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"Why Nintendo just aren't good enough"

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Tue 26/04/05 at 08:59
Posts: 18,185
It always bothers me. I mean sure GTA and MGS are quality games as are Halo and Knights of the Old Republic. But Nintendo's roster of system shifting genius has that little bit more. Mario, Kart, Zelda, Pikmin and Metroid are epic titles, games that are made to near perfection and, at least in my opinion wipe the floor with the competiton.

So why is the battle so harshly swung in the direction of Nintendo's bigger and blacker rivals?

The in-between games.

You know what I mean, the big third party titles or in the case of Nintendo, the smaller Nintendo ones. It must be great to be a PS2 owner, sure your games of pure genius are few and far between but titles like Silent Hill, Devil May Cry, Final Fantasy, Jax, Burnout 3, The Suffering (etc... etc...) come out all the time. These are all fantastic "in-between" games, the games that you play in-between up coming classics. The reason why Sony's and to a lesser extent Microsoft's are so much better is due to their relations with Third Parties. A top quality Nintendo title can surpass anything any third parties can offer. Yet a top quality third party title, one that had taken years to master, is far superior to one of Nintendo's lesser offerings.

Mario Golf, Kirby's Air Ride, Mario Tennis, Jungle Beat, Four Swords, Paper Mario, Starfox etc... Some are quality titles, Jungle Beat and Paper Mario in particular. But they are variations of what we've already seen, Four Swords is a slightly different Zelda game simplified. Paper Mario, Mario Tennis and Mario Golf are, well, Mario games. Different Mario games, but also somewhat similar.

Sony's collection of platformers, realistic racers, non-realistic racers, cartoon games, violent games, horror games, RPG's and so forth are these in-between games and the quality is just as good (and at times better) but with an increased variety.

When I was playing Second Sight last year I thought it was amazing, as I did with Beyond Good and Evil, Prince of Persia, XIII and Timesplitters. These are all titles that Sony are, well, used to. Whilst a Nintendo fan such as myself feel privaliged to play them.

On the flip side there are a lot of naff games in this list but there are a few quality little gems too. And what makes me increasingly frustarted is that these games COULD be on the Gamecube.

All it takes is a little encouragement from the Big N. But Nintendo need to do more than that. They need to cut out their "in-between games". Mario Golf and Mario Tennis are okay, and certain titles like Jungle Beat and Donkey Konga can be useful. But is there ANY need for Doshin the Giant? Kirby's Air Ride? Pokemon Channel? Wario Ware? Wario World? Zelda Four Swords? Starfox Armada? It is only by doing this that Nintendo fans would be forced to playing some third party games, rather than sticking with Nintendo each and every time.

Nintendo had a bright idea to cut ties with their second parties. The idea was to encourage developers to make games for their system instead of relying on special exclusive companies. It simply has not worked. Because there are still tonnes of these silly little Nintendo titles that well, just aren't worth it!

I want to stick by Nintendo, I do, but I am losing faith. Nintendo make some of the best games in the world but they cannot do this all year round. To survive Nintendo need to start getting these third parties to make some of their best games in the world.

Sony fans do not have to wait long for the next big release, this is why PS2 sales are so high, because quality games come out so frequently on it. Whilst us Nintendo freaks, will have to wait for Pokemon XD and The Legend of Zelda to finally get some quality.

On the flip side at least this quality is true, unspeakable quality (probably).

But this is what worries me. Nintendo's talk of "simplifying gaming"? For a while I was terrified that it meant the complex but enjoyable Mario Platformers, the stunning Zelda's and the addictive Pikmin's were at an end. And that Nintendo will release a consistant supply of "in-between games". I can see their point, we can't make games all year round by making loads of complex epics. How about we stop making these complex epics and just release a series of good fun games all year round. Simple games that everyone can play.

But what Nintendo fail to realise is that, with the possible exception of Donkey Konga (which is probably where Nintendo have been given their justification to do this), is that these games do not shift consoles. It is the big FUN games that do it, notice how their sales doubled in March thanks to the constantly sold out Resident Evil 4? Notice how Nintendo are living off the success of Mario Kart even today?

