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The Nintendo Stock Slide


AngelCityOutlaw
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Maybe gamer standards are reaching unrealistic heights? I feel this statement tells me everything I need to know about Nintendo gamers today. The Wii U has games, but you're not playing them because they're not Zelda and Smash Brothers. Those are the only Nintendo franchises anyone seems to care about these days anyway.

I won't go any further on it because I'm not a modern gamer in any significant capacity anymore, but every time I read one of these topics and I see gamers pretending they're market and industry experts (a lot of times even before they play systems and games), I have to wonder if a lot of it isn't just the gamer culture itself being more and more difficult to pin down and please. Worth a thought at least.

I'm personally not a fan of Mario games; there isn't any Metroid coming out because it's probably on a new ten-year-hiatus. And I just realized that I totally forgot Pikmin 3 exists (but it's on my Amazon wishlist).

You talk about high standards, and yet we literally have articles on VGN sites about how people will gleefully buy so many indie games on Steam for $10 that they have a backlog of games that aren't played. Standards aren't the problem; interest is.

Personally, my problem with the lineup is simple: Nintendo is blatantly overusing Mario (again, a series that I'm not into) and isn't making/releasing any new IPs, or releasing games in their series I AM interested in, on the WiiU (the 3DS, on the other hand, has a ton of titles, first- and third-party, that I want). I literally bought a Wii for Metroid Prime 3 alone, and I haven't been disappointed with my purchase.

I don't buy games I'm not interested in, and if I don't know certain games exist because god forbid they're marketed, I can't buy those either.

Not to say that lack of interest in the WiiU's current lineup is solely why I don't have one...the only new console I've bought in three or four years was my 3DS. Consoles are damn expensive, ahahahaha. But I'm throwing my viewpoint out there as someone who 1.) is already a fan of Nintendo, 2.) already owns several Nintendo consoles, and 3.) prefers odd, brightly-colored and unique games to grimdark-shooters. If I myself see issues with the lineup, what do other slices of the gamer population see? This can explain why the WiiU isn't doing all that well right now.

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Competing directly with Microsoft and Sony doesnt' really make sense for a company like Nintendo in this age so I can definitely understand their reluctance to do so. The console market of today isn't the one you grew up with. MS and Sony make these ludicious investments into their consoles because they want to establish themselves as the #1 middle man of all the media consumption going on in your home. They want you to watch TV and film, buy stuff and watch advertisements through their little boxes because if it goes through their services that entitles them to a piece of the revenue.

Nintendo are still effectively just a video game company, not a multimedia behemoth. MS and Sony are in this for the long run and are pouring an insane amount of money into competing for the living room. Profit margins can wait. MS investors don't even seem to be particularly happy about their console venture. Nintendo on the other hand has traditionally been very cost effective when it comes to their products.

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The PS2 was hilariously underpowered compared to its competitors, and it destroyed the competition and even got ports of exclusives on other consoles after the fact when people realized how large of a base it had. It had a huge library of games and a good price point. The Wii dominated sales-wise, too.

The XBox was a better console, spec-wise, than the PS2. The GameCube most definitely was not. I spent a co-op term working for EA on MVP Baseball 2003. We generally targetted the PS2's specs (we didn't have the time or manpower to make a much better version for the XBox), and had to scale things back a lot for the GameCube.

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Nintendo are still effectively just a video game company, not a multimedia behemoth. MS and Sony are in this for the long run and are pouring an insane amount of money into competing for the living room. Profit margins can wait. MS investors don't even seem to be particularly happy about their console venture. Nintendo on the other hand has traditionally been very cost effective when it comes to their products.

of course MS investors aren't happy about it. there is no indication that the console department has any intention of making money, EVER. all consoles have been sold at a loss, and the xbox brand has not turned a profit since its inception.

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The XBox was a better console, spec-wise, than the PS2. The GameCube most definitely was not. I spent a co-op term working for EA on MVP Baseball 2003. We generally targetted the PS2's specs (we didn't have the time or manpower to make a much better version for the XBox), and had to scale things back a lot for the GameCube.

since N64, Nintendo has always been the worst in technical terms. of course, the one thing going for the N64 was that it was 64-bit rather than 32-bit, which is what the Saturn and the PS1 were: 32-bit.

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There's a basic choice that Nintendo has to make regarding its consoles. It can either encourage third-party support by making it roughly comparable with other consoles of its generation, or it can leverage exclusives by making it fairly unique.

