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Nintendo President Talks Revolution

Says third party support may not be in the cards.

by Matt Casamassina

March 4, 2005 - In a recent interview with overseas trade publication MCV, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata talked about the company's forthcoming home console, codenamed Revolution. Iwata reiterated that the platform would be fundamentally different from other game systems, and said that its unique make-up could potentially alienate third party publishers, or in contrast draw them in.

"If the next generation platforms are going to create even more gorgeous looking games using further enhanced functionality, and if that next-gen market can still expand the games industry, then I'm afraid that third-parties may not support Nintendo," he said.

Iwata once more compared Revolution to Nintendo DS, and said that like its portable the machine could gain the eye of consumers who normally don't care about games. "On the other hand, what we are trying to do is such a different thing, and people have come to realize that the approach we have taken with Nintendo DS can actually expand the market beyond what existing platforms can do. Therefore I believe there should be more third parties who are willing to support Nintendo's new ideas."

Nintendo's president suggested that third party support for Revolution could depend entirely on whether or not publishers find the console appealing. "If we receive the support of the licensees, I believe we will expand third party support," he said. "If our ideas cannot be appealing enough, then we cannot receive third party support."

Iwata indicated that the next-generation is a risky business for all hardware manufacturers and not just Nintendo. "Already publishers are not hesitant in disclosing their concerns over next generation gaming platforms, and development costs are rising. Publishers are afraid... of whether [the next-gen] consoles can appeal to people who are not the avid game fans of today."

Nintendo plans to unveil Revolution at the May Electronics Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for more on the machine.

[source: IGN]

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Read this a couple days ago and it's making me fear that I'll have to get either a PS3 or X-Box's new system once the next generation consoles come around. The DS hasn't impressed me one bit since I got it and since they're claiming that it's suppose to be similar to the DS, and can potentially have little to possibly no third party support at all once it come; then there's just no way I'm going to run to Nintendo this time around.

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To be honest, I don't really care. I buy Nintendo consoles for Zelda and Mario, and that's pretty much it. Sure, you do get the occasional great third party game, like Resident Evil 4, and WWF No Mercy......

Fuck this post, I'm off to play No Mercy. I love it like my penis.

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Word has just broken that the Revolution will have Wi-Fi capabilities, and, for the very first time, a Nintendo console will be backwards compatible.

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Pre-E3 2005: Breaking: Revolution Details

Sleek system to play standard DVDs, says Nintendo. More inside.

by Matt Casamassina

May 12, 2005 - The Electronics Entertainment Expo 2005 is still days away, but that hasn't stopped Microsoft from debuting its Xbox 360 console on MTV. And now Nintendo has followed suit, revealing some new, meaty details about its next-generation console, codenamed Revolution.

In a recent New York Times article, Nintendo of America's vice president of corporate affairs Perrin Kaplan describes the console as "very, very sleek." The system, which is reportedly tiny, will stand horizontally. Its width will reportedly be no more than three DVD cases stacked flatly on each other, or slightly more than an inch. That makes the console theoretically smaller than Apple's recently released Mac Mini computer.

Although Nintendo has historically selected proprietary media formats, such as the GameCube Optical Disc, for its platforms, the publisher is with Revolution opting for a more standardized medium. The new console will play standard DVD media, according to the company. Nintendo has not yet revealed if Revolution will as a result be able to play Hollywood movies on DVD, but that seems very likely at this point.

At the Game Developers' Conference in March, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said that Revolution would offer Wi-Fi online connections out of the box and would be backward compatible with GameCube, or able to play GCN software.

According to recent information, Revolution will also be able to play high-definition games and regularly go online.

Finally -- something of a no-brainer given the popularity of the Wave Bird pads -- Revolution's still-secret controller will be completely wireless. Controllers for Microsoft's Xbox 360 are also wireless. Upon hearing this news, puppies everywhere let out a collective cry.

More details to come at E3 2005. Stay tuned.

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Each generation of video game consoles builds on the past to set new standards for the future. As the company with the strongest heritage of innovation, Nintendo redefines expectations for all next-gen systems by employing a wide-ranging strategy to attract more kinds of gamers to more kinds of games. When Nintendo’s new console, code-named Revolution, arrives in 2006, everyone will discover the meaning of All-Access Gaming.

