why: Transportability and expandability. More
cards can be added to give greater overall capacity, and you can
take em to your friends house. Im not a big fan of the hard drive
philosophy. Consoles have proven that games can be made to run
smoothly off of one CD or DVD. The only reason why PC's still only
use this media to install from is because of the various
performance capabilities that PC's have. PC's should be more like
consoles in this respect ... make the game so that it runs off the
CD that it is printed on, instead of taking gigabytes of install
space on my hard drive. I don't see the benefit of hard drives in
consoles. I don't want to have to install something on a
console, and I dread to think about the fragmentation issues that
are going to come about even if the hard drive is only used as
a cache. I don't really care about downloading Sony contracted
music artists MP3's onto a console, and I don't really care a
whole lot about potential TiVo capabilities in the Xbox.
However, I have my doubts about the SD Disk. I know a lot of
people have faith in this thing, but similar technologies over the
past few years have proven to be far too expensive to be lucrative
for the types of applications that we are thinking about in
regards to the Gamecube. Panasonic is trying to push it, but we
will just have to see how hard. Every indication that I have seen
so far points to one of these things costing more that $100 each,
which is well out of the ball park for game saves. I have feeling
that the SD Disk on the NGC is going to end up being one of those
pie-in-the-sky dreams that never happens. I hope I am wrong.
Zosha Says: Insider
tips Steven? >;)=
Anyway, about the SD card vs
Hard Drive. As Mr. Stock Option himself said, installing games is
a pain. That's one of the reasons why I hate PC games.
Why the hell would I want a
console that needs to defrag it's Hard Drive? All I ask is that
when I put the disk in the drive, and I hit the ON switch, I get
to play a game.
The SD card I believe will
be a major success. As long as Matsushita can bring the price
down, this will be One of The Next Big Things. If Nintendo goes
and packages one SD card with a game that destined to sell well, I
don't think we have to worry.
In essence I'd pick an SD
card over a Hard Drive for two reasons: Ease of Use, and No
Someone say HELL YEAH. I love screwing with my PC, and I love my
PC games. But, I also like the concept of just flippin' on a
console, and the game is ON.
As far as the SD card, it's
basically the concept of the Sony Memory Stick. Grab your face off
a digital camera and use it in a hockey/football/FPS (damn you
Rare) game. You'll be able to plug this sucker in a multitude of
devices. I am looking forward to see how Nintendo uses it. My only
concern is cost. Hopefully by the time of launch the cost will be
low for a fat card.
Peter Pants asks, Last
generation brought controllers filled with innovations such as
analog sticks and limited force feedback. The extra dimension
demanded such advances. This generation, the innovation doesn't
seem to be there. Until I see some radical and ingenious use of
analog buttons, I can only consider them a baby step in
innovation, not much more than a gimmick. My question: Do you feel
the same way? If so, What do you feel is the next innovation in
Mike H. Says: Oh
yeah, I do feel the same way. I think the innovation in the
controllers isn't there because the innovation in the new game
systems isn't there either. As Miyamoto explained, I think the
Gamecube and PS2 are just maturations of the current generation of
gaming. The leap from N64 to Gamecube is definitely not the same
leap it was from SNES to N64. Gamecube is like N64's the big
brother. The controller tends to reflect that also.
That said, Nintendo has not
disclosed everything there is to know about the Gamecube's
controller. What we saw and know about it is a mock-up and
preliminary device that will probably change between now and E3 on
a visually small, but significant level. As least that is what I
As for the next innovation,
wow. This is a perfect tie-over for us. We covered the
next-generation of gaming in a previous Mailbag, now we're gonna
cover the next generation of controllers. We want lots of
feedback! Send your thoughts on the next-generation of controllers
We'll post your thoughts and offer some of our own in the next
Jonathan Says: Well
as it stands, the GameCube controller is at least revolutionary in
layout; instead of adding tons of new buttons that could get
confusing, Miyamoto instead focused on button placement to
organize and simplify the controller. I do think he's got a couple
more surprises for us though, and certainly at least one of them
will be quite revolutionary in some way. There was A LOT of talk
back at E3 of a microphone being built into the controller, and I
can certainly think of some amazing applications for one. The
rumble motor(s) in the controller could also be a lot more
significant than we realize. I'm really hoping that they'll be
sophisticated enough to provide a much wider range of feedback
than the throbbing and jolting we've gotten used to from the
Rumble Pak. Imagine if they could redistribute the controller's
weight on-the-fly, for more accurate sensations of things like
water waves and gravity...
Remember...the controller isn't finished yet. Nintendo stated at
Spaceworld that there were certain things that they weren't ready
to show with the system, and the controller. I think you're
innovation loss is waiting for us at E3.
One of these
things I think is a headphone/headset jack or peripheral. We are
talking about voice over IP technology here. I want to scream and
rant and someone while putting someone in the corner in Mario
Kart. This is something I really think will happen. This will
bring multiplayer games to a whole new level.
stick (c) is a pretty damn good innovation by the way. I think
I'll like it a lot better than the C button array.
button layout revolutionary as well? Not a diamond shaped layout
of the face buttons?
