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Wii Graphics 'Better Than At E3' 400

Gamespot and GameDaily have additional details on Nintendo's upcoming console. Gamespot reports on comments by Nintendo President Iwata that they were specifically not going for high-end graphics with the Wii. He goes on to say that some of their staff initially disagreed with the adoption of the Wiimote, but public and internal reaction has allayed the fears of detractors. GameDaily reports on comments from ATI, who says there is still a lot left to see from Wii's graphical output. What was shown at E3 was 'just the tip of the iceberg.' From the article: "Industry sources have said that the Wii GPU would be moderately more powerful than the GameCube's GPU, but how much more we don't know. Conservative estimates from developers have placed the Wii console as a whole at 2 - 2.5 times more powerful than the GameCube."
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Wii Graphics 'Better Than At E3'

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  • by Puff of Logic ( 895805 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:26PM (#15468105)
    On price alone, I think Nintendo's going to do well. I'm not a console-gamer, but if I chose to get into console gaming, I'd go with a Wii I think. After all, I already have an incredibly expensive box full of hardware for super-pretty games: my desktop!
    • On price alone, I think Nintendo's going to do well.

      If console wars were won and lost on price alone, Nintendo would have been #1 with the GameCube. The fact of the matter is that's not all it takes. In fact, it's rare for the cheapest system to win in any given generation - generally, the cheapest system is cheap for a reason. If Nintendo were operating from a position of strength, they might be able to charge $600 like Sony apparently thinks they can. Trying to compete on price is a sign that you are
      • by omeomi ( 675045 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @05:15PM (#15468314) Homepage
        generally, the cheapest system is cheap for a reason.

        That may be true, but it's also worth mentioning that there's never been a particularly successful console that cost anywhere near $600. Not to say that Sony can't pull it off, but Neo Geo and 3DO certainly weren't able to.
        • While that's true, it's fair to say neither NeoGeo or 3D0 (or even Atari with its Jaguar) ever had the market- and mindshare that Sony has to this day. It's going to interesting to see how the PS3 fares when it hits the market.
        • Of course, they were competing at a time when their competitor, which was vastly more popular and had a vastly larger game library, was selling its console for $200. Now, with the nearest competitor at $400, and Sony with a fully-competitive offering at $500, and Sony being the one with the huge marketshare and gaming library, the playing field looks vastly different.
      • by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @05:28PM (#15468371) Journal
        True enough, but I think the price discrepancy in this case, at least as far as the PS3 is involved, is well beyond what we're used to from major console competitors. If I'm going to spend $200 on a system, but there's another one that's maybe a little bit fancier for 50 bucks more, I might say what the heck, and spend a little extra. But if the price difference is between $200 and $500-600, there's not even a comparison. That's not even the same market.

        If Sony was releasing the exact same system as the PS3, with the exact same specs, and the exact same price, the only difference being that the PS1 & 2 never existed, I think they'd have been laughed right out of E3. $600 for a mass market game console is ridiculous.

        The PlayStation name is the only thing that will give the PS3 a chance at that price.
        • by apoc06 ( 853263 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @10:29PM (#15469567)
          in general, sony products are overall more expensive than other brands. look at the bravia line of HDTVs, or the VAIO line of computers. sony in general sells their products at a premuim.

          the sony name equates to quality in the minds of the average consumer. whether that is true of the product or not, that is still the case in the mindshare of j. q. public. people trust the sony name when it comes to consumer electronics; rootkit or not.

          for the first time ever, sony game consoles are going to try to bank on that same trust. the psp is generally speaking seen as a higher quality handheld. [hence the DS redesign] the ps3 is supposed to end up being a higher quality home console. [hence the marketing/pricing scheme] they are both more expensive than their competitors. the hardware is there and to alot of consumers thats what matters, but in the video game world software is king.

          a couple of months or so after launch, the console and its price start to matter less and less, its games start to mean alot more in the eyes of consumers. since thats where the real money is made, thats where the battle will be won.

