History Repeating

[Note: this topic criticizes the beloved N64. If that’s your favorite Nintendo console, skip to next post.]

Do you think Sony’s and Microsoft’s lack of console innovation during this next generation could be a liability for them? Lots of people are asking Nintendo the reverse of that question given the unveiling of their widely creative controller. But what about it’s two competitors?

Many would argue that the choice of continuing to use cartridges on the N64 could have been classified as a lack of innovation on Nintendo’s part. Maybe it even amounted to the system’s less than stellar sales and market share performance if only indirectly. Not that it was a failure. They did nail the analog stick and it did have some great games. But honestly, it could have done better.

With that said, do you believe the PS3’s and 360’s could become the N64 of this next generation? By that I mean an underperforming console that for whatever reason doesn’t wow developers, lacks certain innovation, and doesn’t live up to expectations.

29 Comments

  1. For lack of better words..Yes.

    I think XBOX360 and PS3 will not spur as much excitment in gaming as Nintendo, wether you love it or hate it everyone has nintendo on the mind, I am sure once you try it you will fall in love with its simplistic nature with complex results.

  2. IMO a CD drive woudn’t have been necessary for the N64, it wasn’t necessary for the PS1 or Saturn either. The games were about 30 mb in size, waste of a CD. Plus with CDs there are loading times, and cartridges are harder to damage. I reckon the Nintendo 64 was MORE innovative then the PS1. Apart from Nintendo designing most of the sony console, the N64 had much better graphics and power than PS1, plus it was the first console to feature a Control stick and rumble pak.

  3. oh I don’t want a pickle, I just want to ride my motorcycle!

  4. This is such a great blog…

    Keep up the good work…absolutely wonderful.

  5. You dare insult the N64? DESTROY!

    No, really, but one of the biggest problems with the N64 was not necessarily its format, but how much of a pain it was to develop for. That’s why there was such a flood of games for the PS1, development was just a lot easier for it.

    That said I hope the other consoles release port after port. Then people will say “Hmm, maybe pretty graphics don’t only make the game…” Thus Nintendo rises to the top. Awesome.

  6. I guess I’d call this comment “growth spurt.”

    In one fell swoop, Nintendo has turned it’s competitors greatest strengths (power and speed) into their Achilles heel. It’s right out of that famous manual, the Art of War, by Sun Tzu.

    What has all the talk been about for the past 6 months (or whenever E3 was)? It’s been about polygons and power and processors and who has the bigger *blank*. The same scenario is playing itself out in the American auto market with SUVs, but we’re all seeing where that has gone in the past few months.

    For the most part — although I think this will change somewhat in the next month — we have seen nothing but specs, FMV video and extremely limited live action. In a word or two, it’s been all bark and no bite. The Xbox 360 is due out in two months for chrissakes! If you have something worth showing, then believe me these companies would be inundating the market with it. Now, this will certainly change a bit in October, but it’s in my opinion that when a gaming company isn’t flooding the headlines with actual playable video of their launch titles in this day and age of streaming video, then they’re hiding something. It’s been deja vu all over again — the PS2 did the same thing, as did the original Xbox: FMV cutscenes and then not as near impressive actual gameplay (although, as a PS2 owner, it was a great system that never really realized it’s potential). On a side note, developers have not yet made a game that takes advantage of 100% of the capabilities of any of the present three systems; just makes you wonder how great thes emultiple processor systems are going to be…

    Anyway, with all the spec talk and polygon power macho posturing, we now have Nintendo… entering the fray with not power or muscle, but the smooth white casing of an iPod mixed with a fully 3D playing environment. Where are the cat calls from Sony now? (remember how they literally made fun of DS last month). While it was certinaly not genuine, even a MS exec was commenting positively on the innovation of the controller this week. Point is, anyone who criticizes a new invention for being ‘too innovative’ is either very ignorant or very scared.

