You Will Say ‘Wow’

It’s time to adjust our lenses on this whole Revolution graphics deal. There have been a flurry of reactions, both here and other places, to the supposed leaked specs. For the most part, it’s been alot of worry. Worry that is essentially unfounded.

I see this as a non-issue. I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that graphics don’t matter, because they do, and saying they don’t is a pure defense mechanism. What i will tell you is that this whole thing is overblown. It’s exactly why Nintendo didn’t want their specs to be known to the public. We have some saying that they are considering “jumping ship” to the competition, others saying too many corners are being cut because of the suggested low price. Why so flaky?

I, for one, know that no matter how hi-def another console is, i can’t see it on my standard def TV. HD graphics is a misconception– the only thing HD affects is the screen’s resolution. The extra hardware in an HD console goes to waste because all it does is allow a regular looking next-gen game to look sharper. Plus the Revolution’s remote is more appealing than any sort of HD. Unfortunately, everyone forgets this because a good portion gets too caught up in the flame wars that the smoke clouds their vision. You have to ask yourself, at the end of the day, what matters most to you: Having a blast with your wicked unique controller, or shoving clock rates down your friends’ throats? Get your priorities straight.

In the end, a console should cater to your needs, not to the needs of that HDTV you might have in 3 years. Forget about Nintendo being discounted by hardcore gamers. They aren’t gonna file for bankruptcy just cause a few on-paper chip numbers don’t please a limited bunch. Nintendo knows what they are doing; they will drop your jaws with what they’ll pump outta that sexy little system, on SD and HD sets.


  1. Graphics don’t matter.

  2. Rollin we may never agree but that was a great article you wrote there and I must say I agree with all of it 😉

    Just to please my ego ill totally kick your a$$ on super smash bros R ^^ Or get my a$$ handed to me trying to at the very least ^^

    Great article man, 100 percent to the point. I know you dont agree with what im saying all im trying to say is that IGN could have made things a little more positive.

  3. I don’t understand what the problem is!

    Revolution is 2-3 times more powerful then Gamecube? Revolutionary new controller? Unlimited posibilities with ad-on controller-attachments? Next-Gen Mario, Zelda, Metroid, SmashBros, MarioKart, AnimalCrossing, Pokemon, etc? Low Development costs for Game makers? Free wireless online multiplayer? Access to 20 years of classic NES, SNES, N64 games? Backwards compatability with all Gamecube games? Sleek looking console? Interactivity with DS? Mysterious features yet to be unveiled? Price possibly under $200?

    I dont get it!! Whats the problem??

  4. I just seen a thing on TV the other night that said high definition TV set bulbs dissolve themselves much faster than regular television sets and should be replaced every couple years. Those bulbs cost 150 dollars. Sounds as cost efficient as a Hummer. Bring out the high society whiners. Seriously, anyone who is complaining about non-HD either A: doesn’t know what HD is i.e. thinking its simply better graphics or B: is outside of majority anyways so should just cut it out. The real deal is that we’ll all know the graphics when Nintendo wants us to know them. They will do their best work to silence the doubters. I’m sure of that. Just wait till spring E3. You’ll see.

  5. Power isn’t simply used for better graphics, it’s used for everything from audio processing to AI.
    Double the power does not mean double the graphics. Just because the Rev is 1.5 – 2x more powerful than the cube, it doesn’t mean that all games will easily double the graphic quality of Twilight Princess.

    For a really noticeable difference in graphics you sometimes have to have 4-6 times the power of the previous system.

    I have a feeling the Revs graphics will be more like XBox 1’s with the ability to maybe push some more polys and have abit more on-screen action.

    Graphics aren’t everything, but the more immersive the visuals the better.

    It’s a shame, with the new controller Ninty have a way to ‘pull us in’ to games on a whole new level, if the Revs graphical ability was at least up to 360s it’d be incredible.

    Resolution makes a difference. Sure not many people have HD right now, but this console generation IS supposed to last more than a year. HD penetration within the next 5 years will be much greater. This is like the “Gamecube doesnt need DVD” argument we had years ago… People loved having a system that doubled as a DVD player… People loved the option to go online. GC had neither and it suffered for it big time.