          personally, nintendo makes some very nice products and great games. their failure to win the console race in the last several years is a result of a lack diversity and a sad release schedule. great games trickle out of the house of N maybe once or twice a year. the wii seems great, but if they dont secure some solid third party exclusives to tide gamers over between the mario-link-samus-smashbrothers-pokemon roundrobin release schedule, i predict a repeat of the gamecube.
          • I would say that the DS redesign is more about Nintendo's confidence in the handheld's continued success, and less about the PSP. It's also another chance for Nintendo to make some easy money, cause you know a bunch of people who already have DS's are going to go out and buy a new one just to have it. I also would note that even if the PSP is seen as higher quality, it hasn't really translated into domination of the handheld market that a lot of people were predicting back during all the hype. Like you sai
      • by MBCook ( 132727 ) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @06:05PM (#15468542) Homepage
        Yeah, but what was the difference between the two? The PS2 and XBox both launched at $300. The 'Cube launched at $200. So you had a $100 price difference. I can see why people would be able to justify spending that extra cash (especially with the backwards compatibly in the PS2 and the DVD player in the PS2 and XBox). $200 and $300 are rather similar.

        But now we are talking about $200, $400, and $600. The first two (Wii and 360) are already pretty different. But when you put a Wii ($200) up against a PS3 ($600) you have to ask yourself: is that PS3 REALLY going to be 3x as fun? Do you need it now or can you wait until it hits $400 or buy it used?

        That $400 is a BIG difference.

        As others have pointed out, launching $300-$400 above you competition has historically not been a very smart move.

      • Nintendo doesn't have to win the console war to stay afloat. Our of the major 3, they are the only ones who sell their console at a profit.

        I will most likely buy Wii over an Xbox360 or a PS3. Nintendo has always come out with 1st rate games, and you can't get Zelda or Mario anywhere else.
    • On price alone

      Price is almost irrelevant as the cost of both the 360 and PS3 will come down, it only matters right at launch. Even then, a console will never 'win' based on price as the console on its own is useless if it doesn't have the games you want to play. Both the 360 and the PS3 have large franchises that almost guarantee good sales.

      Consoles 'winning' or 'loosing' a generation only matters to the bottom line of the company making them. Users only care about the games available. You want to play Z
  • by Parham ( 892904 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:28PM (#15468111)
    that the Wii was only a little better (hardware-wise) than the Gamecube. Everything I've read has either suggested that the Wii was only slightly better in hardware than the Gamecube (if not equal in some aspects). However, if the Wii has 2 to 2.5 times the hardware power of the Gamecube as the above article suggests, then they've fulfilled my expectations by more than enough.
    • The 2-2.5 number has been around for months.
    • However, if the Wii has 2 to 2.5 times the hardware power of the Gamecube as the above article suggests, then they've fulfilled my expectations by more than enough.

      A 2 to 2.5 times increase in performance is pretty shitty for five years of additional development - it suggests that the new graphics chip is really, really cheap compared with the old one.

      • by KarmaMB84 ( 743001 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:45PM (#15468185)
        I think I'll take this shitty console at half the price of the "non-shitty" competition, thank you.
        • At least the competition is expensive because they're giving you a lot of hardware. How do you justify Nintendo selling die-shrunk 5yr-old tech for the same price as they did originally, despite the fact that the cost to manufacture the hardware has shrunken to a fraction of its original price?
          • The hardware will be a lot faster (don't be mistaken there), it will have a motion-sensing controller, it has built-in wireless, it will be way smaller, it will have an online service with old games, it will play GC games anyway. Sounds good to me.
      • These "2 or 2.5 times more powerful" figures are pretty arbitrary, don't you think? I mean, what does that actually mean? To be honest, I'd define the PS2's graphics as being about "2 to 3 times as powerful" as the PS1s. I'd put the XBox 360s as being about twice the power of the original XBox. The N64 seemed a little more, more like 4 or 5 times as powerful as the SNES (probably mostly due to it's adoption of 3D graphics processing). I was rolling my eyes when Sony and MS were claiming things like 25 - 30

        • by NeMon'ess ( 160583 ) * <flinxmid AT yahoo DOT com> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @06:06PM (#15468548) Homepage Journal
          Look at the specs for the xbox and the 360, then just use some common sense.

