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Nintendo's Miyamoto On Innovation, Wii Ambitions

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the wii-music-will-bring-balance-to-the-force dept.

Nintendo 263

Edge Magazine is running an interview with Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto about some of the company's recent projects, such as Wii Music and Wii Fit. Miyamoto talks about his ambitions for the titles, as well as the difficulty in continuing to entertain players by surprising them. He refers to Wii Music as "music software" rather than a game, and says the primary intent was to bring music to families and assist in music education. The conversation then turns to where Nintendo can go in the future; Miyamoto discusses integrating new technologies into popular game franchises, and the dilemma Nintendo will face when designing its next console — do they stick with updated versions of their innovative controllers, do they return to a more standard build, or do they bring a completely different input device to the table?

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Wii Music, Huh? (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997005)

In regards to Wii Music he said:

I really don't know who are actually going to purchase the game, but I hope that schoolchildren will play.

I couldn't agree more. For those of you thinking that this will offer high quality tracks from all eras of music, guess again.

I could go into a lengthy diatribe about the shortages of Wii Music but instead, I'll referrence IGN [ign.com] that pointed out the biggest deficiency:

Before we even get to the gameplay breakdown, though, take a second and think about what you might value in a game dedicated to music. I imagine a robust roster of popular, classic and contemporary songs tops the list for obvious reasons. What about an assurance that the songs included will be presented in the highest audio quality possible? I mean, people went nuts when they found out that the musical tracks in the Wii version of Guitar Hero were outputted in mono, and with good reason: we expect a certain caliber of presentation from today's software. Unfortunately, with Wii Music Nintendo has demonstrated that it doesn't care to satisfy expectations. Not only are most of the 50-plus tracks lifted from the public domain -- such timeless hits as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, O Christmas Tree, My Grandfather's Clock and Bridal Chorus -- but they are also rendered in archaic, amateur MIDI. I've heard some good MIDI renditions in my day and let me tell you, you won't find any of them in Wii Music. It is a good thing that Beethoven is long dead because he would not ever wish to hear the game's lifeless version of Ode to Joy.

Seriously, Ode to Joy done in MIDI? Are you trying to scare your children away from Beethoven?

They gave this game a 5.0 out of 10.0 and I think that's a tad generous. This game is seriously only for the very young. Great for that and introduction to music but no more.

Re:Wii Music, Huh? (1, Redundant)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997339)

Even that's a little generous. To me, Wii Music sounded like the kind of sounds produced in Hollywood movies when a bunch of mentally challenged children try to form a band. Wii Sports and Play were good titles that cleverly used the remote controller but Music just dropped the ball. Still, the interview is fascinating (you want to RTFA this time), and I can't wait to see what Miyamoto comes up with next. Wii Music aside, he's easily one of if not the most talented name in video game design.

Re:Wii Music, Huh? (5, Insightful)

omega_dk (1090143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997433)

How would they do it other than MIDI? Don't forget they have 50 instruments in addition to the 50 songs. Frankly, the music can sound great if you put some time into making it; see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KrPgcUcKyU [youtube.com] or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeJiVMlbwao [youtube.com] for reference.

Frankly, comparing it to a game where the choice is (Play Guitar Track) or (Don't play guitar track) seems silly. This is much more a game that is trying to get you to think about composing music, and seeing the ways different sounds work when combined. It has an entirely different reason for existing than a symphony orchestra playing Beethoven.

Much like I would never compare Wii Fit to running a mile every day, I wouldn't compare Wii Music (or any other rhythm game) to playing music; think of them as a way to expand your thinking, and to perhaps add more breadth to the things you care about. It's sharpening the saw [stevepavlina.com] in game form, basically.

Re:Wii Music, Huh? (1)

Epistax (544591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998517)

... by having a recorded music track AND midi for every instrument, so anything someone is playing goes along with the midi and anything being left to the game is played by recording? Or would that sound too crappy?

Re:Wii Music, Huh? (5, Informative)

infrequent (1424239) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997803)

Well, it seems like you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

I could "go into a lengthy diatribe about" the many brilliant ideas in Wii Music, but instead, I'll respond to your vaguely sketched out MIDI criticism, borrowed by none other than the IGN reviewer who stated far in advance of the game's release that he was dying to tear it apart, and who also posts those rather juvenile rants about how Nintendo doesn't make enough Zelda games, etc.

This will, however, require some quick digression into the question of the point of this game. This isn't a game with pre-recorded tracks that you simply try to play through in glorified Simon-Says style, as in Rock Band styled games. Instead, the entire objective of this game is to take a familiar tune and rearrange it into something new, or take it into a musical domain far removed from its original settings.

For the uninitiated, here's a very quick rundown of what you do:

  1. Pick a song from the list
  2. Pick an instrument to play, and a role for that instrument. This is crucial; if you pick, say, a cello, and assign it the role of "harmony", the notes available to you as you play through the song will be chosen in a roughly contrapuntal relation to the main melody. If you choose the role of "chord", the cello will be able to play chords following the basic harmonic progression of the song. Or assign it to "bass", and so on.
  3. Play through the song using the chosen instrument in the chosen role. Here's the interesting part -- while the specific notes played will be drawn from the combination of instrument and role, you can play the instrument however you'd like, holding out notes for suspensions, syncopating the rhythm, adding fills and sectional variations, etc. Each instrument also has various advanced controls, allowing you, for instance, to double pick, mute the strings, or bend notes on the guitar. Of utmost importance to the quality of your performance, however, will certainly be your restraint and control of dynamics -- here Wii Music's controls truly shine, picking up movements from the slightest tap on the piano's keys to a resounding chord.
  4. Now restraint and style becomes even more important: you continue to perform instruments in chosen roles until you fill all six parts of the song, overdubbing with your previous parts to create your own rendition of the song.