"We will show the world what a next-gen system can be. Revolution marries the strongest heritage of innovation to the future of gaming," says Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. "With backward compatibility and the 'virtual console' concept, the stylish, compact body provides maximum gaming power. It will not only take home entertainment into another dimension by expanding the definition of video games, but it also will give you access to the great history of gaming."

Some of the system features that wowed the crowd at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles include:

The cool look: The new console boasts high-quality materials and a smart, compact design, approximately the size of three standard DVD cases stacked together. A variety of prototype colors are being showcased during E3. It will come with a silver stand that makes the system a welcome, artistic component of any multimedia setup, whether it’s displayed vertically or horizontally.

Backward compatibility: The new console plays all games from the current Nintendo GameCube generation. But there's more…

The secret weapon: The console also will have downloadable access to 20 years of fan-favorite titles originally released for Nintendo 64, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and even the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

Easy expansion: A bay for an SD memory card will let players expand the internal flash memory.

Two disc formats, one slot: Instead of a tray, a single, innovative, self-loading media bay will play both 12-centimeter optical discs used for the new system as well as Nintendo GameCube discs. Owners will have the option of equipping a small, self-contained attachment to play movies and other DVD content.

The specs: The system boasts 512 megabytes of internal flash memory, wireless controllers, two USB 2.0 ports and built-in Wi-Fi access. A worldwide network of Nintendo players can gather to compete in a comfortable, inviting environment. Revolution’s technological heart, a processing chip developed with IBM and code-named "Broadway," and a graphics chip set from ATI code-named "Hollywood," will deliver game experiences not previously possible.

The stars: Introduction of a number of new franchise properties will add to the world’s richest stable of stars, including Mario, Zelda, Super Smash Bros., Donkey Kong and Metroid.

Wireless freedom: A number of Wi-Fi-enabled launch titles are in development that will employ Nintendo’s newly announced wireless gaming service, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. A worldwide network of Nintendo players can gather to compete in a comfortable, inviting environment.

Freedom of design: A dynamic development architecture equally accommodates both big-budget, high-profile game “masterpieces” as well as indie games conceived by individual developers equipped with only a big idea.

Well, I was lingering onto the Revolution due to blind fanboyism, but now I seriously thing Nintendo has a chance at doing very well in the console war. Holy Shit! Downloadable games! Fucking awesome. I've been reading on Gamefaqs that it was announced that Super Smash Brothers will be online and that Nintendo won't charge an internet fee, though they didn't provide links for those so I'm taking that with a grain of salt. The WiFi abilities are great. The design is sleek. The only problem is that Nintendo have stated that it will only be 2-3 times more powerful than the Gamecube, while Microsoft is saying 360 will be about 13 times more powerful and Sony is saying PS3 will be 35 times. While I believe both estimations are laughable exagerations, this still won't impress gamers.

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Do we seriously need something with more graphics power? As I recall I liked Super Mario Brothers 3 just fine, and it was a 2D sidescroller. I still play it, and if Nintendo still made 2D sidescrollers of that sort... I would still play them. So stuff gets more advanced with stuff like Mario 64 and Mario Sunshine where we finally reach the third dimention. What matters is the games not the power.

Nintendo has stated that rather than just trying to be bigger and beefier they are going to try to do something different with the power they have. The limited backwards compatibility is a huge point in their favor, however not having an ethernet jack and making DVD capability require an extra widget are two strikes against it. I have also heard that they are going for a lower asking price, something about $200 or under, which is part of why they are not beefing, they are bettering.

Besides, Nintendo has always had great games of their own, look at Donkey Konga for example. Something unique and quite a bit of fun. I am all over the Revolution unless PS3 and X-Box 360 come up with some pretty cool bonus features.

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I can't believe this hasn't been brought up in here yet, the Revoltions controller was revealed last Thursday and here's a link to some pictures.

http://cube.ign.com/articles/651/651301p1.html

Thoughts? I'd like to know how exactly they're going to make games like Super Smash Brothers work on a controller like that.