          Going from a Celeron 733MHz to three PowerPC cores at 3.2GHz is going to offer much more than double the performance. Going from a GeForce 3 GPU to a chip competitive with a 7800 is going to do over eight times as many polygons with many more effects. A GF 5900 was twice as powerful as a GF 3. The 6800 was 2x compared to the 5900, and the 7800 was 2x compared to the 6800.

          PC Games bear this out, as will the 360 games this Christmas.
      • I'm okay with that. I played with an Xbox360 at a store kiosk the other day, and the games looked nice and I had a good time, but I certainly wouldn't say I had even twice as much fun with it than I did at the old Xbox kiosk sitting next to it.

        Nothing that I've seen from the PS3 demos looks like twice the fun I've had with my PS2. And how many times more powerful is this next gen hardware?

        Where's the bang for the buck? Knowing how many shaded triangles the system can push isn't fun. Knowing how many polygon
      • by scot4875 ( 542869 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @05:39PM (#15468435) Homepage
        To put this in perspective...

        The Wii will be able to output graphics 2-2.5 less 'shitty' than Resident Evil 4 or Metroid Prime.

        To do some simple, non-irrefutable math:

        2-2.5 * pretty fucking good = what the hell more do you want?

        Seriously, you people need to listen to yourselves once in a while.

        • 2-2.5 * pretty fucking good = what the hell more do you want?

          Keeping up with Moore's Law (or nearest equivalent for graphics tech), providing me with greatly improved graphics hardware for exactly the same price (or less!) than the old lot?

          Decent artwork and design are still the most important factors in good computer game visuals, but half-decent hardware is always appreciated. You can, however, go the other way - the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 seem specially designed to pump out huge quantities of hot air
    • My expectations are being raised all the time by announcements. I'm trying very had to keep them in check by playing original NES and SNES titles - just so when the Wii is released it will seem even cooler! Kind of like running around the pool makes it feel warm when you jump back in ;)

      Which brings me to the thing I find so tantilizing about this system - the excitement I feel when I think about the Wii is something I haven't felt since I was a young child on christmas morning when my parents suprised us wi
    • In my experience, you have to just about double the processing power of a system before the difference becomes readily noticeable to the user. So if Wii is in fact 2 to 2.5 times as powerful as the GC, then it's fair to call Wii "only slightly better". Which means it's unlikely to WOW anybody.

      But who cares? I love Nintendo's strategy with this system. An inexpensive console with fun and relatively simple games should do well. It's the same formula that propelled the NES.
    • Is 2 to 2.5 times GC hardware really enough, though? Look at it this way: 2 times PS1's hardware power would still look like shit. Hell, wasn't N64 like twice as powerful as PS1? That wasn't a very large improvement. PS2 is easily around 10+ times more powerful then PS1, and even for some that's not satisfying enough.

      I for one think that Nintendo -should- have gone for some real graphical and hardware improvements, not just minor ones that can barely bring them out of this generation of gaming. Really, i
    • The fact that there are rumors going around about the Wii being 'slightly' better in hardware compared to the gamecube makes me SUPER EXCITED. This means that they are either trying to rip us off (not likely) or that they've spent their time and energy on sommething else, and being that that something else is unique, this is super super exciting. I can't wait.
  • Just Hype? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mc calculust ( 738923 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:30PM (#15468121) Homepage
    Specs definitely don't matter for this console at all. It's about getting games back to how they used to be; short or moderately long pick-up-and play type games. I could definitely buy the idea that the games shown at E3 were hurried more with getting a fun game out on time than maximizing visuals, but ultimately it really doesn't matter, the games will be fun or they won't. The only games I play any more are games you can pick up and get into the heart of the gameplay instantly; Smash Bros. and Counter-Strike: Source. New Super Mario looks fun. So does Galaxy.
    • I agree. Better graphics are good.

      I'm happy with the 'Cube. I've asked before and I don't remember getting any responses. Did the graphics of Super Smash Brothers Melee hurt the experience at all? Did you think Resident Evil 4 didn't look like about the best game on the market? Was Metroid Prime 2: Echos ugly?