The possibilities are endless, and here's why, at last, something like MIDI is necessary for this game: you can't use prerecorded parts like other rhythm games, and you need to allow the user to do anything with the notes played, with dynamics, bending, and other touches depending on the instrument.

Perhaps they could have used even better MIDI voices, but the actually sound very good if used properly in a creative arrangement. Here are three very different videos, from three different authors, created with Wii Music: surely there is no mistaking the MIDI roots if you listen closely, but overall the sound is amazingly good for a game that is so open-ended.

Frere Jacques [youtube.com] Every Breath You Take [youtube.com] Sukiyaki [youtube.com]

Re:Wii Music, Huh? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25998495)

In response to this though. As a parent, to see my not-quite-2 year old shaking her controllers playing the piano was worth the price of the game just for that 30 seconds of pure joy she got :)

Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (-1, Troll)

tyrantking31 (1115607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997049)

Shouldn't you be working on the next Zelda title? Wii = Epic Fail

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997141)

Come back and tell them that again after it stops being the top-selling console, please.

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (-1, Troll)

madpuppy (96129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997591)

It may be a/the top selling console but, seeing that only people who don't play games are buying them. (eg: old people, parents of very young children, care givers for people with downs and aspergers syndrome.)
People who play games on the other hand know that the Wii is a scam and a waste of money. personally, I LIKE good graphics and a complex storyline, I LIKE to play dvd's and blu-ray discs on my console. I like having the ability to download games and demo's to an internal hard drive. I like using my console as a media server.

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (-1, Offtopic)

madpuppy (96129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997683)

I get called a troll for saying what is fact? I guess if you have no defense to what I'm saying all you can do is get angry and call me a troll.

blah...cowards

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997943)

[Insert obligatory and clever "you must be new" joke here.]

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25998261)

If it is fact, then surely you can provide a reputable and verifiable source for everything you said. But it's not fact, it's your opinion and your flawed observations presented in a juvenile manner so as to get a rise out of people who disagree.

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (1)

madpuppy (96129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998485)

This coming from a anon,(but, I still do appreciate you actually answering even if it is anonymously.) so your saying that The Wii is not used by old people and children and that it is a system that is on par with the 360 and PS3? that the Wii does play DVD's? or that you can use it as a media server?

here is something that I posted a while back, and if the big "N" can rake in the cash doing this fine. but, don't presume because casual gamers are buying the Wii that it is somehow superior to the other 2 consoles.

"In a sense, a company selling their console at a loss is good for the buyer, that means that the games have to be compelling enough to sell, because that is where the profit will be coming from. with the Wii, (a console that is very limited and its only claim to fame is it's unique controller) the big "N" makes a profit on every unit sold, the games cannot even be considered secondary, the selling of more nintendo brand "gadgets" and "doodads" meant to make the Wii work like it should have in the first place takes second slot in the Priority list apparently. so, essentially, Nintendo just t-bagged all of its fans and customers with The Wii. that is why most games on the Wii are shovelware. and every once in a while Nintendo throws a bone out by updating an older game, changing the name slightly a parading it out to get more people to fall into its trap."

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (1)

madpuppy (96129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998641)

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997885)

personally, I LIKE good graphics and a complex storyline, I LIKE to play dvd's and blu-ray discs on my console. I like having the ability to download games and demo's to an internal hard drive. I like using my console as a media server.

So do I. I also LIKE my Wii.

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (1)

madpuppy (96129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998823)

just for the record, I have a Wii........its around here somewhere under about 6 inches of dust.
My 9 year old Nephew uses it to play smackdown raw or some such crap. He begs me to let him play the PS3 or 360. He calls the Wii "the Weak" Like this "come on, pleeeese let me play the PS3 I don't want to play the Weak anymore!! the Wii is essentially a gamecube with a 100 more mhz processor and a gimmicy imprecise controller scheme.

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997149)

Wii = Epic Fail

Which is why it regularly outsells the 360 and PS3 combined.

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998151)

Though by that logic Vista wouldn't be epic fail vs all other oses? =P

Not saying you're wrong however. But imho Wii is too expensive compared to the really cheap 360.

(And no, no-one need to post anything about adding this and that or whatever, it's still a game capable machine.)

Not saying 360 is the best console though :D

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (3, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997169)

This is flame bait. And I'll bite.

What complete innovation to game and system input have you designed and mass marketed? What industries have you revolutionized? What pop culture icons have you invented and embedded into the hearts of minds of people worldwide?

Oh, guess you were too busy posting halfwitted posts on the internet to do anything even remotely important.

You, sir, are the epic failure.

Good day.

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997663)

No, im not the troll that started this but here goes...

Wii succeeded in filling the market niche of "that toy that people get for their kids/significant others/parents to shut them up for a little bit"... the Wii remote is a gimmick to get people playing games with gestures instead of thumbs since people who aren't good at their thumbs aren't good with the PS3 or 360. What is terribly innovative about a remote that knows when you've swung it vigorously in the direction of the TV? If there were any accuracy at all in the Wiimote maybe I wouldn't be so pissed about spending like 400 bucks on wii crap games only to realize that the skill required is about equivalent to playig "ball-in-a-cup". Not bitter, i'm not bitter... sigh.

After playing my fair share of games on all the consoles, the Wii strikes me, without a doubt, as the least sophisticated and least satisfying for the bulk of electronic game players.

