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Yamauchi Puts the Game Industry In Its Place

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the letting-people-know-how-he-thinks dept.

Games 160

los furtive writes "John Ricciardi of Video Senki has a great interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi, president of Nintendo, his "absolute favorite" for the same reason Castro is his fav head of state: "They're both firm as a rock on their issues, and they're both just so goshdarn sincere, you know?""

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Yamauchi = Mountain House (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#407229)

I honestly believe he does have an impact on the console game industry, HOWEVER, he was just in the right place at the right time WITH the right man...namely Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto is the real genius of Nintendo and they owe everything that they are to him. Then again, it was genius of Yamauchi to hire Miyamoto in the first place and see the talent he had within. Or maybe luck? Who knows, it's happened and I'm happy for the games they've made.

Re:Bah. (1)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#407230)

Yeah, and they owe it all to Pokemon.

Don't get me wrong; I know they make money. I don't like Microsoft either, and they make even more money. But yes, I don't like their games. I'm not complaining that *they* don't have money; I'm complaining that *we* don't get quality. Also, Nintendo was *so* paranoid about this stuff that they released a cartridge system and further crippled their games and their development--and people still dumped the ROMs...

And could you guys cut it out with the PSX2 statistics? It was stupid the first time. The PSX2 will sell a lot once there is a really popular game released for it, just like the N64 did when Zelda was released. Which, BTW, was *years* after the original release of the N64. Just wait for the next Square game... :)
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

Re:Bah. (1)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#407232)

Is there still a shortage?

You can tell I don't own a console system anymore. :(

Awesome handle, by the way!
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

Re:Bah. (1)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#407233)

I wasn't talking about sales, and neither are you; I'm talking about gameplay. I was expecting more, especially after the sheer amount of time Nintendo expected everyone to wait.

And yes, gameplay is much more important than graphics. That's why it made no sense for Nintendo to piss Square off. Incidentally, there's no way Square could have made the Final Fantasy games as cool as they are without a CD-ROM drive, and they've done some really impressive stuff with the Playstation!
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

Re:Bah. (1)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#407234)

Well, you did identify the two games for the N64.

However, have you played... oh, I don't know...

Pole Position, Food Fight, or Crystal Castles on the Atari? (I had a 7800)

I already listed the plethora of great NES games, including the original Zelda. I liked Contra and the Ninja Gaiden series too.

I also listed a lot of good SNES games; Ogre Battle is great, as is Mario All-Stars.

Dreamcast has some fun games, too. For racing game fans MSR is very cool. Samba De Amigo! is just whacky. :)

The Playstation had some cool games. I liked Alundra, for example. The Final Fantasy games are a must, like the anthology of 5&6. And I still need to play Tactics. And for fans of fighting games, they have a lot of those.

So, on any of the other systems that I've played around with, I can name at least two or three great games, and sometimes many more. The PlayStation 2 is very new, and I haven't gotten to play with it yet, but there also aren't that many games released for it yet. However, compared to the Game Cube, it looks pretty good at the moment. :)
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

Re:Bah. (1)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#407235)

No, I'm complaining that there haven't been any good remakes of Mario, and the planned remake of Metroid doesn't look anything like Metroid, either.

What I heard about the two Zelda games were that if you played the original Zelda game, you didn't miss much, but that they were too short. Zelda on the SNES, however, didn't have either of those problems. I only played the first Zelda for N64 once, mind you, so this is just what I've heard.

Also, it took Nintendo *way* too long to even release that.

Nintendo *has* made a ton of money on the Gameboy, but I think they've stopped producing the quality games that they used to. Granted, I haven't messed with N64 for a bit, but when it came out, they had only crappy games on the system for *years*, with the possible exception of Mario 64.

The next decent game was Zelda 64, which many people bought the entire system for, because they hadn't seen a *reason* to buy it earlier. That alone should tell you something.

After that, I have no idea what they've done. Mario Kart 64 looked amusing, but that's about it. The other games I haven't seen, because I already gave up on the N64 as an aging console platform with a lot of crappy games that I'm not about to pay for...

But the Mega Man games do rule, although the later ones get pretty hard. It's sad that they have to be backported now, though.
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

Is it just me... (1)

boinger (4618) | more than 13 years ago | (#407236)

or does Hiroshi Yamauchi look like that old guy from Gremlins with glasses on.

Re:Bah. (1)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | more than 13 years ago | (#407237)

Sure, the PSX2 would sell a lot *if they had the hardware to sell*. The intent of the public is meaningless if there's nothing to buy.

Castro? Sincere? (1)

rho (6063) | more than 13 years ago | (#407239)

"They're both firm as a rock on their issues, and they're both just so goshdarn sincere, you know?""

If Castro is sincere, then G.W. Bush is the poster child for the War on Cocaine.

For all his "imperialist running dog" blather and "evil capitalist conspiracy" dogma, Castro is worth more money than God [] . For a Communist, he's a pretty damn good Capitalist (Materialist, anyway).

Yamaha puts his motorcycle in place. (1)

UnkyHerb (12862) | more than 13 years ago | (#407241)

No matter who your talking about, presidents of big companies are always talking out of their ass. Networked games are great buddy, now if a company were smart enough to get it working right out of the box and working on BROADBAND out of it too, good. Another feature systems need is dual tv support for 2 players, that'd be sweet, I hate split screen and have 2 tv's. I wish the dreamcast would've made a better hit, marketing killed it, it has some great games though (shenmue). Oh well.

Re:Bah. (1)

Darth Maul (19860) | more than 13 years ago | (#407243)

I love my N64. Dreamcast and PS2 don't hold a candle to it, because of the games. I really cannot find a decent PlayStation game. Of all the systems I own (Atari 2600, Genesis, Nintendo 8-bit, SNES, N64, Atari Jaguar, Dreamcast, PlayStation, Sega Game Gear), the Nintendo 64 is the best by far.

The reason, in my opinion, is that they really think they have their philosophy right. They are striving for quality over quanity, whereas Sony is the other way around.

Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Zelda: Majora's Mask are great games. I would much rather have my N64 with two or three great games than a PlayStation 2 with lots of mediocre games and ports. Who needs all these new sports games? Seriously... all they do is update the stats.


Re:This is where Japanese business scores. (1)

rossarian (31967) | more than 13 years ago | (#407244)

I think someone went to Blockbuster rented "Rising Sun" last night. :P

Re:All your base (1)

Hadean (32319) | more than 13 years ago | (#407245)

A badly translated Sega PC Engine game called Zero Wing... someone gave a link to a Flash movie with excellent dubbed voice actors... But anyway, considering the joke's over a month old (and Slashdot's just catching on), you can basically say it's an old joke that's lost its charm.

Re:This is where Japanese business scores. (1)

briggers (32641) | more than 13 years ago | (#407246)

Of course the real, and most ominous, parallel between late-80s Japan and the US 'new economy' of the 90s today is that both were basically the products of massive expansion of the money supply on the part of both countries' central banks.