    All this points to the fact that Sony and MS (and many of us for that matter) were thinking “glofified WaveBird” and what they got instead was, well, nothing they could have ever predicted in 100’s of hours of focus groups. Nintendo gave the world something that is currently considered very chic and very cool — simplicity wrapped around new technology. iPod is what it is because it took something ‘scary’ — a PC and MP3s, and made them into a sleek clickwheel controlled masterpiece that now controls more than 60% of the market. Then, they did it again with the nano.

    Who knows how the Revolution will fare; I personally havent worried one bit yet. All I know is the announcement at the Tokyo Game Show took the wind out of the sails of the competition because it was something utterly unexpected (remember those mock ups? Any of them even close?). While the two ‘market leasders’ battle it out with the mundane and repetitive games and talk we’ve experienced over the past 5 years, the Big N will go on its own path, oblivious and above it. Can you imagine being a new developer today? You have the option of making Halo 3 (or some other vanilla FPS) using the identical controller to the last generation and being controlled by some Hollywood sized game studio, or you can really expand your mind (read: make tons of money) and make somethign totally different and worthy of the title ‘next gen.’

    Because, in the end, who wants to play video games with a boomerang?

  7. Well I don’t really think that the PS outsold the N64 because of the CD format… ASnd I don’t really believe that developers left Nintendo because of that either.

    I think if the N64 came out the same day as the PS, noone would even know today that Sony had ever made a console.

  8. Also, PS3 and xBox 360 are very focused consoles without much appeal outside those that are looking for the same old.

    The N64 introduced a new thing, It just did it a little late.

  9. I most definately think the Revolution could easily become another 64 (if not worse). Really Nintendo has to be extremely careful this next gen in terms of marketing, developing and just overall strategy. On the other hand I could also picture it being a smash success. That’s the part of being risky, sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the problem with innovation and the majority of the public…for the most part they don’t care and are content with the same crap they play/listen to/watch. I’m not exactly sure if it would be fair/correct to compare video games with other forms of media. But consistantly the worst movies, worst music and worst TV shows have the biggest audiences. And often or not the most innovative, unique and groundbreaking movies, shows and music go under the radar. Anyway, Nintendo has to be careful…here’s hoping they’re a success.

  10. Anyone who thinks that Sony/Microsoft will lose a large portion of it’s marketshare is just plain kidding themselves.

  11. @Syrius:
    Exactly, the N64 was very complicated and the power was sorta “hidden” inside it 😉
    The cartridges were more expensive, but way faster, but probably not the reason for the 64s failure….
    imho people jsut bought a PS 8at least over here) because it was cool to have one….and it appealed to people that never played games before, maybe because Sony was a multimedia giant they had experience with and not that “small” strange company that makes toys…..

    @JB
    Fantastic post even better thatn your average and your average is pretty good ;)!
    I agree withe everything except one point:
    There was a mockup similar to the actual system (not that it looked like a remote, but it had the nunchuck-style idea, the seperate controllers for each hand, gyroscops, even the design (though not the colors) is similar to the nunchuck-expansion…)
    I always favored that mock-up……kudos to the person who did it….
    Yeah Nintendo stole MSs and Sony’s thunder, but imho it was not unexpected a) that they show the controller and b) that it would work similar to the actual system….

    @robotplague:
    I agree, but you know, sometimes great movies/music/games are successful too 😉 Let’s just hope that Nintendo doesn’t become the “independent label” of the gaming world 😉

  12. I don’t want Nintendo to be market leader just have a better share of the market so that developers actually come on-board once again. Developers go where ever console sales go…if PS3 sells by the bucket load then developers will be jumping to them…and Revolution/360 and vice-versa.

    Developers are like groupies…if your the biggest piece of áss going around they want a piece of it. Hopefully Nintendo can get back a sizeable share of the market once again. It’s important that they re-gain some back other-wise the hand-held market is all that is left for them.

  13. Do I LOOK like an M$/S supporter? I’m so far from supporting them, I should be organizing protests against them (if I didn’t believe in free market that is).

    My point is, they are MEGA corps. They have many resources behind them that Nintendo doesn’t. They may not make profits out of the other sectors (well except that little thing called Windows for M$) but they certainly have the backing to keep hold of the marketshare indefinately.