BUT! Oh, I forgot, it appeals to masses of little girls and old people, good job, you get a gold star. What's next from nintendo? A robotic pony with tennis balls for feet so great grandma can push it around the nursing home.

Anonymous here i come! hell hath no fury like slashdot blindly lusting for the wii...

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (1)

madpuppy (96129) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997825)

you have hit the nail right on the head, I have one of these dust collectors floating around the house somewhere. thank god I didn't spend my money on it. I also own a PS3 and 360 and love them both. great games excellent controllers great graphics and complex stories with great high quality surround sound.

Meh. (2, Interesting)

FatSean (18753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997859)

Games on PS3 and XBox 360 are the same old same old shit. FPS with a thumb controller? Did we lose a war or something?! Wii is interesting enough to get me back into console gaming from PC games, so I plan to get one.

Re:Meh. (1)

BlindFate (986152) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998103)

This is EXACTLY how I feel, and is why I bought my Wii. There's a lot of shovelware, but there are a lot of very good titles out as well.

Re:Meh. (1)

malefic (736824) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998157)

Exactly the same thing I found. I can't stand thumb controllers for most games, so if it's a FPS I'll play it on my computer. Besides which, the Wii is a great party console. I realize the stereotype of Slashdot is that a good portion are sitting alone in their parent's basement anyway, so maybe they don't care, but you get a group of people over, and people will play the Wii, and will play games besides Guitar Hero and Rock Band (about the only 2 party games that actually exist for the other consoles), whereas the only people you'll see playing the 360 or PS3 will be hardcore gamers.

Re:Meh. (1)

DrGamez (1134281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998433)

This is what I felt but looking back on the past I realized I've used my Wii less and less, to hardly ever now. That beautiful initial "FUN" the thing screams wears off quite quickly. You soon find out you're just playing the same old games in a slightly clunky way (not always clunky!). Then you realize FPS on a thumbstick might be more fun until we can get the Wii technology to catch up.

Re:Meh. (3, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998781)

I have actually had the exact opposite experience. We regularly have groups of friends over, and I've found that the number of party oriented games seems to draw people to the system much more than the other systems - the the point where I sold my 360 and kept the Wii. People would watch the 360 for the eyecandy, but when they realized that there's not much more you can do beyond playing with two people, they get bored. There's something fun about watching other people flail around. It says a lot when the tech demo for the game, wii sports, is still everyone's favorite game to play when they come over for beer and cocktails.

Re:Meh. (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998815)

...Wii is interesting enough...so I plan to get one.

The wii was launched on September 14, 2006. That is over 2 years ago. WTF are you waiting for?!

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997881)

What pop culture icons have you invented and embedded into the hearts of minds of people worldwide?

Joe, the plumber. Wait! The other. Mario?

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (2, Interesting)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998167)

That was great, I owe you a blowjob.

Re:Your nut-guard's wearing thin. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25998791)

If the GP isn't a game designer, then he doesn't have to design games. It's not a matter of whether he can personally outdo Shigeru Miyamoto, it's whether other game designers can, which they have.

By your flawed logic, you would be unable to argue whether or not Microsoft makes fantastic operating systems unless you, personally, can create one that is better. I'm willing to bet that you can't.

Mod parent funny! (0, Flamebait)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998375)

I love Nintendo, but come on. That was funny.

Dejà Vué All Over Again (1, Interesting)

GilliamOS (1313019) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997071)

I feel this discussion probably happened when the upgrade from SNES to N64 occurred. Back then, who could think of the next big revolution in gaming now that it was 3D? They will find something new, no doubt. Just a matter of how long of a gap between Wii and the new generation console.

Re:Dejà Vué All Over Again (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997279)

The PC world had been saying for years that 3D was where it was at, and you could see how well Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and the like took off. It took consoles a while to catch up, but the big thing for me with the N64 was the analog joystick. The 3D implementation wasn't great, and camera was terrible. Not to mention that the PS1 killed the N64 in the number of games and sales, despite many games on the PS1 remaining 2D.

Re:Dejà Vué All Over Again (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998195)

Though N64 biggest flaw was the cartridges.

Gamecubes biggest flaw was sadly the N64.

Re:Dejà Vué All Over Again (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998345)

Though N64 biggest flaw was the cartridges.

Gamecubes biggest flaw was sadly the N64.

Carts certainly had drawbacks, but you had to love the load time on an N64. With modern hardware X times more powerful than an N64, we have to wait much, much longer to do stuff.

Next Console? (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997115)

Nintendo has proven graphics don't have to matter. Look at DS graphics compared to PSP graphics, or Wii graphics to PS3 graphics. Why issue a new console with the same controllers?

Either make a new console with updated controllers, or completely new controllers. If you're going to use the same controllers, keep the same console.

Re:Next Console? (2, Insightful)

andy9701 (112808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997215)

But graphics do matter, to some extent. How many games have been developed for the Xbox 360 and/or PS3, but not for the Wii (or maybe a PS2/watered down port was released on the Wii instead)? I only have a Wii (have thought about getting a 360 or PS3, but nothing more as of yet), and there have been quite a few games that I would like to play, but can't, since they haven't been ported to the Wii.

Don't get me wrong - Nintendo makes some great games given the capabilities of the Wii. They're just tying third party developers' hands in the process.

If Nintendo's next console doesn't have the same amount of horsepower as its competitors, then it's going to start losing the hardcore audience (more than they already are, at any rate). Maybe they only want to cater to casual gamers and make tons of money that way - that is their choice, after all. But they shouldn't expect the hardcore gamers to be excited about their hardware if they don't keep up with the times.