Anyone familiar with the Austrian theory of the trade cycle [] will know that Japan's economic woes of the 90s were exacerbated by yet more neo-Keynesian expansionary measures, such as negative interest rates etc. The Fed's gratuitous money pumping of 1999 (under the guise of pro-active Y2K measures) was performed with similar goals in mind; unfortunately they will make the liquidation of malinvestments all the more painful.

Greenspan's godlike status is already looking decidedly shaky; perhaps the inevitable recession will make the world realise that you cannot 'turn a stone into bread' by printing money.

Re:IMHO... (1)

.pentai. (37595) | more than 13 years ago | (#407247)

To start this reply I'd first like to say I both work in the video game industry, and am a classic gaming lover. And a warning, this will probably be a rather long bunch of rambling. That being said...

When was the last time you played one of those great games of old that are so much better than todays? Those games were SO GREAT because they pushed the technology of the time. These days, there's not enough there to keep people interested. Just yesterday I was playing Gauntlet 2, and enjoyed it, but got quickly bored. Why? Because it's been done, and MUCH BETTER, since then. A game is great compared to what there is at the time.

And, you know why it's hard to get games through on a console system? Something called quality control (or atleast an attempt at it). Sony nearly killed the video game industry with the release of Playstation, because it was so easy to become a developer for. Suddenly, the market is flooded with mediocre games amongst a few gems, and people buy them. What happens when someone who's not an avid gamer buys and game and it sucks? He stops playing games for a while. Hell, if he buys a game and doesn't enjoy it, why waste money on more games he probably won't enjoy. I don't think this way, gamers don't think this way, but the general public does. You can say I'm wrong but you can't argue with numbers.

And sorry to tell you, but a bunch of hackers throwing a console together with GPL'd software will be KILLED. Why? Lack of big-names. People buy consoles for what games will be there. How many people bought a Dreamcast specifically because it had Soul Calibur or Shenmue? How many people bought a Playstation specifically because it had the Final Fantasy series? MILLIONS.

Oh, and if you want to talk innovative, play some of Sonic Teams games. TRY to tell me Chu Chu Rocket isn't a greatly addictive, and DIFFERENT game. Sadly it sold like crap...because people want more of the same-thing.

Re:This is where Japanese business scores. (1)

VirtualAdept (43699) | more than 13 years ago | (#407249)

I think you must have more information about the Japanese economic system than I do(easily possible). From what I've heard, the Japanese system has been in no-growth or recession for the past decade. This doesn't seem to me to be a hugely successful system, unless there are some mitigating factors I am unaware of.


Re:In a lot of ways, he's right (1)

VirtualAdept (43699) | more than 13 years ago | (#407250)

Hm. I have to disagree in your opinion about Final Fantasy IX. The story, I thought, was excellent all the way through. The random encounters were only a little bit too frequent, and were generally very balanced. And I *loved* the final battle. Though I will note that I think that was because Steiner saved the world(entire party knocked off their feet, and Steiner with all the status-nullification and auto-regen just keeps hitting the thing until it goes down). Not to even mention the huge ending movie.

I agree with your last statement, though: I'll just keep my eyes open, and play the games that I think are fun.


Softball questions (1)

Backward Z (52442) | more than 13 years ago | (#407252)

What a lame interview... We don't need the president of Nintendo to tell us what we've all been expecting for months...

'Net Gaming-he got it wrong. (1)

foilrat (56674) | more than 13 years ago | (#407255)

This is one area I have to disagree with him (El Presidente) about.

The best thing to happen to the FPS world isn't the neat-o engine of Q3, but was the networking for these games. I have played, and I'm sure others have, CS and Q3 for hours on-line. It's the same thing, but against people it's much more interesting and viceral.

If Nintendo ignored the online side of games, then I don't see how they can survive. IMHO, this goes for the rest of they game makers. Oh, don't get me wrong, they will survive, because plenty of people will buy and play single player games, but they won't be the dominate force they are now.


Re:Single platform games (1)

Mr. Gus (58458) | more than 13 years ago | (#407257)

Why focus on the hardware when, really, all the interesting stuff is in the software?

All the money is made in software, too, though. *ALL* the money, AFAIK. If the software doesn't support their platform, they lose on the hardware. It may not be interesting, but *somebody* has to make the hardware, and Nintendo's been doing that for a while now. Nintendo is simply trying to keep the same business model that made them big after the multi-platform spew of crap that happened in the first half of the '80's which critically wounded the industry at the time...

Yamauchi is right. Consoles aren't like appliances. Maytag doesn't make money selling you the clothes or food that go with your appliances.

Re:cost of making a game, porting to other platfor (1)

L-Train8 (70991) | more than 13 years ago | (#407260)

I think what Yamauchi meant was, if the games don't differentiate the system, then the only thing left is price. If you have three systems with the exact same games available for each, then why would you choose one over the other? The only thing left is price.

Porting is best for game development companies, but not for console makers. That's why Nintendo has a bunch of 1st and 2nd party developers making exclusive games for Nintendo's platforms. It's one of the ways they differentiate their hardware. Nintendo is the only place to get Mario or Pokemon games.

Re:answer to your offtopic question (1)

alprazolam (71653) | more than 13 years ago | (#407262)

conventional wisdom is that its better to make somebody wait a couple times for a little bit then to make them wait once for a long time. because they may either thing something is broken or not want to wait and go somewehre else. i didn't say its a good reason. just a reason.

don't forget (1)

alprazolam (71653) | more than 13 years ago | (#407263)

super smash brothers. that game kicks ass.

Re:interesting (1)

alprazolam (71653) | more than 13 years ago | (#407264)

or like 99.999% of dot coms. thats why a tax break won't help the economy. people will just go back to investing stupidly.

answer to your offtopic question (1)

alprazolam (71653) | more than 13 years ago | (#407265)

so pages load faster. also probably gives more banner space or something.

Re:Bah. (1)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 13 years ago | (#407267)

Mario 64 was decent? I'm sorry that's not how I would judge it. Before TombRaider and all that crap, Mario64 was the first game to give a really awesome 3rd person 3D control system. At the time it came out, I remember being completely blown away by it: this was at the time I still had a Pentium 60 running Win95 (it gives me a headache just thinking about it). Anyway, my point is that Mario64 was fun for it's simplicity: in 15 years, i'll still be able to start playing it and have a good time....and I don't think i would say that about many games!

Re:Bah. (1)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 13 years ago | (#407268)

The two good games for n64? What about Mario64? WaveRace? GoldenEye? Perfect Dark? MarioCart? I would say those games together with the Zelda games definitely justify the n64's existance. On Playstation besides Metal Gear, there have been very few games that seem to be classics to me.

Re:IMHO... (1)

Oppressor (79526) | more than 13 years ago | (#407269)

I thought the handheld videogames were pretty innovative... In particular, the Lynx pioneered networked videogames a good 8 years before they really caught on...

And while it's been a good 5 years since a game really latched onto me and took control of my life, that's a lot less than 2 decades...