      The 'Cube had great graphics. It had all I need.

      But if they are going to improve it, that's fine by me. Add full-screen anti-aliasing for every game you've fixed the only graphical complaint that I'

  • by w33t ( 978574 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:33PM (#15468134) Homepage
    I have to say, that even though the graphics have never been the issue with the Wii/Revolution I am still very happy to see that they appear very much "next gen".

    I have to face the fact, that even though I admire gameplay and that "game-play" is really why we "play-games", graphics are darn interesting.

    Additionally, the fact that the Wii is going to offer such a unique interface device will, I think, allow us to see "graphics" which will be completely absent on the other consoles. What I mean by this is that because the wiimote offers such a more intimate and intuitive interface with the console's game world that we will be able to interact with it in ways that will have the effect of looking even more "real-life" than a console with simply raw video processing power.

    Example: by being able to hold a cooking skillet or wok and flip, shake, swirl and turn the food around in it the resulting imagery on the screen should looks very much and especially FEEL very much more "life like" than by being forced to use a joystick or keypad to move the virtual cookware.

    Any additional video processing power should only serve to further enhance this experience. And that's truly what video should be for video games - the enhancement part (like a spice) - not the main course.

    Hmm, I'm using a lot of cooking examples - is it lunch time yet?
    Music should be free [w33t.com]
    • Additionally, the fact that the Wii is going to offer such a unique interface device will, I think, allow us to see "graphics" which will be completely absent on the other consoles. What I mean by this is that because the wiimote offers such a more intimate and intuitive interface with the console's game world that we will be able to interact with it in ways that will have the effect of looking even more "real-life" than a console with simply raw video processing power.

      Example: by being able to hold a cooki

    • What I mean by this is that because the wiimote offers such a more intimate and intuitive interface with the console's game world that we will be able to interact with it in ways that will have the effect of looking even more "real-life" than a console with simply raw video processing power.

      Wii looks like a ton of fun. I miss platformers and more simple games on the current line of consoles. However, I'm curious to see what they do with some of the sports games. The problem with sports games is that

  • by czarangelus ( 805501 ) <{iapetus} {at} {gmail.com}> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:33PM (#15468137)
    I've been a Sony gamer since the PS1... but Nintendo really seems to be shaking things up. Between the HD-DVD less 360, and the unbelievable trainwreck that is the PS3, I might be convinced that simplicity is a virtue. What good is a next-gen console if all the games are just the same rehashed 6 titles over and over?
  • Looks like it's not such a wii little graphics card after all!
  • by Dark Paladin ( 116525 ) <jhummel@@@johnhummel...net> on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:34PM (#15468148) Homepage
    When the Gamecube first came out, I was actually pretty pleased with the graphics - Monkey Ball, for example, was smooth and just a pretty game (as well as being a blast to play - playing "Monkey Punch" is one of those cracktastic party games).

    The current Wii games that have just been shown look to be as good as "current" Gamecube games, which doesn't surprise me. Most of the dev kits the developers have were modified Gamecube kits with the controller, so odds are, that's the level of tech they focused on. So E3 shown games looked just like Gamecube games.

    Since we can bet that the graphics chip has gone under a 2.5 - 3 x increase since the Gamecube, that should mean that within a year or so (as devs get used to the actual Wii developers kits and their power level), games should look better graphically.

    Then again, with the Wii, most of us will shrug and go "Whatever". I've been playing "Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner 2" today, and only just noticed that there were reflections on the floor. Then I tuned it out while I played. With the Wii's controller, odds are they won't have to compete on the graphics, letting Sony and MS developers spending the extra money on artwork that could have gone to game play.
  • WTF?! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nutshell42 ( 557890 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:36PM (#15468156) Journal
    First generation of games half a year before launch are not the pinnacle of what said console is capable.

    I'm shocked. Shocked!