    I’d think that some would see what Nintendo is trying to do. They don’t want to venture down that path, they simply want to go where they wish and make a profit while they’re at it.

    And thus where my ‘cocky’ :: laugh :: comment is based.

  14. The real problem for Sony and MS isn’t Nintendo, it’s the PS2 and Xbox. The success of the current generation is a real problem for the next generation. Most gamers won’t be ready to upgrade, and many might not want to invest the money.

    How do you get someone to buy Madden 2007 AND a PS3 when they already own a PS2, MAdden 06, Madden 05, and a thousand other games.

    If you have a PS2 do you really need a PS3? Same thing goes for the Xbox. Is the next generation that much better? Plus, what if the price drops for the PS2 when the PS3 comes out? All the more incentive to buy a PS2 instead of a PS3.

  15. @nintendogal
    AFAIK Sony is actually struggling and if the PS3 fails, the whole company faces huge financial problems….
    MS has no financial problems and will probably never have any till the end of the world, but they might decide to abandon the X-Box and try to position Windows ’09 Gaming Edition as the new “X-Box”….
    MS always trys to force themself in a market and then kill off all the competitors or just buy them….

    @Nicholas
    You know, I think casual gamers will think this way….I know some people that are pretty happy with their PS1s…..strange for people like us, but they’ll buy a PS2 when the PS3 is released O.o
    It certainly is cheaper 😉
    OR they might buy tha brandnew Revolution because it costs just a bit more 😀

  16. Sony is always struggling, however as I stated they do have many many assets at their disposal which is a big factor in why they’re #1 right now.

  17. True, both Xbox and PS2 were opertaing at a loss as soon as they hit the shelves. Just as background, that means the comapnies lost money on eac one sold because manufacturing costs, et al were more than the sticker price. However, they made them up on third party and software sales… food for thought — what if the games suck with this next gen wave?

  18. Sure, they did what MS tried to do 😉
    Spend a LOT of money on advertising and building a brand and then forcing themselves into the market 😀
    And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that Sony will go bankcrupt or shut down their Electronic Gaming Division or go 3rd party, but I think they will not be able to go on like that….
    They really have to fight for every percent of market share…..for every sold console….the competition is really stealing all their thunder, nobody’s really talking about the PS3 these days. (except MGS perhaps)

  19. Hmm well let’s see here, MGS4 was widely talked about.
    Mostly why you weren’t hearing alot was because
    A. 360 comes out this year
    B. Revolution Controller

    I know the fanboys will be rampant when more news of the PS3 hits.

    ‘sides, who DOESN’T want ANOTHER George Foreman Grill in their household???? XD 😛

  20. LOL true 😉

    Actually I tried to say the same thing you just said 😉

    Imho fanboys are always rampant 😉
    But what really counts are not the fanboys imho…the mainstream doesn’t care about people screaming “Teh M$ b0xt4rds lolololol!!!111!!11” (hehe it’s fun writing like that LOL)
    Sony made people wait for the PS2 by creating a huge media buzz and talking about the fantastic features it would have and so on….it just doesn’t really work this time around…the fake trailers, the PR blah….
    Well, we’ll see, they have to do something soon….

  21. I honestly think the ps1 did so well due to piracy. I know at least 30 people who bought them just to buy copied games.

    word out

    matt
    http://www.weargame.com

  22. Not to mention cost $10 million to develope for, I’m sure developers are looking foward to that.

  23. Question: What do all these have in common?

    Super Mario 64, Waverace, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, WWF Wrestlemania 2000, Super Smash Bros., WWF No Mercy, Perfect Dark, EXCITEBIKE 64

    Answer: They are ALL games whose experience *could have* been ruined by “Now Loading…” screens.
    THANK YOU Nintendo and always Stick to Your Guns!!!

  24. I just want to say thanks to NintendoGal, like most nintendo fanboys I love to hear us talk it up about our favorite system. But you must be realistic at some point, and what she has stated about ms and sony is true, and in reference to the guy who said that thinking about nintendo being taken over in the 80’s and 90’s, it is true that that may have been unthinkable, but in sad sad reality it did happen. And as such it does raise a good point to think about the uphill battle my and your favorite company faces.