>Brighter & Gorier may sell well, and certainly
>the modern gaming consoles are a good deal more
>impressive than the Atari 400's, numbers-wise,
>but I'm not seeing the content.

This Red Herring is raised continually as a mantra for the problems with the industry, and yet the chart toppers are games like Age of Empires, Roller Coaster Tycoon, and The Sims. None of these games push the envelope graphically or gorily, but instead provide solid (if sometimes even creative) gameplay within established genres.

And despite the success of these simpler games, I agree with Mr. Yamauchi that solid, basic gameplay has taken a backseat to many more complex games with too many sequels. Nobody plays these games. More importantly, no one buys them, and yet they just keep coming.

>IMHO, the best thing that could happen to the
>games industry would be if a bunch of (REAL)
>hackers got together, threw a truly spectacular
>console together, and wrote a killer game for
>it, under the GPL.

Why bother? Their target audience, also mostly hackers, already have computers. Why not instead skip the whole console bit and go straight to the killer game? This is one instance where the better mousetrap is simply waiting to be built.


duplicate-nickname (87112) | more than 13 years ago | (#407272)

Get the FAQ here [] .


The Timecube Guy (1)

carlhirsch (87880) | more than 13 years ago | (#407273)

Hmn. Apparently Doctor Bronner didn't die after all.

All One!

Dilute! Dilute!


Dragon's Lair (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 13 years ago | (#407274)

He's right -- the last time the videogame industry blindly tried to follow the movie industry was with Dragon's Lair. That (along with Warner mismanagement of Atari, the then main supplier of videogames) killed videogames until Nintendo resurrected it with Zelda.

Games are about real-time object/constraint puzzles visualized in 2-D or 3-D plus time. Graphics and sound are the candy to make it go down easier. Too much sugar makes a good buzz (and good profit for the dealer), but also an upset stomach and long-term aversion.

Re:This is where Japanese business scores. (1)

musiholic (94408) | more than 13 years ago | (#407275)

Yes, we can learn a lot from the Japanese - including what not to do.

That was a very nice, informative piece on Japanese companies, but I could have sworn the overall topic was the game industry, not Japan's economic/corporate situation.

If you've anything to say about Nintendo, please, by all means, do so. Though your post may have been informative, it was actually fiarly off topic, at least in my opinion.

Best of luck in the future.

Yamauchi is talking out of his ass (1)

cecil36 (104730) | more than 13 years ago | (#407277)

I'm taking his words with a grain of salt, because

1: the N64 had crap for games.
2: The Game Cube will be a proprietary system (i.e., a DVD system with 3" discs, as reported a few months back). So in other words, don't buy a Game Cube if you expect it to function as a DVD player as well as a console system.
3: Several of Nintendo's key developers when the SNES was a hot item jumped ship for Sony when it was announced that the N64 was to be a cartridge system, because it was cheaper to produce a CD instead of a ROM cartridge.

Re:Bah. (1)

hyperizer (123449) | more than 13 years ago | (#407282)

And Zelda? Well, I heard the new ones were decent 3D remakes of the original, but that's it.

First you lament that there haven't been enough sequels for Metroid and Mario. Then you accuse the two excellent Zelda games of being remakes?

Actually, the two Zelda games are quite good. They certainly don't resemble the NES original, other than sharing a sense of adventure, and fun gameplay based on puzzle-solving.

There are a bunch of other good games for the Nintendo 64, including Paper Mario, Harvest Moon, Donkey Kong 64, Mario 64, and even Mario Kart 64, among others. Granted, it's a tough system to develop for, but I think you're just trolling if you think Nintendo is clueless about how to "function in the gaming industry." They've produced three successfuly home systems, and still make a ton of money on Gameboy.

Oh, and you can get Mega Man on N64--there's a port of Mega Man Legends.

Re:Yamauchi is talking out of his ass (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#407283)

1. Nintendo had great games. Better signal to noise ratio than sony I would say, although the playstation had more games produced which would even it out I guess. 2. Nintendo isn't stupid. I don't like that fact that games are going to be proprietary but I don't think that it will really hurt sales of the hardware very much at all because when it comes out in 9 months, most of the people that want DVD players will have them eighther on their computers or as a component. I think that more of my friends have DVD players than don't right now, and DVD's are quickly becoming more common. 3. I think that if Nintendo can focus on creating good games they will be fine. Designers and developers are everything, but I think Nintendo will do alright. They have alot of good companies working with them.

Re:IMHO... (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#407284)

Or better yet, a killer game made for linux. What would incourage people to try linux more than a game specifically for it, and f/Free?

Somewhat right. (1)

Patrick McCarthy (126209) | more than 13 years ago | (#407287)

Yamauchi is, as usual, hostile towards the gaming industry. With good right to be! But he's missing what the actual problem is with the games themselves.

It's not the developers that are out there. You can have plenty of really highly talented developers and not a designer among 'em. Game designers are among the rarest breed in gaming anymore. If you don't believe me, take a look around: Lots of programmers, lots of good graphics, lots of good audio. Crappy games. (Judging from my poking around happypenguin, OSS suffers from it worse than the gaming industry, so don't give me any crap about how we'll all be saved by the GPL. Just 'cause you can code doesn't mean you can design.)

That isn't to say Nintendo's really good at it. They have alot of crap included with their quality games. The last few I seriously played were F-Zero and Super Metroid, which I actually still pull out once in awhile. Most of their new stuff has been, frankly, boring.

The thing is, everyone _is_ focused on graphics and atmosphere and this so-called 'immersiveness' which everyone hails. It's all a joke. None of it actually exists: The atmosphere gets you into it immediately, but it is the quality of the game that keeps you coming back. Half-Life is extremely overrated because of this, IMO.

That's not to say it can't be done well.. Alice took atmosphere to its logical extreme, much in the way R-Type took repetition to its own. Both were very good for what they did, even if the latter was a much better game (among the best IMNSHO!) overall. (And while I'm at it: Squaresoft's Xenogears took storyline in games to a whole new level.)

So what really is a fun game? It is a game where going through the motions, the controls, whatever about it can be considered fun in some way. But more than that: There has to be little limit on what can be done with it in the long run. (If you poke around Doom is still having time records being beaten, simply due to the sheer variable difficulty and variable goals that the player can impose upon himself) Giving incentive to doing that can also be helpful .. It extends replay value for a long time to come. (R-Type Delta had things you could unlock the more goals you accomplished.. some of the more obscure are nigh impossible)

So, the question is, what do you do about it? Educate them? It could work, but it has to be done well and professionally. A site dedicated to exploring it and doing it right (ala gamasutra, but without the tendency towards tech) could be greatly beneficial. I know I'd be willing to assist in that.

And now I'm getting incoherent, which means I really should get some more caffeine into my diet.

Re:So (1)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 13 years ago | (#407288)

I don't know that word, could you explain it to me please?

