Revolution Ramblings

IGN has shared some inside info from their close friends at Revolution development studios. What it boiled down to was that the Rev will have very modest tech under its flaps, only a little beefier than an original Xbox, but the developers are fine with it. [Thanks, Carmine]

Nintendo promised us that Revolution software will undercut Xbox 360 and PS3 software prices, topping out at 50 bucks. 3rd party stuff will be exempt from this rule. In the same story, Nintendo said that Revolution will support external HDD and other 3rd party devices for storage. Speaking about the 2 USB ports, Iwata stated, “practically any storage method can be used.” Also, Iwata thinks in-game advertising is a passing trend. [Thanks, Heitz]

Call of Duty will make a trip to the Revolution at its launch and/or launch window, according to GotNext.

Mark Rein says that it’s unlikely that we’ll see Unreal Engine 3 games on the Revolution, continuing the back-and-forth of whether or not this damn graphics engine will be on the Rev. Before you moan and groan, remember that Epic’s next-gen plans mainly rely on super computers (360 and PS3 included) that can easily display their new Unreal Engine 3. It makes sense that he go against a console that has more down-to-earth specs– he’s trying to sell his product.

And just because we didn’t mention it before, Iwata sez “new forms of innovative software that can be created by any size developer will be made available for download via Revolution’s Virtual Console service.”


  1. Um Linteria, IGN Revolution just reported the “real” specs of the Revolution. Might want to Infendo that.

  2. Sorry, I didn’t notice the intro. I just skimmed it.

  3. “And with regards to all the nintendo fanboys who claim that you don’t need a powerful system to innovate in the game market…. How does having a more poweful system HURT innovation? who says that sony and microsoft won’t be able to innovate just as much if not more then nintendo in this coming generation of consoles.” – Some dude on Joystiq

    I’ve wondered this myself…I think in all honesty Nintendo WANTS to limit developers. Including themselves.

    This sounds bad to some former (or soon-to-be-former)Nintendo fans, but in a nutshell, Nintendo is forcing themselves and other developers to think INSIDE a box.

    At a glance that may seem restrictive, especially when the other console makers don’t seem to have those restrictions. The thing is, we as consumers sometimes forget that the console hardware is an artistic medium.

    Restrictions = challenge. Every work of art is the result of the struggle between the artists’ MIND and his MEDIUM(S), and, of course, TIME. The restrictions INHERENT in those three elements, or caused by circumstance, directly determine the characteristics of the outcome. Art exists because of restrictions.

    Videogames are more than “traditional” (read: static) art. They are dynamic, because they are INTERACTIVE. So, like “traditional” games and sports, which are interactivities, they still rely on restrictions:

    MEDIUM – Rules in sports or board games act as one type of restriction (e.g. playing surface, field size/ shape, part(s) of the body eligle for use in the game, et cetera)

    MIND – Mental ability and strategy play a part in restricting the participants, it also directly affects the other two factors (e.g. the number of players allowed, turn-based play, coaches experience, et cetera)

    TIME – In most games, time is also a restricting factor, (e.g. shot clock, hourglass timers in board games, even the length of rests like halftime or timeouts)

    I recognize that this is a relatively young artform but the arguments are really unnecessary. Think: how many people seriously debate whether chess is better than checkers? Or whether cricket is better than baseball? (People who do engage in discussions of that nature end up sounding rather silly.)

    Each is different, not better or worse, than the other: each has a unique set of rules and restrictions.

    The same is true with fine art. The artist is restricted, by circumstance or choice, to use a certain types of paint or certain colors (or for a sculptor, what material: marble, metal, wood…). There is also the decision to use different types of brushes and chisels, or even our hands to mold clay. There are countless types of brushstrokes and chiseling techniques to choose from.

    Musically, the composer or performer has a similarly wide array of restrictive choices (number/type of instruments, genre, duration of the piece…)

    So, whether it’s a game or a work of art, the restrictions do not add to the end product…they ARE the product.

