Chris's Podcast #1: Nintendo Should Just Quit

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Alrighty then... This launches my first podcast entry into the bank of Armchair Arcade podcasts - My first topic focuses on Nintendo. I do not really rant on this as it might seem, however I do inject an opinion that most certainly will not be shared by all.

It is unedited. There are typical pauses, clearing of the throat, etc as I gather my thoughts. Although I personally prefer to edit a podcast and try to strive for high production values, there is something to be said about purely focusing on the fun aspect of it all.

I hope you guys enjoy it.

Download the m4a.

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Matt Barton
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Excellent work, Chris. I

Excellent work, Chris. I agree. We bought a Wii and did have fun with sports, but afterward it got dull. I don't know why there aren't more hidden object games for it, since those work brilliantly with the wiimotes. In any case, I am already far more invested in my 360.

The 3DS was a mistake. I've maintained that from the beginning, and if the unprecedented price drop doesn't convince you nothing will.

Nintendo will only release their games for other platforms when the current leadership is out of the picture. For that matter, I wonder how many people at the modern Sega were there during the Genesis or even the Dreamcast era.

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Chris Kennedy
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More thoughts

Yeah...I am sure Sega has changed around quite a bit in the last decade. Obviously the hardware guys aren't needed anymore.

And for all we know, there will be a major leadership change at Nintendo if they stick to what got them where they are rather than adapting to the times and finding new ways to move forward.

Although I somewhat dodged the topic, I would love to see a one console future even though that idea gets filed under "never going to happen."

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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We already have a one console

We already have a one console future, it's called the PC :) On the serious side though, I'm not certain that going with a multi-platform, no hardware approach for Nintendo is a good idea. Sega went that route, and all I can say about that is look where they are now. They haven't released a good Sonic game (by most people's perceptions) since Sonic Adventure 2. Atari is now a software only company, and even though they release new games regularly, a lot of people only think about when they had hardware out and dismiss them as a software company completely (this might be down to the fact of some of the game releases they horribly screwed up.) Nintendo hasn't really been cutting edge hardware in a while, but an area they excel in is software creation. I cannot expect them if they removed the hardware platform and just started software releases to hold that level of first party quality on other platforms. They have exacting control over their own hardware, and as such can create exceptional software for it. Having the ability to do so on a platform such as the PS3 or 360 doesn't seem likely. Also, you have to note. The Japanese can be extremely Xenophobic when it comes to video game systems. If Nintendo goes software only, then Sony will pick up the slack, not Microsoft, and if anything can be thought about this is that a Duopoly is never a good thing, just look at how the Democrats and Republicans have become so diametrically opposed to see an example of what could possibly happen. Or Apple and Microsoft, or NVidia and AMD, or Intel and AMD. Only two competitors is never a good thing for any industry. And yes I know about Onlive, but for a large section of people that is not a viable option.

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Chris Kennedy
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...

Hey Nathaniel -

Nathaniel Tolbert wrote:

Sega went that route, and all I can say about that is look where they are now. They haven't released a good Sonic game (by most people's perceptions) since Sonic Adventure 2. Atari is now a software only company, and even though they release new games regularly, a lot of people only think about when they had hardware out and dismiss them as a software company completely (this might be down to the fact of some of the game releases they horribly screwed up.) Nintendo hasn't really been cutting edge hardware in a while, but an area they excel in is software creation. I cannot expect them if they removed the hardware platform and just started software releases to hold that level of first party quality on other platforms.

Well, I think Sega has certainly had many instances in which they just didn't know what they were doing. I don't think Sega has ever come even close to being able to spit on Nintendo when it comes to first party games. I have enjoyed playing the Sega System 16 ports in the "Sega Vintage Collection" from PSN, but I don't think Sonic or any of their other franchises can hold a candle to Mario.

As for Atari - They never really "hit it" at home as far as the consoles were concerned. The 8 bit computers were a different story, however I also think that you can't compare Atari now to the way it was then - It is Apples to Oranges: A different company.

So my question for you would have to be - Does Nintendo really require development of their own hardware in order to make a fun game? I would disagree. Sure, the N64 was developed to pretty much play Mario 64 - but I don't think we are in this era of hardware evolution that dictates games.

Quote:

They have exacting control over their own hardware, and as such can create exceptional software for it. Having the ability to do so on a platform such as the PS3 or 360 doesn't seem likely.

Is that really necessary though for Nintendo's first party games these days? Hmm. I suppose it is possible simply because new hardware can protect you from churning out monotonous games.

Quote:

Also, you have to note. The Japanese can be extremely Xenophobic when it comes to video game systems. If Nintendo goes software only, then Sony will pick up the slack, not Microsoft, and if anything can be thought about this is that a Duopoly is never a good thing, just look at how the Democrats and Republicans have become so diametrically opposed to see an example of what could possibly happen. Or Apple and Microsoft, or NVidia and AMD, or Intel and AMD. Only two competitors is never a good thing for any industry. And yes I know about Onlive, but for a large section of people that is not a viable option.