A touch of Nintendo advocacy (1)

kisrael (134664) | more than 13 years ago | (#407290)

One thing Nintendo understands that Sony doesn't: Multiplayer Gaming. (Which ties directly into some of the best games not needing the best graphics, though having to do 4 3D viewpoints can be a bit taxing) Sure, a big part of the future of gaming is going to be network play, but there really is something for the social aspect of having a few friends over and wailing the hail out of each other in Mario Kart, Smash Brothers, or Mario Tennis.

Another minor point, Nintendo really has been making some great games. Any game that uses its stable of mascot characters is almost guaranteed to be worthwhile. That doesn't totally make up for the N64's lack of 3rd party support, but it goes a long way. (And people need to learn that just because the mascot games are cute and cartoony doesn't mean they're for kids. Some of those can be the hardest damn games... I'm a better player than most kids I know (ok, my cousins) and sometimes I can barely make it through even with a FAQ or walkthrough.)

Re:This is where Japanese business scores. (1)

Boulder Geek (137307) | more than 13 years ago | (#407293)

The bubble burst in Japan a decade ago, and they still haven't really recovered. The similarities, especially in real estate over-valuation, are kind of scary.

The Nikkei bubble burst largely because the valuations of companies were increasingly based on the value of their Tokyo real estate holdings, many of which were sold back and forth at ever increasing value. Loans were made against these increasingly silly values and when the bubble burst the entire financial sector of Japan was ruined.

Where is the similarity to the NASDAQ bubble?

Re:IMHO... (1)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 13 years ago | (#407295)

I disagree.

Over the past two years, I've seen some very impressive games that, in my opinion, push the envelope so much farther.

Really, playing UT (and soon Unreal 2 and Doom 3) is just ages more immersive than Wolf 3D or any console game of that time. The content is there, in my opinion, even in FPSs where level designers produce some amazing maps.

The new RPGs like BG2 and NWN are more exciting and more interesting than the older ones. Again, the content is there.

I don't really play that many console games because I don't have one. Regardless, I think the gaming industry has only gotten better.

Re:interesting (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 13 years ago | (#407296)

Yes, and the US Government does so much better. If they keep it they will undoubtedly invest it in a $400 claw hammer or a $500 toilet seat.

Or maybe pay off some of the deficit so we're not crushed under huge interest payments.

Bungee (1)

woody_jay (149371) | more than 13 years ago | (#407297)

Is this possibly what happened to Bungee [] when Microsoft bought them out? The making of Halo [] could have very well put them in the same position Yamauchi talks of in making such grapically advanced software. This would put companies like Microsoft in the drivers seat. They definitely could afford to put out these games and reap the benifits afterwards. Don't know how much I like that Idea.

Re:This is where Japanese business scores. (1)

ajna (151852) | more than 13 years ago | (#407298)

Japan breaks all these rules, with a stifleing amount of regulation, huge tax rates and amazing economic performance.

Amazing economic performance, eh? How about the economy's (non)performance since the real estate bubble burst in the mid-80s?

Re:All your base (1)

dark_panda (177006) | more than 13 years ago | (#407303)

Actually, Zero Wing was designed by Toaplan. It was originally released in the arcades in 1989 and was later ported to the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and the NEC PC Engine/TurboGrapx.

There is no such thing as a Sega PC Engine.

And you're so right -- the joke is losing it's charm. It was funny 12 years ago, it was even funny 2 years ago, and it's mildy funny now, but in about a week, when 1/3 of /.'s posts contain a Zero Wing reference, it's really going to suck.


Best quote.. (1)

Daveamadid (200369) | more than 13 years ago | (#407307)

(Venture Capitalists) give money to people that really should be unemployed

I really don't like VC's.

Re:answer to your offtopic question (1)

scorbett (203664) | more than 13 years ago | (#407308)

so pages load faster. also probably gives more banner space or something.

Sorry, wrong answer. I have a 14.4 dialup connection at home (I know, I know) and I can tell you from experience that it's a lot quicker to load one big page than to load several small pages. I do think you may be on to something with the advertising banner thing, though.


Re:Yamaha puts his motorcycle in place. (1)

GunFodder (208805) | more than 13 years ago | (#407309)

Broadband support? Networking with 2 TVs? How many households in the US (a land of way too many TVs and excellent network connectivity) have either of these situations? Not enough for any console makers to spend much money supporting these platforms.

Re:Single platform games (1)

GunFodder (208805) | more than 13 years ago | (#407310)

Naturally he is interested in maximizing profit for Nintendo, and their business model has always been predicated on creating top tier exclusive game titles. How many people do you think bought an NES so they could play Zelda or Super Mario Brothers? I know I did. Once I bought that NES then I bought a number of other games, and Nintendo made a licensing profit on each of those games. And licensing is almost pure profit, because Nintendo doesn't have to develop or manufacture anything to make that money.

Re:Bah. (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#407314)

I wasn't talking about sales, and neither are you; I'm talking about gameplay. I was expecting more, especially after the sheer amount of time Nintendo expected everyone to wait.

You said Nintendo has "a lot of catching up to do", which the only real indicator of how successful a game company is by (ding ding) SALES! I'd say that they could have done better with the N64, but otherwise the only people to blame for the lackluster amount of support the N64 has is the 3rd party companies that bailed on Nintendo (read: Capcom, Konami, Square, et all.).. Big deal, they used cartridges instead of CD's-- I've yet to see a game on the Playstation that couldn't have been done on the N64 with a little effort. (Full motion video and constant vocals aside, of course.)

As for pissing Square off-- I might be wrong on this (and feel free to correct me), but I thought Nintendo offered them a license to do games and Square turned it down (due to lack of CD-ROM support on the N64)? Sounds like Square has some apologizing to do, not Nintendo.

And back to full motion video/ongoing vocal dialogue for a second-- one of the things he talked about in that interview was how game companies need to quit thinking they're movie companies. THEY'RE NOT, and he's absolutely correct-- half the time I see video (in PC games or in some PS/DC games) and I get ill. The fact that these companies are blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars on digital artists or actors to make these things, instead of pouring more resources into actual game development is why we're getting a lot of the trash and repetitive shit we've seen lately.

I guess, to make a long story short, I'll be happy once this shakeup of game companies comes to a completion and we have two hardware vendors and our usual large handful of game development houses. (So far, it looks like the hardware vendors will be Nintendo and Sony, since Sega went and died.) Then maybe it'll be time to actually innovate, rather than be another Sega.

One Minor Quibble (1)

Dr. Dew (219113) | more than 13 years ago | (#407315)

"If the game industry went away, it's not like people would keel over and die on the street."

Well, Jon Katz might... Now how will I write Part 86 of the "Up, Up..." series?

Oh, wait...same thing I was going to do anyway...reprint Part 1.

Michael Jackson? (1)

ManDude (231569) | more than 13 years ago | (#407318)

I don't know if I should be taking my gaming advice from a dude that looks like Michael Jackson?

why do nerds play more games? (1)

PIPINO (238514) | more than 13 years ago | (#407319)

i wish all the best for sonic, he would kick marios' butt anyday
and i would also like to know
why do nerds play more games?
why do nerds care about gaming news?
why do linux sux at games?
why windows XP will kick ass?
why do we exist in this universe?
and how many idiots actualy read my post?

