The latest edition of the Mailbag has been posted! We cover a bunch of topics, including Gamecube piracy, snowboarding games, E3 expecations, Killer Instinct, your game controller innovations, and more!
DOOHAN asks, Which countries will the Gamecube with
the DVD player be released in? US, Europe, Japan? I think that the Gamecube with the DVD
player will be an advantage for piracy. People can make pirated games for the normal
Gamecube, but it's possible that it would make it easier with Gamecube + DVD, right?
Jonathan Says: I hope the
Matsushita version will be released globally, but so far it's only confirmed for Japan. I
too have worried about the piracy issue, because the first picture that popped in my head
was that of one single disc tray, with an extra indentation for the smaller NGC discs.
That would link the NGC hardware to the same tray for full-size discs, meaning it would be
fairly easy to get the system to play CD-R or DVD-RAM discs. However, I now think
Matsushita may use separate hardware --and separate disc trays-- for the game and movie
aspects of their machine. If the NGC components are totally separate from the full-size
disc tray...well, I won't say it'd be impossible to play pirated games, but it would be a
LOT harder to do. As for pirating of the NGC's mini-discs, I don't think that will be a
factor at all.
Matsushita's current intentions are to see how the Gamecube + DVD is accepted in Japan
before they consider releasing it elsewhere. Certainly, this is not only a market test,
but to also gauge piracy matters.
Nintendo's system of preventing piracy is not 100%
secure, but they have done a couple of key things.
1. They are using a DVD-esque format, but it is
still proprietary, and coded as such.
2. Games will be on mini discs.
Even if pirates crack the code, the production and
distribution of pirated games is limited to some degree because of the size of the disc.
Pirates either have to make the mini discs themselves or find a manufacturer making
compatible mini discs. It's not a CIA-tight method, but they have put lots of research
The Gamecube/DVD as a combination would only help pirates if:
1. Decoded games can be burned and played on normal-sized discs. The key word there is PLAYED.
The question is, is Gamecube smart enough to know that games should ONLY be on mini discs?
Or would it be possible to play them on normal-sized discs?
2. The Gamecube/DVD combo system actually sells well enough to bother distributing pirated
games that work ONLY for that unit. Any shady seller that advertises games as
"playable ONLY on Gamecube/DVD combo" would be a big, fat, red light to
Nintendo's legal department.
Aaron Oman asks, Are there any snowboard games on
the horizon for NGC? So far ESPN X Games Snowboarding is far and wide the best addition to
the sport ever, and I'm just itching to try it. Of course, I don't really want to lay down
the $450 canadian dollars for it, so what do you know? Even if there's another 1080, maybe
if they fixed a lot of earlier problems, I'd still settle, "maybe".
Mike H. Says: Maybe.
Jonathan Says: It's hard to say, really. EA
has yet to commit to the GameCube, and they're certainly one of the main sources of
extreme sports games. The 1080 development team has been working on NGC stuff for a
looooooong time now, so they may just surprise us with 1080 2 at or near launch. Then
again, they might be doing something completely different that will blow us all away.
Billy Says: I think 1080 2 will be arriving
on a Gamecube near you. I would hope we would see a late November release for the sequel
to one of the best Snowboarding games ever.
I think 1080 2's release depends on if, and when
Wave Race gets released. If Wave Race is a launch game, I expect 1080 2 to release in
January, or later.
Either way, I wanna see 'em both.
certainly hope so. It seems that we must regain the crown from SSX for the best
snowboarding game. Maybe we will get SSX as well, but I think that since it was Nintendo
that did 1080 to begin with, they are gonna want some of that action back.
SS4Gogita asks, What exactly do you expect from E3?
Will Nintendo be bringing to the table exactly what we will or think? Or will it have
something revolutionary up its sleeves?
Jonathan Says: Well since I totally expect
them to pull out all kinds of crazy, revolutionary stuff, I guess my answer is yes to both
questions. We'll be playing extensive versions of multiple next-gen Nintendo franchise
(and non-franchise) titles...of course there will be all kinds of innovative and brilliant
stuff to be seen. But beyond gameplay, I think Nintendo will also surprise us with some
other stuff, although I can't imagine exactly what that stuff will be.
Mike H. Says: I expect a solid
95% disclosure of all Gamecube materials. Completed system design and specs, completed
controllers and specs, hands-on playable Cube games (touch the controller), demos on
video, playable GBA games, and all the works.