The Japanese are Xenophobic, but life still revolves around money - I think the companies have to do what it takes to make money, and Nintendo would have to consider an alternative route if their 1st party hardware and 1st party games aren't enough to generate the funds they expect.

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Bill Loguidice
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Let's be fair for a moment...

Let's be fair for a moment... As much as we, the dedicated, long-time gamers, take issue with many of Nintendo's practices, they're still the most successful videogame company out there, and that's unlikely to change in the short- to mid-term, though a lot is riding on the success of the Wii U, but that's true for the next console of any of the present three. It looks like the 3DS price drop did the trick to show that the device - no matter how unnecessary we may think it is in the age of smartphones and tablets - will do reasonably well the remainder of this generation. Whether or not the focus will continue to be on the 3D aspects or it will just be a souped up DS remains to be seen, but the fact of the matter is is that the demand is still there.

Also, despite bungling the release schedule for the Wii horribly, it still sells well. Nintendo is still reaping huge profits on the clearly dated hardware, and will continue to do so through at least the first year or so of the Wii U.

For many, Nintendo, not Atari, is the term for videogames. That also is unlikely to change, though some - myself included - are absolutely, positively tired of the retread IP's, no matter how high the relative quality. In other words, Nintendo is in an ideal position - they can still absorb missteps and have plenty of money in the coffers to make adjustments - and they still have plenty of time thereafter to make the transition to one of the biggest software only developers in the world if the need ever arises.

Microsoft did great and continues to do well with the Xbox 360 this generation -- which is one of the reasons why I'm writing a book on the console this late in the generation for a major publisher. Unfortunately for Microsoft, as was stated, they're an outsider in Japan and will remain so seemingly no matter what they do now or in the future.

In any case, we're guaranteed at least one more generation of systems from all three, Nintendo (Wii U), Microsoft and Sony, and we won't be able to make reasonable predictions of one or more of them changing strategies until we see the success or lack thereof of these next releases. As for the handheld market, it's clear that both Nintendo and Sony can make one more strong go at it, but the writing is clearly on the wall. Sony is already tentatively positioning themselves in the Android world and I'm not sure how many handhelds Nintendo will want to bother with after the 3DS and what is no doubt a quick revision.

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Matt Barton
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Yeah, "Nintendo" and "Sega"

Yeah, "Nintendo" and "Sega" are really just abstractions anyway. What's important are the actual people employed there and in charge at any given moment, and whether they are willing and able to act on their impulses or what. It's like with Commodore and Amiga now; people have nerdgasms whenever some new "Official Amiga PC" is unveiled, but it's just "Intellectual Property," nothing more. Unless members of the original team are involved, I couldn't care less.

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Rob Daviau
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All I will say...

Seems Nintendo has made mistakes with the DS. I do think they better get the Wii-U right. Personally, I would LOVE to see them pull out of hardware and switch and focus completely on software, Nintendo fanboys will hate me for that comment but I would not mind one less Hardware platform to support and I think they would make a great 3rd party games publisher.

That said, though I may skip the 3DS completely IF they can get things sorted out and working well for Wii-U AND get innovative 3rd party Wii-U development going I would be interested.

LASTLY, good to see another podcast, first Matt now CHRIS, this is great and I really think this is the way to go, no pressure, at each persons leisure without obligation but to suite their own timeframe. I think these podcasts are more relaxed. Looking forward to checking it out CHRIS!

BUT WHAT IS UP WITH THIS m4a FILE CRAP? I gotta convert them for my GP2X Caanoo handheld DAMN YOU!!!!!!!

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Chris Kennedy
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File format
Rob Daviau wrote:

BUT WHAT IS UP WITH THIS m4a FILE CRAP? I gotta convert them for my GP2X Caanoo handheld DAMN YOU!!!!!!!

Ahh man! Just wait until we switch to uncompressed .wav files for the vocals and MIDI files for the music!

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Matt Barton
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Flac
Chris Kennedy wrote:
Rob Daviau wrote:

BUT WHAT IS UP WITH THIS m4a FILE CRAP? I gotta convert them for my GP2X Caanoo handheld DAMN YOU!!!!!!!

Ahh man! Just wait until we switch to uncompressed .wav files for the vocals and MIDI files for the music!

You're gonna catch a lot of flac for that, Rob. :P

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Chris Kennedy
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...
Matt Barton wrote:
Chris Kennedy wrote:
Rob Daviau wrote:

BUT WHAT IS UP WITH THIS m4a FILE CRAP? I gotta convert them for my GP2X Caanoo handheld DAMN YOU!!!!!!!

Ahh man! Just wait until we switch to uncompressed .wav files for the vocals and MIDI files for the music!

You're gonna catch a lot of flac for that, Rob. :P

ooooh SNAP. And where is my MIDI file with the rimshot?

...I am helping derail my own topic. This is not good.

I suppose we could go mp3. I believe m4a is a typical podcast format (at least for itunes) and allows for more metadata features.

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