Big and clever Nintendo games are big and they are clever. Nintendo just NEED to push them. I mean come on! Why the hell was Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Pikmin 2 advertised and pushed so limited whereas a decent but quickly boring party game like Donkey Konga was pushed as if the next big thing?

Where were the posters, the flyers, the round the country "buy me" events? These 2 games sold terribly, Metroid Prime 2 did alright over time but Pikmin 2 sold roughly half of the original. Which is a shame because Pikmin 2 is about 100 times better than Pikmin.

ARGH just does not do it justice. I can see why Nintendo would want to push new gams but both Pikmin 2 and Metroid Prime 2 ACTUALLY stood a chance against Halo and GTA. It could have been a closer fight than the steamrolled effect which is what we got. Nintendo are reeling from the effects today. Thankfully with Zelda and Pokemon due this Christmas Sony will need something special to counteract it. Microsoft are releasing a new console, which may dent Nintendo's plans somewhat.

I know this has become a rant but I don't care.

Despite my fear that Nintendo were moving towards "simple games", George Harrison recently said this:

"But in addition to expanding upon the genres and experiences that players already know and love, Nintendo is pushing to take games into new directions. Products such as Nintendogs and Electroplankton for Nintendo DS are original enough to not only excite the hardcore audience but to intrigue people who don't traditionally play games. As video games take their place as a primary entertainment option for all ages, both genders and every conceivable taste, Nintendo wants to be the leaders in sales and innovation. So don't worry -- as we expand our product line-up to match the expanding industry, we'll also continue to push the envelope to bring hardcore fans even bigger Nintendo adventures. And hopefully, a number of adventures they could have never imagined before they saw it play on a Nintendo system."

Sounds a little better to me.

And Electroplankton looks quality. As does Nintendogs.

So maybe I'm moaning about nothing.

We'll see.
Tue 10/05/05 at 12:14
Posts: 15,443
Strafio wrote:

> There's also several devellopers who won't like the expensive switch
> in keeping up with the next gen ratrace who might prefer the GC's
> "low cost devellopment - low risk" approach.

Na, those developers are far more likely to create for the PSP and handhelds than the GC.
Tue 10/05/05 at 12:04
Posts: 9,848
Is that really you?

Assuming that IS you... :-S
Yeah, gamers don't really appreciate the current prices, but EA say that with game devellopment costing more and more, especially with the next generation, they need to.

That's why I was thinking that Nintendo should skip a generation and stick with the Gamecube. They'd always said that the Gamecube was as powerful as needed for any games, it was just up to the develloper to make something of it. Now what they should do it work on the GC devellopment tools to make it even easier to make games, so develloper can release reasonable games for 20 and make a profit.

You see, now they've made back most of the money they spent on releasing the console (research, making factories, marketing, costs a FORTUNE), they should concentrate on milking everything they can for it, and relaunch it as a budget console.

Official bundles with the GC, mem card and a players choice game for 50 or even 40 would tempt anyone, especially when the next gen console prices are starting to rocket. Also, when they are charging less for a game, people don't expect so much so they'd be able to make more cheap 'n cheerful games for people to enjoy - low cost devellopment.

I think that the market is prime for a good budget console and the GC could fit the bill PERFECTLY. A good back catalogue of classics and is in a position to be marketed at a cheap price.
There's also several devellopers who won't like the expensive switch in keeping up with the next gen ratrace who might prefer the GC's "low cost devellopment - low risk" approach.

People who already had an Xbox2/PS3 would find such a bargin tempting. It's the perfect way to get the Nintendo product into as many homes as possible, get people hooked on their franchises again (just like people were with Mario back in the late 80s/early 90s) and THEN would be the time to strike with a new console. :-)
Tue 10/05/05 at 11:46
"Random by default"
Posts: 127
IT will be interesting to see if Nintendo do change the direction of gaming, but really for me at least it rests mostly on price and how the power is handled.