  25. Media spin. Nintendo had profits with GameCube, Sony and MS did not. It’s not about pushing units out the door people, it’s about making the green. I’ll take third place any day of the week if what it really means is I have the system with the better content, innovation and fun factor.

    And, where the hell is a company without Howard and Nester cartoons? Lost I tell you, lost.

  26. im realy hoping peeps wake up to sonys (manipulative hype driven) advertising.
    has anybody watched the mgs4 video.
    its down right dirty in it they basically conceed to the fact that theyve already won because graphics(and nothing else) matters.
    when earlier in the video you’ll see the letters fps flash across the screen.

    first the letters spell out (forget pre renderred stuff) and next (finally a policy switch).
    which to me says”we lied to you before and pretended that stuff you saw(ps2 eara) was ingame graphics but this time its all real honest!!

    and on top of that to say “were going to be most powerfull” even though theres no way of knowing until its been consumer tested.

    and theres already poeple online saying that ps3 is gonna be 106853344345543 times powerfull than nasa’s most powerfull super computer (did any body here that dumbass rumor that ps2 would be illegal in some countrys because it could launch cruise missiles.
    poeple should wake up.
    poeple still say to me that ps2 had much better graphics than dreamcast (umm not from my experience)my first question to these poeple was did you ever play a dreamcast ever in your life.

    anyway rant over back to topic
    i think m$’s lack of innovation isnt gonna kill them unfortunatley.
    BUT SONY ON THE OTHER HAND.
    what if nintendo has been holding out. touting there controller saying “this is the way forward” (which it is)
    not mentioning specs or graphics or my console is ten times this or that.
    and then everyone WILL SAY “i kinda want that knew controller but playstation has the best graphics and i can launch missiles at russia and turn my washing machine on and off from my bedroom (mywaa haha imagein the power mywaahaha i could controll the world)” nintendo waits for sony and ms to fight each other with theoretical specs and power
    MEANWHILE NO ONES SEEN SPECS FOR REVOLUTION SO THERES NOTHING FOR THE OTHERS TO ATTACK.
    then realese rev with new ways to play old ways to play but more importantley (from a selling stand point) says our console is capable of graphics that aRE JUST AS GOOD AS PLAYSTION 3S.THEY’LL HAVE THE CONTROLLER LODGED IN POEPLES HEADS ALREADY AND BE ONE BIG YARD STICK AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION. (IT’D BE LIKE AN AMBUSH)

    NOW I KNOW IM GONNA GET 1000 FLAMERS SAYING NOTHINGS AS POWERFULL AS PS3
    AND TO THEM I SAY “SAYS WHO” SONY I SEEM TO HERE THAT A LOT FROM SONY.

    LETS TAKE A JUMP BACKWARDS
    PLAYSTTION 1 WASN’T AS POWERFULL AS N64 AND IT SHOWED BUT POEPLE WERE WOWED BY THE FMV.

    fmv has BECOME THE MOST COMPLAINED ABOUT ISSUE IN GAMING HISTORY.

    THERES NOTHING MORE ANNOYING THAN SEEING A GAME VIDEO THAT YOU THOUGHT WAS IMPRESSIVE AND THEN BOUGHT IT TO FIND OUT THAT YOU COULDNT SEE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FLOOR AND A WALL.

    THEN PLAYSTATION TWO TOUTED (BY SONY I MIGHT ADD) AS THE BEST THING SINCE THE PRINTED CIRCUIT.

    IN REALITY THOUGH SERIOUSLY UNDER POWERED LAGGED AT AROUND DREAMCAST GRAPHICS. BUT BY THE TIME ANYONE NOTICED THEY ALREADY PAID £200 FOR IT(CAN YOU SAY EMOTION ENGINE AND WEVE BEEN HAD).