    All three videogame consoles are playing by different rules. For the benefit of our visual learners, ALL of the game system manufacturers are forcing developers to think inside a “box”. Each “box” is just shaped differently. The four boundary lines are formed by the restrictions ( i.e. the systems features and specs) that make the shape of a box/ rectangle/ trapezoid, et cetera.

    Different developers and consumers are attracted to different shaped boxes. Also, different types of games fit into to the different shapes and sizes. An easy example is to compare handheld and console games. The shape of each is DIFFERENT, but is perceived as BETTER or WORSE by the developer or consumer. People prove which shape they like by either developing for that shape or buying games that fit that shape.

    So, Nintendo’s decision to leave out HD or high spec hardware is purposeful. It is one more identifying restriction that is defining their consoles’ “shape”. The Gamecube’s shape was confused by many developer’s and consumer as “like an XBOX or PS2, but less powerful / with no online plans / no DVD funtionality” (or “a similar ‘shape’ but smaller, and therefore annoyingly restrictive”).

    Everything about the Revolution is meant to be different: the controller, the lesser emphasis on graphics, the size, the price, (even down to the PR doublespeak, “We aren’t competing with MS and SONY”). The DS is not proof that Blue Ocean Strategy “works”, it has proved that a uniquely different “shape” garauntees “different shaped games” .

    Whether those games are worth playing is a matter of personal taste. That is why some people don’t particularly like the “new shaped games” that are receiving praise from game critics.

    That is also why, if Nintendo properly markets the “shape” of the Revolution, some developers will avoid it like the plague. New-shaped-games ARE possible on a regular-shaped-systems, HD graphics and advanced AI are parameters that will lead to new “shapes”. However, Nintendo is betting on the fact that “new shaped games” will be much more likely to occur with the parameters they are setting for their console.

  4. Nice 500 page essay, but you are missing one major point. We haven’t even seen any real games in action on the Rev so how can you even say that they are going to be “restricted” in a different way than the 360 or PS3. The Rev may not have the specs of the 360 or PS3 on paper, but you seem to forget that a console can be refined in such a way that those specs really don’t matter much. It all comes down to how those parts in the console work together.

    I think that you have jumped the gun on you “art” talk without even giving the “artists” a chance to make something with the “clay” they will be given with the Rev.

    I hope you don’t give everyone a 500 page essay on how to poo in the morning

  5. Well, I think another thing is that Nintendo realized it just can’t go up againsr computing powerhouses Sony and Microsoft graphically and slug it out. Fighting Bill Gates on his own ground is a surefire recipe for destruction.

    With the Rev, Nintendo is sidestepping that fight and saying, “Sure, go buy a PS3 or X360! But even if you own one, why not buy this 100-200 dollar system that can offer you game expriences you can’t see ANYWHERE else. Really, between the innovative controller and the lower price point, you have no reason NOT to own a Rev!”

    This way not only does the Rev offer a real different experience from “same ‘ol” videogames, but it’s also cheap enough to own both the Rev and another system, and it’s cheap enough to entice non-gamers and casual gamers to give it a try!

    ~Carmine M. Red

  6. Plus, in my opinion video games have gotten boring. We need different ways to play them. Not just better looking games, but games that actually play different.

    I had a PSP, but sold it because they games were the exact same as on a console. Boring. I bought a DS after that and I haven’t been able to put it down because it offers me something different in the way that I play my games than what my console offers me.

    I think the Revolution can have the same effect on boring console games. Games will just be more fun to play and that is what games are about.

    You look at games like Dance Dance or Guitar Hero and they are just fun to play, but they don’t have the best graphics in the world.

    Its all about the gameplay and that is what Nintendo has always done well and will continue to do well with the Revolution.

    And I haven’t owned a Nintendo system since the SNES (except for my new DS that I love) and now I can’t wait to get the Revolution. Nintendo is going in the way that games need to go in order to just be fun again.

  7. Concerning the processing power. Need I remind everyone out there. The GC had a Power PC (Mac style) processor. The clock speed is rated differently than that of PC’s (as in the original XBox).

