Nintendo is lazy and you don't care!

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Bill Loguidice
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This is a spot-on column: http://wii.ign.com/articles/105/1054621p1.html?_cmpid=ign18

Christina asked that same exact question of Wii Super Mario Bros., i.e., why can't you play as Princess Peach? I assumed you had to unlock her. Silly me. I of course also wholeheartedly agree about the lack of hi-def and digital sound output. More importantly, I think the lack of universal widescreen is a more heinous omission than even the lack of hi-def itself. Of course, I've long railed against Nintendo's curious decisions since the Super NES days, and of course it's true, it doesn't make a lick of difference because Nintendo stuff sells regardless, which is a pity. Nintendo should have more impetus to serve both the hardcore gamer and the general gamer.

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Bill Loguidice
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BluRay plus other comments
Matt Barton wrote:

Yeah, the Blu-Ray seems to be the PS3's ace in the hole among many console gamers who can't afford or don't desire multiple consoles. Microsoft made a huge mistake there. Imagine if the 360 had Blu-Ray! That would probably cut into the PS3's sales.

Huge mistake is probably a bit of an overstatement. The PS3 would probably be in serious trouble outside of Japan if the 360 had built-in BluRay, but the inclusion of the drive at the time would have been prohibitively expensive. Microsoft - along with several others - gambled on HD-DVD, and it didn't pay off, but by keeping the HD-DVD drive separate, it mitigated any potential disaster that might have caused (though it's easy to argue that if Microsoft had an HD-DVD drive built-in from day one instead of a DVD drive, that would have saved the format).

BluRay is very, very compelling if you're into movies and have a nice TV and sound system, but it's not a deal breaker at this point for a game console, particularly with stand-alone BluRay players hovering around $100 at the low end. After all, the Wii can't even play DVD's, and that's doing more than fine.

Where the 360 had a nice advantage (or at least BluRay mitigator) was with Netflix streaming. The PS3 has it too now, though, albeit in clumsy - but likely temporary - disc-based form, rather than built-in. The 360 can also instantly stream HD content, but for most that's neither here nor there. Both are also about on par as media centers.

Ultimately, the only true advantage the 360 has over the PS3 at this point is the strength of the Xbox Live service and superior interface, as well as the fact that it's generally the lead platform for development on multi-platform games. Otherwise there's a very good argument that a $299 PS3 is a much better deal than a $299 Xbox 360.

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clok1966
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one thing i should have

one thing i should have added, I do think nintendo is lazy with their own titles. The peach thing, I do agree, i believe they feel they can get away with quite a bit as their franchises seem to sell no matter what. Halo is treading this ground now, OST is not a full game, really just an addon (IMHO), but halo prints money for MS, much like mario/link/metroid does for Nintendo.

Matt Barton
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Yeah, the Blu-Ray seems to

Yeah, the Blu-Ray seems to be the PS3's ace in the hole among many console gamers who can't afford or don't desire multiple consoles. Microsoft made a huge mistake there. Imagine if the 360 had Blu-Ray! That would probably cut into the PS3's sales.

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Bill Loguidice
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More comments
Matt Barton wrote:

I know I've said this before (probably too many times before) but I bet less then 10% of gamers give a shite about technology, pixel counts, or even realize the difference between widescreen and 4:3 or whatever. They don't care about any of this as long as they can load up a fun game and play it with their friends. Nintendo has gone a long ways on the Wii to making it as accessible as possible, even for someone who has never played a game before. That's obviously why so many women, small kids, grandparents, and so on are into it.

