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  • RedSwirl 6:21 pm on October 29, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Console wars,   

    @Shingro @feenwager I think Nintendo’s losses show exactly what happens when they follow other people’s trends and don’t do their own thing (in this case the 3D trend). Their losses are really more due to exchange rates than anything else though.

    In my opinion the only place where Nintendo misstepped with the Wii was developers. That’s always been their only big problem since the N64. In this case the hardware gap was just too large and designing for the Wii remote required re-thinking games at the drawing board level.

    About the “casual consumer” not being as dedicated, I think that was what Nintendo was desperately trying to change. They no longer thought it was worth it to continue to solely support a hardcore audience that isn’t growing fast enough and, for them, is shrinking. That’s what’s wrong with current HD game budgets right now – there aren’t enough enthusiasts willing to pay $60 for most of them.

    I think Nintendo, in a way, saw that coming and decided to go for a much larger audience while hoping they could keep their core audience entertained. The problem was they couldn’t get other developers to follow them until it was too late. And I think the emergence of mobile gaming has proven that most of those consumers just don’t give a shit about photo-realistic HD graphics.

    With the Wii-U, hardware-wise we just don’t know shit. We still have no clear idea of where it sits power-wise, though some developers have hinted that it is indeed more powerful than the PS3 and 360. What we know less about is how much more powerful the other upcoming consoles will be. Some are saying that they’ll be equivalent to 2011 or 2012 PC gaming hardware. Will a 2013 set top box be able to run the Samaritan on one GPU (what Epic showed required three)?

    More importantly, most of the graphics engines that are gonna run next gen games are already running games right now – Frostbite 2, CryEngine 3, idTech 5, etc. The only unknowns are UE4 and the upcoming Japanese engines like FOX, Luminous, and that thing Tri-Ace is making. The prevailing opinion right now is that PS4 and Xbox Next games will scale down to Wii-U much more easily this time around. Plus, the touch pad and conventional buttons are much more familiar to devs.

    Best case scenario for Nintendo: The Wii-U get’s enough penetration with its one-year-lead to become the baseline for most multiplatform games, which will then port-up to the other systems, similar to the PS2 back in its day.

    If the whole industry really wants the casual pie though, I think they’re gonna have to turn consoles into near-universal set-top boxes that everyone will want, and then buy apps from. That and they’ll have to embrace the idea of games as a service. It remains to be seen if they’re actually willing to break away from the current model in which they wield so much power. It’s hitting it’s breaking point with budgets and consumers.

  • Shingro 2:25 pm on October 29, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Console wars   

    @feenwager I’ll back you on that, I know Nintendo are rightly praised for being able to innovate and move in unusual directions, but their plan with the wii, while good at the time had serious problems. I’m shocked no one in the higher-up’s meetings never lifted their hand and went “Excuse me sir, isn’t the very definition of a casual gamer someone who can’t be depended on for a sustained consumption of games? Also, what’s our technology going to look like 6 years from now when the components of our competitors have become cheap?”

    All pretty predictable (though maybe only in hindsight) the thing that weirds me out now is that they’re doing basically the exact same thing with the Wii U, tech that mostly matches the PS3 and 360, sure the components are cheap now, but what happens when Microsoft and Sony bring out their next horse? What happens 3-5 years from now?

    That being said, the video game space is certainly large enough for a casual console to exist. That being said though, people who aren’t enthusiests are going to balk harder at prices, which makes the iphone/facebook game thing far more relevent to them, they can’t sell at specialist “whatever it takes to play it” prices to “yeah sure, I’ll try that for an hour” people

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