If Reggie Fils-Aime and Nintendo were in the book publishing industry…


books-042If an alternate reality…

Reporter: Reggie, your books sell really well, but your competition, whom you are destroying month after month in the sales charts, are using glossy paper.

Reggie: Why yes, that entire statement is quite correct.

Reporter: But! There are some in the publishing industry who demand you use glossy paper, because it is shiny, and therefore superior.

Reggie: I understand the allure of glossy paper. But it is more expensive to use, and most people really don’t care what the paper looks like, so long as the words on the page make them feel something.

Reporter: Right, right. Feelings. But, Reggie, the paper is glossy.

Reggie: Yes, but our words are better, as sales have proven, and book paper today has reached the point where it’s good enough, and that means our authors can focus 100% on the content, not the medium.

Reporter: Reggie, why do you hate books?

I find when people are having trouble seeing the forest through the trees, it’s helpful to create an analogy. Other times, being blunt helps too: The HD argument is absurd.


  1. The comparison are old. You beat this horse to death. We get the point you are trying to make. Please post real news thats interesting please!!!! Theres to much to talk about to have to see another comparison.

  2. Repeating this stuff after the naysayers already accepted it would be beating a dead horse. This might be the video game analogy of the year.

  3. lol are you really still trying to win this argument? what would a win even look like at this point?

    ….right now in that same alternate reality:

    “oh jack! everything you have ever said is correct! we’ve been so deluded!! I SEE THE LIGHT! THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!! By trivializing our interests into a desire for glossy paper you’ve SAVED VIDEO GAMES. Please marry our daughters and go rule australia!!”

    some part of me thinks that you still just want to annoy people.

  4. So…this is basically old, re-used propaganda, at this point.

    It isn’t wrong or insane for gamers to ask that their games look nice, and the Wii has shown that games can look great, even without HD. Developers just choose not to use the power of the system, writing it off because it’s easier and they can make a quick buck. HD isn’t the only argument here; it’s also a matter of effort, and sadly, few developers truly pot forth the effort to make a game look great on a system not capable of HD.

    As long-time gamers, it’s our natural inclination to want a prettier picture because, for so many generations of gaming, that’s what we understood as the true leap into the “next generation.” Yeah, something new came along and changed the game, but you can’t possibly expect it to change all of the players. not immediately, anyway.

    For somebody who prefers games the way they used to be, you sure do complain about this topic an awful lot, Jack.

  5. @ blake, here’s an updated book analogy for you. (with all due respect to karen blixen, one of my favorite authors)

    wii version:
    If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the moon, of the fields and workers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air quiver with my color, or the children invent a game for me, or the full moon throw a shadow, or will the eagles look out for me?

    ps60 version:
    If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?

    now…. to suggest that the ps60 has any software that equals blixen’s prose is practically evil… but it serves its purpose here. thanks for leaving such an obvious rebuttal to your analogy.

    details add enjoyment, texture, richness. deal with it.

  6. No its not the analogy of the year. Its the analogy of this generation lol. You would think with all the good games that are out and that are coming out people would be done with the comparisons. Some people prefer HD some dont. But If the Wii had HD everyone in here would be all for it. So like all people when they emotionally fall in love with things they own they try to defend it.

  7. Actually it’s more like this:

    Reporter: Reggie, your books are wonderful and you’ve seen quite some success with a few authors under your publishing label while others haven’t had much.

    Reggie: That is unfortunately true.

    Reporter: We also hear complaints about your choice to stick with black and white images in your books while others have moved onto color. The color printer was invented ages ago, why not utilize it? Also, the lack of page numbers is somewhat frustrating… Also could you make hardcover books? Your softcover ones are deteriorating, fast…

    Reggie: Who needs color? ahahahahahahahaha

  8. In fact, that was a bad analogy I just put up. Nintendo wouldn’t even use pictures. Or punctuation. Because those are “decorative” and “unnecessary” according to them.

    Now I’m a Nintendo fan myself but this article is fanboyish and absurd. Nintendo didn’t choose to go non-HD because they wanted to preserve the “sanctity of gameplay”. No, they did it because they’re cheap and didn’t want to spend the money to modernize their hardware.

    blake, I bet that last gen you thought online was an unnecessary, absurd thing, didn’t you? Completely useless? Just because Nintendo refused to put it into their systems?

    Essentially, just because Nintendo is selling the most consoles (yet having trouble with software outside of first party) does NOT mean they can skimp out on presentation. Whatever happened to maintaining a level of quality and professionality in video game presentation?