Re:Next Console? (4, Interesting)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997277)

It turns out you don't need to play to the hardcore gamers. For every hardcore gamer there are a dozen who practically never play video games. My grandparents have a Wii (and use it). Some of their friends have Wiis. They've never shown interest in any other system.

Re:Next Console? (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997773)

Look I understand that Nintendo can be profitable making "Games for Grandma." However, if you aren't interested in games for Grandma, why would you care?

Put it another way, do you remember in old issues of the New Zork Times when they were trying to push Cornerstone, their new database program? Well, callow youth that I was, I was slightly interested in it (I was interested in computers in general) but I couldn't understand what these articles were doing in a newsletter from my favorite game company (Infocom).

Now, in an alternate universe where my favorite game company became a business software company and dropped out of the game business (as opposed to the real world where they bankrupted themselves with this ill-conceived venture) would I still care about them? Probably not.

I may get a Wii someday, but it would be a vast understatement to say that I am disappointed with most of the games for it. They certainly aren't using there position as number one console to attract anything too outside what you'd expect, and it seems like when you look at their console they get the occaisional Manhunt or Bully but no Bioshock or Fallout (or Persona for that matter).

Re:Next Console? (4, Interesting)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997871)

I'm a Nintendo fanboy, camped out for my Wii on launch day, don't own a PS3 or 360, but I have to say that I think some of the criticisms against the Wii here are spot-on. The idea of motion-controlled games is nice, but I think the implementation leaves something to be desired, and the lack of a hard drive and strong graphical capabilities (compared to the other consoles) really does limit the system's potential.

As for the casual gamers ... a friend of mine with all three systems regularly hosts game nights for his church and guess what system we end up playing the most? The PS3 for Rock Band/Rock Band 2 and, more recently, Little Big World. Of course, Rock Band is available on the Wii as well, but the fact that new songs are released every week has helped keep the game fresh, while the novelty of the wiimote faded a long time ago.

The Wii may have broader appeal than the other systems, but that doesn't mean it's a better system. That's why I'm with the parent in hoping that the next Nintendo system is packing some horsepower. Your grandparents will presumably still be happy with GameCube-level graphics two years from now Nintendo can keep releasing new controllers and relatively simple, inexpensive games to keep that segment of the market happy.

But as for me, I want the next generation of Zelda, Mario and Metroid games to push the envelope, not only in terms of game-play and controls, but also when it comes to scope, graphics, etc. and enjoy every major multiplatform release on my Nintendo without the game losing any major features or visual appeal.

Re:Next Console? (1)

Helios1182 (629010) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998037)

Some of the criticism is certainly valid and spot on, but this doesn't mean that it is necessarily a problem for Nintendo. Better is a very subjective term. To some it is the range of games, graphics, or innovation. To Nintendo, best is more likely tied to profits and market share.

It may be in Nintendo's best interest to abandon the traditional, smaller hardcore gamer demographic in favor of a much broader new demographic. You can't have the top of the line hardware and keep prices really low, at least not while making a profit. Honestly, it would really surprise me if we didn't see some shifts in the video game industry. Certain companies (or even the same one) targeting different groups. The more diverse the gaming population the more diverse the requirements and styles they will demand.

Just because Nintendo changes their focus doesn't mean there won't be other companies to fill the desires of hardcore gamers. Like you said, you could get a PS3 or XB360. Actually, I would like to see more diversity in systems. Give me another company that comes up with a new platform and controller paradigm. Develop a system for people with disabilities. What should happen is more competition and more innovation -- better for everyone in the long run.

Conclusion: Nintendo no longer catering to their traditional demographic may be sad, but it isn't bad -- someone else will pick up the slack if there is demand.

*I don't own any of the systems, but I have played them all. They are all fun and good in their own ways, but none is perfect for everything.

Re:Next Console? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998465)

I'm glad to see that there can be people here who own a console and aren't going to irrationally defend it when they are presented with its flaws.

I don't own a Wii, but a close friend of mine owned one. I tried out some of the games and I was thoroughly unimpressed. The motion controls are often gimmicky and not implemented very well. I don't think I've read or seen a review yet about a game that makes ample use of the motion controls and there isn't some complaint about them being glitchy. (If you do happen upon one, please feel free to post it here in response.)

The PS3's Sixaxis controls have (from the reviews I've seen) been often reviewed unfavorably as well. The real matter is games that require it versus games that offer it as an option. Both consoles have games that would have been great had it not been for the required motion controls and no option to change them.

I honestly think Nintendo deliberately went for low-powered, cheap, and gimmicky for the Wii. The Gamecube didn't perform as well as they had expected. I think that they wanted something they could crank out cheaply and make a profit on. (I believe PS3s and 360s are sold at a loss, whereas a Wii represents something on the order of $50 profit for Nintendo.)

IMO this is all basically Nintendo trying to recover from its missteps in the last 10 years. I'm hoping that they can come up with something interesting in the next generation that is as innovative as the Wii is without sacrificing graphics or functionality. And please, enough with the gimmicks!

Re:Next Console? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998353)

And how many games have they compared to a hardcore gamer?

Re:Next Console? (1, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997449)

Graphics do matter to me. I bought a PS3 first, and bought a Wii later. I like what the PS3 offers, and in a perfect world I would love to see Nintendo go the Sega route and focus on games, rather than offer a console anymore. Let Sony and/or Microsoft take a loss on the hardware, and then create peripherals and games.