Again, it's a question of why can't we have it all? After all, even some PS2 and Xbox 1 games supported 720p or even 1080i resolutions, and as was also mentioned, even basic DVD players can handle the 16:9/4:3 thing with aplomb. I'm not saying the Wii should have had tech like the PS3 or Xbox 360 - that's obviously uneccessary, but certainly basic considerations for modern day technology (and ironically, with built in wireless, it's more progressive in some ways than the 360!). [and the Wii is the only of the three consoles that can't be hooked up to the HDMI-capable monitor you have, Matt]

Matt Barton wrote:

By contrast, the 360 and PS3 seem (at least to me) targeted to the classic 15-35 male gamer who likes the AAA titles and all the shooters and sports games. I'm not quite sure how the markets differ from 360 to PS3, but I'm guessing the PS3 is better for folks who enjoy Japanese imports or who were big fans of the PS2. From everything I've been able to see, probably the best choice (outside of a PC) for a guy like me is the 360, followed by the Wii and then the PS3 (I have very little interest in Japanese games, and most everything else I'd care to play is available on the 360). At least, that's my belief!

Naturally, as these consoles age, the depth and breadth of their software line-ups has improved dramatically, ranging from casual to hardcore games. You also can't ignore the multitude of downloadable games, some of which are full retail games ready to be downloaded rather than you having to buy it in the stores. So, no, I don't agree that any one console skews more to one type of game type at this point than another, though certainly there's some game types that a particular console specializes in certainly, like the 360 with FPS games, the PS3 with action adventure titles, and the Wii with mini-game compilations, for instance.

Again, the choice of "best" console (whether that means most to offer or what most personally appeals to you) is a difficult one, as all three of the consoles offer an amazing array of features, be it online access, downloadable games, rich multiplayer, media player abilities, etc. I'd hate to have to choose just one, but if I did, it would probably be the 360 first, followed closely by the PS3 and then a definite third by the Wii. The fact that I enjoy BluRay movies on my PS3 really makes it receive higher marks than it does for the games I have for it (a relatively handful in comparison to my 360 collection). If the 360 could play BluRay movies, things might be less close. I enjoy the Wii a great deal, but as I mentioned, often times I don't feel like being "physical with my controller", so I choose another system that I can just press some buttons on. Again, though, all three are wonderful in my opinion at this point and offer so much for a relatively low price, and certainly it makes sense to own two of the three (with the Wii being matched with either a 360 or PS3), if not all three.

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Matt Barton
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Neat! I just read an

Neat! I just read an interview with Shigeru in Nintendo Power magazine about this game, and they asked him about Princess Peach. You're absolutely right--it was just laziness! They didn't want to create a whole new set of animation routines for her dress. And why couldn't they just stick her in a pair of shorts?? :)

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Matt Barton
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I know I've said this before

I know I've said this before (probably too many times before) but I bet less then 10% of gamers give a shite about technology, pixel counts, or even realize the difference between widescreen and 4:3 or whatever. They don't care about any of this as long as they can load up a fun game and play it with their friends. Nintendo has gone a long ways on the Wii to making it as accessible as possible, even for someone who has never played a game before. That's obviously why so many women, small kids, grandparents, and so on are into it.

By contrast, the 360 and PS3 seem (at least to me) targeted to the classic 15-35 male gamer who likes the AAA titles and all the shooters and sports games. I'm not quite sure how the markets differ from 360 to PS3, but I'm guessing the PS3 is better for folks who enjoy Japanese imports or who were big fans of the PS2. From everything I've been able to see, probably the best choice (outside of a PC) for a guy like me is the 360, followed by the Wii and then the PS3 (I have very little interest in Japanese games, and most everything else I'd care to play is available on the 360). At least, that's my belief!

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Bill Loguidice
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It's true that there was

It's true that there was motion tech in videogames long before Nintendo made it mainstream, but this was mostly from secondary or lower companies (I have most of these systems that pre-date the Wii, including the console from Xavix). Nintendo legitimized it and for that they have to be given all the credit. I was certainly one of the naysayers about Nintendo's strategy. Who knew that all they had to do to be successful was target essentially casual gamers and pull themselves out of the technological arms race? It was a very, very risky gamble, but it certainly paid off and then some. Casual gaming is no longer a joke and is now as important for our industry as anything, finally causing the cell phone to be a platform that can't be ignored, something it was building to all these years but needed that one unifying force to do so, i.e., the iPhone. I always said Apple was the only other company who would be able to make a legitimate entree' to the videogame world, but not exactly in the form I thought (they essentially back doored their way in using their existing MP3 players as the path).