    It’s like if Disney decided “Ehh… We are a multi-billion dollar company… We’re at the top of the heap anyways so let’s quit using expensive HD equipment, halve the amount of tweening frames in our animation and shoot them with an SD, consumer level handycam. Oh and while we’re at it we’ll release them on VHS because they’re cheaper to produce than Blu ray and DVD. Sound good?”

  9. Edit: oops, sorry blake. I meant to say “Jack”.

  10. To be fair, the lack of HD at the beginning of this generation made sense to keep the price point of the Wii low and Nintendo was sort of in hot water, but gojiguy’s point is understood.

  11. If HD is such a big deal to everyone, why do you still play your Wii? Maybe you don’t anymore.

    I think the best games that prove the point of what Jack is trying to make are the guitar hero games. Sure they look a little nicer on PS3 and Xbox, but that doesn’t make them any more enjoyable. In fact, I would argue that the enjoyment level is the exact same regardless of the aesthetics. It’s the gameplay that makes it equally enjoyable on all systems. Nintendo decided to focus on gameplay and input this generation while the competitors decided to focus on aesthetics. If that really is a step back in your minds, then go ahead and not support Nintendo.

    To be honest, no one has really made a good argument as to why HD makes a game better. I have seen a lot of pretty games on the PS3 and Xbox, but if a game is not fun, whats the point of it looking good. In addition, I’ve never played a game that I enjoyed solely for the way it looked. All the games I’ve enjoyed have been enjoyable regardless of how they looked. If someone can give me an example of a game that was only good because of how it looked, then we have a real argument on the HD vs. nonHD

  12. @gojiguy

    Your Disney analogy would be relavent if you replace the HD/SD comparison with 2D/3D. This is exactly what is coming in the movie industry. After Avatar, everything is coming out in 3D. Disney/Tim Burton’s recent Alice sequel, it has been reported, was modified during post-production to utilize 3D technology, with horrible results. I would expect much more of this: A pointless and expensive technology upgrade that enhances the experience very little.

    Nintendo’s motives were financial, yes, but you cannot fault them for that. They CORRECTLY anticipated the ENTIRE MARKET’s investment in HDTVs, not just the tiny niche of the online hardcore.

  13. @ mark

    “If someone can give me an example of a game that was only good because of how it looked, then we have a real argument on the HD vs. nonHD”

    nobody has said that looks are all that’s needed to make games. so arguing against it doesn’t get very far.

    people are saying the benefits of hd are worthwhile and would like to see that on the wii. very different argument. jack mistakes the benefits of hd for glossy paper, whereas it’s really more along the lines of missing content.

    ok- jack has trolled enough page views out of me. i’m out!

    (i’m wondering if the business manager infendo found decided against increasing pages per article in favor of just blatant trolling for views. like such articles misrepresenting legitimate points of view while adding nothing to the dialogue except antagonism. professionalism ftw guys.)

  14. “Essentially, just because Nintendo is selling the most consoles (yet having trouble with software outside of first party) does NOT mean they can skimp out on presentation. Whatever happened to maintaining a level of quality and professionality in video game presentation?”

    Well that’s just silly. Nintendo is number one. Its first party titles remain in the top ten, and in some cases they do so for years on end. They’re skimping? According to who? The majority of gamers today who put them into a position to be number one and basically in control of where the industry is headed? Certainly not them, as they seem quite content.

    And to the other whiners above, I’ve been accused of beating a dead horse, and yet the Same. Exact. Complainers. Come back for more and more, and leave their comments. Mind boggling, really, but thanks for the page view nevertheless. I’m sure Blake appreciates it. As for Blake:

    @Blake: I appreciate the compliment. Your years in this industry, as a reporter and a gamer and as my editor (here and elsewhere around the Net, especially at GamePro with Sid Shuman), provide more value and insight than a handful of anonymous blog comments ever will. If you tell me to stop doing something on Infendo, I’ll do it. Otherwise, nothing I’ve seen in the industry, or that I have heard from trusted, well-informed peers who cover it, lead me to believe I should change or stop anything.

  15. By releasing a new Wii (or WiiHD) Nintendo would be throwing away its massive userbase. So people that complains that “third parties do not release anything on the wii due to its lack of HD Graphics” will change its speak to “Third parties do not release anything on the wiiHD because it has no user base”. Nintendo has nothing to win but a lot to lose if it releases a new console now. They will do it once MS and Sony release their successors.