    The same is true for all consoles and all games (as long as they're actually running in real-time on the real hardware and are not just bullshots [penny-arcade.com] or "target renders" *cough*Killzone2 [gametrailers.com]*cough*)

  • The real news here seems to be some kind of quickstart capability. Yes, that you would get software pushes if you kept the Wii powered on around the clock was revealed a few days ago, but it seems to be niftier than that. The ATi guy says

    "I think it's about the innovation that it brings to the table--the motion-sensing, the always-on capability, which is really cool too--the fact that the chip is powerful enough and responsive enough to be there at a moment's notice, and I think that's pretty cool for the

  • by bariswheel ( 854806 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:39PM (#15468164) Homepage

    I have always been a fan of game playability/fun factor/games that make you use your imagination, similar to a book. IMHO complicated graphics, sound, and movies inside games seem like they tend to take away from the fun of the game. If I wanted to play a game that looks absolutely like real life, I guess I woulnd't use a game console and go play real tennis. The 256 colors and the 8-bit sound had a magic to it.

    There used to be a game by Lucasfilms called Indiana Jones 3, Last crusade, on the PC, around 1990 or so, in the game you could go anywhere you wanted, and solve puzzles not necessarily in the order that they need to be solved. Graphics were VGA, 256 colors, but now that I think about it, the fact that I used my imagination more might have made the game a bit more fun; the fact that the boss didn't look picture perfect helped him out a bit, similar to reading a book and visualizing the characters.

    It's hard to pin down what I'm really trying to say here, but I loved the sierra games in the 80s, but maybe it's beause I'm older, but today's games just don't do it for me anymore. The other day I played mario kart and super mario world (is that what it was called) on the super nintendo, and had tons of fun, despite how old it is. Seems like Wii is trying appeal to this kind of demand.
    • Personally, I think too much graphic advancement may be making some games harder, or at least harder to get into. When you have too many objects on the screen, and those objects have more and more detail visible. . . It approaches sensory overload, and all the clutter becomes like camouflage. Older games had a very clean look because of their technical limitations, but that also made them easy for the player to deal with and get right to the gameplay mechanisms. Now you sometimes have to search through
  • Conservative estimates from developers have placed the Wii console as a whole at 2 - 2.5 times more powerful than the GameCube."

    WTF does 2.5 times more powerful mean? Can they quantify "power" of a graphics processor to one place of decimals?
  • Slightly-OT (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gogo0 ( 877020 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @04:53PM (#15468222)
    What I find really amazing is that they managed to pack at least double the performance of a Gamecube (this has been known for quite some time) into a chassis even smaller than the Gamecube.

    Look at THIS [aeropause.com] image and marvel at what Nintendo's engineers are capable of.
    • What I find really amazing is that they managed to pack at least double the performance of a Gamecube (this has been known for quite some time) into a chassis even smaller than the Gamecube.

      My MacBook Pro manages to pack at least double the performance of my Toshiba T1100 PLUS into a much smaller chassis.

      Technology improves over time... ;-)
    • Re:Slightly-OT (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      Even worse is the fact that they probably do not actually mean what they said.

      '2 - 2.5x more powerful' is what they said... They probably actually MEAN '2 - 2.5x as powerful'. It's quite a difference.

      If you make the GC a 1 for power, the first statement makes the Wii a 3.0 or 3.5. The second statement (the one they probably mean) would make the the Wii a 2.0 or 2.5. Quite some difference.

      In the end, numbers like these mean nothing because you cannot trust the speaker to:

      A) Know WTF he's talking about
      • Not to say that Nintendo is entirely truthful, but they have a good track record in understating the real-world performance of their consoles. Hell, a gamecube launch title (Rogue Leader) surpassed their pre-launch in-game polygon announcments.
  • How things change (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @05:15PM (#15468318)
    It wasn't long time ago we were posting jokes about the Wii name, have you noticed how this stopped? Noone jokes with the name anymore.

    So it was indeed a temporary thing. Good lesson in marketing, and a great decision to announce it the week before E3 instead of E3.

    Also notice how this brought them popularity: they're all over the press with articles about Wii's performance, remote, features, price and so on.