    Now Nintendo is repeating the cycle all over again.

    What is highly likely now, are ports of 360/PS3 games, crammed onto a system with 1/4 the power or less. I’m pretty bummed out.

    Looks like another Nintendo system where you buy it only for the 1st party titles and get another system for everything else.

  6. Someone mentioned statistics earlier about HDTV owners having a large percentage who don’t watch in HD, of course they don’t.

    It’s not because they don’t care. Its simply because apart from select channels, there is no HD media… HD DVD is still a good 6 months away from being available to the general public, TV is always late in catching up.

    Now that Sony and Microshaft are releasing HD consoles you can bet people who can get HD out of the systems will.

    I’m noticing alot of people buying LCD and plasma TVs lately, within 2 years HD TVs will be closer to the standard TVs sold (not including cheap sub 200 TVs)… people are gonna want to know why Nintendos system cant display HD.

    HDTV is here to stay, it’s not a fad… no more than DVD’s were a fad… no more than online play is a fad. The companies who will succeed are the ones that monopolize on new technologies, not ones that support it 5-6 years later.

  7. James, what the eff?

    It’s my understanding that sound in a game system can only be so great; it has a limit. With HD in a 360, the hardware does in essence go to waste because the game has to look the same in both standard and hi def. The only thing that extra juice does is make it so u see a difference when u flip on the HD in ur plasma display. If you looked at all of the specs u’d see that hardware is actually better for doing AI in the Rev because of L2 cache something-or-other.

    Do the 360’s graphics look 15 times better than the Xbox’s? Cause that’s what MS told me. Then Sony sed 35 times the power of a PS2 is inside the PS3. With Revolution, it’s developers saying it’s 2.5 better. Who are you gonna believe? There is no way for us to gauge what any of these companies mean by “X number of times more powerful than the one before”. I coulda told u that the Mets with Beltran and Pedro would be 7.2 times better than the Mets from the year before, but how can u really tell? Especially when they haven’t played a single game in the season yet. Numbers mean jack shit to get hung up on right now. Anything officially stated is hype. What’s a shame is that u think u know what it looks like before seeing it.

    Resolution makes a difference. Sure not many people have HD right now, but this console generation IS supposed to last more than a year. HD penetration within the next 5 years will be much greater. This is like the “Gamecube doesnt need DVD” argument we had years ago… People loved having a system that doubled as a DVD player… People loved the option to go online. GC had neither and it suffered for it big time.

    DVDs were a physical part of the console that u understood right away on PS2. You had to put in a DVD to play it. Online was something that affected ur game directly, that’s why game boxes say “Game Experience may Change During Online Play”. HD is not in the same boat. It never interferes with the game, as in, it’s not as essential as movie playback or online play. It has a higher chance of being neglected.

    Resolution makes a difference, not a make-or-break one. I don’t care if you wait till the end of the next-next-next gen, SDTVs will outnumber HDTVs for decades to come. Nintendo doesn’t care if some tech-head is pissed that his Revolution doesn’t do 720i. That same tech-head won’t even care cause a crap/great game isn’t made better/worse with a higher resolution. Nintendo won’t care because the resolution will always be a decent-for-HDTV 420p and they’re not going after this guy anyway. They want that guy’s girlfriend, her cousin, and his little brother. It’s dumb to think Revolution needs to match every hardware spec of the others when it’s going after and audience who couldn’t care less, or even tell the diff. If you think everyone’s gonna be HD-crazy in a few years, ur wrong. Something has to be affordable to reach the mass market. But there will always be a regular ole tv in ppl’s houses.

  8. HD is nice, but a set that most people can afford (20″ish I’d say), from the couch 10 feet away, looks about like a normal tv. And most people really don’t care much about HDTV’s or HD dvd’s, this isn’t like the difference between black and white and color. It’s more like some big corporations trying to cram unnecessary technology down our throats.