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This controller looks as useless as it is ugly. But you know what...? I'll give it a whirl, especially considering that it will fit into a GameCube like controller for people who dislike the new control scheme.

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You beat me too it Keith. I was just about to post this.

I think that this is a great design for a controller. It isn't very complicated, fits in the palm of your hand, and can easily be used for many different game types, esp. when you add the motion sensors and "Nunchuk" analog unit.

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I personally like the idea, the style could go brilliantly for some types of games, expecialy shooters. Imagine looking around and shooting with the controler and moving with the analog attachment; it seems very effective to me. Still, genres like fighting games are utterly screwed. I'll trust Nintendo on this one, we'll see if they can utilize it properly.

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That's the thing, a lot of games that this bolds well for aren't really top sellers on the big N. I mean, this would be a perfect fit for X-Box since most of their fan base being PC oriented. But first person shooters(Not named 007 or Prime) and RTS game have never sold well on a Nintendo system. And one of the games that Nintendo fans have been begging for a sequel to for years now, is in fact a fighting. So unless you are allowed to use the basic controller on certain Revolution titles, I don't know how they're going make some of their top name titles work on this.

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It's gonna plug into a more conventional controller, so no worries about traditional games like Madden or Smash Bros.

I think people are underestimating this thing. How cool would it be to be able to wield that thing like a sword in a Zelda game using the motion detector. Not to mention stuff like fishing games. Also a remote style controller would allow for great use in RPG's and adventure games which have fewer neeeds for buttons, but in which the use of a mouse style cursor would be helpful, for things such as locating hidden items and menu navigation.

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I think people are underestimating this thing. How cool would it be to be able to wield that thing like a sword in a Zelda game using the motion detector. Not to mention stuff like fishing games.

But see, that's the thing; I don't want to swing a controller. Remember the Power Glove? As cool as it looked and as cool as it is to say I owned one, it sucked. Sure, Nintendo has had 15+ years to work through the kinks, but, excluding the phenomenon that is DDR, gaming is a sedentary activity and I highly doubt gamers will take kindly to a controller that forces them to suddenly become full-fledged active participants in the virtual world.

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No it isn't. Arcade games have featured activity other than joystick plus buttons for some time. For home consoles, the Zapper, and other light guns (and the remote features such functionality) and though they're more prevalent on the PC, you can reach ludicrous levels on control with joysticks, rudder pedals, and throttle controls. Also, driving wheel and pedals have declined in popularity with the death of Papyrus (the kings of the hardcore driving sim), but ACT labs made fully featured wheel and pedal systems with a clutch and gear shifter (they don't anymore with the decline of the genre, but they did at one time). Plus, wasn't the fishing controller for the Dreamcast fairly successful?

Plus...even if you are right (since admittedly, I used very niche examples), Nintendo has said that they are trying to attract a new kind of gamer with this system. It wasn't designed to make you happy, it was designed to attempt to bring people who don't normally play video games on home consoles into the market.

And honestly...are you really too lazy to wave a remote control around?

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No it isn't.  Arcade games have featured activity other than joystick plus buttons for some time. 

When I said "gaming is a sedentary activity," I really meant at-home gaming. Because, yeah, you're right; arcades have featured interfaces that demand a high level of activity for years. That's why I mentioned DDR.

For home consoles, the Zapper, and other light guns (and the remote features such functionality) and though they're more prevalent on the PC, you can reach ludicrous levels on control with joysticks, rudder pedals, and throttle controls.  Also, driving wheel and pedals have declined in popularity with the death of Papyrus (the kings of the hardcore driving sim), but ACT labs made fully featured wheel and pedal systems with a clutch and gear shifter (they don't anymore with the decline of the genre, but they did at one time).

Turning a wheel does require more movement than pressing up on an analog stick, but even with those specialized controllers you're still sitting on your ass pressing buttons. The only difference is that the buttons are at your feet.

Plus, wasn't the fishing controller for the Dreamcast fairly successful?

Honestly, I do not know.