Re:Best quote.. (1)

Foss (248146) | more than 13 years ago | (#407320)

A venture capitalist once gave me rectal fungus in a jar. I accidentally sat on it and it's been spreading ever since. It's starting to produce puss and it's turning green. Could anybody help me? My doctor just tells me to fuck off.

I would have asked him... (1)

Foss (248146) | more than 13 years ago | (#407321)

if all our bases are belong to him.

Good points (1)

cp4 (250029) | more than 13 years ago | (#407323)

He does make sure interesting points. The characters of Mario, Link, etc. have never and will probably never be seen on any other platform. A lot of people grew up with those games and adore the style of those games. Whenever you see Mario or Link/Zelda you automatically think of Nintendo. I hae no idea who Sony's mascot/main character is supposed to be? Crash Bandicoot? It's the games that make the system.

Re:Um Hemos.... (1)

sparcv9 (253182) | more than 13 years ago | (#407324)

Most of those words are directly from or slightly paraphrased from the first paragraph of the linked interviews introduction. It's not Hemos's fault.

Nintendo? Games? anyone? (1)

tewwetruggur (253319) | more than 13 years ago | (#407325)

ummm... I know, I know - I've heard it before "Don't feed the trolls...", and yes, I said a few things the other day regarding said /.er's post, but really... what is this?

Nice lesson on Japanese culture/economics. It also seems that several people disagree with your statements. I asked one of my co-workers to read your post, as she is a native of Japan, and she simply rolled her eyes. That said enough to me, anyway.

I'm really not trying to further incite an already ongoing flame war against Heidi, but what exactly was the point of your post? It really had very little to do with the topic on hand.

Re:innovation in the game industry (1)

jamtz (254744) | more than 13 years ago | (#407326)

IMHO, you are missing:

Middle 90's: Command&Conquer and 5 years of ripoffs (not on game consoles, but still games)

And yes... we need something new... It was amazing/intriging to see all the noise about Pitfall a couple of weeks ago. That is a simple and funny game which still cautivates gameplayers...

Gaming Is Not Stale (1)

ShinyObjectsAndYarn (258031) | more than 13 years ago | (#407328)

I posted it as a reply to another thread, but now I'm going to make it it's own. Don't be surprised if I get repetitive.

Yes, there's a lot of games that put style above substance. Last year's Mortyr is a textbook example. But there loads of games coming out all the time that manage to have gameplay despite thier state of the art graphics.

Last year's the Sims is easily one of the most original games I've ever played (and yes there have been other "life simulators" but nothing does it even close to as well as The Sims). No goals, no big bosses, no leveling up, just a game.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Series - These games are just raw gameplay. I still freeskate all the time just because it's fun, not because of the skater's poly count.

CounterStrike - Took the stale state of multiplayer FPSs, and with no corporate funding broke every convention we know. According to GameSpy It's now played more then Quake III and Unreal Tournament combined and those games had millions backing them.

Nintendo should in no way have the right to insult the current state of the game industry. They're system caters to a certain crowd (adolescents and pre-adolescents) and it does it very well. But fact is in the system's entire life span they have had maybe 5 games worth the money it costs to buy them. And 3 of them were based on already established Nintendo characters. When Nintendo (not Rare, Nintendo) releases a solid game that doesn't star a character from their 8-bit glory days, then they can talk.


Re:I would have asked him... (1)

digidave (259925) | more than 13 years ago | (#407329)

If you had asked "somebody set us up the bomb",
would he have thought you were talking about Hiroshima?

And would he have replied,
"What say you!!"

Graphics have nothing... (1)

manyoso (260664) | more than 13 years ago | (#407330)

"This just backs up what I've always been saying -- games have nothing to do at all with graphics."

Based upon that quote I think it is pretty evident that Nintendo will be follow Sega in the great industry shake-out he is talking about.


Flabdabb Hubbard (264583) | more than 13 years ago | (#407332)

If you MORONS would just take a look at [] You would maybe learn something.

And I find the mysogyny in your posting highly offensive, and request that your account be suspended.

I have sent a copy of your posting to Commander Taco.

Re:Bah. (1)

gerstens1 (308481) | more than 13 years ago | (#407337)

Look around, Zelda was named the best video game ever made in just about every magazine and website; just like Mario 64 was before it. here's a list of some more AAA titles for your enjoyment: Goldeneye Banjo-Kazooie Perfect Dark Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Mario Tennis Super Smash Brothers F-Zero X Paper Mario I could go on, but I hope you get the idea.

Long overdue (1)

screwballicus (313964) | more than 13 years ago | (#407338)

It's nice to see someone make these long-overdue criticisms of the gaming industry. Worse than development houses, in their naivete are their investors. Game industry investors don't seem to be aware of this simple fact:

Development houses are only as valuable as their current contracts.

Making games is a hit and miss operation, especially on the PC platform and the way investors throw money into them, you'd think they were long-term investment opportunities. The sad fact is, that even if you get the #1 game of the year (e.g., Half Life), you won't necessarily make it big (Half Life made net profits of just over $200,000). In any development house, the star designer could leave, the current project could fail or new ideas could stop flowing at any moment. In such a horrendously spasmodic industry, multi-billion-dollar take-over bids seem completely out of place.

Rombuu you fucking idiot (1)

r. ghaffari (317820) | more than 13 years ago | (#407339)

Hemos didn't write that. I suggest you take some classes on cluelessness and learn more about yourself.

r. ghaffari
(25/M/Baltimore, MD)

Re:Bah. (1)

jpetzold (319053) | more than 13 years ago | (#407340)

welll actualy they are getting final fantisy back on there platform since they moved to CDs


Heidi you are off topic ! moderators do your Job (1)

supermoderator (319349) | more than 13 years ago | (#407341)

Heidi you are way off topic. Any moderator worth his mod points should slam your ass back down into negative karma land for such a blaitent Karma whoring post!

Really? (2)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#407344)

The last thing I heard was that Nintendo told Square to stuff it.

I'm interested; could you post a link?
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

Re:Um Hemos.... (2)

pod (1103) | more than 13 years ago | (#407345)

That's it! Hemos is really a Japanese warlord about to take over the Earth and his post was badly translated to English!

Obligatory AYBABTU comment

IMHO... (2)

jd (1658) | more than 13 years ago | (#407346)

The gaming industry has not produced a genuinely innovative product for almost 20 years.

Brighter & Gorier may sell well, and certainly the modern gaming consoles are a good deal more impressive than the Atari 400's, numbers-wise, but I'm not seeing the content.

Worse, with all sorts of patents and copyrights blocking development of software by 3rd parties, what we have is the monopolistic, power-crazed attitude that most Free Software/Open Source advocates know and hate, because THAT destroys innovation far more than co-operation ever could.

