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Nintendo's E3 Keynote Largey A Dissapointment, Says Internets.
July 16, 2008 5:51 PM   Subscribe

This was not a triumph. I'm making a note here. Epic fail. It's hard to overstate my disappointment. Nintendo. They do what they must at E3 because they can. For the good of all casual gamers except the ones who are hardcore. But there is no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of new games. And the science gets done, and you make some neat pheripheral add-ons for the people who own a Wii.
posted by Effigy2000 (90 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Axe-grindfilter much?
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:57 PM on July 16, 2008


Wow... Shaun White looks and acts way too much like Carrot Top for my comfort.

Also, that's one of the best FPP designs/conceits I've ever seen.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:57 PM on July 16, 2008


Oh noes, Big N is dooooooooooomed!
posted by porn in the woods at 6:00 PM on July 16, 2008


This is one of those things I would need a TV to appreciate, isn't it?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:01 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Love the FPP style, I must admit.
posted by DMan at 6:07 PM on July 16, 2008


Does this have something to do with The Goot?
posted by Roman Graves at 6:08 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does one of these links tell me that Portal is going to be on the Wii? Portal 2?

If no, then a-boo-boo-hoo on making me think it with your wry post.
posted by ztdavis at 6:10 PM on July 16, 2008


What about the Companion (Game)cube?
posted by starman at 6:11 PM on July 16, 2008


From a business perspective, I personally think it was genius for Nintendo to abandon the hardcore gamer market in order to try and hit a six with everybody else, which evidently they have done in spades.

But, yeah, as they say - people who are resting on their laurels are wearing them on the wrong end.
posted by nudar at 6:15 PM on July 16, 2008


The "science gets done" indeed:
Your standard Wiimote can detect acceleration forces and degrees of tilt perpendicular to the earth, while the MotionPlus adds the ability to detect sustained velocities

I hope they have a forthcoming paper in Nature, since they have apparently disproved special relativity by creating a black box that can directly measure its velocity relative to a preferred reference frame.
posted by Pyry at 6:16 PM on July 16, 2008 [8 favorites]


At least the PS3 is still awesome.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:20 PM on July 16, 2008


I liked this post and I liked the alt-text on all the links. Good work.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:20 PM on July 16, 2008


Where the Wiimote's accelerometer stops, the MotionPlus keeps going.

That sounds to me like it's like a plugin board to manage keeping track of the sum of previous accelerations. Kind of a dead reckoning, but in velocity space rather than position space.
posted by DU at 6:21 PM on July 16, 2008


Apparently the chip they're using is a MEMS gyroscope.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:31 PM on July 16, 2008


And the science gets done...

Still no cake.
posted by rokusan at 6:32 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Excellent quote from the PC World article:

With this newly tapped, ostensibly burgeoning casual market driving game revenues into the stratosphere, who said Nintendo had an obligation not to take advantage of it? Development cycles have to conform to market demand. I mean, is it somehow 20th Century Fox's fault that millions flocked to see a gonzo alien invasion movie like Independence Day, thus helping to ensure that the ratio of blockbusters to serious artsy sci-fi flicks would remain something like 100 to 1?

"Core" gamers need to get over themselves and stop acting like petulant children. Nintendo is a business and they're going to do whatever makes the most sense for them as a business. It's not hard from that perspective to understand why it's a better idea to make games like Animal Crossing than it is to invest in 4 year multi-million dollar open world blockbusters.
posted by saraswati at 6:32 PM on July 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


MotionPlus adds the ability to detect sustained velocities

Or rather, the ability to remember that you haven't decelerated yet.
posted by tkolar at 6:33 PM on July 16, 2008


That sounds to me like it's like a plugin board to manage keeping track of the sum of previous accelerations.

That's almost certainly what it's doing, since for a black box there isn't any alternative to integrating accelerations. I just found their description amusing, since taken at face value it promises something impossible. The actual improvement seems to be in the form of a more accurate accelerometer which makes it possible to integrate acceleration into velocity and then position without rapidly accumulating noticeable errors. However, the wiimote will still need to know its initial position and velocity, probably by calibrating it by holding it still at a neutral position, and even a very accurate accelerometer will accumulate error just from the discrete sampling and integration.
posted by Pyry at 6:37 PM on July 16, 2008


However, the wiimote will still need to know its initial position and velocity, probably by calibrating it by holding it still at a neutral position, and even a very accurate accelerometer will accumulate error just from the discrete sampling and integration.

Actually, given what it is and how it's used, I'll bet they use any prolonged period with no acceleration to zero everything out. There's no physical way for a human body to keep an object at a perfectly sustained velocity for any length of time.
posted by tkolar at 6:43 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


The most exciting announcement for me was that the Mario and Zelda teams are making new Mario and Zelda games. As much as I love those franchises that's not much of an announcement (more Mario? who knew?). Also, there were no details whatsoever, so I'm left hoping for a Zelda game that lets you swing the remote like a sword. We'll see.