    The PS3 is almost invisible around Wii.
  • Wii and Opera (Score:4, Informative)

    by Mongoose ( 8480 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @05:21PM (#15468340) Homepage
    I noticed this blurb on kotaku:

    Opera Drops Details On Wii Version
    http://www.kotaku.com/gaming/nintendo/opera-drops- details-on-wii-version-178216.php [kotaku.com]

    Personally, I don't think anything less than HD resolution for a TV is horrible for webbrowsing. I've used hand helds, dreamcasts, etc. The only console so far worth web browsing on was a PS2 with netfront. Want to know why?

    1. No one designs their site for NTSC.
    2. The PS2 browsing was SVGA resolution ( at least the way I was running it over a monitor )
    3. You need a real keyboard and mouse at some point.

    I'm hoping my playstation 3 will have branded kb+mice at some point, since I like such things to match. At least the other consoles can display the resolutions needed for me to read the websites. It's ok for nintendo since I doubt anyone will do more than browse demos anyway. Also I need a PSP kb, since I still haven't found a better way to use google maps in a handheld. If DS isn't ass for it I'll buy a DS lite for portable web browsing. =)
  • by KingBraden ( 959219 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @05:43PM (#15468457)
    I find it interesting that the slashdot summary talks about how the graphics will be better than at E3, while the gamespot article is titled "Nintendo is not working on a next-generation console" and it emphasizes how it is a lower end graphics console.
  • Wasn't this being said by nintendo even before E3?
  • by realmolo ( 574068 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @05:46PM (#15468468)
    The fact is, the Wii is good enough. Games aren't going to look TERRIBLE or anything. In fact, they'll look way better than the last generation, which already looked pretty awesome.

    Look, I'm as much of a "tech-spec" geek as the next guy, but talking about how good a console is based on specs is akin to talking about how good a novel is based on the quality of the typesetting job.

    It really *is* the games that count. And the Wii remote really is pretty cool. I haven't owned a Nintendo system since the NES, and I'm excited about the Wii, because it FINALLY gives us a new way to play games. Maybe it's not the "revolution" that Nintendo claims it is, but at least it's something new and different.
  • Just ignorant (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MuNansen ( 833037 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @06:23PM (#15468630)
    Anyone that questions Wii's potential graphically doesn't know anything about graphics beyond the buzzwords Sony and M$ shove down their throats. Don't listen to them. There's some very simple and telling facts about the Wii:

    - 2-2.5x the power of Gamecube is a CONSERVATIVE estimate.

    - The graphics in Resident Evil 4 were considered better on Gamecube than on any other platform. The graphics rivaled even the best of PC games like HL2 and Doom 3. The Gamecube was NOT a weak system, it's potential was just rarely reached.

    - The Wii architecture is near identical to Gamecube, just multiplied in horsepower a few times. This means anyone that worked on Gamecube doesn't have to learn a new platform. This is unique to the Wii among consoles.

    - Some very big names like BioWare and Capcom are onboard for the Wii, and their developers are excited as hell. You can pretty much count on these companies to squeeze everything they can out of the hardware and blow everyone away. Can you imagine a Resident Evil game with 3x the graphics of the 4th one, AND with new gameplay enabled by the Wiimote?

    It's telling of Wii's upside just how desperate and weak the trolls' description of the downside sounds. There's never a guarantee and it will all come down to the games, but the naysayers really don't have anywhere to stand this time. If the Wii fails it will be against ALL rational expectations. But if you wanna hedge your bets and troll it, oh well, your loss when it's a success. I know how hard it is to say anything positive on the internets. Can't risk the e-peen.
    • - The graphics in Resident Evil 4 were considered better on Gamecube than on any other platform. The graphics rivaled even the best of PC games like HL2 and Doom 3. The Gamecube was NOT a weak system, it's potential was just rarely reached.

      Okay, now that might just be a bit of hyperbole on your part. Sure, said games were definately at the top for that generation of consoles, but they weren't HL2 or Doom 3 level; even when running those two games on my two year old desktop PC with its 9800 Pro. Not that tha
  • The Underhype (Score:5, Insightful)

    by courtarro ( 786894 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:20PM (#15468875) Homepage
    In an industry greatly influenced by massive hype machines Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo has mastered the art of the underhype. In some ways they've become the Apple of gaming: the old classic that has continuously kept the larger companies in check by reminding them what gaming is supposed to be. Much like Apple they don't hype raw numbers, but rather the greater experience. They make weak claims about power without sounding presumptuous, and rather than saying "we know better than you and you don't need power" as many companies might, they're saying "we'll show you that you don't want power". It's that sort of soft language that represents underhype.