Will it have something revolutionary up its sleeves? I'd say yes, but the things of that
magnitude will be in the above list. What we have seen of the game demos are motion
sequences at fixed camera angles. The experience we get playing the games (camera angles,
AI, controller interation, rumble, etc) still remains to be seen.
Nintendo is STILL intentionally hiding the best stuff. Even if you're already sold on what
you DO know if the system, I don't think we've seen anything yet. I personally plan to be
in the house smuggling illegal wares out of the show.
Kosta Says: Well E3 is
definitely the next step in the whole Gamecube picture. As for the show itself I think
Nintenod is in a very good position as they will garner much more recognition than Sony
will (as by then the PS2 will be well established). So will it be Nintendo's show? I'm
counting on it. As for competition i think that Microsoft will be going head to head at E3
with Nintendo to see who makes the most "impact".
Revolution? A possibility. But bear in mind that the gream Miyamoto said himself that the
transition will most likely mimick that of the NES to the SNES. We can only imagine what
Nintendo will bring to the table at E3. If you say to yourself that they will show a
playable version of their next Mario game and this turns out to be true, this will not
make a difference. We can guess as to what will be shown but we can not imagine what
Nintendo and their partners have been cooking up for us in terms of software (ie.
Personally I believe we will see some new hardware additions to the GameCube, playable
software, hardware demonstrations and an overall "blow-out" in terms of Nintendo
promotion. In any respect it will be Nintendo's most anticipated E3 showing since I can
remember and its one that I'm willing to fly over 3/4 of the world to be a part of.
Nintendo history will be made at E3, and personally I can not wait.
Zosha Says: But then again,
Kosta, the last time Nintendo promised something "new" and
"different", the Super Famicom was exactly what happened. Now if Nintendo is
slyly implying that the NGC is another SFC... well then, I think we're in for a very wild
and very enjoyable ride.
As for E3, this is going to be the last international trade show to show their baby off
right before the Japanese launch. Unless there's another delay in the forecast, this is
Everything and I mean everything should be up for show: remember Nintendo has to out-do MS
as well for the adulation of the gaming media. Do you think that Nintendo's going to drop
the ball? Well, maybe on Billy-Boy's feet. >;)=
Billy Says: I'll agree with
everyone's expectations at E3. We will be rockin' out hard on all the newest Gamecube and
GBA games. Nintendo is going to blow people away. And they have to... PS2 will be full on,
Microsoft will be debuting their toaster, and DC will be on their 3rd generation. Nintendo
will be pullin' out all the stops for E3.
Also...we don't know anything about Nintendo's online plans either.
Revolutionary things? How about Voice over IP? I can feel it. I think this will be one of
the revolutionary things we'll see. Nintendo's got something up their sleeve. I'll
Ty Says: What about Rare, hmm?
In my mind, they have the best chance for a bigger wow-factor than the big N... how about
After Dark or KI3, hmm? (Attention Rare: pleeeeeeease.)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this'll be
the biggest, most important E3 ever for the whole industry. So far. See ya there!
Steven Says: Well, I still see
it as a show-down between Sony and Nintendo. I don't think Microsoft is going to have much
to show at E3. The virtually had nothing at last E3, and we have really seen
anything even still. I expect Xbox to be delayed significantly or even perhaps (gasp) ... canned.
Nintendo is going to rock the house at
E3 next year. It's still anyone's game at this point, and Nintendo is the next to lay down
the big cards. Sony promised a Royal Flush, and the best we got was maybe a full boat.
IF Xbox gets delayed
significantly, or gets canned, or the price for Xbox is set wayabove what is
considered to be mass-market competitive ... think of the effect that will have on this
next round. Any of the above situations have a fairly good chance of happening, and if so,
Nintendo is in a good position to really clean house.
Square will return with Nintendo? What do you think when you invision Mario cubed in
Billy Says: Square? Who knows.
If they are going X-Box, I don't see why not. But you never know. I would hope so.
Mario and Luigi together at last. I
invision the return of the Mario Brothers. I would like to see a solid 1 player game, as
well as an option to play this sucker co-op. Online would be cool as well...so you could
play with someone co-op, as well as some sort of battle mode. Drool.
With the demo (I think this is part of
the actual game) we saw at Spaceworld, I think we'll see a lot of the old boards return
with new vigor and beauty. Who knows what Shiggy's got cooking. You know something's up if
they are keeping everything so quiet.