    Easy equation (Power PC multiplied by about 2 = same speed in comparison to PC). (Example. My G4 Powerbook is running at 1.5 Ghz and it is comparable to a 3.0 Ghz PC laptop.)

  8. I not sure that’s the best way to think about how to compare G4 processors with real ones, I wouldn’t say my 1Ghz mac was like a 2Ghz PC.

    Anyway on topic I think if developers are confined by limited specs it does not necessarily hamper innovasion. It is important to remember that a lot of innovasion happens by people having to work within the constrictions. The problem is whether developers chose to push the limits or not.

  9. I’d take IGN’s “inside info” with a grain of salt.

  10. Even so the GCN was a mere drop in ocean in terms of specs to the original xbox and look at the games that pushed the boundaries on it, I see no ressie evil 4 killer on the xbox!

    Its never been one for the big N to play that game, I just hope the hand they play is enough – a Freehand.

    I know they own the Patent on the controllers hardware so thats a good sign that the others cant copy directly, however Mad Catz’ have already got that golf game thing out so theres something ninty better watch for.

    I know il be buying a rev no matter what, because at the end of the day, im a bloody fanboy eh!

    Whoever wrote the comment about the PSP, nail on the head. It’s cack.

  11. @Wai-Tung Leung
    Have PowerPCs become fake, imaginary processors? The computer I’m typing this on says different. Anyway, go revolution and all that

  12. This rumor or fact couldn’t have come at a worst time. Nintendo up to this point had the momentum going into E3. I personally hope that the specs post by IGN isn’t for the final system.

    I for one is fine with the fact that it will not support HD but I will be damned if I am going to invest in a system that graphically does differentiate itself from the previous gen. All that I have seen from Nintendo plans for REvo I am happy with. But a great improvement in graphics is a must.


  13. Just as Ninty is limiting developers with its low-cost system, also Sony and MS have limited the developers to use HD as a standard. I think, how great would be the games with a lower resolution and more concearn on details, but no, you need to use our horsepower to draw pixels that less than 10% of the players will care about. That is really stupid. They limited their systems as much as Ninty limited its (on different ways, of course). But all of this rev specs need to be confirmed, so the best is to wait until E3. There we will see the games and what is Nintys plans.

  14. “Just as Ninty is limiting developers with its low-cost system, also Sony and MS have limited the developers to use HD as a standard. I think, how great would be the games with a lower resolution and more concearn on details, but no, you need to use our horsepower to draw pixels that less than 10% of the players will care about. That is really stupid. They limited their systems as much as Ninty limited its (on different ways, of course).”

  15. ^^ thats what I was saying

  16. I think all nay-sayers have to keep in mind that Nintendo has a way of getting the most out of the least. If it’s about as capable as an original Xbox technologically, expect the looks to surpass any Xbox game you’ve seen. Also, take these “revealed specs” with a grain of salt for now. I trust IGN, but I’d like to wait and see what the system’s capable of before jumping to conclusions. Ultimately, it’s going to come down to how the thing plays moreso than how it looks. Katamari Damacy anyone?

  17. restrictions? whatever! nintendo knows good gameplay doesnt require beastly specs.

    and i know i really want a revolution.

  18. The “specs talk” always happens on the launching year of next-gen consoles. A year from now, this talk will be completely gone and we will all be talking about the great games, no matter on which console they are running.

    A year after the launch of the DS, were we talking about the DS specs, or about Mario Kart? It’s all about the games!

  19. @InvisibleMan: I absolutely agree with you. Gameplay is king and Nintendo is the king of gameplay.

    I, myself, would prefer an old school 2-D side scroller with primitive graphics and Rev control than another WWII FPS w/ improved graphics.

    As far as realism goes, I’d bet money that a good Duck Hunt player could humiliate a champion FPS player if both were given real guns in the real world and taken to a shooting range.

    Point being that the interface adds as much if not more realism than the graphics do.