Also, I find it amusing that Reggie Fils-Aime is confused about the backlash. Animal Crossing is a neat IP, but it's hardly a hardcore crowd-pleaser. Hell, it sounds like it's going to be like IMVU.
posted by danb at 6:46 PM on July 16, 2008


The problem is that I doubt Nintendo is going to be able to rely on casual gamers for a long-term "base." Sure, the Wii sells in great numbers... but will the Wii 2? Where do their "blockbusters" come from? What happens when the "casual" gamers get tired of a gadget and stop buying peripherals and games?

Turning completely away from the hobbyist market is dangerous, because it means you're aiming at a more fickle (if wider) audience.

For my money, Microsoft cleaned up at this E3. Straight wins, top to bottom.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:46 PM on July 16, 2008


I think gamers should feel lucky that they patronize the only mass entertainment medium that is able to charge $60 per product. That may sound like a bug, not a feature, but the book, film and TV (excluding HBO) industries all face much more pressure to market to the lowest common denominator, because their audiences don't value their products enough to pay that much for them (in the case of TV, audiences largely don't value it enough to pay at all). In my opinion, there's a much stronger correlation between critical and commercial success in the game industry than in any of those others, in large part because publishers can afford to target smaller, more sophisticated attentive audiences. When games start being given away free, with development costs supported by in-game advertising, they'll have more cause to complain.
posted by gsteff at 6:57 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ah, but gsteff, it costs a ridiculous amount to make a game. Not as much as a high-budget movie, but usually much more than a low-budget one—and books are a completely different beast because of the low cost of production.
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:00 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also: Nintendo has a long history of optional peripherals for their console, and every single one has failed, starting with the Power Glove. I'm guessing this one will too.
posted by gsteff at 7:00 PM on July 16, 2008


I hadn't heard of this nonsense, I was too busy checking out new footage from Fallout 3. HOT. And not available on the Wii.
posted by naju at 7:00 PM on July 16, 2008


A side-scrolling, 2D cartoon platformer for a major console in 2008?

This is why my heart will always belong to Nintendo. It looks completely awesome and I can't wait to play it.

I don't think I fit into the hardcore/mainstream/casual gamer schema very well though. I range all over the place, with the cravat that the vast majority of 3D, first person games and a good deal of 3D, third person game give me motion sickness. If it weren't for this, I'd probably be much more of a hardcore gamer than I am. Not being able to play FPS games kind of put a damper on things. That Nintendo seems to be single-handedly resurrecting 2D games is amazing news for me.
posted by Arturus at 7:02 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Still no cake.

Still a lie.
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:05 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I used to laugh when people said Microsoft would dominate the console industry.

I laugh no longer.
posted by Avenger at 7:10 PM on July 16, 2008


What happens when the "casual" gamers get tired of a gadget and stop buying peripherals and games?

I would disagree that casual gaming is a trend that the market will just suddenly grow tired of. What I think you will see, though, is a movement away from consoles because of the increasing power of cell phones. Anyone who's played Super Monkey Ball on an iPhone will agree that it is one hell of an experience for a cell phone game and the capabilities that it demonstrates for the platform leave one with few reasons to buy a Wii.

In the end, I think convergence will win over the casual gamer and Nintendo will sell less consoles. What happens then depends on how far they're willing to chase the market.
posted by saraswati at 7:11 PM on July 16, 2008


Animal Crossing is a neat IP, but it's hardly a hardcore crowd-pleaser. Hell, it sounds like it's going to be like IMVU.

1. IP? To describe a game series? That's nearly as bad as calling 'em "franchises." We're not MBAs around here are we?

2. You'd be surprised how many gamers love Animal Crossing. It was one of the few unquestioned hits of the Gamecube and did a lot towards boosting the popularity of the DS. Which isn't to say that it's not a very casual-friendly game, but the collection-aspects of it have great appeal for the ADHD crowd.
posted by JHarris at 7:23 PM on July 16, 2008


The Wii is the only current gen console I own (though I plan on the 360 eventually). I really liked what they were going for when it was released, but they're hitting the same old problem with 3rd parties, and this time, it's worse, because the third parties are shoveling mini-games out. High Voltage, developers of "The Conduit" are upset at this trend, as well.

The motion thingy looks nice, but really, why should i have to fork over even more money for another peripheral? And this thing needs to have special coding? I can't use it in any game for superior tracking performance? My Wii Sports golfing will still suffer from the same stuttery issues from time to time? Bah.

No Kid Icarus. AC looks like a rehash of the GC version. I mean, can we at least get SMG quality graphics for it? Was there anything for the DS? Wii Music looks like a major let down compared to my first hopes for it. I can't use Wii Fit cuz I'm too fat.

Yeah, I'm definitely saddened. I'm more hardcore than the casual/mass-market, but I'm not a "hardcore" gamer. Oh well, hopefully my 360 will be nicer to me.

