Weekend Discussion: Constructing a Console


To quote  Tom from Toonami, “I’m back bi…”well, you know the rest.

I know I have been away a while, and some of you might miss me. So, before heading right into this weekend’s discussion question, I thought I would update you on what I have been up to.  For starters, I am not only spending time with my wife and kids, but I am also working full time, going to school full time, and writing as much as I can.  I am sure that some of you know that my writing has been focused on the Horror genre (Mikeisapoet has been a victim in one story that is awaiting publication), but I also dabble in other types of writing.  Currently, I have thirteen short stories published in twelve books (Click here if you would like to see where), I have about seven more awaiting publication with signed contracts, and on Tuesday I received a contract for my first book deal.  I am pretty excited to now be a part of J. Ellington Ashton Press, as their newest Fantasy/Young Adult author.  I still have a ways to go before the actual publication of FINAL REVERIE, which pays tribute to Final Fantasy in sorts, but I accept the challenge with open arms.

Now, enough about me!

I have been reading over many comments on the posts here, as well as on other gaming sites, and everyone seems to have an opinion on why a console is bad.  However, there is rarely comment on what is good, or what would make a good console.  So, let’s play a hypothetical game here.  Looking back at all consoles from the beginning of gaming until now, each console has had at least something that has made it innovative.  Those innovations did not always work (ie: Power Glove), but they paved the way for future technologies (ie: Wii Mote).  Looking back, we have all had opinions on what would make a console better.  Some would like to take features away, some want to add more.

So, let’s build Nintendo’s next console from the features the features we love from all consoles of the past, updating them to today’s technologies.

For me, I would like to keep it simple.  In form factor, I would like to see a call back to the NES era casing, upgraded with new materials and much shinier and in our face.  Internally, I would take the power from all current consoles, meld them together in the perfect conception of strength, speed, and intellect (The Usain Bolt of consoles, if you will).  I would see a robust online gameplay, that is free to use, and is profitable via non-gameplay impacting DLC, such as new outfits, weaponry that is not legendary in power, etc.   I would keep the gamepad (sorry Lou) because it is an amazing controller that deserves much more respect than it has, but allow dual Gamepad play.  Most importantly though, I would put the majority of focus on the games.  Let’s be real, buying a console for its power is like buying a taco for its shell.  Sure, the shell is nice and all, especially when we have the option for hard or soft, but the ingredients are really what makes it a taco.  The games are the ingredients to the console that we feast upon.

What does your Frankensteined next gen Nintendo console look like?  I think we will call it the Nintendo Bolt, after Usain.




11 Responses to Weekend Discussion: Constructing a Console

  1. Lou says:

    First off, congratulations on the book deal. Great accomplishment. I’m not a writer, but if were I think I’d also kill off MikeIs(Not)APoet’s character. You’re living the dream. (JK, of course)

    For a perfect Nintendo console, I’d have to have the wiimote/nunchuck as the controller. I’ve really liked the GC controller too, but the Wii controller was my favorite. It’s good you allowed for updating to current technology, because I’d want it to have more power than anything they’ve currently created. The discs would be blu-ray, although I miss the days of cartridges. Does anyone remember when you turned the machine on and your game was there instantly? Load times suck, but what can you do.

    Agree on the online play. Mario Kart Wii was a good implementation for me – same tracks, but with multiple online players and you have a ranking system. Nothing fancy, but very effective. Some customizations might have been nice, so I get that example.

    Really, that’s it. Give it plenty of horsepower, then load up a great game library. And actual great games too, not “close-to-great” titles like Skyward Sword. A good game, but a weak entry in the series. This was on the Chive today, and it summed up my feelings perfectly. Why do you keep re-explaining everything to me??? It told me they didn’t do enough testing with gamers, because they would have received that feedback.