Mike S. Says: Hmmmm, Square
again huh? Well I think they'll go to whoever will rake them in the most cash. If the PS2
fails they won't make games for it. They're already going to at least X-Box with FF XI.
And they'll probably go to everyone with it cause that'll just mean more money for them.
As for Mario, I too want Mario and
Luigi in the same game. Expanding on Billy's idea of a battle mode for the net, I'd like
to see a remake of the classic battle mode where you stop on stuff and try to get 6 coins
at the same time.
Zosha Says: Square seems to be
one of the Nintendo gamer's most volitile and fetishized subjects...
As for devving for Nintendo, I really don't know. We will get word soon enough I believe.
It might be as far away as E3, since Nintendo seems to be holding their hand rather
tightly. Or not.
Mario "cubed"? I suppose I can spout off some nonsense about the next Mario, but
in reality, I can't imagine it at all. I think I'll just wait 'til I can actually play it
and let the genius of Miyamoto-sensei show itself. That's not cheating you out of an
answer, is it?
Square again. I like Square and Final Fantasy. Nintendo wants to do business with them,
but they're going to minimize Square's importance to them, at least publically. But does
Square want Nintendo? Maybe if Nintendo cuts them a 20-disc game deal. :)
DMZLINK asks, I thought Killer Instinct and KI2
were awesome. I thought when KI first came out in the arcade, it was way ahead of its
time, and the coolest thing was, it was an arcade game made by Nintendo and Rare. I was
addicted to the Super Nintendo version, waiting for the "Ultra 64" version to
come out. Then I religiously played KI2 at the arcade. What did you guys think of the
games, arcade, home systems, and GaneBoy versions? One of my dream games would be KI &
KI2 on GameCube, arcade perfect, complete CGI scenes and everything. How 'bout you guys?
Finally, I've heard the rumors, is there one slight bit of truth to KI3? Rare would be
making a huge mistake if they didn't.
KI Master Ty Says: Maybe you don't know me,
but I'm the resident KI fanatic 'round these parts. Personally, I'd like to see a
better-than-arcade KI 1-and-2 on a single mini DVD, with netplay and tag play, with a nice
six-face-button GameCube controller. And I want SF vs KI. And a fast car and a supermodel
Rare still denies working on it, and they claim they'll do it whenever they darn well
please (or improve on the "crowded" market, yadda yadda yadda. Seriously, you
can't find a good 2D fighter outside of a DreamCast nowadays). All we have is opinion and
guesswork. As for me, well, I think we'll get one on the 'Cube. The demand's there, at
least, if you'll take a look at Planet's most wanted...
In the meantime, there's KIAME (now U64), I
We posed the question in the last Mailbag about
what you think will be the next generation in video game controllers, and we got some
pretty creative ideas put together. Some of your thoughts:
-Built-in weight distributed rumbling.
-"Throttle" controller - a twistable grip
-Button/Stick resistance (emulating difficulty -- i.e. to control an aircraft or
Here are some of our thoughts!
Mike S. Says: I'm really quite keen on the
wireless deal. My opinion/speculation is that it should be bluetooth. It just makes sense.
The Gamecube itself is bluetooth compatible, so why not make the controllers bluetooth.
Rumbling is good, but there should be a button on
the controller to turn it off. It's a pain to wade into the options.
The Mic is also good, but it wouldn't work for
multiplayer, it might pick up the voice of the person next to you.
Throttle is good, but I think a dial would work
better than twisting the whole controller.
The resistance is great, but the controller would
have to be bigger. If you ever played a game with a Microsoft Force Feedback you know 2
things. 1) Resistance is cool and 2) the thing is freakin' huge.
Mike H. Says: I like all of these ideas. Some
of them are best suited for different niche-type games moreso than for all games across
I'd like to see the controllers become more
ergonomic, with the grips extending more outward so that we don't cramp our wrists. The
Gamecube's button style and placement is also a nice touch. The convenient reach of the
camera stick and D-pad remains to be seen, though.
If I were to add any new features, it would be to
add not just a microphone system, but a headphone/mic system. It'd work great for
simulations where you give commands, but you could also receive incoming messages, hear
enemies coming in from the left or right, or it could work just like a plain old stereo
system if you have to keep the volume of the TV turned down.
The plus side is that there's just an input/output
jack needed on the controller. The game software and the headset accessory can handle the
Keep sending in your ideas!