I've always got WoW.
posted by symbioid at 7:25 PM on July 16, 2008


And for the rest of us, there's that point at which you say "is the point really to catch 90 different types of fish???"
posted by smackfu at 7:27 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Woot! More Snowman furniture! Bring it!
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:33 PM on July 16, 2008


sonic meat machine: "For my money, Microsoft cleaned up at this E3. Straight wins, top to bottom."

Except for, you know, the whole "Abruptly abort our most lucrative partner's months-long viral marketing announcement plan mere hours before its highly-anticipated climax without explanation, then casually leak the nature of the project to fucking MTV in the most unceremonious way possible" stunt.

/bitter Bungie fan
posted by Rhaomi at 7:41 PM on July 16, 2008


I used to laugh when people said Microsoft would dominate the console industry.

Isn't Wii outselling Xbox like 2-1?

My parents by the worst games for the one they have. It's like they don't even know the difference between a good game and a bad game. I almost feel like telling them that they're rotting their brains with that trash.

I'm at the point where I told my dad he's not allowed to buy a Wii game without asking me first. I even gave him my cell # and told him to call me if he's even tempted to buy one.
posted by empath at 8:03 PM on July 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


So Nintendo's overtaken the Xbox 360 by about three million units worldwide, despite a year's head start by Microsoft. At least according to nexgenwars.com (which may or may not be accurate).

Man, it sounds like Nintendo must be screwed.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:07 PM on July 16, 2008


Rhaomi: While that bitterness is not yours alone, Multiplayer (the MTV blog to which you are referring) is actually one of the better sources for gaming news these days.

Which I suppose doesn't speak too highly of the rest of the gaming journalism world, but there you go.
posted by Remy at 8:08 PM on July 16, 2008


The most disappointing thing about the Wii is the lack of good games to play on it. No one seems to have figured out how to use the "Wii-mote" effectively, and a lot of the casual games out there for the Wii are boring an repetitive. We bought "Mario Party" for our young son (he likes it), but it is so boring for me to play that I will never buy anything produced by Hudson ever again.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:14 PM on July 16, 2008


1. IP? To describe a game series? That's nearly as bad as calling 'em "franchises." We're not MBAs around here are we?

Okay, we can call it a series if you want. Doesn't much matter to me.

2. You'd be surprised how many gamers love Animal Crossing. It was one of the few unquestioned hits of the Gamecube and did a lot towards boosting the popularity of the DS. Which isn't to say that it's not a very casual-friendly game, but the collection-aspects of it have great appeal for the ADHD crowd.

I like Animal Crossing -- and a lot of games aimed at more casual players, for that matter, like Wii Play and Wii Sports. There's a world of difference, though, between a new Animal Crossing and a new Zelda or Metroid (or the rumored new Kid Icarus).

Nintendo's strength recently has been bridge games, which appeal to both hardcore and casual gamers* -- Mario Kart Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and the like. Animal Crossing: City Folk seems aimed at that market as well.

(As an aside: what was the last original IP game series that Nintendo developed, before the Wii ___ stuff? Pikmin? It's been a while, hasn't it?)

Anyway, I think what's happening now is that that a certain subset of gamers are not satisfied with the bridge games and are demanding more "hardcore" titles -- games with depth and difficulty that don't pull punches in the name of accessibility. There's not much for those gamers in the Wii pipeline right now -- if you ask me, the best option is Capcom's 8-bit throwback Mega Man 9. That looks like it'll be great fun, but it's hardly enough to satisfy.

Nintendo is at a crossroads, and from the perspective of a neutral industry observer it's fascinating to see the choices they make. Of course as a lifelong gamer I have a horse in this race, but I'm willing to trust them a bit further, disappointing E3 presser notwithstanding.

* Granted, the dichotomy between hardcore and casual is a bit problematic.
posted by danb at 8:25 PM on July 16, 2008


For me - someone who's sort of a hardcore gamer lapsed to the point of bordering on casual - the Wii is horrifically lacking in, y'know, good games. A year and a half out, it remains a pricey (it's cheaper than a 360 to buy initially, but its controllers make it more expensive very quickly) system without much that's worth playing; Metroid's okay, but Nintendo's reliance on people worshiping their products just because Link, or whoever, is in them turns me off.

The scariest part is that even viewing it as a $300+ Wii Sports device, it still has a great position in the market. I'd say this is Nintendo screwing up, but since it's been out for 20 months and I still can't just walk into a store and buy one... well, I think I've given up my right to assume that lacking a good game library will actually kill a system.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:27 PM on July 16, 2008


E3 really kind of sucked this year. Sucked not so much because it was terrible, but sucked because it was completely boring. I don't know if we're in a sophomore slump for this generation of consoles, but there was absolutely nothing compelling at all about any of the three major presentations. It's like none of them are particularly motivated to excite their audiences... Sony's showing the same titles they did last year that still haven't been released (Little Big Planet, Home) and Nintendo I'm not even interested in because it's basically a last gen system (no HDD, no HD graphics) in a fancy new wrapper.