    Thus, they're simultaneously lowering expectations about power while building anticipation for something completely subjective (fun), rather than something mechanised and unaffected by opinion, like polygon counts or megahertz. Thus, when they finally release the Wii and it actually does turn out to be a reasonably powerful machine that also seems to make gaming fun again (if people want to believe this, they will), Nintendo can say "Gaming is fun again! Oh yeah, and it's powerful too". Nintendo wins.

    Deep down, people want to believe that gaming is more than just graphics, and if the Wii gets it right, we'll all believe them. Everyone wins (except Sony and MS).

  • by mgabrys_sf ( 951552 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @07:28PM (#15468900) Journal
    I'm trying to imagine 2 kids in 1982 having some fanbuy argument.

    Bob: Hey! I heard Atari is going to put out the 2600 which is just like the VCS graphically except it's in a black case instead of a faux-wood one.

    Joe: Screw that - I'm getting a ColecoVision.

    Bob: Graphics aren't everything - there's also gameplay. I don't care about graphics.

    John: Anyone seen this Famicom in Japan? It's got great graphics.

    At which point above do you think one of the characters blew milk out his nose?
  • by JFMulder ( 59706 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @09:58PM (#15469439)
    Why would people be tired of the games we have right now with Sony and MS? My Xbox was the first console I owned since my NES more than 10 years before. I played a bit on the PC for a few years, but mostly FPSes and Blizzard games. When I got the Xbox, I got back a bit in RPGs with Knights of the Old Republic (I followed the Final Fantasies over the years, waching friends play them and except for the FMVs I couldn't care less), started playing 3rd person games like Ninja Gaiden, got into Burnout, played innovative titles like Kingdom Under Fire.

    All those game were new to me, and so were they to MILLION of other people who had been out of gaming for years or just started playing for the first time. We are definitely not blasé about the current crop of games. I'll gladly play Kotor 3, Ninja Gaiden 2 (well, technically, that would be 5), Halo 3 and Dead or Alive 4. That's why I got a 360 a month after it came out. I knew it would be more of the stuff that got me back into console gaming. I have no problem playing a game like Ghost Recon : Advance Warfighter, I never even played a tactical FPS before this one. While this game may only be Ghost Recon 2 + pretty graphics + better AI (tough, I'm not impressed about the AI... anyway) to a lot of people, to me it was a fresh new experience that got me into that genre. I'll probably take a look at Rainbow Six Vegas when it comes out.

    Why would I even want a Wii for it's groundbreaking new controller? Most of the stuff I played on my Xbox and now the 360 are maybe not ground breaking to others, but they are to me. Sure I could experience new ways of controlling the game, but I'm already experiencing so much new with the 360.

    I get if you've been playing games for the last 20 years through every generations, you might feel the need for Nintendo's Wii controller. I really respect what they are trying to accomplish and I'll probably have fun playing with it at a friend's house. Me personnally, I'll probably have fun discovering genres that are new to me. Even with my "primitive controller" (which, btw, feels like the nicest controller I've ever held in my hand. Give me an Xbox controller over a dual shock any day.)
  • by VenomPhallus ( 904463 ) on Sunday June 04, 2006 @10:26PM (#15469554)
    I really don't think it matters. There's diminishing returns on upping the power of your chipset, especially when you're also upping your output to HD etc etc. Plus you have to charge people through the nose or make a loss on the console. These days, all games can look good; some can look amazing, but they can all look good. It's a cliche, but it really is becoming more about the gameplay and accesibilty. Who would have said 2 years ago that sales of the ugly, not very powerful DS (with its odd touchscreen hook) would be blowing the sleek, sexy, powerful PS2-in-your-pocket PSP out of the water? And yet here we are. I know the handheld market doesn't map directly to the under-the-TV, but I don't struggle to imagine the sucess of the DS being mirrored by the Wii.

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