  20. Wow .. Infendo comes alive! Nice to see a buncha posts.

    Anyway, specs don’t sell systems .. something cool that everyone wants will sell, period. Seeing a line of people waiting to play Guitar Hero at Best Buy while an Xbox 360 sits ignored one aisle over tells me that people want fun, not numbers. Maybe the 360 will show us something cool during the next year, but I have yet to see it do anything that makes gameplay more fun than the original Xbox.

  21. Woo-hoo! Great news and great posts!

    My hat to you anonymous #1 (with the long post), you brought a new viewpoint to this debate (it’s all art!). Thanks for your input.

    Now, I would like to make some “facts” clear. The GC was not at half the processor power than the Xbox 1 was. They are different processors, you can’t compare them on Mhz alone. I’d give only about a 5 to 15% difference in performance between the two…

    The Rev will almost double the Mhz speed from the GC. And, this new processor is probably based on a new architecture “G5” versus the GC “G4” or even “G3” (I’d have to do some research to confirm the old processor). So even with the modest speed increase in Mhz, we’re looking at a new architecture!

    Again, if you don’t see the advantages that the Rev will bring to the medium, maybe you should start looking at what MS and Sony are offering. They are planning their next-gen systems just for you! And I’m sure that you will be amazed by all the PR that they will throw at you… (4D anyone?).

  22. Actually, it’s not “beefier than the original Xbox”… according to the IGN article it’s actually slightly LESS powerful. Egad…

    I know Nintendo are emphasizing gameplay over graphics, but… a “next-gen” console that’s not even as powerful as a current gen? Aye carumba.

  23. They only sed the CPU fell short of the Xbox. The GPU eclipsed it.

  24. Guys, guys, enough with the specs! This get’s us nowhere. Petty dispute over processor speed and on board memory and whether it will have HD support will ruin gaming. What we need to think about is how to turn it from an art that reminds us of fond memories a few select group of people have to a universal medium the art house people, the Roger Eberts, the english majors, and the common man can all appreciate.

    For me, I can only see something like the Revolution doing that. What type of games are going to be on the 360 and PS3? The sure fire hits, or what game developers would like to think. What to expect: Guns, Cheesy Scifi, Violence, Thin Plots, Muscle Bound Men, Scantly Clad Women, Little Thought Involved, and Nazis(Oh, how I could go off on the Nazi craze in games). Who will all of this draw? Young men. Well, I’m 20, I can only imagine these types of things appealing for so long before my brain demands some real thought.

    Now in comes the Revolution. It’s cheap, easy to work with, and you can’t help but want to do something unique with that, that, wand. I made a full size one out of cardboard and I have to say it truly is unique and inspiring. I can imagine so much that could be done with it that no one has ever seen before. But I digress. I can see it getting into many a household that would normally look down on video games.

    Now what differentiates games from other art form? Music, ideas are conveyed through sound. Paintings, through still visuals. Movies, through motion. Television, same as movies but shorter. But what do video games do? They let us experience what only a select few get to, and in that idea we must see the art of video games. It is to see the world in a different way, and not just that, but to participate in it. Thinking this way we can create compelling stories and experiences. We can create video game literature.

    Now, what does this have to do with the revolution? Everything, my dear. While both the 360 and the PS3 could try this, it would be hard for developers to break away from a successful formula. Try something different on a console where you’re expected to deliver high end graphics and a failure will cost you dearly. Now, fail on the Revolution and it didn’t nearly cost you as much. Hell, if I wanted I could buy a dev kit(assuming I can catch the right peope). It’s a chance for developers to take risks. The controller is also beyond what we have imagined in the past and we need to think of it differently. Do this, and you can make a couple gamers really happy. Add a though provoking central idea, and you could make a culture barrier breaking peice of literature. My best idea for the Revolution would be a series of short stories downoadable onto an external hard drive. Create shorts that take more advantage of minigame features, but use them to present an idea and story better. Add all that you can do with the revmote and that would be a unique experience. Released cheap and on a regular basis and that would be pretty cool. Now I want the next person (assuming they read all of my rambling) to post their own game idea for the Revolution.

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