I play my Wii far less than the other consoles precisely because of the motion controls. After a long day in the evening, I just don't feel like standing and flailing about. My butt is on the sofa and I just sort of chill out. It's probably why I've been on a Hot Shots Golf kick on the PS3 for the past week because I don't have to do much except push a few buttons--one of those infinitely accessible, but very deep experiences, that demands little of me. That's the perfect recipe for fun before bed.

I don't know how motion control will fare in the future. Certainly we may see some type of touch screen controller interface come to consoles, some type of motion control will still be present, etc. (perhaps even in the form that the PS3 controller has it now, though more refined), but how much it will dominate over traditional control schemes remains to be seen. There's still nothing that matches the 1:1 connection/reaction of physical buttons/switches. Project Natal and Sony's solution are very, very intriguing and have the potential to make for some pretty amazing games, games we've never played before. With that said, it simply can't replace what a regular controller can do, much like on the PC it's hard to move beyond the utility of a real keyboard and mouse.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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clok1966
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Nintendo is a very well run

Nintendo is a very well run company. The Gamecube was quite simpley (for nintendo) a flop, the handhelds where makeing a killing for the company (still are). The gamecube basicly caught nintendo with its pants down, behind on every front to the other machines, heck nintendo had finally joined the cheap optical media bandwagon, but had to make it "different" still. The nintendo guys decided not to compete with Sony and MS on hardware. Much like the DS, gameboy, virtual boy (ok even nintendo forgets that one) they decided to try the "different" path. It was well known that the Wii was just the GAMECUBE hardware with a few minor upgrades, to save money. Basicly Nintendo was banking on the Wii being different enouhg to get enough sales to just servive this generation and move on to the hardware for the next gen ahead of Sony and MS. Read any info on the systems before they were released. most everybody thought nintendo was done in the home console market and the Wii was going to be 3rd. Nintendo may be smarter then anybody knows, old hardware the wii mote (do some Youtube searching there where protypes out long before the Wii, even the PS1 and Ps2 had a motion sensing controler you could purchase before the Wiimote, should be some videos of Warhawk using it if I remeber right). So basicly its not lazy, it was decided to "weather" this generation and move ot the next (much like MS did with the original Xbox after it failed to make the dent they hoped). And Sony is doing now, no matter what they say. Just a few days ago i seen MS and Sony both post losses in teh Video game area's, even with the huge sales from price drops. And i do beleive i even seen Nintendo is off 60% from last year at this time.

I still beleive the Wii is the Pet rock of video games and will slowely phase out and move back to the traditional controlers. Much as its sad to note, most video game players are not up to any form of excersise while playing. Natal is going to be far more "work" then the Wii mote. I see alot of people buying it but less using it once they understand the work it takes. We are lazy, just a fact. Not all of us but most of us. I still wonder how good natal will work sitting on couch.. all the videos i see are people standing playing it, that in itself means alot of lazy people standing for long periods of time playing, not going to happen.

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DVD players have done it

DVD players have done it correctly for over 10 years...

Bill Loguidice
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And again, I just want to

And again, I just want to clarify that I'm not being elitist here with the widescreen thing. Both the Xbox 360 and PS3 know when they're on a 16:9 or 4:3 TV and adjust 16:9 or 4:3 games accordingly, right down to doing left/right letterboxing (black bars) on 4:3 games to make them look perfect on a widescreen TV. All I ever asked of Nintendo with the Wii was that when I tell you I have a widescreen TV (which it has a system menu setting for), keep the 4:3 aspect ratio if a game (emulated or disc-based) is in that format by doing the same thing that the competition does. Like I said, if I had that at minimum, I'd be a happy camper.

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Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
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