Nintendo's biggest strength has always been its exclusives. If you want Nintendo games, you have to buy a Nintendo console -- and you do want Nintendo games, because they're almost always excellent. So why should they compete with Microsoft and Sony directly by making themselves as same-y as possible, when they can strengthen the core of their brand by differentiating themselves even further?

Speaking anecdotally, I've always had one Nintendo console and one other console of each generation. I had a Gamecube and a PS2, a Wii and an Xbox 360, and now I have a Wii U and (probably, eventually) a PS4. There aren't enough exclusives on either side of the Sony/Microsoft divide to make doubling-up on their consoles worth it, but Nintendo, despite not really being comparable in terms of hardware or third-party support, always has enough unique stuff going on to make it worth it (particularly given that the consoles tend to be cheaper than the competition, too).

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There aren't enough exclusives on either side of the Sony/Microsoft divide to make doubling-up on their consoles worth it, but Nintendo, despite not really being comparable in terms of hardware or third-party support, always has enough unique stuff going on to make it worth it (particularly given that the consoles tend to be cheaper than the competition, too).

I seriously agree with this.

'nuff said.

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The XBox was a better console, spec-wise, than the PS2. The GameCube most definitely was not. I spent a co-op term working for EA on MVP Baseball 2003. We generally targetted the PS2's specs (we didn't have the time or manpower to make a much better version for the XBox), and had to scale things back a lot for the GameCube.

I thought the Gamecube had higher specs than the PS2? Wherever there was a game for both PS2 and Gamecube, the 'cube version usually looked better.

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I thought the Gamecube had higher specs than the PS2? Wherever there was a game for both PS2 and Gamecube, the 'cube version usually looked better.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_video_game_consoles_(sixth_generation)

Just look at them and compare them. In some areas it seems GCN is better whereas in a couple other areas PS2 is better. It doesn't give all the technical specifications; you'd have to research further. But from this, it seems they were close competition, despite the fact the war seems to be between Xbox and PS2. But I can definitely see GCN had some advantages for sure.

Also, yeah, I felt like graphically the GCN did better than the PS2.

Am I the only one who looks at MKDD and seems to think it looked better than MKWii?

EDIT: just found this on that page:

"Consequently, many of the PS2's games have reduced textures compared with versions for other consoles. It also does not have a transform and lighting unit like the ones found in the Xbox and GameCube GPUs."

Edited by Garrett Williamson
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I haven't read everything that's been said here, but I'd just like to weigh in on something.

I feel like a lot of people tend to criticize the Wii U for no good reason. I've heard a lot of people saying that it's subpar on the hardware and stuff like that, but most of them haven't even tried the console. I mean, some of them don't even know the main controller is a pad.

I really dislike the way consoles are being judged recently. Who cares about heavy graphical processing and all that if you don't need it? Nintendo games don't need to look "realistic" like war games or such, and I think their hardware choices are perfectly adequate. For example, Nintendo Land is one of the recent console games that I've had the most fun with, and the game has beautifully clean graphics and no performance problems whatsoever.

And if anyone tells me the Wii U needs more games, I agree but please don't tell me XBone and PS4 have any more :-P

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I haven't read everything that's been said here, but I'd just like to weigh in on something.

I feel like a lot of people tend to criticize the Wii U for no good reason. I've heard a lot of people saying that it's subpar on the hardware and stuff like that, but most of them haven't even tried the console. I mean, some of them don't even know the main controller is a pad.

I really dislike the way consoles are being judged recently. Who cares about heavy graphical processing and all that if you don't need it? Nintendo games don't need to look "realistic" like war games or such, and I think their hardware choices are perfectly adequate. For example, Nintendo Land is one of the recent console games that I've had the most fun with, and the game has beautifully clean graphics and no performance problems whatsoever.

And if anyone tells me the Wii U needs more games, I agree but please don't tell me XBone and PS4 have any more :-P

This. So much this.

I also think that people gang up on Nintendo specifically as part of a mob mentality. If you're not hating on Nintendo, you're not an internet cool kid, or so it seems some people think. So they join in without any knowledge of the console because they too want to be an internet cool kid.

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Comparing multi-platform ports is usually a pretty bad idea when it comes to gauging how good a system is. There are so many factors you need to take into account from the developer's part. If the port is made by an inexperienced team or just as a cash-grabbing afterthought, then yeah of course it's not going to be very impressive compared to its original version (and this can even apply for ports to more powerful hardware). I remember when the PS2 version of Splinter Cell was coming out, I was reading a thread on NeoGAF (which was just called Gaming Age at the time IIRC) and everyone were laughing at how it looked in the screenshots. But at the same time amazing games made specifically for the PS2 were coming out like Shadow of the Collosus or Transformers which could easily trump the average Xbox game visually.