As a 360 fanboy, I'm particularly disappointed with Microsoft's complacency in the past year or so and it would not surprise me at all to see the PS3 overtake the 360's sales numbers in 2008-9. MS has had multiple opportunities to drive a stake into Sony's console dominance in the past year while PS3 was down for the count and they've blown every one of them. The failure of HD DVD really killed their momentum, and they should have cut the console's price sooner and/or made Live free.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:42 PM on July 16, 2008


ycs is dat way -->
posted by boo_radley at 8:45 PM on July 16, 2008


The wagers seems to be something like this:

a) people want engaging interaction; the problem is, the same old physical interactions get stale, so we'll give them innovative technological interfaces.

b) people want interactive cinematic experiences; the problem is, the same old graphics and sound get stale, so we''ll give them ever-more immersive experiences.

The common denominator is gameplay -- is the game enjoyable to play? I think there's room for both approaches to gaming in the market, but as soon as one starts to sacrifice enjoyable gameplay for either interface-oriented innovation or audiovisual innovation, the other will gain an advantage.

Which, I think, is kinda the problem with the whole tech/gaming/internet/web 2.0/etc industry in general -- it's possessed by this "if you build it, they will come" prophetic mentality that always tends toward losing touch with common sense.
posted by treepour at 8:52 PM on July 16, 2008


The common denominator is gameplay -- is the game enjoyable to play? I think there's room for both approaches to gaming in the market, but as soon as one starts to sacrifice enjoyable gameplay for either interface-oriented innovation or audiovisual innovation, the other will gain an advantage.

I agree, although text adventures and games like Myst manage to take advantage of the immersion aspect without relying on interface or audiovisual innovation. Well, Myst was a different sort of beast for its time, but it was not much different than the Laserdisc games we talked about in a recent thread, although the "gameplay" was much better in Myst. If you like puzzles it was anyway. There isn't much kinetic or reflexive gameplay in Myst.

Some games, particularly true strategy games like Civ III (which are more computer than console oriented), manage to be great on the strength of the game itself, on the rules and balance. There's a lot of truth to the idea that many games are just spreadsheet interfaces, but Sid Meier makes some pretty good ones. Of course, he keeps releasing new versions of his old games with shinier interfaces, so there's that ... but if the game's no good, the interface doesn't matter much.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:10 PM on July 16, 2008


I hope they have a forthcoming paper in Nature, since they have apparently disproved special relativity by creating a black box that can directly measure its velocity relative to a preferred reference frame.

Or they figured out that they could use calculus to integrate over acceleration. Which you would need, like, a high school education to do!
posted by delmoi at 9:16 PM on July 16, 2008


then casually leak the nature of the project to fucking MTV in the most unceremonious way possible" stunt.

What the hell? Bungie is working on a new Halo game? That was the surprise? Even a toddler could have seen that coming.
posted by delmoi at 9:24 PM on July 16, 2008


Holy christ, people, where is the outrage?!?

I mean, Infocom basically tells their core group of fans to fuck right off with the announcement of Zork II -- I mean, a fucking wizard, what is that shit, talk about playbalance issues -- and the grue AI totally blows compared to the original. And what, a 30-hour playtime? Come on, Infocom, you can do so much better!

And did you check out the booth for Sears of all companies? They're making an Atari 2600 clone! What the everloving fuck?!? How is Atari supposed to compete against Intellivision when they have Sears undercutting them! Now Atari needs to worry about third-party compatibility, supporting hardware that isn't made in house, and god knows what the resolution of those cheap shitty Sears controllers will be.

Anyways, I totally hope that Epyx doesn't fuck up Gateway to Apshai. I've been reading every article written in Byte, and it totally sounds like it's going to be the greatest adventure game ever created. The lore sounds dead on for the Apshai universe, Epyx has a really great team (at least the guys who aren't working on the FastLoad cartridge. What a piece of crap) and I will buy anything they put out, no matter what. After seeing their booth, I'm convinced, Epyx is awesome, my Commodore is the best platform, anyone who bought the Apple II just for BC's Quest for Tires has to be kicking themselves right now, that company is never going to survive.
posted by mark242 at 9:31 PM on July 16, 2008 [20 favorites]


I'm still obsessed with Rock Band.

This is what got me excited:

Rock Band Deluxe Drum Kit
posted by empath at 9:45 PM on July 16, 2008


Oblig. Penny Arcade.
posted by threetoed at 9:48 PM on July 16, 2008


How is Atari supposed to compete against Intellivision when they have Sears undercutting them!

It doesn't matter; you can't compete successfully against Intellivision anyway! What other video game system had a voice synthesizer in 1982 and a freakin' cable modem in 1981??!

:)
posted by Juffo-Wup at 9:58 PM on July 16, 2008


The actual improvement seems to be in the form of a more accurate accelerometer which makes it possible to integrate acceleration into velocity and then position without rapidly accumulating noticeable errors.

I think there was a misunderstanding in the "can measure velocity" thing in the linked article. The chip manufacturer website makes a proper claim about measuring angular velocity, which the gaming website seems to have misunderstood into a magical ability to measure linear velocity.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:01 PM on July 16, 2008


Who cares about Wii games? For my hardcore gaming needs, I have an Xbox. The graphics are much better anyway.