Yeah its nice having all the power, but how many developers will create games that push it to the edge...and even then will the gameplay be actually any good.
Tue 10/05/05 at 11:19
"and PC user"
Posts: 350
I have to agree in part at least, that we are getting close to a point where simply adding more processing power, memory, etc wont be enough. I thought when the original XBox was released, that it may trigger a "PC style" every year upgrade path along the lines of "minimum requirements", and slight steps up in CPU & memory. But it didnt happen. Maybe if MS had taken over as the market leader in games consoles, then it may have. But any how, now we are getting close to a point where just adding more power and memory wont make enough difference - especially once the Revolution, XBox 360, and PS3 are released. If the graphics look perfect, why improve on them? If th sound is perfect, why improve on it? Like I have said before, these next consoles will still offer a step in graphical power, and a potential larger step when used with High def images, but beyond that, a new direction will be required. Maybe the way we interact with games will change, or maybe there will be some new "types" of games which move things on - a bit like what "3d" enviroments did in the 1990's.

In regard to game prices, if anyone brings out next gen games costing around 50-60 in the UK, no many people will buy them - too many people are already complaining about the 30-40 UK prices.
Mon 09/05/05 at 17:22
Posts: 9,848
Yeah, but it's too small an increase for a significant difference, significant to justify relaunching all the consoles with fresh price tags. Especially as many games publishers are planning to raise the prices or games to 60 for the next generation.

I think there is a next step forward in console gaming, but Sony and MS are taking a too small a step at too much cost. Nintendo seem to want to take a step to the left instead, which might be the new direction of gaming or they might just step into an open man-hole. Who knows? :-)
Mon 09/05/05 at 15:49
"and PC user"
Posts: 350
The extra processing power in the PS3 and new Xbox could also be instrumental in developing better AI. That's one area that still needs a lot of work. But jaw dropping high def in game graphics is what people look for. If anyone makes a new console now that doesnt qual its rivals, then it will be in trouble.
Sat 07/05/05 at 22:14
Posts: 18,185
Strafio wrote:
> So Nintendo HAVE made a loss on the Gamecube?

Yeah and no. Nintendo calculated software and hardware seperatly. I think it works out that software sales are keeping the Gamecube going but that money IS going down. Unless there is a slight change in the pattern (and there normally is) the Gamecube will make a loss by the end of its life.

Did you know that like Sony, Nintendo make most of their money by investments into other companies. Like Nintendo's investment in Bandai.
Sat 07/05/05 at 22:12
Posts: 18,185
SnoopDogg wrote:

> Not true. Sony and Bill Gates (Microsoft) are bigger than Nintendo.

Nintendo as a games company make more money than Sony as a games company and Microsoft as a games company.

Nintendo are still a giant, just as Microsoft and Sony are.

I hate it when people treat Nintendo as the little guy.

They can advertise and push their system as much as Microsoft have pushed the x-box and still have plenty of money to launch a few more systems.
Sat 07/05/05 at 21:28
"member of dogg poun"
Posts: 787
Dringo wrote:
> Macintosh wrote:
> Sounds like thats just another way of saying Nintendo cant afford to
> keep up.
> Nintendo make much more money than the Playstation department of Sony
> and the X-box department at Microsoft.
> And have around $7 billion in liquid assets.
> It annoys me about all the "Nintendo are finished" claims.
> Nintendo have nearly made a small loss on the Gamecube and by the
> time of Revolution may have made that loss, possibly. Software sales
> have managed to keep the Gamecube stable and it MIGHT still break
> even, possibly making a slight profit. But the "losses" of
> the Gamecube barely dip into the ridiculous amount of money Nintendo
> have.
> They are just as much a giant as Sony and Microsoft.

Not true. Sony and Bill Gates (Microsoft) are bigger than Nintendo.
Sat 07/05/05 at 21:27
Posts: 9,848
So Nintendo HAVE made a loss on the Gamecube?

That's a bit disappointing...

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