That being said, it isn't just graphics as why PS3/360 games don't end up on the Wii. The Wii can't handle complex physics or anything that requires a decent CPU. Heck, Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii originally shipped with MONO sound, because it was really pushing the Wii apparently for the CPU to handle Guitar Hero 3 with stereo sound.

Yet the Wii is selling like mad. They're aiming for a different market than the 360/PS3 crowd. The casual gaming crowd is actually larger. That crowd doesn't care about graphics as much.

Re:Next Console? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997783)

Heck, Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii originally shipped with MONO sound, because it was really pushing the Wii apparently for the CPU to handle Guitar Hero 3 with stereo sound.

Yeah, that's why it was released on the PS2. :P

The CPU problem was with the PC version, not the Wii version.

Re:Next Console? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998161)

Except the PS2 version could put out stereo sound.

Re:Next Console? (2, Informative)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998203)

Yeah and the Wii is significantly more powerful than the PS2. It wasn't due to lack of power, it was simply a fuckup and it ended in a class action lawsuit.

You don't know what you're talking about.

Re:Next Console? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998209)

Who the hell modded that Troll?

Frankly I don't care, but I am really confused. I get when people disagree or don't like certain comments, but I am really confused here.

Who seriously thought I was trolling there?

Re:Next Console? (1)

andy9701 (112808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998445)

You said what I meant to say - the Wii just can't handle what the others can. I'm no Nintendo fanboy, but I've always enjoyed their games. If they can't keep up with the others come the next generation of consoles, I doubt that I'll buy the Nintendo console next time around.

Re:Next Console? (2, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998085)

Nintendo doesnt care about the hardcore audience.
They are doing what they have always done best - making fun games.

The number of polygons in a game is not proportional to how fun the game is - no matter what the Microsoft and Sony marketing departments say.

The reason why the Wii is outselling the other two consoles is because it focuses on fun and the quality of the games.
That appeals to the majority of the market.

Re:Next Console? (1)

andy9701 (112808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998481)

That's very true. If that's the direction that Nintendo wants to go, more power to them. I just don't think that I'm their target market anymore, sadly.

Re:Next Console? (3, Insightful)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998719)

But graphics do matter, to some extent. How many games have been developed for the Xbox 360 and/or PS3, but not for the Wii (or maybe a PS2/watered down port was released on the Wii instead)? I only have a Wii (have thought about getting a 360 or PS3, but nothing more as of yet), and there have been quite a few games that I would like to play, but can't, since they haven't been ported to the Wii.

There is a lovely chicken and egg problem here that most people don't realize. Even if Nintendo released a more conventional system, they would still have problems getting mature games on their system. Further complicating the problem, development costs are much more expensive for HD games and Nintendo hardware was growing less popular at the time. I don't think a lot of the popular Xbox 360 and PS3 would have made it to Nintendo's console either way.

Re:Next Console? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25998853)

Real men play Wii and PC games. The best combination by far.

Re:Next Console? (0, Troll)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997225)

No, graphics don't have to matter, but they do aid in the fantasy immersion.

Graphics hardware is getting cheap and plentiful in the market. Why would you want to skimp on it when HDTV display technology is replacing the old 4:3 aspect standard?

Re:Next Console? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998101)

One reason is because graphics hardware *isnt* cheap.

Go in a store and look at the prices of the consoles.
You will see that the Wii is the cheapest by a good margin, and Nintendo isnt making a loss on the consoles unlike Sony and MS.

Re:Next Console? (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998573)

Actually I see the 360 Arcade is the cheapest, with the Pro being the same price as the Wii.

Re:Next Console? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997231)

Nintendo has proven that commodity hardware can produce acceptable images fo the mass market at reduced cost. Your statement is a bit overzealous.

Re:Next Console? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997473)

I didn't say that graphics don't matter. I said they don't HAVE TO matter.

By catering to a different demographic, graphics aren't an issue. The hardcore gamer who wants the best looking games will pick up the PS3/360 first. The casual gamer will pick up the Wii first.

Re:Next Console? (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997293)

Nintendo has proven graphics don't have to matter.

When there's a more interesting improvement, at least to the novice gamers. The touch screen and the wiimote are new control devices that attracted a lot of attention and sold a lot of consoles. If nintendo had a standard controller for the wii, it would be selling dead last. That would be partially because of the graphics issue, but I think more because of the dearth of quality games for it.

Of course, you could argue that more people would make games for the wii if it weren't for the controller situation. I really don't know, all I know is that on the wii, most of the games that are worth your time are basically made by nintendo, or else are wii-ware games that are much shorter than a regular release.

That's pretty much the opposite of the other two. Microsoft did own bungie, which made Halo, and Sony has a few of their own, but by and large, you don't buy a PS3 for sony games, or a 360 for microsoft games.

I can't fathom nintendo going back to a more traditional control scheme completely, since it's a great possibility. I could see them making a more traditional controller standard, in addition to the wiimote style controller, to encourage lazy developers to include the wii in their releases.

It would be nice in my opinion if the next nintendo was compatible with the current wiimote, but was graphically more capable, to allow the wii to get all the 3rd party games that were being released on the other consoles... of course then the price would be out of the current range of the current customer base. Oh well, I still want to have my cake and eat it too. Next wii will be more powerful than an XBOX 720, have the wiimote, and will be $20, that's my hope.

Re:Next Console? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997615)

Nintendo has proven graphics don't have to matter.

Nintendo has mainly shown that graphics don't matter for *them*, if you look at third party developers you get a whole different picture, graphics matter a lot of them, which is why none of them has their big games on the Wii, the big money goes into PS3 and Xbox360 titles.