Nintendo is right to capitalize on the "non-hardcore" market. I often have friends that I want to introduce to games I like, but they just aren't interested. The Wii games they can pick up immediately.

Being a hardcore gamer doesn't mean that every game on every system has to meet your needs.
posted by jrockway at 10:10 PM on July 16, 2008


It doesn't matter; you can't compete successfully against Intellivision anyway!

Pac-Man EXCLUSIVITY, beeyotch! That is a system seller! Although, after seeing the latest batch of screenshots and gameplay videos, I'm a little worried... maybe those were taken from an earlier version, before the game went into gold master status? I didn't see any bump mapping on the ghosts, so that's the only explanation.

You can take your fifteen-button controller and stick it up your ass, the Atari is here to stay. I even hear that they're working on a next generation console already! Between Pac-Man and the licensing agreement with Steven Spielberg -- I mean, Indiana Jones and ET, those games are going to fucking ROCK!!! -- the Atari is totally the system to have.
posted by mark242 at 10:17 PM on July 16, 2008


I've been reading every article written in Byte

I used to dutifully type BASIC programs they printed into my Apple ][e, every one I could find. Sometimes took hours ...
posted by krinklyfig at 10:21 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


The term "hardcore" in relation to gamers always makes me chuckle. As far as I can tell, it's just an excuse for twitch gamers to denigrate puzzle games and feel good about themselves. Besides, they've been putting that line about the Wii out since pre-release, and the dog still ain't huntin'. Lemmie take a moment to grab the EGM* out of my Throne Room. #1 game : Wii Fit, which my girlfriend still can't manage to score a copy of, despite trying since release. #2? Mario Kart. Sure, 3 and 4 are GTA IV for the Xbox and PS3, respectibely, followed by - you guessed it - more wii. Lets break down the top 20, in fact:

Wii: 8 Games
DS: 3 Games
XBox: 3 Games
PS3: 4 Games
PS2: 2 games

Somehow, I don't think the big N is too worried about People Who Define Themselves By The Video Games they Play. (My personal longhand for the "hard core") Seriously, sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, and enjoy playing a game. If this is something that really works you up, I suggest getting some Vitamin D from the great outdoors.

*From the June issue.
posted by absalom at 10:35 PM on July 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


delmoi: There was considerable speculation that Bungie's announcement would concern an entirely new franchise, which is a pretty big deal since they've turned out nothing but Halo products for nearly a decade now. Frankly I'd be more interested in an original title from them than some other Master Chief-less spin-off, like what's been rumored.

My hope is that Mattrick was not telling everything he knew, that Bungie has become large enough to handle multiple projects, and that this cryptic "KEEP IT CLEAN" Superintendent weirdness is a herald for whatever they have up their sleeves to follow Halo. The whole announcement campaign (or what we saw of it) didn't seem very Halo-related to me, so perhaps there's still hope...
posted by Rhaomi at 11:00 PM on July 16, 2008


Obligatory Penny Arcade.

This fpp is bad and you should feel bad. "Big video game company didn't announce things that made game bloggers happy". NEWS HOW

To continue a previous commentor's side note, I really really hope Fallout 3 isn't just an FPS with bullet time and an inventory. That would not make this gamer that reads blogs happy :(
posted by thedaniel at 11:07 PM on July 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm glad Nintendo haven't announced anything interesting for the Wii, because I can barely play on the damn thing. I have problems with my joints and, while I have good days and bad days, I can never play a Wii game for more than about twenty minutes because of the obsession with waggle. I can't even play Mario Galaxy, a fairly traditional platformer that does very little with the remote that you couldn't do with a 360 pad, because the spin action, essential to play the game, requires that you flick the remote. Why it couldn't be optionally mapped to a button I don't know, since the direction you flick the remote doesn't affect the nature of the spin in the slightest, but it means I simply can't play this enchanting game.

I can play PC and 360 games for hours but Nintendo's wonderful invention is impossible for me to use. Very fucking accessible. I don't necessarily think that the other consoles are much better (there are undoubtedly people whose disabilities prevent them from using traditional console pads) but it irks me that a console specifically promoted as being accessible and fun for all the family locks me out because of my disability.

(This rant may not have belonged here, but all the stuff about the Wii being the future of gaming, inventive, and exciting depresses me because I can't join in.)

On the other hand, new DS Kirby? Yes please.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:28 AM on July 17, 2008


Has no one mentioned that FF13's coming to the 360? If nothing else, that made me a happy camper.
posted by juv3nal at 2:35 AM on July 17, 2008


I get rather annoyed by people who just shrug and say, "Get over it."