Is it "News for Nerds"? Unquestionably, yes. So would a nuclear war. Does that mean we should be supporting or encouraging it's neolithic attitudes? Nope.

IMHO, the best thing that could happen to the games industry would be if a bunch of (REAL) hackers got together, threw a truly spectacular console together, and wrote a killer game for it, under the GPL.

Re:interesting (2)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 13 years ago | (#407347)

or like 99.999% of dot coms. thats why a tax break won't help the economy. people will just go back to investing stupidly.

Yes, and the US Government does so much better. If they keep it they will undoubtedly invest it in a $400 claw hammer or a $500 toilet seat.

If you aren't smart enough to keep your own money out of goofy investments, then that is your problem, not mine. I want my money back!

Re:Bah. (2)

Dixie_Flatline (5077) | more than 13 years ago | (#407348)

Nintendo has catching up to do? []


Nintendo knows what they're doing. If the games don't appeal to you, that's fine. But it's clear that they can attract customers.

When the second Zelda for the N64 released, it sold more copies than currently available PSX2s in North America. I think Sony needs to rethink their strategy. Not only are the games not much fun, but they can't even get the hardware to the consumer so that they can play the good games that *do* exist.

Actually... (2)

Anonymous Shepherd (17338) | more than 13 years ago | (#407349)

Actually, best thing that could happen is if a bunch of real hackers got together, use a truly mediocre console (like the Playstation or Gameboy) and wrote a killer game for it, under the GPL.

Unless I'm misunderstanding your intent, spectacular sound and graphics do not a great game make. A great game is a great game, and the sound and graphics are nearly irrelevant.


Re:cost of making a game, porting to other platfor (2)

jovlinger (55075) | more than 13 years ago | (#407351)

I couldn't follow his logic there. I couldn't follow why ports would lead to a hardware war -- quite the opposite I'd think, and then he says [correctly] that systems are secondary, and games primary.

If games are primary isn't it best if they are ported to all platforms to defray production costs?

Re:Actually... (2)

jacoplane (78110) | more than 13 years ago | (#407353)

Ahh, but great hackers do not make great game designers necesarily. Let's see: Shigeru Miyamoto, Peter Molyneux, etc. They're not exactly John Carmack style hackers are they?

Anyway, this guy doesn't seem to get the point that his own company(Nintendo) keeps proving over and over again: games are an essential part of life for kids! Why do you think Mario, Zelda, Pokemon, etc have been so essential? I think that as long as there are kids, there will be a market for videogames. And then there are all of the old "kids" (like me, well I'm 21 so i'm not a kid :) ) who have grown up with videogames and 'll stay gamers for the rest of our lives.

The point he makes about gameplay being more important than graphics is something that any gamer knows instinctively anyway.

Re:This is where Japanese business scores. (2)

carlhirsch (87880) | more than 13 years ago | (#407354)

Well - we've been taking lessons from them on how to create a "Bubble Economy", at least.

The NASDAQ hit a two year low yesterday in case you weren't looking.

Most tech companies are posting big profit warnings. Lucent appears to have fundamental financial problems. Motorola is laying off a ton of people. These things do not a collapse make, but it makes Greenspan's warnings of "Irrational Exuberance" hit a lot closer to home.

The bubble burst in Japan a decade ago, and they still haven't really recovered. The similarities, especially in real estate over-valuation, are kind of scary.


Nobody should say a damn thing (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 13 years ago | (#407357)

until they read "Game Over: Press Start To Continue." Excellent book on the history of Nintendo. Don't count Nintendo out; the N64 was a failure, yes. By Nintendo standards. Any other company would have considered it a fantastic success.

Re:Nobody should say a damn thing (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 13 years ago | (#407358)

Not quite. But cartridges are right out, due to cost, time to manufacture, and limited space.

Re:IMHO... (2)

dark_panda (177006) | more than 13 years ago | (#407368)

To a certain extent, you are partially right. There are only so many types of games that can be created based on so many play mechanics. Even the most recent and popular games still rely on time-honoured play mechanics that have been around since the 2600 days.

Take Metal Gear Solid, for instance. Yes, it is an incredible game (probably my favorite, despite the ease at which I can beat it these days). It's presentation is practically flawless, it's story solid (no pun intended) and it's play mechanics sound.

But, as I believe Hideo Kojima once said, it's still using some of the most basic, fundamental game play techniques as games 10 or 15 years old -- you're still in a maze with a top-down view (Pac Man) with lots of weapons and espionage tactics (the original Metal Gear for the MSX). The reason MGS is so damn awesome is that it is so simple yet elegant -- it combines simple, easy to master play control with a good story and a great graphics and sound engine. It wasn't particularly innovative outside of the numerous camera angles, but it was such a fine example perfect video game production that it didn't matter.

It seems that all of the best games (IMHO) have that trait -- they take time honored video game play control and mechanics and kick them up a notch with more features and perhaps better graphics and sound. Castlevania: SOTN on the PSX is a good example -- it isn't that much different than the first Castlevania, but it adds more play control options, an RPG element and prettier graphics to produce one of the more memorable PSX games. The Final Fantasy series is the same -- the new PSX games in the series aren't that much different than the SNES or NES games in the series, but they are able to convey the story of the game through better graphics and sound. The fundamental play mechanics are still basically the same. (The FF series is, btw, my person favorite line of games. I'm an RPG freak.)

It's kind of like movies. Directors have been using the same classic editing techniques since DW Griffith and the Lonedale Operator. The special effects have gotten nicer, the sets have become bigger and the photography is improved, but some of the basic film editing and shooting techniques used today are as old as the medium itself. Some innovation still occurs, though (such as the Matrix special f/x), but the fundamentals are always there. And yet we still love movies.

Enough rambling from me. Have I made any sense?

BTW, on an off-topic note, I just graduated from university this week and hope to eventually get into the video game biz, designer or developer, hell, even programmer. I'm thinking of taking a summer-long course at DigiPen in Vancouver or Seattle. Anybody been? I was accepted for their 2-year BSc. course in 1997, but I ended up getting a scholarship elsewhere so I put that on the backburner. Any thoughts from anybody who's heard of or been to that school?


Re:Not this idiot (2)

JCCyC (179760) | more than 13 years ago | (#407369)

This is the gu[y] who refuses to let square make Gamecube games because they abandoned the Super Nintendo for the Playstation.

Hm, it seems he and Fidel DO have something in common after all. Both are power-hungry vengeful megalomaniacs.

BTW, my spamproofing is that way because that's my surname. Really.

Re:This is where Japanese business scores. (2)

Alatar (227876) | more than 13 years ago | (#407370)

Success? Amazing economic performance? You mean the way the Japanese economy actually contracted last year? The keiretsu are a major cause of Japan's stagnation. The reluctance to "restructure" them (i.e. go through rounds and rounds of painful layoffs, like the USA did during the 80s and early 90s) is why Japan's recession has lasted so inexplicably long. Maybe you're just blatantly trolling, or karma whoring, but the Japanese economy isn't the job destroyer it was during the 80s. Their economy overheated and popped back in 1989, and they've been in the toilet ever since.