Re:Next Console? (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997703)

To them and the millions of people that have purcahsed a Wii

Re:Next Console? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998131)

And thats also why more Wii's are sold than the PS3 and Xbox. :P

Re:Next Console? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998587)

39mil Wii, 24mil Xbox360, 18mil PS3

When you take them one by one the Wii wins by a long shot, but PS3 and Xbox360 together still have more then the Wii. 'Hardcore gaming' isn't half as dead as some people claim. Seems more like an even split between hardcore and casual stuff these days.

Re:Next Console? (1)

ninjackn (1424235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997711)

Sony has proven controllers don't have to matter. Look at the PS1 controller compared to the P2 controller, or rockband guitar controller to the guitar hero guitar controller.

Why issue a new console with the same controllers?

After spending who knows how much on controllers (
Powerpads, DDR Pads, Arcade Sticks, Guitars, Drums, mics, Wiimote, Wiimote, Wiimote)
I would be HAPPY if the new console was compatible with the older controllers ESPECIALLY since the wiimote can just be used as a wireless connection to the wii/next console.

Re:Next Console? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998231)

The graphics do matter, because non-2D DS games looks like shit and 2D games would look so much better with the same system specs as the PSP. And many games would look much better on the Wii if it had the PS3s hardware.

Your logic is flawed, just because it's superior in other ways, which may even tip the balance scale over don't make graphics not mattering.

Why NOT use a new console with the same controllers?

I'm really confident Nintendo would sell lots of DS2s even if they had the same controllers but much updated performance. Same for Wii.

PSP isn't even a failure, it sells really well, sure DS outperforms it, but the PSP is still a huge success.

The PS3 probably fails on highest price and really few reasons to get that console since it's so few exclusive titles and it kind of don't offer much over the 360.

Graphics DO matter, DS and Wii still sells good.

Re:Next Console? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998269)

... Also while Nintendo may be innovative in hardware they don't offer that innovative software. Sure there are cooking books, this music software, WiiFit, Nintendogs and crap like that but neither of that would interest me.

Their biggest titles are most often the same old favourites. But how funny is the next mario game? New Mario Kart? Next Metroid FPS?

More or less the same fucking experience.

New graphics/performance don't guarantee new games, but you can make some games which couldn't be made before because they would had been too complex.

Re:Next Console? (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998493)

I agree that usually their biggest and best titles are continuations of their classic franchises, but you have to admit that those games (Zelda, Mario Kart, Metroid (which is not an FPS by the way), Smash) are all really good, and Smash and Mario Kart have an incredible amount of replay value. I play Brawl nearly every day, and a lot of people in college do the same. They might not always make huge innovations in gameplay, but they do make pretty damn fun games.

Re:Next Console? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998575)

Here is the weird thing, Nintendo isn't milking these franchises enough. Where is Castlevania? Where is Metroid? Why didn't they have a real Mario game during the entire Gamecube lifespan? (Sunshine wasn't a proper sequel to 64 the way Galaxy is).

Instead Nintendo leaves their fans screaming for more, year after year, and instead resells the same game we've bought on three different systems on the virtual console.

Re:Next Console? (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998617)

Where is Castlevania?

It came out a few days ago and judging from the reviews it sucks pretty badly.

Re:Next Console? (1)

infrequent (1424239) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998733)

Castlevania is not produced or developed by Nintendo; they have nothing to do with it. Metroid and Mario games, of course, are, and their entries on the Wii have been excellent by most estimations.

Re:Next Console? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998277)

... Also (again...) compare say Call of Duty on the DS to PC/PS3/whatever and say that you'd rather play that game on the DS ...

Re:Next Console? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998473)

Nintendo has proven graphics don't have to matter. Look at DS graphics compared to PSP graphics, or Wii graphics to PS3 graphics.

The HDTV "set" just keeps getting bigger and better and cheaper. Maxing out at 480p isn't going to cut it the next time around.

There is also competition from the Blu-Ray BD player, the PS3 and the XBox 360 integrated with Netflix and other services.

The do-everything HD media box is edging very close to the price point of a next generation Nintendo.

Re:Next Console? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998589)

Actually my PS3 just died. My daughter shoved change in the BluRay slot and screwed the laser up. However Sony has a deal where you can buy a new PS3 for $250 brand new through them if you sign up for a Sony card. I just ordered one. So a brand new PS3 at Wii pricing. It is hard to argue with.

Re:Next Console? (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998673)

Disclaimer: I own a Nintendo Wii and love it.

Nintendo has proven graphics don't have to matter

...to the non-hardcore crowd, whom I shall refer to as "casuals" for the purpose of this post (though the term is a bad one, IMO).

True, a lot of the "hardcore" Nintendo fans have embraced it, but more because they had to than they wanted to. The thing with casual players is that they have far less brand loyalty. If the PS4 or XBox1080 can match Nintendo's next console on controls (I guarantee they'll all use something based off of Nintendo's Wiimote) and offer the same price, these casuals fill flock. Part of that is because the PS3 and 360 already do a hell of a lot more than the Wii does now, and I don't think Nintendo's going to turn around on that. After all, their answer to "need more gigs" was "here, gigs transfer faster now!" Media playback (especially DVDs, BR with the PS3), profiles, working with friends accounts (seriously, who wants to deal with a 12 digit number when you can just get username?), and so forth.