This is also probably why a lot of Wii versions of games ended up looking way worse than they really deserved, because the ports were usually made by understaffed, underbudgeted teams in some cases even using macgyvered PS2 devkits.

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This. So much this.

I also think that people gang up on Nintendo specifically as part of a mob mentality. If you're not hating on Nintendo, you're not an internet cool kid, or so it seems some people think. So they join in without any knowledge of the console because they too want to be an internet cool kid.

I don't get that.

I feel like a pretty effing cool guy that loves Nintendo.

screw mainstream. 8-)

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The joke is that "internet cool kid" is a pointless title that doesn't actually mean you're cool

It means you have no originality nor opinion of your own nor do you want to do anything to change that. You let other people dictate what you think and you don't think about whether or not what they're saying is true, you just go along with it. Because, you know, mob mentality.

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GC's graphics were definitely better than PS2. RE4 had to be scaled back in the PS2 port (reduced polys, reduced textures, some realtime cutscenes were recorded from the GCN game to preserve looks) for example.

PS2's massive popularity was due to riding on top of the massive popularity of PS1, doubling as a DVD player when DVD popularity was booming, doubling as a PS1 (BC), and completely lying about all its specs to blow away its only real competition out of the gate (Dreamcast :() and when it showed up way under powered (most DC games looked better for a while) nobody seemed to care. Then by the time real competition came along (GC/Xbox), the install base was so large there wasn't much profit to be made elsewhere so most devs stopped bothering and focused on where stuff made money: PS2.

The programming structure of the PS2 and Xbox were similar.

This isn't true. PS2 was notorious for having an insanely difficult to program for structure (Emotion Engine custom CPU with 2 Vector units), Xbox "Original" was x86 architecture and easy.

Developers that didn't want to put in the effort (EA) didn't bother and just scaled it back to whatever could be copied for gamecube.

This is probably true though. They had tools to make PS2 games because PS2 games made money. Xbox "Original" was easy enough because of PC familiarity (x86, Direct X, nVidia GPU with programmable shaders, HDD).

GameCube took effort (IBM PPC CPU with a custom GPU), so some of the (mostly US) 3rd party ports were super lazy ported and either looked worse or only slightly better than PS2.

Back to the Topic:

As far as the Wii U, it still needs what any console needs: Games, and games you either can't get anywhere else, or same games that look better than competition. It can't do the later (not even vs 360/PS3), so they better do the former, and quickly!

Pikmin 3 / Super Mario 3D World are a good start, but they were both games that should of been available near launch. Now we are in a "waiting for another game" phase, yet again. Sure there are some other games (ZombiU, Wonderful 101, Rayman, etc) but Pikmin 3 and SM3DW are basically the only two big hitters from Nintendo inhouse dev :/

The game lineup this year looks promising, IF everything makes it this year. It'll be a slow crawl, but if they start you know.. pumpin games out, they'll start selling consoles.

Edited by Crowbar Man
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GC's graphics were definitely better than PS2. RE4 had to be scaled back in the PS2 port (reduced polys, reduced textures, some realtime cutscenes were recorded from the GCN game to preserve looks) for example.

PS2's massive popularity was due to riding on top of the massive popularity of PS1, doubling as a DVD player when DVD popularity was booming, and completely lying about all its specs to blow away its only real competition out of the gate (Dreamcast :() and when it showed up way under powered (most DC games looked better for a while) nobody seemed to care. Then by the time real competition came along (GC/Xbox), the install base was so large there wasn't much profit to be made elsewhere so most devs stopped bothering and focused on where stuff made money: PS2.

And the Dreamcast was way ahead of its time. That console released in like '98 and '99, while the PS1 and the N64 were the current consoles of that time. Graphically it was way ahead of everyone else for quite a while. That baby deserved to win, honestly.

I would've gone for GCN and Dreamcast, honestly. Not PS2 and Xbox. Though I really loved the PS2. Never really cared for the Xbox.

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The real litmus test as to where the Wii U is headed will be Mario Kart 8, as if we look at numbers, outside of the flash in the pan Wii Sports system pack-in and the original Super Mario series(which did nothing to reinvigorate Wii U sales), Mario Kart is their next biggest heavy hitter. Smash Brothers is releasing WAY too late this year(and it seems like development is being rushed) to save the system if MK doesn't do some magic, and quite frankly, does not have nearly the same amount of players(60 million difference according to Wikipedia).