    THEN PSP SUPPOSEDLY PS2 GRAPHICS BUT PPROBABLY RESTS MIDWAY BETWEEN PS2 AND PS1.

    AND NOW AFTER NOT SEEING ANYTHING FROM PS3 POEPLE JUST BELIEVE SONY’S BS AND CANT EVEN IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE 360 MIGHT BE AS POWERFULL.

    I HAVE ONE THING TO SAYABOUT THAT
    WHEN THE BIG N RELEASE REV ITS GONNA BE JUST AS POWERFULL.
    JUST TRUST ME IVE NOT LIED TO YOU YET (UNLIKE SONY).

    REVOLUTIONWILL BE MORE POWERFUL AND BETTER VALUE FOR MONEY THAN PS3 HISTORY BACKS ME UP.
    BUT YOU WONT HEAR THIS FROM NINTENDO UNTIL 50% of gamers know that the freehand controller is the way forward
    and the only real next gen interface.

    i mean seriousley do you think we’ll still be playing games with a suped up snes controller in ten generations time.
    if sony wins and nintendo and m$ get out of the console buisness then yes we will.
    and we’ll be doing it on a console thats touted as 1 billion times better than ps2 but realy sevearley under powered.

    WHEN SONY LAUNCHES PS3 ITS GONNA COST £450 AND THATS BECAUSE BLU RAY IS DAMN DAMN DAMN EXPENCIVE.
    THINK ABOUT THIS WHEN PS2 WAS RELEASED I KNEW ABOUT THREE POEPLE WITH DVD PLAYER I’VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF ANYBODY WITH A BLU RAY. BUT THEY HAVE TO PUT IT IN THERE EVEN THOUGH YOU’LL NEVER USE IT. THATS BECAUSE IF SONY DOESN’T MAKE A BIG PROFIT SOON THEY’LL SINK.

    THINK ABOUT THIS>PS2 HAS BEATEN GC IN SALES BY A MASSIVE MARGINE BUT YET GC TURNS A PROFIT DAY AFTER DAY YEAR AFTER YEAR YEAR.
    IF YOU LOOK MORE AT THE FIGURES YOU’D NOTICE THAT NINTENDO AS A COMPANY MAKES AS MUCH YEARLY PROFIT (AFTER EXPENCES AND THE LIKE) AS THE WHOLE OF SONY.
    THE TRUTH IS SONY IS DYING.
    THEY NEED YOU TO BUY A PS3 IN THE HOPES YOU’LL BUY ALL YOUR NEW MOVIES IN BLUE RAY FORMAT AND THEN THEY NEED YOU TO BUY A SONY HDTV OR TWO TO PLAY YOUR PS3.
    CAUSE IF YOU DONT THEY WONT BRING OUT A PS4 CAUSE THEY’LL HAVE GONE BANKRUPT.
    ALOT OF POEPLE ASK WILL NINTENDO BRING OUT ANOTHER HOME CONSOLE IF REV BOMBS. THE ANSWER “WHO KNOWS” BUT THIS IS FOR SURE (IF REVOLUTION BOMBS NINTENDO WONT DYE).
    THEY’VE GOT 6 BILLION IN THE BANK
    THEY’LL JUST MOVE ON TO SOMETHING ELSE EVEN THOUGH THEY COULD CHOOSE TO FIGHT ANOTHER CONSOLE BATTLE.
    TO REITERATE NINTENDO IS FINANCIALLY STABLE.
    THEY COULD CHOOSE TO STOP MAKING GAMES AND HARDWARE AND GO INTO MAKING AEROPLANES AND BOATS OR ANYTHING THEY WANTED TO DO.