What Nintendo does have going for it, though, is limit(CGI)->inf. Graphics can still increase, but every new leap will be less distinguishable from the last. Compare 2600 to NES, NES to SNES, SNES to PS1, PS1 to XBox, XBox to PS3. I don't know that there's a point where graphics won't ever be able to increase (we might hit a "good enough" level where further refinement slows down), but over time there will be less of a need to do so. Microsoft and Sony will likely focus on making another "leap" in their graphics, seeing that as a huge benefit when paired with their Wiimote-copycats, while Nintendo will be able to just play catchup. If Nintendo brings out a console that's on par with the 360, they'll be much closer to whatever MSFT/Sony comes out with than they are now.

But, for the time being, a lot of games that developers would love to stick on the Wii because of its install base aren't getting the Wii treatment when going mutli-console, because 95% of the time this means that the team has to re-work half the game rather than just cut bits and pieces then port it. When casuals are so willing to jump ship, Nintendo might find themselves in a precarious situation if they make the wrong moves (such as they did with the SNES->N64 era) since the more loyal and "hardcore" side may be straddling the line to get their fill of amazing graphics and good online play (Nintendo's online strategy is horrible.) It also doesn't help that many times the motion controls are "forced" on there by developers, making no sense and just being there so they can claim "we do waggle!" Not a fault of Nintendo, of course, but it still doesn't help.

(On a side note, I believe Nintendo should go with HD-DVD for their next console media format.)

Video games for all the family (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997151)

Why stop at schoolchildren? We need a video game console that toddlers will find comfort from too [today.com] .

(The Atari 2600 will rise again! As a cuddly toy!)

Mod this down fuckers! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997159)

Mod this down fuckers!

NIntendo always innovated controllers (4, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997257)

I'm hoping for the full body suit for the next nintendo system.

Re:NIntendo always innovated controllers (1)

shortbusridr (1422511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997311)

I don't know if you were kidding or not, but that would actually be a great idea. Not an actual suit persay, but maybe a series of sensors on the body? That would actually insert your motions into the game and allow you to interact with your environment, as opposed to just putting in a video feed (PlayStation Eye). Bravo.

Re:NIntendo always innovated controllers (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997443)

And the WiiFit IX featuring a treadmill, fan resistive bicycle, and free weights to go with those sensors, so you can run, walk, bike, and lift weights without going outside at all.

Re:NIntendo always innovated controllers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997349)

i've been wanting this since i had my original NES...

Re:NIntendo always innovated controllers (2, Insightful)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997503)

well, imagine small and light position sensors placed in velcro bands that are then placed in the elbows, knees, ankles, waist, shoulders and head, plus a wii-mote and nunchuk.

With this, you get (almost) full body motion capture without having to do the nightmare of trying to sell several sizes of "gaming suits"

Re:NIntendo always innovated controllers (3, Funny)

KingJackaL (871276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998109)

And imagine the hilarity when people put them on in the wrong order!

Waist band around your right arm, right arm band around your left leg - ahhh, I can just picture the legendary extensions to physics that the players' avatar will display... :D

Entertain by surprising? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997303)

That's laughable, considering their penchant for pumping out a Mario, Metroid, and Zelda game with every platform. They've got this innovative hardware, and all they've done is changed it so instead of pressing A to swing your sword, you flick your wrist. You know what would actually be surprising? Opening a treasure chest in the next Zelda game and not having it pause to play the "da da da da da da da da" soundbyte.

Re:Entertain by surprising? (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997487)

One way that would supprise me is next time Link opens up a treasure chest you get the WTF boom
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzrrUM5tkhE [youtube.com]

Re:Entertain by surprising? (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997785)

That's laughable, considering their penchant for pumping out a Mario, Metroid, and Zelda game with every platform.

That's a fair comment. Although they've started other new and successful franchises in the interim too... Pokemon, Pikmin, Animal Crossing, Wii Sports (Wii Sports, Wii Ski, Wii Fit, Wii Sports Resort...)

They've got this innovative hardware, and all they've done is changed it so instead of pressing A to swing your sword, you flick your wrist.

Yes, well anything can be reduced to trivialities if you try hard enough.
Tell me, what was the innovation with the Xbox 360 exactly? Higher resolution textures? Now that's trivial.

And Wii's Changing it from pushing a button to flicking your wrist is a massive understatement of the real effect. The new metroid or re4 controls of point-shoot blow away anything else for immersion. A game like Mercury Meltdown or Rayman Raving Rabbids or Dewey's Adventure or Boxing are dramatically enhanced by the Wii's controller... nevermind the direction they're heading with the Wii Fit.

Re:Entertain by surprising? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998023)

That's laughable, considering their penchant for pumping out a Mario, Metroid, and Zelda game with every platform. They've got this innovative hardware, and all they've done is changed it so instead of pressing A to swing your sword, you flick your wrist.

Wow. You'd think PS3 owners wouldn't have such poor vision.

Re:Entertain by surprising? (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998521)

If they changed the treasure chest sound in the next Zelda I would hunt you down and kill you with a life-sized replica Master Sword. OK, maybe not, but a lot of the appeal of games like Zelda is nostalgia factor, which I will admit affects me a lot too. Zelda games also have a lot of polish, and I especially enjoyed the music in Twilight Princess and WindWaker. I think the reason the controls were basically mappings of buttons to gestures in TP is because it was originally a Gamecube game and they just ported it to have a decent game for launch.

wii compaired to other games (2, Insightful)

mcfatboy93 (1363705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997335)

i guess if Nintendo goes back to the origional idea fo sitting in front of a screen with a joystick and a few buttons then people will look at it like the wii was just and expiriment and was too diffrent for them to do something with.