They absolutely need to knock it WAY out of the park with Mario Kart 8 if they want to be able to maintain whatever course they've set for themselves

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Agreeing with Malaki on the MK8.. if that isn't perfect, and doesn't push sales, and Zelda/Smash also aren't perfect or coming out ASAP... going to be another bad year for sales :/

I'm really hyped for MK8 though. It really can't come out soon enough!

But at the same time amazing games made specifically for the PS2 were coming out like Shadow of the Collosus or Transformers which could easily trump the average Xbox game visually.

Well, SotC was amazing aesthetically (and possibly my favorite game of all time), but I don't think it could beat most Xbox "Original" games on a technical level. The game used a lower than SD native resolution, a very low frame rate, and TONS of sophisticated software framebuffer tricks to overcome the limits of the GPU and get it to look "just right". It took a team dedicated to making it years to complete. Its amazing what they did, but its more so the talents of the designers than the machine on that one. Even then, the PS2 made all their efforts still look bad.

History crap, the rest of this post can be ignored:

since N64, Nintendo has always been the worst in technical terms. of course, the one thing going for the N64 was that it was 64-bit rather than 32-bit, which is what the Saturn and the PS1 were: 32-bit.

Missed this one:

N64 was more powerful than PS1 in like.. every way. Better CPU, more RAM, better GPU. The only thing that PS1 had over it was the media but that was its MAJOR failing point.

Carts WERE much faster, but couldn't hold any data (started out with like 4MB and the largest one ever made was 64MB... CDs are 600MB) in a time when multimedia in games was booming and devs needed more and more space. They were also expensive to produce, and Nintendo charged a very large licensing fee on top of everything. Also, the N64 wasn't super easy to program for and Nintendo didn't care to share their tricks because well, they want their 1st party games to have the advantage. They also broke off TONS of relationships with some of the biggest 3rd parties during this era because they had been so successful for the last 2 gens they got big headed. (this "we don't care" attitude also happened to Sony with PS2/PS3... success really does terrible things)

The PS1 was the "dumb luck" machine. They had a simple, powerful enough machine with great multimedia / storage capabilities. They made something everybody wanted. (Something they haven't bother to do again until PS4.)

And whats REALLY funny is Sony only entered the market because of the fallout between Sony/Nintendo during hardware co-op they were going to do. VG History is a funny thing.

Anywho:

NES: Pretty powerful for the most part, especially with the custom chips & software tricks they put in the carts to overcome the original specs limitations.

SNES: Powerful GPU, awesome SPU, plenty of RAM, only weak point was its kinda slow CPU. It wasn't crippling and some games countered this with custom chips.

N64: Powerful machine that was held back by its severely limiting Cart media.

GC: Powerful machine, really not much fault here. It was more "politics" and popularity that held this one back, machine was fine.

Wii: The FIRST truly "weak" machine (just an overclocked GC with more RAM)

Wii U: Unfortunately, the 2nd "weak" machine, but no where near as "weak" as Wii was. GPU is not bad somewhere between last gen and this gen, RAM could be better (better than last gen), Media is 25GB (awesome!), storage could use some work... main failure point is the CPU is weaker than LAST gen's consoles, let alone this gens.

Edited by Crowbar Man
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Never really cared for the Xbox.

The original Xbox was a beast. And I'm not talkin' specs, I mean that thing was ridiculously heavy. You could tap someone on the head with it and crush their skulls, it was that heavy.

You could trip while carrying it and launch it through a wall, it was that heavy.

Also it couldn't play CD-R's but it could play CD-RW's. Which makes perfect sense, right?

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Also it couldn't play CD-R's but it could play CD-RW's. Which makes perfect sense, right?

If i remember correctly this wasn't like an anti piracy measure, but just simply a problem with the laser on the XB "Original", it didn't have the umph to push through the layers of a CD-R or something along those lines. I think the early 360's had a similar problem.

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Missed this one:

N64 was more powerful than PS1 in like.. every way. Better CPU, more RAM, better GPU. The only thing that PS1 had over it was the media but that was its MAJOR failing point.