Okay, I'm not Nintendo's target demographic anymore. I get that. But for fuck's sake, throw me a goddamn bone. The only first- or second-party Wii game we've even seen that isn't aimed at the "casual" market (Wario Land) wasn't even shown or mentioned at the E3 Conference, though I believe it was playable on the showroom floor. Now granted, this may be in part because most of Nintendo's major IPs have already had a game drop since launch: Mario, Zelda, Metroid, Mario Kart, Smash Brothers, and even a lot of their lesser-known titles like Battalion Wars and Fire Emblem.

What really gets me, though, is that (apparently) Reggie and Co. simply don't get why some people are upset. Again, I could understand if they just don't care about the supposedly "hardcore" gamers anymore, but how can they not understand why these people are angry? Pointing to Animal Crossing (which, besides really falling more into the casual set, seems to be essentially a port of the DS game, to the point where it even has some of the same bugs) and a DS GTA (which we know absolutely nothing about other than the subtitle) really doesn't allay my worry that in Ninty's rush to cash in on their new market, games I'd actually want to play are going to get lost in the shuffle.
posted by Target Practice at 2:51 AM on July 17, 2008


ArmyofKittens, the DS Kirby isn't really "new", as such. It's a remake of Kirby Super Star for the SNES.

Although I'm still looking forward to it, myself.
posted by Target Practice at 2:52 AM on July 17, 2008


People seem to have forgotten that E3 is no longer supposed to be an open-to-the-public gaming spectacle, that the keynotes really are essentially supposed to be shareholder meetings.

That said, I can't really understand the outrage. I'm as big a Nintendo fanboy as they come, and if I were sufficiently emotionally invested in this stuff to get all hot and bothered at the lack of "hardcore" games mentioned at E3, I'd just invest in a 360 so that I could get my sports-games-and-first-person-shooters fix.

As it stands, I find that video games are now merely one of multiple hobbies available to me, so I'm perfectly all right with the Wii's "play it for 15–30 minutes" approach, particularly with WiiWare and the like (Star Soldier R? Magnificent!).

I concur with the earlier "The FPP is bad and you should feel bad."
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:11 AM on July 17, 2008


It's a remake of Kirby Super Star for the SNES.

That still works out, as I never had a SNES :)
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:41 AM on July 17, 2008


I find the whole drama interesting, from something of an outsider's perspective. As a general rule, I don't play games that often. On average about one every 5 years will interest me enough to play it, and up until recently they've always been on the Mac — not exactly known for being a cutting-edge platform.

I probably would have passed on the Wii except that the S.O. — who's even more of a non-gamer than I — decided she wanted one. Since then we've only ejected the Wii Sports disc a handful of times, mostly for rental games that didn't impress either of us enough to send us buying. At this point I'm pretty comfortable with the Wii as a $250 Wii Sports "appliance"; if nothing else existed for the Wii I'd still be happy to own one. (We are, however, waiting for Wii Fit to be more widely available, at which point we'll probably buy; that looks promising and in the same vein as Wii Sports.)

On one hand, Nintendo really made something special in the Wii — on an almost-daily basis I'm stunned by the number and range of people who own one. However, if they're playing razors-and-blades, selling the console at a low margin with the hope of making it up on games down the road, I think they could potentially be in trouble. I think a lot of Wii owners aren't exactly dying to go out and buy more games: Nintendo has to sell and make a case for anything it wants its new market to buy (and they've succeeded with Wii Fit, I think), while on other platforms the developers seemingly just have to toss the latest episode of their hottest franchise out and watch it be gobbled up by a ravenous fanbase at $60 a head.

I applaud Nintendo for going in the direction they've been going, but at the same time I think it's pretty ballsy of them. They created a 'non-gamer' market via Wii Sports that probably isn't going to be receptive to more traditional games, and just won't buy if they don't turn out equally compelling titles to Wii Sports. Unfortunately, the kind of games desired by the 'hardcore' audience (which tend to be longer and more challenging than casual games) are expensive to develop and unlikely to get many 'casual' owners to eject Wii Sports.
posted by Kadin2048 at 5:21 AM on July 17, 2008


Nintendo makes money on Wii consoles. They are a lot cheaper to make then the PS3/Xbox.
posted by delmoi at 5:59 AM on July 17, 2008


Dear Santa
I want Air Blade, made to use with the Wii Fit.
If you bring it, I promise to stay asleep this time, and not tell.
Thanks in advance
Goofyy
posted by Goofyy at 6:29 AM on July 17, 2008


I guess the hype doesn't work on me. It's physically impossible for my family to work through the PS2 back catalogue -- or even just the games that don't suck -- in our lifetimes, so I'm really just kind of wondering why I care at all about this stuff.

I guess I'll care when Rock Band 2 isn't released for it, though.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:42 AM on July 17, 2008


Whither Pikmin?!?!
posted by Paid In Full at 7:07 AM on July 17, 2008


The nerds are restless.
posted by chillmost at 7:09 AM on July 17, 2008


I don't care at all about hardcore games on the Wii. All I want is good games. Boom Blox? Easily the best co-op game I've played on the Wii. The Wii is the only system a game like this could come out on, and it seems perfect for the audience, but it sold incredibly poorly. If everyone treats their Wii as a Wii Sports platform, third party creators have no reason to innovate with the controller, and that sucks.