    SONY ARE NOT FINANCILLY STABLE THEY ARE SPENDING LIKE MAD AND NOT BRINGING HOME THE BREAD.
    AS AN EXAMPLE THERE SPENDING BILLIONS ON BRANDING AND LOOKING COOLBUT NOT MAKING A MASSIVE PROFIT.
    THEY CANT AFFORD TO GO INTO A NEW INDUSTRY MAKING NEW PRODUCTS.
    THINK ABOUT THE MONEY IT COSTS.
    R&D AT FIRST THEN ADVERTISING (NOT JUST TV ADS THEY’D NEED TO DO ROADSHOWS PRODUCT PLACEMENT (LIKE BEING IN ALL THOSE HIP HOP MUSIC VIDS AND THOSE RAPPERS DONT INDORSE YOUR PRODUCT FOR FREE).
    NO PS3 HAS TO BE A SUCCESS BECAUSE ITS THE ONLY THING THEY COULD GET CREDIT FOR (AS ITS ALREADY A STRONG BRAND)
    BUT WHAT THEY HADN’T COUNTED ON WHEN THEY CAME INTO THE MARKET WAS GOING OUT OF FASHION.
    YEAH POEPLE WILL PROBABLY ALWAYS WANT WHATTHE LATEST RAPPER SAYS IS COOL
    BUT THERE NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE FOOLED INTO SPENDING MORE ON AN INFERIOR PRODUCT
    (WHEN THEY SEE SOMETHING THAT LOOKS AS GOOD IN THE GRAPHICS DEPARTMENT IS AS FASHIONABLE BUT DOES MORE FOR YOUR MONEY. IT WONT BE A HUGE DECISION.
    IF I WAS IMPARTIAL I’D PROBABLY GO WITH NINTENDO.
    IF POEPLE BUY QUALITY (AND NOT WHAT JA RULE SAYS HE LIKES) NINTENDO WILL OVERCOME.
    sorry about the CAPS. MY CAPS LOCK IS BROKEN PEACE ouT jake

  27. Well, this thread is a few days old, but I had to add my opinion. First off, I want to say that although Nintendo Gal brings up an interesting point, this view doesn’t take all variables into account. Companies aren’t ruled by a single entity that will sit there and make descisions even if everyone else disagrees. Microsoft is controlled by shareholders, and there’s enough of them that if even one major shareholder disagrees with current plans, it can influence the entire outcome of a particular venture.

    This generation the Xbox did not make a single penny in profit, rather it lost billions of dollars. And can be considered one of the biggest financial failures of all time. But currently, that’s okay because Microsoft has told it’s shareholders that they’ve ‘established’ themselves in the market, and can now expect to make profit this time with the Xbox360. But what do YOU think will happen is once again this venture ends in loss? Do you really think they’ll just go back in for another round? Companies don’t play games (no pun intended), this isn’t some pissing contest. If something isn’t profitable, then it simply isn’t profitable. And no company, no matter how much resources they have, will continue to jump in the ring and take beatings for no reason. Because even Steve Balmer or Bill Gates himself, if either of them suggested such wreckless behaviour, would be kicked straight out of the company. Voted out of leadership by the shareholders who’d be sick of losing money. This is just how companies operate. Even if Microsoft could *theoretically* continue to make consoles for a dozzen more generations and be persistant as hell, the realistic situation is that if the Xbox360 doesn’t make significant profit, or if it doesn’t even break even, then Microsoft *will* likely exit the arena, because if after a decade they can’t penetrate a market, then the venture is simply considered a failure.

    Furthermore, don’t be so naive as to Microsoft’s future. Even they are not invincible, and are currently facing *many* challenges in all the markets they’re currently involved in. Google is totally kicking their ass in the search engine market for one thing, and web-based services. And Linux is wiping the floor with them in Servers, and has also recently beaten them by a significant margin in the embeded market (lots of new cell phones in asia are powered by linux for one thing, and many routers like linksys ones are linux-powered). Microsoft has only the corporate and home OS markets left, and Linux is making large strides in those markets as well, especially corporate desktops. PC games companies like EpicGames (Unreal Tournament) and Id Software (Doom, Quake, etc) are also supporting Linux and OpenGL now. Which is very bad news for Microsoft. In some areas Linux is already easier to use than Windows, and is getting easier and easier every day. Believe me when I say, Microsoft is not without worries, and seeing as Linux is OpenSource, they wont be able to just defeat it with the tactics they’ve used in the past to remove competitors (bankrupting them or buying them out). Microsoft can’t afford to burn money anymore, they may need every single penny they’ve got to fend off the OpenSource revolution, and even that might not be enough… After all, all their latest attempts and campaigns have prooven fruit-less, and they’ve put huge truckloads of cash into these initiatives already, and no results, Linux continues to grow exponentially. Anyways, this is somewhat off-topic, but even so, I just get a little peeved when people assume Microsoft is some kind of invulnurable force that can never be beaten. Surely enough if the challenger was a company, Microsoft has enough backstabbing techniques to handle that. But OpenSource is unlike any challenge they’ve ever faced, and none of their tactics have yet to even put a dent in the movement, so I’d keep an eye on the situation if I were you.