Plus...even if you are right (since admittedly, I used very niche examples), Nintendo has said that they are trying to attract a new kind of gamer with this system.  It wasn't designed to make you happy, it was designed to attempt to bring people who don't normally play video games on home consoles into the market.

And that's where they'll fail.

Look at what Sony did with the PSX, which had nothing more than 3D graphics and a handful of killer apps (i.e. Twisted Metal, Metal Gear Solid). Not only did they steal longtime Nintendo fanboys, but they bred new generations of gamers.

You know how they did that? Simple marketing. That's it. No fancy controllers or touch screens or ultra-miniaturized handheld units.

Sony realized that everyone wants to be 18 or 19 years old. When you're a kid, you can't wait to turn 18 so you can be out of high school and on your own. When you're an adult with an oppressive job, you long for the carefree days of post-high school life. So they aimed their ads at 19 year olds by making them fresh, sexy and cool, and this served to draw in the older gamers (RE: NES diehards) as well.

With its affordable CD format, innovative games and original franchises, Sony made everyone feel like they did when they first opened their VCS / 2600, NES or Master System for the first time: young.

Nintendo execs go on and on about catering to children and making older gamers feel young again (both with mostly non-violent games), but Sony did and continues to do that. Yeah, there's Resident Evil with all of its bloody sequels, but let's not forget Crash, Spyro, Ape Escape and the other gore-free, fun-filled platformers that were spawned thanks to the PSX. It wasn't just kids who were playing those; adults spent many hours gleefully tapping away at the buttons, just like they did with Mario a decade before.

Right now Nintendo needs to focus on its hardcore fans with the likes of more Mario and Zelda titles, while creating and licensing new characters / franchises that will draw in a fresh breed. Reinventing the controller won't bring a new crop of gamers to The Big N (or anyone for that matter).

And honestly...are you really too lazy to wave a remote control around?

No. In fact, I love Donkey Konga and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. But you know what...? That got old. Quick.

I'll tell you where my animosity stems from. I hate watching gamers who jerk the controller around. This has bothered me since childhood. Swinging your arms wildly to the right won't make Mario run faster or jump farther; so the action is not only useless, but it makes the perpetrator look silly. And it just seems like Nintendo is catering to this small sect of flailing fools.

I know. I know that's not why they're doing it. But it bothers me nonetheless.

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Turning a wheel does require more movement than pressing up on an analog stick, but even with those specialized controllers you're still sitting on your ass pressing buttons.  The only difference is that the buttons are at your feet.

It's still more complicated and more of a simulation of real life than using a controller. What I mean is, when you're using steering wheels and pedal sets, it's effectively an imitation of real life. If the physics are accurate enough (and they only are for a few games, most famously, Grand Prix Legends), the simulation can even make you a better driver or get you familiar with tracks you've never actually driven on (several NASCAR drivers have mentioned using driving games to improve their skills and driving lines on specific tracks).

EDIT: That's what I was comparing the possibility of say...fencing in Zelda. You would be imitating real life, with motions similar to those you would make in real life to perform the task. That's all I was trying to get out the comparison, not that driving or flight sims provide a good workout.

And that's where they'll fail.

Nintendo execs go on and on about catering to children and making older gamers feel young again (both with mostly non-violent games), but Sony did and continues to do that.  Yeah, there's Resident Evil with all of its bloody sequels, but let's not forget Crash, Spyro, Ape Escape and the other gore-free, fun-filled platformers that were spawned thanks to the PSX.  It wasn't just kids who were playing those; adults spent many hours gleefully tapping away at the buttons, just like they did with Mario a decade before.

Right now Nintendo needs to focus on its hardcore fans with the likes of more Mario and Zelda titles, while creating and licensing new characters / franchises that will draw in a fresh breed.  Reinventing the controller won't bring a new crop of gamers to The Big N (or anyone for that matter).

Why would they need to cater to the hardcore fans? That doesn't make any sense. You never cater to the hardcore fans because they're gonna stay (see: E,WW). I do agree however that Nintendo needs to get the word out that they do have mature games. They are doing a much better job of it recently with the DS ads, however, so hopefully this trend will continue. You also realize that 2004 was the biggest year for Nintendo EVER in the handheld market? They are far from losing customers or money despite the fact that the Gamecube was not as successful as the XBox or PS2.