A Wii Surprise (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997397)

Right now, the "surprise" I'd most like to see coming from Nintendo is a way to expand the Wii's system storage past 512MB. Especially with the Game Cube and WiiWare titles that are available - it just doesn't take a whole lot to fill up your system.

Re:A Wii Surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25997623)

Especially with the Game Cube

What? How is playing a game off of a miniature DVD and saving to an external memory card going to fill up your system?

Re:A Wii Surprise (1)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998181)

He probably mean N64. They take a lot more memory than the SNES and earlier games.

Head tracking (1)

Jessified (1150003) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997483)

I really liked the head tracking demonstration. It would be really cool if Nintendo made some games that incorporated head tracking. In the demo, the guy said that head tracking would only work for that individuals perspective (the person playing), but in FPS' the screen is split anyways when in multiplayer mode, so you could have different head tracking for the individual players. I bet that set up would really sell.

Re:Head tracking (3, Informative)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998169)

Problem with head tracking is you need to move your head, but the screen stays put.

Wii controllers and future consoles (5, Insightful)

Dracos (107777) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997613)

The Wiimote and nunchuck (as well as the other Wii controller accessories) are the biggest innovation in console user interface since 1985, when the NES introduced the horizontal controller form factor that has dominated consoles since then. Nintendo would be making a huge mistake if they went backwards on controller design.

Re:Wii controllers and future consoles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25998633)

Funny, considering that both gamepads and motion sensing controls existed LONG before Nintendo ever did them.

Do you also think that Apple created the mouse?

Make it better. It's a winner (4, Interesting)

dinther (738910) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997813)

The WII controller has great ideas in it but it can be made much better.

Currently the accelerometers don't deliver the level of control that would allow the user to wield a "light sabre".

The controller needs to know it's orientation better.

Add position sensing so that controller location itself is an input parameter

Implement this stuff properly http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBdtPz2V_vY [youtube.com]

Add a microphone to the controller as the mic in the DS proved to have some brilliant uses. (Blow in the mic to inflate balloons is genius)

Add pulse feedback (A magnetic plunger) for strike or fire recoil

Overall, input accuracy will be a key element to make the controller really useful in gaming.

Here's hoping (1)

Xs1t0ry (1247414) | more than 5 years ago | (#25997991)

I hope that whatever the decision they come to about the future of Nintendo consoles that it will take into account gameplay instead of novelty. The Wii is great but it's controllers are a huge leap from the norm and significantly changes the gaming experience - for the worse. Putting novelties like wii sports, etc. aside, the Wii is missing out on a lot of "normal" titles that are very good simply because of its interface. Maybe they can scale it back a bit on the next attempt. It kinda reminds me of pretentious modern art or music... people sacrifice substance in order to "do something original." Of course that's a bit of an exaggeration.

Some kind of middle ground would be optimal.

Re:Here's hoping (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998529)

The Wii is great but it's controllers are a huge leap from the norm and significantly changes the gaming experience - for the worse. Putting novelties like wii sports, etc. aside, the Wii is missing out on a lot of "normal" titles that are very good simply because of its interface.

I disagree. I think you can use the Wii to play normal titles, but they don't sell well because hardcore gamers buy them for other consoles with faster graphics and casual gamers (the Wii stonghold) are more interested in games with smaller learning curves for the gameplay. The exceptions to this are titles with large learning curves and novel gameplay made possible by Wii controllers, but which can't be easily ported to other consoles because of their limited controllers.

Games designed to work across many consoles or primarily for other consoles will never do well on the Wii because they come across as bad ports and don't have the fun of a game designed to work really well with Wii consoles. The same was true for NES games back in the day when people tried to use them with joysticks or to port joystick games to the NES.

Some kind of middle ground would be optimal.

I don't see this happening. Game companies that write for the Wii from the ground up and have good gameplay with those controllers do fine. Game companies that target all the consoles will never do very well on the Wii. They might make enough to make the port profitable, but they will always be eclipsed by "native" titles.

A suggestion (1)

baxissimo (135512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998427)

...or do they bring a completely different input device to the table?

I suggest they bring a completely different input device that is a table [youtube.com] ! Now that's innovation.

As a hardcore gamer... (4, Insightful)

7Prime (871679) | more than 5 years ago | (#25998649)

There is one nitch not being filled: Wii motion controller innovation applied to indepth games.

I consider myself a hardcore gamer, in the sense that I like huge, lengthy epic games that take skill and dedication. I'm not an FPS or gore hound, but I fit into the "hardcore" category nevertheless. I love the Wii's control systems, the attention to innovation, and I'd like to see that applied to more indepth games. Microsoft and Sony aren't offering it, and neither is Nintendo. Why do I have to choose either gameplay innovation or involving games, but not games that offer both? The two aren't mutually exclusive, and I'm sure that a large percentage of hardcore gamers would be more than happy to get their hands on some unique interface innovations.

Where are the point-and-click adventures? Where are the RPGs that use motion sensing and light-gun to add to their gameplay? Lost Winds really demonstrated to me that you can really use the Wiis control system for more creative, and involving types of games (even if the current WiiWare version is just a prologue). Let's get some more of that, or Okami, or epic RPGs... because we're not going to see them on the 360 or PS3 with those kinds of innovations.

So in closing, no... separating the types of games filled by the Wii, 360 and PS3 doesn't satisfy everyone, because it means you can't mix-and-match the abilities of the different units. The Wii has the potential to completely satisfy me with its current capabilities (honestly, I've had an HDTV for almost 2 years now, and I still don't think it makes one shit of difference, and I'm a video producer), I'd just like to see it expand into more involving areas.

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