    Oh, but Natal and Arc will be a new console… which will not get near the success of the Wii, unless they have compelling games that are not possible to be played on the Wii.


  16. Truthfully I think the Wiis lack of power is the reason it lacks 3rd party support not the HD recycled BS that gos on here. This day and age in gaming people want bigger better, smarter AI, online multiplayer, miis avatar ect… Theres only so much that they can fit in the little white fun machine we have. Every game that has been ported over to Wii isnt even close to the same game because the lack of power and space. Look at Activisions COD play it on Wii then on a Xbox 360. If you dont like the Xbox version better than you’re lying just to be loyal to a company. I am a Nintendo fan a heart and always will be but im not gonna lie theres just certain games the wii cant deliver on end of story.

  17. Why bash Nintendo for not having an HD system when they still release tons of great games for your enjoyment? Who are you to dictate to Nintendo what they must or mustn’t do?

    And about the “Focusing on content and not graphics,” that’s a kind of silly statement. It is fully possible to focus on content and graphics at the same time. Just look at Halo 3 and you’ll see what I mean.

    The bottom line is, HD doesn’t make a great game, but it would be nice to have.

  18. Why is it “absurd” for gamers to want their games to look better? That’s part of moving forward in a generation. It’s been pretty well established that games can focus on great gameplay while having great graphics (see: Uncharted 2, God of War III, Batman: Arkham Asylum, etc…). The amazing graphics to these games add so much more to the overall experience, I can’t imagine these games without them. The scale of the opening to God Of War III, the facial expressions that Nathan Drake is able to express, the brilliant particle effects used in the corridors of Arkham.

    Why is it such a crime to want the Wii to deliver these kinds of experiences? Because it’s a “luxury” and “not necessary”? Well gaming in itself is considered a luxury by most definitions, so why not have that luxury be the best that it can be? If HD graphics can heighten the experience that much more, there’s no reason why their inclusion would be detrimental to the Wiis innovation.

  19. And Jack, we’re not really “complaining” so much as we are stating our side of the argument, the same way you are by posting this piece. You can’t really post anything on the internet and expect it to be agreed upon unanimously. Why have a comments section if you aren’t looking for any healthy debate on a subject from your readers?

  20. Haha, look at all the little graphic whores squeal when the truth is uttered. Great job, Jack! I honestly wish you would put the hardcore gamers back in their place more often! 🙂

  21. I thought it was funny! Nintendo is smart: innovative controls for a good price…competitors try to follow, but can’t keep their prices low…in the meantime, nintendo comes up with something new and leaves behind the competitors again with overpriced (good quality nonetheless) hardware without all the fun. Nintendo ftw!

  22. @Jack

    You didn’t read my post at all. Nintendo IS skimping on presentation. I mean, compare Metroid: Other M visually to Ninja Gaiden, Halo 3, or Lost Planet 2. It’s nowhere near that quality. While I’m sure it plays fine, it doesn’t have the level of technical excellence Nintendo was once known for. I have been a gamer for years and I distinctly remember how the SNES was noted for it’s technical outperformance of the genesis, I remember the RAM expansion for the N64 taking 3D to new heights, I remember the gamecube doing amazing lighting effects and dazzling new visual techniques to complement its gameplay.

    the Wii hasn’t done much at all. While the PS3 has taken visual presentation to new heights of art, the Wii has done squat. There is no denying that. Nintendo has been skimping out on PRESENTATION. Simple and true.

    Not saying I dont prefer Nintendo games (they still play the best), but I sure would love a Wii game with an FFXIII level of visual and audio fidelity.

  23. agreed!

  24. Dear LORD, people… no need to spout out all your hate. This article is not propaganda, nor is it incorrect and nor is it beating a dead horse.

    On the Internet (even here), there are still unintelligent people who like to accuse Nintendo of flaws that aren’t there… like the absense of the “glossy” paper.
    The core of their products, however, is still fantastic. The comparison is excellent; a comparison like the lack of paper, or black and white images is nonsensical. Remember that the Wii has things the other consoles do not have.

  25. Well put, Arjen.

    I read the article and thought it humourous and intelligent. I never expected the rant and roar it received from some in the comments. It would seem their vitriol odd as they are visiting a Nintendo themed web-site.

    I guess I need to go over to the Sony/M$ fan sites and start bashing their efforts. First off, the wand/arc/MOVE then on to Natal …

    Nah, can’t be bothered. I’ll just be content with all the goodness I already have with my Wii.