  2. RisnDevil says:

    Well, if I’m going to give my suggestion, I’m going to go all out, so…..
    First, some non-technical stuff. Their next “console” will actually be two “consoles,” one home and one portable, but both simply named Nintendo. Take a page from LeapFrog, and have all games work on both devices. To make this happen, games will probably come on both a disc and a high-capacity flash-based memory card (like a 32 gb micro-SD card).
    Now, the crunch. Both systems will run off of an ARM based chip with a seperate ARM based chip for graphics (something like the A8 chip in the next generation of iPad coming out). The mobile/portable Nintendo will probably have a quad-core main CPU but a dual-core GPU with the home console having quad-cores for both. The portable will also only run 720p and be hard limited to no more than 45 FPS to account for the lesser graphical power. Both chips will be clocked as high as possible for their generation, with at least 8 gb of of the highest speed RAM possible. The portable will be shaped like the 2DS, but have a screen large enough to act like the Wii U GamePad, have full dual analogs, four shoulders….basically the full range of now traditional controls.
    The system will use Wiimotes, the Pro controller, and the portable can act as a GamePad for Wii U backwards compatability. The online community will be largely the same, but include system-level messaging and voice chat, so those can be checked, utilized, and accessed within any other software.
    And because the devices will be unified, all the game teams will be able to churn out games and give any third-party publisher that doesn’t want to support them the finger.
    But maybe I’m dreaming too far.

  3. MikeIsaPoet says:

    The irony of Lou saying a while back that I killed you with my horrible poetry, then you say you killed me in a story and the first thing Lou says here is something about me.

    Glad nothing’s changed.

  4. Mike, here is a quote from “Brushing off the Voices in my Head” (Which is published in Bones Vol. 2, by JWK Fiction).

    “Although there were no graves in the area, Mike was in grave danger. A few feet away, in the thick underbrush, a giant grizzly bear rested for the night. Upset at Mike’s rude racket, the bear pounced from the bushes and mauled the unsuspecting boy to death. When satisfied that the meal was dead, the mother bear’s cubs wandered out from the darkness and feasted with their mom, leaving only the head behind. Like a ball, the two cubs playfully batted the severed head across the ground. Mike’s scream of agony was frozen in place within the horrified expression.”

  5. MikeIsaPoet says:

    Aww, at least my carcass gets to bring enjoyment to the wildlife ^_^

  6. Lou says:

    How can anyone still suggest keeping the gamepad? If they were to sell 10 million Wii U’s this year – which won’t happen – it would still be, by far, the worst selling Nintendo console of all time.

    Learn from mistakes – don’t repeat them.

  7. RisnDevil says:

    @Lou – My idea is to basically break the tablet away into the next portable console, but allow functionality/communication between the two for any developers that wish to use it and backwards compatability. How would that be a bad thing?

  8. Lou says:

    So far I see no evidence that these types of controllers have been successful on any of the big three consoles, or PC’s. They sold 100 million Wii U’s with a simplified controller. Why go more complex? It isn’t working.

  9. The Adza says:

    If Nintendos next consoles where both cross platform type experiences, if a consumer only wanted the home console, they would be playing with a normal control pad. If they only wanted the handheld type experience, they would be playing on a tablet type controller like the game pad. If the consumer had both consoles, it would open up the console to Wii U like experiences.

  10. Hyawatta says:

    Imagine, for the ninth generation of gaming consoles…

    Starting with the TV technology as a baseline, Nintendo decides that the 9th generation Nintendo home console (N9) will need to display games in 4K resolution at 60fps, and it must also be capable of displaying games in 1080p at 60fps to each eye in 3D.

    Nintendo meets with all of the major East and West 3rd party developers to ascertain and confirm the specs required to run all of their next-generation game engines in full, native 4K resolution in 2D and full, native 1080p resolution to each eye in 3D, all at a stable 60 frames per second.

    Nintendo then ensures that the N9 will be capable of fulfilling those requirements.

    Nintendo develops its portable console to run those same engines, only scaling down the specs to accommodate the smaller screens. You just don’t need 4K on a 7-5 inch screen. Playing the console game on the portable will be akin to playing the game on a less powerful PC. It will play the game, just at scaled down specs.

    Nintendo ensures parity of features with competing platforms by updating Miiverse to include video capturing and streaming along with Twitch and Ustream support as well as allowing for full multitasking while games are suspended.

    Nintendo tweaks the console to add any innovations they believe will set them apart from the competition. These include the Fusion elements of cross compatibility of the Terminal and Portable hardware devices along with backwards compatibility with both the Wii U and the 3DS.

    Nintendo Acquires TiVo

    Nintendo’s 9th generation home console (N9) completely replaces the cable box connected to the TV. It uses a cablecard and expandable hardrive in order to maintain all functionality that the current DVR’s have such as recording multiple HD shows at the same time, 3D support, video on demand, and premium channel subscriptions.

    Different versions of the N9 hardware will be available so that consumers can have one N9 in the main, living room, and have additional ones (extenders) in other rooms in the house such as a bedroom or a gameroom. The other versions will be cheaper and will not need to include the cablecard or hardrive because they can stream that data from the main unit.

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