Carts WERE much faster, but couldn't hold any data (started out with like 4MB and the largest one ever made was 64MB... CDs are 600MB) in a time when multimedia in games was booming and devs needed more and more space. They were also expensive to produce, and Nintendo charged a very large licensing fee on top of everything. Also, the N64 wasn't super easy to program for and Nintendo didn't care to share their tricks because well, they want their 1st party games to have the advantage. They also broke off TONS of relationships with some of the biggest 3rd parties during this era because they had been so successful for the last 2 gens they got big headed. (this "we don't care" attitude also happened to Sony with PS2/PS3... success really does terrible things)

The PS1 was the "dumb luck" machine. They had a simple, powerful enough machine with great multimedia / storage capabilities. They made something everybody wanted. (Something they haven't bother to do again until PS4.)

And whats REALLY funny is Sony only entered the market because of the fallout between Sony/Nintendo during hardware co-op they were going to do. VG History is a funny thing.

Anywho:

NES: Pretty powerful for the most part, especially with the custom chips & software tricks they put in the carts to overcome the original specs limitations.

SNES: Powerful GPU, awesome SPU, plenty of RAM, only weak point was its kinda slow CPU. It wasn't crippling and some games countered this with custom chips.

N64: Powerful machine that was held back by its severely limiting Cart media.

GC: Powerful machine, really not much fault here. It was more "politics" and popularity that held this one back, machine was fine.

Wii: The FIRST truly "weak" machine (just an overclocked GC with more RAM)

Wii U: Unfortunately, the 2nd "weak" machine, but no where near as "weak" as Wii was. GPU is not bad somewhere between last gen and this gen, RAM could be better (better than last gen), Media is 25GB (awesome!), storage could use some work... main failure point is the CPU is weaker than LAST gen's consoles, let alone this gens.

Ok, gotcha. I knew the N64 had a serious setback but I always naturally thought it was mainly the system's fault, not the cartridges. The SNES dominated the Genesis in technical terms in most regards, but that's part of what made Genesis games so great was the fact that since you had a more strict limitation, you had to work with it. And it normally came out just as great as the SNES games.

GCN being fairly powerful for its generation is no surprise. Wii being an overclocked GCN with more RAM is no surprise. That's pretty much exactly what it was.

PS1 and PS2 were both sorta dumb luck. Same with the Wii. But why? I don't actually know, but my guess with the PS1 is because it was the first system using a disc rather than a cartridge, and the PS2 because the PS1 was so good. So then I wonder if the PS2 was slightly disappointing to some and maybe that's why the PS3 didn't do as well? I have absolutely no earthly idea.

The Wii being so successful was probably mainly because it was so killer family friendly and it also was the first system with motion controls, despite the fact that the two others ended up having way better motion control systems later on.

I think it's all about the fact that those consoles just brought something entirely new to the table that hadn't been seen before.

And while we see that with the Wii U, it's a cool idea, but not one that I think is going to urge every single person to get one like the Wii did or the N64 or the SNES or something.

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Maybe gamer standards are reaching unrealistic heights? I feel this statement tells me everything I need to know about Nintendo gamers today. The Wii U has games, but you're not playing them because they're not Zelda and Smash Brothers. Those are the only Nintendo franchises anyone seems to care about these days anyway.

I won't go any further on it because I'm not a modern gamer in any significant capacity anymore, but every time I read one of these topics and I see gamers pretending they're market and industry experts (a lot of times even before they play systems and games), I have to wonder if a lot of it isn't just the gamer culture itself being more and more difficult to pin down and please. Worth a thought at least.

Agreed, if you're only interested in Zelda and Smash on the Wii U, then you might need to broaden your horizons because you just dismissed a lot of quality, incredibly entertaining games. I've got nine of them sitting on my backlog.

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It's hard to lump gamers into one big group. Some people buy tons of games whenever they're on sale (i.e. Steam), others buy lots of mobile games, etc. Others still are very selective with what they buy due to limited time.

The reason I'm personally not getting a WiiU is because while I'm sure games like Wonderful 101 and Pikmin 3 are fun, they don't seem like 10/10 game of the year experiences. I don't have all that much free time to play games, and when I do, I don't see any reason NOT to play the very best stuff available. For example, right now I'm playing Fire Emblem: Awakening, which is absolutely incredible. In 2013 I played stuff like Ni No Kuni, which is maybe one of the best JRPGs in the last 10 years. Before that, Skyrim, Skyward Sword, etc.

So personally, sure, my standards are high. But why shouldn't they be? There are so many games out there with stellar reviews from critics & fans alike, I'll never have time to play all of them. Why waste time with games that are only "good"?

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