All of the press conferences were pretty weak . The 360 is doing everything it can to look like a Wii. The dashboard design is ridiculously derivative. They didn't announce their motion controller, but everyone knows they're working on one.
posted by graventy at 7:49 AM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whither Pikmin?!?!

Thither!
posted by danb at 7:55 AM on July 17, 2008


Is Apple Nintendo going bankrupt again?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:51 AM on July 17, 2008


I have both a 360 and a Wii and the way I use them is considerably different; the Wii gets used for parties and browsing the web on my TV (when I'm too lazy to even open the laptop next to me.) The 360, on the other hand, is what I use for actual gaming. Don't get me wrong, Wii games can be lots of fun, but I "beat" Mario Kart (in that, I watched the end credits) the first day I had it, whereas I've got more than 50 hours of playtime into GTA4, and I'm still not done.

They are both fun, but one is a 'pop in a game and fuck around for ten minutes' kind of experience, and the other is a 'dedicate a whole weekend to clearing a couple of missions' sort of thing.

Ultimately, I prefer the 360, but this isn't any technical reason that the Wii couldn't offer that same kind of game experience, it just doesn't seem like that is what they are going for. Which is fine, because I have both. But I feel for people who don't.
posted by quin at 9:53 AM on July 17, 2008


"Core" gamers need to get over themselves and stop acting like petulant children.

What a completely ridiculous thing to say. It's E3, the entire conference is core gamers. What are they supposed to do, jump up and down and clap their hands for Cooking Mama 2? Nintendo should never have come to the conference in the first place, it's not their crowd any more. If your audience, in this case the E3 audience, doesn't like what you're showing them it's not their responsibility to tell you it's all ok. If you don't care about that audience, then don't stand up in front of them in the first place. Nintendo has every right to make whatever games and hardware they want, but if they're going to stand in front of me, grab my lapel and direct my attention toward Wii Sports Resort, I'm going to tell them I hate it and that they should get out of my face. Casual gamers should stop acting like they know the first thing about core gaming before they open their mouths.
posted by shmegegge at 9:55 AM on July 17, 2008


Wii game for the "hardcore"/"core gamer"/whatever you people are calling yourselves now: Madworld.

Me, I'm just a gamer, and am willing to try damn near anything, as long as it's fun.
posted by owtytrof at 10:05 AM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nintendo has every right to make whatever games and hardware they want, but if they're going to stand in front of me, grab my lapel and direct my attention toward Wii Sports Resort, I'm going to tell them I hate it and that they should get out of my face.

They should invent a FPS for 360 and PS3 where they hunt down and kill Nintendo players. That should sell like hotcakes with the "core" gamers. Feel free to send the royalty checks my way.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:32 AM on July 17, 2008


Wii game for the "hardcore"/"core gamer"/whatever you people are calling yourselves now: Madworld.
Is that Greg Proops narrating?
posted by boo_radley at 12:00 PM on July 17, 2008


So THIS is what that Penny Arcade was about. It's rare that one of their strips completely baffles me. They should've at least mentioned E3 in the frigging Tycho post.
posted by jcruelty at 12:13 PM on July 17, 2008


Who is winning? Depends on what you mean by 'win'. I realize that those are 2007 numbers and that this year the numbers could be very different. That is total sales for everything related to each console, however. That is, it takes into account more than just MS and Nintendo. If you look at the numbers, most of the top selling Nintendo games are made by or published by Nintendo.

So, what does the Nintendo's success for the Wii mean for third-party developers? Last I looked, Wii users tend to buy less games per console than users of the other systems. When will the Wii start to get a lot more good third party games? An individual who owns one Wii with Wii Sports might consider it a success, but that is hardly a success for the third party developers who haven't made a dime off that individual.

What about success for the First Parties: Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft? As MS will almost certainly start making money on the Xbox 360 this year I'm sure they consider their system a success... if not as great a success as they had hoped for. Nintendo obviously considers their console a success right now, but will they have the longevity of other consoles? If you own a Wii today will you want a Wii 2.0 in 2011-2012 if you're happy with just Wii Sports? Given Sony ended up winning the HD wars of Blu-ray, helped in part by their PS3, and they still have a decent shot of making a profit on the system, they probably consider their console a success already or at least having a good shot at being a success? Fanboy issues aside, I think each company can consider their systems successes in their own way.

For me, The Xbox 360 is a success. It has the games I like to play and if I want to do party games I already know a guy with a Wii which I probably wouldn't play a lot of I owned one myself.

I will probably buy a Wii someday. It does seem to several many games I'd like to play and it would be nice to play some retro games. But I'm waiting until they drop the price. Given many sources suggest that it cost under $200 to manufacture at release, I'm sure today it's far less. While I know they won't lower the cost now because everyone is willing to pay the current price, I'm not in any hurry. I am happy with the console I did buy and that's all I care about.
posted by Green With You at 12:25 PM on July 17, 2008


Wii remake of Dead Rising. That game made me buy a 360 and now a Wii. Now they only need to make Dead Rising 2 a PS3 exclusive and I'll have to buy that damn console as well.