What's the relevance to Nintendo? I dunno, you didn't mention them either.

Re:All your base (2)

Foss (248146) | more than 13 years ago | (#407371)

I'm sure I saw a link to the story on here once. Probably about a month ago come to think of it!

interesting (2)

flynt (248848) | more than 13 years ago | (#407372)

"Venture capitalists, in particular. That's why these people are pouring money into the field right now.

Q: Because they don't know how difficult it really is?

Y: Right. They give money to people that really should be unemployed, and they in turn round up some friends..."

Does this sound like any web board you guys have heard of?

Re:Right on! (2)

ShinyObjectsAndYarn (258031) | more than 13 years ago | (#407373)

I'm so sick of seeing this complaint. It's like saying every movie since 1927 has merely been a vehicle for talking and you'll only watch movies from before that because that's when the writers would really focus on the plot. There are plenty of fun games that also happen to have advanced graphics.

Metal Gear Solid has incredible, state of the art graphics. Sure the game was more complex then Pitfall, but did that make it bad? Of course not. It was a fantastic game. Now it wasn't good because of the graphics, it was good because it was a tight, well told adventure. The graphics were just the metaphorical icing on the cake.

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 and 2 are another example. They are just instant classics and for pure fun factor they deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Mario Kart and Metroid. Both are as addictive as crack, and incredibly fun. Despite throughly beating the hell out of Tony Hawk 2 15 times, I still go back and play around in the free skate mode because it's just raw gameplay. Sure, there's pretty graphics too, but I don't keep coming back becuase of the polygon count in the skaters.

Again, old Atrai games are fun. But don't write off any game made in the past ten years just because there's a handfull that are style over substance. There's plenty that are a solid combination of both.


This is where Japanese business scores. (2)

Heidi Wall (317302) | more than 13 years ago | (#407374)

The Kairetsu system (a Kairetsu is a huge Japanese conglomorate, something like Walmart, Microsoft, Intel and General Motors all rolled into one), and the close state control (the MITI controls every aspect of business life in Japan, and the politicians have no say) means that Japanese businesses can afford to take risks and take a firm line and think of the far future. They, rightly or wrongly, do not need to worry about whining shareholders - shareholders have very few rights under Japanese law.

The Japanese capitalist system is not really a free market at all in fact. There are only a dozen Kairetsu, which between them control some 95% of the Japanese economy, and do so with the backing of the government. They do not directly compete, operating in a cartel like manner, and are anything but free.

One can see this corporate culture affects how the Japanese do business - they needn't be innovative, and according to our values the entire shebang should collapse, but the fundamental values of Japanese society keep it afloat and ensure it is a success.

It is amusing to note that in the west we assume that Low taxes + Free sink or swim market + no regulation = economic success. Japan breaks all these rules, with a stifleing amount of regulation, huge tax rates and amazing economic performance.

We could still learn a lot from the Japanese, which is why interviews such as this one are very useful.
Clarity does not require the absence of impurities,

Bah. (3)

pb (1020) | more than 13 years ago | (#407375)

I loved the 8-bit NES. And even the SNES had some really cool games on it.

Metroid, Super Metroid, Final Fantasy 1-3 (american), Mario 1-3, at least some of the Zelda games, Castlevania, Mega Man...

And look at where they've gone. Nintendo dropped the ball on Metroid and Mario; in the meantime, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, and Mega Man are on Playstation.

And Zelda? Well, I heard the new ones were decent 3D remakes of the original, but that's it.

Why buy a game system that has like two or three decent games?

No, I think Nintendo has a LOT of catching up to do before they can start talking about how other people don't know how to write games, or function in the gaming industry.
pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [] .

Re:Single platform games (3)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 13 years ago | (#407376)

Attitudes like yours really irritate me. When a developer spends their time making a game that will run on multiple platforms two thigs happen.
First the game is limited by the technology of the least innovative platform minus the performance hit of any abstraction layers etc... Second, lots of time is spent making the game work on other platforms instead of paying attention to details, and the details can make or break a game. This is why almost all games that are developed with more then one platform target to start with usually suck.

A perfect recent example of this is Oni. Oni is a great concept for a game. The gameplay is good too. But the details aren't there. The sound can get distorted or latent, when people fall down the stairs they land horizontal instead of at the slope of the stairs, the clipping sucks, they didn't spend enough time choosing their textures... The list goes on.

One last point. The console industry isn't the computer industry (yet). Lets hope it doesn't become the same. Let's look at why: The PC industry started off by making varied and innovative hardware. Then, when IBM clones came out hardware innovation stopped in the consumer space, and we've been stuck with the same outdated underdesigned hack of a hardware platform in the mainstream for the last 20 years. Now, in 2001 you have the console gaming industry with some really new and innovative hardware archetectures like the PS2 and the Gamecube. Do you really think that the software will benifit from having to run on such varied hardware? No, it wont, so what will happen is that all of the future game systems will have to be extremely similar in order to compete in the market. There won't be any innovation in the console hardware industry anymore.

It's ok if you can't get every game for every console. It's ok if you end up with more then one console. In the end there will be a larger variety of game types and amazing hardware out there. That would be great!

Um Hemos.... (3)

Rombuu (22914) | more than 13 years ago | (#407377)

John Ricciardi of Video Senki has a great interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi, president of Nintendo, his "absolute favorite" for the same reason Castro is his fav head of state: "They're both firm as a rock on their issues, and they're both just so goshdarn sincere, you know?""

Well, all of those words are in English, they just don't amke any sense in that order....

Re:IMHO... (3)

Broccolist (52333) | more than 13 years ago | (#407378)

20 years? Come on. That's how long the gaming industry has existed! Are you suggesting that the current crop of games is not innovative, even compared to no games at all?

There were dozens of genres of games invented in the past 20 years: side-scrollers, space shooters, RPGs, first-person shooters, third-person shooters, platformers, puzzle games, adventure games, turn-based strategy, real-time strategy, business simulators, dating simulators, flight simulators, and so on. There are more genres than I can count! You're saying that none of this is innovative? IMHO, the gaming industry has been amazingly prolific, especially considering the short span of time in which it has existed.

On the other hand, free software programmers have consistently proven that they are completely incapable of creating a decent game. All free software projects aiming to create a complete, commercial-quality game have been dismal failures. The only free games of note, such as Counterstrike, are those built on top of existing commercial engines. The OSS development model is good for some applications, but games are definitely not one of them.

And "threw a truly spectacular console together"? Cluestick: manufacturing hardware requires capital. Free software, by definition, will never produce hardware. So save your GPL rhetoric for a topic where it's appropriate.

cost of making a game, porting to other platforms (3)

L-Train8 (70991) | more than 13 years ago | (#407380)

He's got some good points, especially about how much time and money it takes to make a game today. That is killing the PS2. If a developer doesn't have a blockbuster with a PS2 game, they lose money. That's one thing that Nintendo is doing with the GameCube, making it easy to program for. Maybe XBox will be easy too, since it's basically a PC.