  9. Rollin, I’ve argued many issues about HDTV, Nintendo’s supposed spec numbers and trying to believe most development kits weren’t final. In the end I lost those arguments either to someone who knows a little bit more about hardware than me or someone who has evaluated HDTV enough to say that Matt is just whining for the hell of it, still at least I had a moment of clarity and rightfully conceded that the XBox 1.5 specs of the Revolution whether or not they are final weren’t so bad.

    -XBox’s visuals weren’t even pushed by a lot of developers, neither were GameCube’s. This is a conservative stance that’s far from stupid

    -A lot of gamers haven’t even seen GameCube games in 480p (not 420p) and the comparison between 720p (there is no 720i) and 480p are minimal at best, the HDTV fuss is all about sharper graphics and textures but they take up more disc space. 480p is more than enough for sharp visuals.

    -The point of having the Revolution is the controller and the point of that controller is to play games in a new experience.

    -The supposed power or lack thereof in the numbers is bull. For one, a 64-bit PowerPC based CPU doesn’t NEED to be at 2.6GHz or so to run a good game. Furthermore it creates more heat at a higher clock speed, that’s a no-no.

    -The usage of 1T-SRAM is not to be measured on the standards of the DRAM we use in our computers or that found in the competing 360 and PS3. It’s fast enough and some might say faster.

    -GameCube was no slouch

    -DS is whooping PSP

    I read some developer blogs commenting how IGN’s source of a developer had a “dated kit” either being a late adopter or a developer known to shoot off their loose lips to the press. Either way, I feel somewhat dirty (happy, but still dirty) now knowing that Nintendo’s more recent Revolution kits are above XBox 1.5 and on to the road of being “the poor man’s” XBox360 (which many tech conscious fans like myself have been clamouring for)

    I guess what I’m saying is, I know I’m going to say “Wow” one way or the other.

  10. Haha, whoops. Typo on the 420 bit.

    There’s 480i and 1080i, but no 720i?

  11. Yeah, go figure. Also most sets would have 480p and 1080i but rarely 720p, even today.

    It kind of makes sense why Nintendo isn’t supporting HDTV, if there was 720p support, even the HD audience could miss out. If there was only 1080i, the crowd that has 720p on their sets would freak out about Hi-def in interlaced mode only.

    It’s simplifying the display modes. I know if I had an XBox and an HD set, I’d have trouble settling on one of the display modes for a given game because I’m the type who always compares when he has a choice.

  12. James said, “Looks like another Nintendo system where you buy it only for the 1st party titles and get another system for everything else.”

    What’s wrong with that?

  13. Another Nintendo system where we get


    2 titles from Square Enix already being made

    NIBRIS : Raid over the River

    A game from Free Radical

    The game from Zoonami that was meant for Gamecube

    Ubisoft exclusive

    EA exclusives using 2 controllers

    And MUCH more.

    Iwata said they might lose third party support, but its obvious they have more third party support than with the gamecube.

    Namco and Konami will obviously be on board, aswell as the creator of Killer 7… hell Capcom is the ONLY company I can think of that hasnt sworn in yet, but they have NO loyalty in the gaming market, they go for their money (and as Nintendo has stated “Capcom can do as they like”)

  14. graphics are nothing.
    gameplay is everything.

  15. hd owners just use progressive scan. It’s a major step up from standard, costs nothing, and looks great. HD is not practical right now. enough said, move on.

  16. Graphics do matter, i´m a big Nintendo fan but i´m still planning to get both, a 360 and a revo. Hopefully some day a console will give us both: amazing graphics and amazing gameplay.

  17. I will bet u a drink that Revolution will be that system.

  18. 420p is the resolution to stop smoking pot, get off your ass, and do something with your life.

    in all seriousness, 480p on a HDTV with a quality scaler looks plenty sweet, and the power required by the X360 to get something as impressive as a great-looking 480p game is 720p is way large, thus resulting in the loud, overheating box we see today.

    480p has not been NEARLY explored well enough in terms of detail to where 720p or 1080i/p are necessary, and the Revolution’s power should be plenty to make a significant jump in graphic quality in venues that really matter, as opposed to more dots with the same tired modeling techniques. All this should be done in a small, quiet, affordable, efficient package, and that’s exciting for a true advocate of good design. That’s without taking into account the controller.

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