1st parties shouldn't underestimate the 'wants to kill hundreds of zombies in a mall'-demographic. Yeah, I mean, we're not legion, but we're easily pleased.

Also, I love that there is still heated (in the way that only us nerds can manage) discussions about the console 'war', which apparently has been raging for, what, 2 years now? You know who the winners are already. All of us gamers. Three 1st parties with money to spend and talent to spare throwing it all at their respective platform hand over fist to keep us entertained. Not to mention that the rumours of the PC's demise are grossly exaggerated.

Despite it being a weak E3 (in terms of surprising announcements at least) it's feels pretty good to be a gamer right now.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:03 PM on July 17, 2008


They should invent a FPS for 360 and PS3 where they hunt down and kill Nintendo players. That should sell like hotcakes with the "core" gamers. Feel free to send the royalty checks my way.

peculiar thing to say after quoting me. where did I mention casual gamers or nintendo players at all?
posted by shmegegge at 1:30 PM on July 17, 2008


where did I mention casual gamers or nintendo players at all?

In your comment.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:35 PM on July 17, 2008


graventy: Boom Blox is awesome. The wiimote hinders it a bit, but it's still a lot of fun. Although my Wii got some Mario Galaxy action going on when it first came out, it's generally been Wii Sports, Wii Play, Wii Fit, and Boom Blox (since BB came out).

I have a handful of other games for it, but I'm too busy not playing all the PS3 games I have to play any Wii games, aside from when other people specifically want to play them. (Damn Rock Band and its inexorable weekly procession of new songs!)

I think I'm going to get some Mario Kart on here in a little while, though.

BTW, Effigy2000, don't let the haters get you down. I loved the "Still Alive" style of the post, even if it was a bit forced at times. ;)
posted by wierdo at 5:44 PM on July 17, 2008


The only thing that Nintendo disappoints on is getting enough copies of Mario Kart in stores.

I've been trying to get the freaking thing since May, and everywhere it's sold out. I'd prefer not to resort to eBay if I can help it (ick, $75+ for a copy?). I keep hearing the shortages are because of the prepackaged wheel.... which makes no sense considering it's easier to get the wheel than the game itself. I don't see why Nintendo couldn't have released two versions-- the one that's out now, and one that just has the game. >_>
posted by Yoshi Ayarane at 11:13 PM on July 17, 2008


In your comment.

Ok, so you took me saying "Casual gamers should stop acting like they know the first thing about core gaming before they open their mouths." (the part of my comment you did not quote, by the way) as being an indication of some desire to kill casual gamers.

So, rather than take my comment to be about core gamers having a perfectly natural reaction to Nintendo's offerings at a core gaming event, a point which I explicitly outlined, you've latched onto a statement at the end which pointed out that saraswati doesn't know what he or she is talking about, and decided that it means that I secretly, or overtly I suppose, want to kill casual gamers.

It's always such a pleasure talking to you.
posted by shmegegge at 10:51 AM on July 18, 2008


core gamers having a perfectly natural reaction to Nintendo's offerings at a core gaming event

E3 is an industry event not a gamer event. It is about the industry, for the industry. Much of the industry may also be hardcore gamers, but Nintendo has shown that there is plenty of money to be made catering to casual gamer.

If I was running a game studio, I'd be very interested to learn what nintendo is up to.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:16 PM on July 18, 2008


I for one love Nintendo.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:49 PM on July 19, 2008


It's always such a pleasure talking to you.

I was hardly serious, but hearing your response I now know my idea has legs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:09 PM on July 19, 2008


E3 is an industry event not a gamer event. It is about the industry, for the industry.

this sentence is weird. If by "an industry event" you mean it is specifically there for developers to see what other developers are up to, then no it's not. You're thinking of GDC. If by "an industry event" you mean it's there for developers and publishers to to make a big fuss and bother in front of industry news publications and blogs, then yes it is. E3 is just there to make grandstanding announcements and to show off trailers and gameplay. It is a media event more than anything else. The ultimate destination of everything done and said at these things is the eyes and ears of the people at home who are into games enough to even know what E3 is, namely the core gaming demographic. Those people are VERY interested in knowing what Nintendo is up to, they're just not happy with what they've seen. This is because Nintendo no longer seems to be making games for them anymore. This is why I say that Nintendo shouldn't bother with E3, because they seem to be abandoning that market.
posted by shmegegge at 8:28 AM on July 21, 2008


Don’t quote me on this, but Nintendo has never changed what it’s done. It’s first system was the FamiCom (Family Computer). The demographics have shifted a bit and the media has come up with different words to describe these markets. But, if anything, Nintendo has remained true to what it is supposed to be. Even from a business standpoint, does it not make sense to make a product that is wanted by the largest demographic you can offer it to?
posted by P.o.B. at 1:33 PM on July 21, 2008


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