I am pretty
happy with the GC controller. I can't wait to get my hands on one.
Heh. I remember when we started dreaming about what we wanted in
the next controller well over a year ago and nearly almost 2 years
built-in rumble support. We wanted the ability to use the Game Boy
as a display for things like football formations and stuff. We
wanted better, beefier analog sticks. Some people wanted analog
triggers, I wanted analog shoulder buttons.
Seems like we
got everything we wanted in the NGC controller. And now all of the
sudden people are looking at the thing as if they are
"somewhat" unsatisfied with it because they don't see
any glaring revolutionary features? What gives?
Says: Well there can't be anything revolutionary about the new
controller really. I know it's been said before but it's true.
Without a major innovation in the gaming hardware and or games
there can't really be a radical change in the controller. What
Nintendo has done this round is to refine the current controller.
They've added a stronger stick like the PSX and Dreamcast use, and
they've added analog buttons. What more could you ask for? Well,
there are those rumors about a mic/headset port, but who knows.
That's still speculation at this point.
I'm kinda glad that there's only 4 face buttons. I missed the SNES-style
layout that the 64 abandoned. I don't see what the big fuss is
about. The thing is guaranteed to be more comfortable than the
Dual Shock, and the DC's pad: both of which give me handcramps
after too much use.
As well, did
you all forget about the Wavebird? That's pretty
"revolutionary" in itself. After reading (and
subsequently translating) an excellent article from Famitsu, I
realised that Bluetooth (the technology that Wavebird is
utilizing) truly will be the next real Standard in wireless
technology. What I'd like to see is Nintendo come to us at E3 and
say "Hey guys, we decided to lose the cords, so now the
Wavebird is the standard for gaming."
Do you think Nintendo will charge monthly for their dial-up modem?
I am interested in getting one, but I don't want to pay a monthly
20 bucks. And what about their broadband modem?
Says: Well, if Nintendo's plan is to start a gaming ISP of
sorts, they'll need to charge for it or else it's a bottomless
money pit. This is one method.
would be to allow us to connect to our existing ISPs with the
modem or broadband adapter, and play that way.
option number 2, thanks, because like you I don't want to shell
out more money than I already do for cable service, $40/mo.
It would be
great if they offer both methods, because one size will not fit
all on this issue.
Says: Yeah, what Mike said. Also, let's hope game companies
will start to move away from Capcom's "pay per play" and
EverQuest's "pay per month" mentalities. I wouldn't even
mind paying up to $100 for a game, as long as there was an
assurance of well-maintained online gameplay indefinitely
afterwards. Surely this isn't a pipedream; I just cannot and will
not pay ten dollars a month to play Earthbound Online or what have
you, after I've already put down $50 for the disc itself.
Says: My guess is that it'll go down like Sega did it. They'll
probably set up an ISP (Star Road) and have it work for both your
computer and your Gamecube, or they'll let you connect through
your normal ISP. Broadband is another question. It depends on what
kinda broadband they're using. From the pictures, it looks like
that's an ethernet plug on the back end. So the question is, if
you already have cable or DSL, will you be paying Nintendo another
$20 to $40 a month for their internet? I hope not.
Zosha Says: What
I hope to see is the option to choose your own ISP, although I'm
not too sure how realistic that idea is.
However, I wouldn't mind
having to pay for a Nintendo ISP if I then get unlimited play on
any online game. While this would work fine for all first (and
probably most second) party titles, I don't know if this would be
agreeable to those third parties that Nintendo is so desperately
trying to win over.
Steven Says: I think
the option will be there to use your own ISP. The fact that there
is a broadband adapter almost necessitates this. It's not like
Nintendo is going to start running cable modems and DSL lines to
I say the Blizzard
philosophy works pretty good as far as costs go. Tack on an extra
$10 per game, and use the money to run the network. 'Cept of
course Nintendo has to have an adequate network, not something
that is going to be brought to it's knees when "Zelda
Online" ships 1 million games in one day (::cough:: .. Diablo
I agree totally with Steven. I don't really want
to add another ISP. Granted I would since I'm rather addicted to
Nintendo (so I probably would in a second)...but...I think giving
a person an option would be the smartest. With the Broadband I
think that'll be the case. And I cannot wait.
I think that's the route
Nintendo will go. I'm sure they'll have some sort of partner up
with some provider (or just buy one), so people without an
internet connection can connect.
Max Says: If the games are
good enough (which they probably will be) then I could be easily
persuaded to drop some $$$ on a Nintendo network. I think Nintendo
may use some kind of subscription to the service like they did
with the 64DD and RandNet in Japan, though could hopefully make if
affordable. Maybe you could get a couple months free as part of a
Nintendo Power subscription promotion or some such. Of course, I'd
definitely prefer to consolidate costs & running off my own
ISP would be a welcome option.