And why are they going to fail? They're getting people talking (IGN has like 4 or 5 articles dedicated to the controller), so they've accomplished something, whether it was intentional or not (and you don't introduce a "radical" [it isn't that radical, really, just a lot of accessories in one] new controller design unintentionally).

I would also like to make a point here to mention that I don't think that this is the greatest controller ever or anything, but I just think that the design and functionality have the potential to create some very fun and interesting gameplay.

No.  In fact, I love Donkey Konga and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.  But you know what...?  That got old.  Quick.

I was trying to be sarcastic there. Nobody is that lazy, right?

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Why would they need to cater to the hardcore fans?  That doesn't make any sense.  You never cater to the hardcore fans because they're gonna stay (see: E,WW).

Not always. I was a Nintendo loyalist until 2001, then I purchased a PS2 (which was my first non-Nintendo system since the VCS) and I quickly strayed from the flock. Why...? A lack of quality titles.

Yeah, I bought a Cube for Mario and Zelda and I'm totally hooked on RE4, but that's only three games. Hell. Let's toss in Super Monkey Ball 2 just for kicks. Four games. The rest I can either play on other systems or could live without. And truth be told, I could live without Mario Sunshine and SMB2 (which is also on the Xbox), and Resident Evil 4 will hit the PS2 within a month. So really I have the GameCube for one game.

And that's the way it is for a lot of so-called hardcore fans. There simply aren't enough titles to make them happy, and Nintendo will lose many more "diehard" fans should they continue to thin out their line.

Worse yet, this controller is going to alienate a lot of third-party developers, Nintendo has said this. With developers scared off, you're going to see a lack of Revolution games on the shelves. Then you'll be hard-pressed to find Nintendo loyalists, because who wants to own a system with hardly a library to speak of?

What Nintendo needs to do is give those fans more Mario and Zelda (at least two core titles per system), a GBA-like Pokemon game for the home console, and then update classics such as Kid Icarus and Excitebike. An Xbox Live-like online service for titles such as Super Smash Bros., Metroid Prime and even Pokemon would do the company wonders, as would more franchises like Eternal Darkness and Pikmin.

So yeah, the hardcore fans are there right now, but they'll stray (as I did) without a suitable library.

You also realize that 2004 was the biggest year for Nintendo EVER in the handheld market?  They are far from losing customers or money despite the fact that the Gamecube was not as successful as the XBox or PS2.

I had not heard that, but their numbers were bound to be up if only because Nintendo handhelds always sell well at first. There's a certain level of hype that naturally comes with any of their new portable devices. Let's look at the DS numbers come this time next year. That will be the true test.

On a side note, it's a sad day when the former home console leader is now third... coming in behind an upstart and the maker of portable music devices.

Though I know they won't, I almost wish Nintendo would focus solely on the handheld market while licensing out Mario and Zelda to Sony and Microsoft. I've said it before, but here we go again. Imagine Naughty Dog or Insomniac making the next Mario game while Team Ninja or BioWare develops Zelda. Not that Nintendo does those lines wrong, but I'd personally like to see other developers get their hands on them.

And why are they going to fail?  They're getting people talking (IGN has like 4 or 5 articles dedicated to the controller), so they've accomplished something

Preaching to the choir. Let's wait until the average gamer gets a look (and feel) of this thing.

I just think that the design and functionality have the potential to create some very fun and interesting gameplay.

And I agree. But I truly believe its odd design and mechanics will scare way too many gamers off.

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I have no gripe with the controller in general. Hell, I think it very well could be a good idea for certain games. But from what I've always understood, and maybe I read something wrong, but I thought the conventional controller was only going to be used when playing GC or downloadable games on the Revolution. Thus forcing gamers to have to use that controller for every Revolution game that's brought out. If it's not the case, the conventional controller can be used for the next SSBM and we don't have to use that little controller with each and every single game, then I'm happy. But they cannot expect us to play all of their games on that thing, it just wouldn't work with certain titles.

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