    Anyways, as for Sony, others have already mentioned that they’ve got major problems in other divisions. The PSP is already looking like it’s not going to go anywhere fast, and if it dies, it takes UMD along with it. And the next important initiatives for Sony are Blu-ray and the PS3. If Blu-ray fails, which it might now that Microsoft has pledged support for HD-DVD (imagine if MS decides to make Windows Media Player support only HD-DVD out of the box, with Blu-ray requiring some plugin which has to be manually installed by the user, that would deal a very serious blow to the format), you can expect MS to use every dirty trick it’s got to try and make HD-DVD win out, which in a way is the lesser of two evils of the two formats. Even though I don’t like MS. But anyways, if Sony loses the war with Blu-ray, then that’s a really huge loss for them, and it will devalue the PS3. If the PS3 were to lose as well, this would be devastating to Sony. And you’d be naive to expect a PS4 after that kind of massive failure. This has nothing to do with resources, it really has to do with profits. If they forgo a PS4 after taking that kind of beating, then they could perhaps look forward to recovering sometime in the distant future, however they’ll have to be very conservative and wont be able to spend massive amounts of cash on various R&D crap like inventing weird formats and so on. Nor will they be able to spend massive amounts on a PS4, and let’s be real here, after the money they spent on the PS3, to make a PS4 they’d have to spend quite a bit of money to try and regain their place in the market, they wouldn’t be able to make a conservative PS4. So if they did lose out this gen, you can count on them not showing their face again. Recovering after taking these kinds of beatings is only possible for extremely stable companies that aren’t vulnurable in their income. This is why the game market is one of the toughest around. Oh, and by the way, jakey’s right about one thing. Nintendo in total *does* make about the same amount of profit as the entire Sony empire, regardless of the fact that Sony has more divisions and such. You can read about it in the following article:

    http://www.buzzcut.com/article.php?story=2005053122342247

    The following site also has some articles concerning this topic:

    http://nintendoinsider.com/

    I’d get the exact links but the site seems to be messed up right now, try checking the “editorials” section, the articles should be easily identifiable, there’s two parts. Right now as I said the site appears messed up, but it might all be there later.