I also like his comments about ports of games to other platforms. While this makes a lot of sense to developers, in the end, if all games are out on every platform, there is really nothing to differentiate them. Nintendo has always had strong 1st and 2nd party developers who can assure exclusive games. Microsoft is trying to do that by buying lots of companies, but how much of the stuff that they do will be exclusive to the XBox? Won't most of it get ported to the PC as well? Sony has had a great relationship with Square, but most of the games for PlayStation are made by 3rd party developers, and are usually ported to other platforms.

Single platform games (3)

scorbett (203664) | more than 13 years ago | (#407381)

Nintendo's business is to make games that can only be played on Nintendo systems. Nintendo's games only run on Nintendo's consoles, and no one else's. Our aim is to get people to think Nintendo's games are the greatest, the best in the world.

Attitudes like this irritate me. Why focus on the hardware when, really, all the interesting stuff is in the software? Contrast to the computer industry in the 1980's: IBM figured they could make billions by making better hardware (i.e. PS2) when all the money turned out to be in the software (i.e. Micro$oft). It seems to me that hardware is becoming less and less relevant, it's the software that will really drive innovation in the games industry, especially if cross-platform console games start to get developed en masse. Nintendo's attitude of "if you want to play a Nintendo game, you must buy a Nintendo system!" seems really backwards.

[Off Topic]: on an unrelated note, what the hell is with the page layout in this article? Why display only two or three questions and answers on a page, and then provide a link to the next page? Why not just put the entire interview on one page? I hate when web sites do that!


Re:Bah. (3)

Foss (248146) | more than 13 years ago | (#407382)

FF6 (US 3) was amazing, as was Secret of Mana. Hopefully Square and Nintendo will kiss and make up sometime soon. Chocobo full-chested reptile nose buttons, and the mousebook heart of blankety blank - piff paff poof - held tortilla book slayer. Harder cone-can? Only guitarstring flop-doodle gangybone davin flurp jhsodj ouhuoe oeuho odhg dog8 3ho38 y839yg 98se9yg5hes gjhe gouye 85yg 48wg09yh4 g5shreljgh og8us9yregsdlkjrhg osr ghso o hgosy 098gy94w5sreg5h ksjdhg;sgsg until they all oufahsor.

Right on! (3)

sparcv9 (253182) | more than 13 years ago | (#407383)

Mr. Yamauchi keeps stressing the one point that I constantly gripe about. Video games are not about the graphics. They're about the gameplay. The most recent game console I own is a SuperNES, and I have no idea in which closet it now resides. I've been too busy playing my Atari 2600 games to bother to dig it out, but I might get the urge to play Zelda again some day. Oh, the days when graphics didn't mean squat, and it was all about the fun factor! Rock on, Mr. Yamauchi!

Re:Long overdue (4)

John Carmack (101025) | more than 13 years ago | (#407384)

>Half Life made net profits of just over $200,000

Uh, no. Half Life made FAR more than that.

The top titles still bring in lots of money, but if you don't get a hit, you probably won't recoup your development money.

John Carmack

Re:Bah. (4)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#407385)

I disagree, the Nintendo 64 is doing FINE in sales, you don't see them folding camp like Sega did do you?

Another thing-- you SEVERLY underrate Zelda 64 (and Nintendo's other games for the N64). "And Zelda? Well, I heard the new ones were decent 3D remakes of the original, but that's it."? While I haven't played Majora's Mask, the Ocarina of Time kicked ass, you'd be a fool to say that game was 'just a remake'. Sure, the gameplay shares a lot of it's roots with the original top-down games, but it's a sequel, were you expecting a complete overhaul?

I think what he said was DEAD on-- the industry as a whole is becoming too engrossed in 'ooooh pretty'-gee whiz graphics and not with good content that involves the player. Some of gamings biggest hits weren't successful because of their presentation, but because the gameplay was ENGAGING. (Enter: Tetris, Pac-Man, etc, etc.) Exceptions of course exist, but not on the console platforms (the original Quake on the PC naturally being a break-through title) generally. If any company has a grasp on the gaming industry as a whole, it's Nintendo. Unfortunately, Nintendo just wasn't as good as Sony with courting 3rd party developers to their console. But I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in here that would say the PS1 was technically superior to the N64, except for the lack of a CD-ROM..

WTF (4)

Dr. Prakash Kothari (314326) | more than 13 years ago | (#407386)

Can someone explain to me how President of Nintendo=Ruthless Communist Dictator. Maybe I missed something in the interview.

In a lot of ways, he's right (5)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 13 years ago | (#407387)

As I was ready the comments made by Mr. Yamauchi (someone who's been in the game industry longer than some of you have been alive), I realized in a lot of ways, he's very right in some of his views. I disagree slightly with the "multiple porting" thing, but his point about games and technology was dead on.

I'm not one of those "the old days were the best", but there's something to be said when the Gameboy sells about 50% of all console products, even though their graphics are hardly state of the art. Too many developers seem to feel the need to include "super-cool anti-aliasing triple buffered coolness", then come up with a game like Oni, which had some cool ideas, but obviously fell short in the gameplay area. (Hello? Keyboard map and mouse control?)

You can tell which games are the best, because their not just made to make money (I'm not so naive to believe that game developers don't want to make money), but you can sense they're a labor of love as well. No One Lives Forever doesn't have an "advanced" of a game engine compared to Quake 3, but for the story and humor it crushes the other FPS in the competition. Thief and Thief II, a pair of the best games developed for the FPS market, were hacked on for not having a highly developed graphical engine, though the gameplay (especially with Thief II, when it reached near perfect status) couldn't be faulted.

The most recent example is in Final Fantasy IX. Now, I know some people have heralded it as the second coming in console games. Yes, the graphics were pretty (Princess Garnett - oh, yes.) Yes, the music was nice. But the story got lost by the second disk, the random battles became so tedius that I just about pulled my hair out, and the final end battle was as exciting as the Richard Simmon's Chest Shaving Competition.

As for his other comments - will the gaming industry slow down? Well, with the rest of the economy, I'm sure. Then again, after the mistakes already made *cough*Daikatana investors*cough* in giving funds to new gaming startups, we'll to see if investors will be so willing to part with their cash in the future.

In the meantime, I'll just keep my eyes open, and play the games that I think are fun.
John "Dark Paladin" Hummel

innovation in the game industry (5)

flynt (248848) | more than 13 years ago | (#407388)

Most game companies are just "me too" companies.

I see my limited history of gaming like this.

1980's : Mario brothers and a decade of rip offs.

Early 90's : Street Fighter II and 5 years of rip offs.

Late 90's : Wolf3D/Doom and a decade of ripoffs.

Now I know there were other great games during these times, original ones too, trust me I've played them. But this is how I have seen the gaming industry "progress."
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