    Anyways, to conclude, I do think that Sony may end up making the same mistake as Nintendo did back then. After all, the problem with the N64 was that all-in-all, the development costs were too high, which is exactly what Nintendo is focusing on now, making things cheaper for devs, where as Sony is making the mistake of making it more expensive. They made that mistake with the PS2 as well, but that case was different because they ended up first to market, I would wager anything that if the GameCube had launched on the same day, developers would’ve given Sony the finger for screwing them. Since developers initially moved to Sony *because* of dev costs, and then Sony went on and screwed them over. Nintendo with it’s GameCube and their new Revolution system are showing that they *have* learned from their mistakes in alienating the developers’ wishes. Sony instead is alienating them and only focusing on power. Which in the end could lead to their downfall, but it takes more than one thing to ruin Sony’s dominance. The controller alone is definitely going to pack a punch. Now there’s two remaining things to see, specs, and how the controller will be packaged. Anotherwords, will Nintendo package a traditional-style ‘controller shell’ like they mentioned? or would the shells have to be bought seperately, also, how nice will the layout be on the default shell? Personally I think a round-style D-pad and six face buttons would be a great layout for the shell, especially when you consider that the N64 had six face buttons, and Nintendo did say you’d be able to play all past games, also, it would be appreciated if the default shell is packed with each controller as a bonus. If it’s packaged together it could make the Revolution the fighting game platform of choice because of the six face buttons and higher-quality d-pad on the shell. And the other point regarding specs isn’t really that important, except for ported games, for example, I would like it if at least first-gen games could be ported to the Revolution without degrading quality, especially games like the Final Fantasy series. This may be possible since first-gen games wont use *all* of the PS3’s power, and also may be coded for 1080p, which means coding for that high a resolution would waste lots of power for no reason, if Nintendo even decides to support 720p, then that will mean more cpu power can be used on getting the game to look good rather than on getting it to work at some super-high resolution. Also in a game like Final Fantasy, Square could leave the gameplay experience unmodified from the PS3 port, but add sidequests unique to the Revolution that use the controller’s unique features and so on. And maybe even allow extra control modes (like the ability to use the pointer controller as a mouse-like device to sellect battle commands in battle and so on. Or click an area to walk to like in mmorpg’s or something) while still keeping the traditional PS3-style control mode. So those two things I think are the only things that Nintendo has to really be careful about. They *need* to make it so ports of hot titles can be brought over from the other systems without any loss in the experience. Perhaps a *small* unnoticable loss in quality would be acceptable, but not too much otherwise people will not like it. All I have to say is that thus far, Nintendo’s been playing this game of chess very well, and there are as of now no elements visible that could cause them to lose this war, we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of their announcements and moves play out. I’m still waiting for them to go back on their HD announcement and at *least* support 720p (who freakin’ heck cares about 1080i!? interlaced sucks). If there’s one thing Nintendo has always been good at, it’s strategy (consider how they create hype without even releasing any information, the stealth-hype tactic. they don’t even have to spend a penny, the media does their work for them). The controller alone however will deal serious blows to the competition, because unlike what others have suggested, I am fairly confident that Sony and Microsoft *cannot* copy this design, this isn’t a simple little thing like the analog and rumble features, Nintendo could seriously have this thing patented up the wazzoo, and one of their people have already suggested that they will defend their IP aggressively if competitors try to copy some of their more radical innovations. What I’ve seen so far is that Nintendo has a winning hand, and that the others only have a single advantage each. Sony has the fact that they already dominate *this* generation, where as Microsoft has the advantage that people think they’re ‘cool’ and such. But if the Nintendo controller ends up positively addictive, then even the staunchest MS and Sony supporters will end up playing it. Traditional controllers would feel like the stone age after playing Nintendo’s. Like going from Atari joysticks and those wheel things, to the gamepads that came later. You just can’t go back after experiencing a superior control method.

    All in all, we’ll have to wait to draw conclusions, but as I said, thus far, Nintendo has a serious upper hand in the gameplay possibilities. And the other players look much more handicapped from where I’m standing.

    Oh, another interesting thing will be the launch date. I wonder if Nintendo will surprise us and launch before Sony? If that happens then it could further lend to their momentum. Again, we’ll have to wait and see.

  28. Very thorough analysis Azalyn. Thanks. Wouldn’t it be interesting if MS and Sony just ate each other alive in the gaming market, and Ninty is the only one standing? Doubtful, but that would be funny.

  29. thanks azalyn
    that was a realy informative read i wasn’t bang on with alot of that post.
    but the two things i wanted to get across.
    1.i hate the way sony thinks we’ll just believe their cool because they flood the hip hop genre with ps2 this and ps2 that.
    (lots of companys do this not just sony)
    2.that if nintendo doesn’t talk specs but only about its controller, then sony and ms wont be able to bad mouth revolutions,because all they have going for them is specs. then if big N can make rev’s specs stand up against ps3 and 360, the competition wont have anything to hype about.
    (because all there hype is focused on raw power and nothing else).
    nobody knows if this is possible at this time but i dont believe ps3 is 1/3 as powerful as sony claims.
    and niether should anyone else.
    that old saying fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. which is funny cause i heard that said about nintendo recentley (which was probabley right)

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