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The Pressures on the Next Nintendo Console

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the big-shoes-to-fill dept.

341

With the launch of Nintendo's next-gen offering a little more than two months away, the importance that Nintendo is placing on this console is finally becoming apparent. Dyed-in-the-wool Nintendo loyalists and haters alike have both come to the same conclusion: if Nintendo is to stay a force in the non-portable console market, this system has to succeed. Along those lines, WhatEntertainment offers an editorial entitled Failure is not an Option. It explores the reality that Nintendo's failure would have repercussions on the industry as a whole. "Most of all I'm worried what this might do to the industry if it's a failure. In a landscape already filled with the carcasses of those that dared to try something new, and publishers more afraid than ever to try something a little different, the high-profile failure of a system that tried to put innovation and fun before graphics could be the final nail in the coffin of creativity." Meanwhile, GameInformer has a piece entitled Will Wii be Dissapointed Again? Billy Berghammer says what he doesn't want to say: the Wii could be another flop for Nintendo. From that article: "The launch price is low enough (outside of the $60 for controller costs) to avoid damaging my wallet the same way the purchase of a Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 will, and the possibilities and promises from Nintendo somehow still keep me hoping for a bright future. But for now, the future is made up of many of the same promises and hopes I had when the N64 and GameCube were announced. I just hope I don't end up being disappointed once again."

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341 comments

GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131446)

IN DA HOUSE!

Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (4, Insightful)

ACAx1985 (989265) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131452)

As long as Nintendo continues the Mario, Zelda, (etc) franchises, their consoles will continue to sell with or without third party support. Fact is, their first party games are just THAT good.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (5, Insightful)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131544)

Indeed.

Plus the Nintendo war chest that dates back from the NES era (remember kids: nintendo has never EVER lost any money, even on hardware sales, even for a quarter, even during the worst of the GameCube era) is humongous, and the DS Lite prints money after all [uncyclopedia.org] .

They can afford several more gamecube-level failures, especially since gamecube-level failures still nets them profits without even the need for first-party games.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (4, Interesting)

DorkusMasterus (931246) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131637)

Well, I didn't read the article, but the the implication I get is not that Nintendo needs this to be a hit financially, as much as in the public opinion arena, to be a true contender in the console market in the future.

I don't think anyone in their right mind could justify saying Nintendo is going to be in trouble (as a company) if the Wii disappoints. However, it is likely that if it doesn't sell well, and people generally don't adopt it well, that Nintendo may start to be seen as "the" handheld company, and not the "video game" company it is currently. Does that make sense? I just think it's deeper than financial. Sony's not going to fail if the PS3 fails. But it's games division, SCE, will be rocky. But Nintendo, as stated, will make a profit on each unit, ensuring Nintendo isn't going anywhere soon.

But it may not be on people's radar unless they make Wii stick with gamers.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (3, Insightful)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131778)

Well, I didn't read the article, but the the implication I get is not that Nintendo needs this to be a hit financially, as much as in the public opinion arena, to be a true contender in the console market in the future.

Whatever happens in the west, even if the Wii utterly fails, Nintendo will always be a "true contender" on the japanese market (especially with the success of the DS, Nintendo has become omnipresent there).

Nintendo won't stop making consoles anytime soon, trust me on that one.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (5, Interesting)

Doytch (950946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132359)

I just think it's deeper than financial. Sony's not going to fail if the PS3 fails. But it's games division, SCE, will be rocky Huh? The only division in Sony that actually makes money is the Games division. The fact that every division in Sony is throwing their products onto the PS3 only shows that the PS3 is their only hope. Pioneer forced Sony out of plasmas pretty much by themselves, and Sharp is killing them in LCDs. Throw in the fact that the PS3 is incurring massive costs for Sony and you'll see that if the PS3 legitimately fails, Sony will be in big shit.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (1)

Joe5678 (135227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131813)

They can afford several more gamecube-level failures, especially since gamecube-level failures still nets them profits without even the need for first-party games.

The HARDWARE costs nets them a profit, they still have R&D costs though.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131900)

The HARDWARE costs nets them a profit, they still have R&D costs though.

Right, right. So they have to do well enough to recoup their R&D cost. The reason why having a for-profit hardware console is important is that it means the very first sale of their console starts paying off that R&D cost. This is why they were able to make all their money back and them some despite the "failure" that was the Gamecube. If they had tried selling their console at a loss, like Microsoft, then they would most likely have ended up losing money overall, again like Microsoft.

Instead, they made money. And that was on what was possibly the least exciting most "me-too" Nintendo console ever.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16132254)

That "Nintendo has never lost money on a console" is something of an urban myth. While Nintendo hasn't lost money in all but one quarter, the N64 and Gamecube were money losers for Nintendo. These losses were completely offset by the huge profits from the various Gameboy incarnations and software but the individual consoles as standalone products did not make money over their life cycles. They did not make back their R&D and advertising costs in first-party game sales. Not having a constant flow of "free money" from third-party licensing fees later in the consoles' lifecycles didn't help them out either. This is one of the reasons why Nintendo spent almost nothing on R&D and did little more than just a die-shrink and a consolidation of the Gamecube chipset and packaged it with a new controller and re-launched the Gamecube as the "Wii".

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132398)

That "Nintendo has never lost money on a console" is something of an urban myth.

If you're going to say something is an urban legend, I'd at least expect a snopes link to support that. :P

But I'd believe the GC lost money overall and it was made up for with GB sales.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (1)

Tremor (APi) (678603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132002)

Certainly, but all that R&D cost is already on their books, and they haven't posted a loss, which means GC & DS made up for all of their R&D costs for the Wii, and then some.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (0, Troll)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132139)

Not nessesarily, it depends upon how they did their accounting. Companies have dozens of ways to hide short term losses. Most likly they will continue to hide these loses untill the Wii starts raking in money.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (2, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131926)

Actually, in 2003 they DID lose money, but that was because the dollar took an (probably expected) nosedive versus the Yen. However, after that, Nintendo has been keeping much more dollars and euro on hand to avoid another fiasco.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131840)

The whole idea that "Nintendo has to do well this round or they are out" is ludicrous. Nintendo doesn's need to get 1st or 2nd place to stay in the game. They make a profit on each system sold, and do not require massive volumes to break even like Sony or MS (who sell their systems at a loss).

Despite this odd opinion that people have that Nintendo "lost" the last console round, they still managed to make a boat-load of cash. Profit-wise Nintendo destroyed MS (which never broke even for the xbox overall) and were nearly the equal of Sony. Pretty damn good for a company everyone assumes will be soon going the way of Sega.

Don't kid yourself; Nintendo is smart and focused, and they ain't going anywhere. They are not trying to conquer the market. They are clever enough to quietly sit back and rake in the profits while the two giants fight it out.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131872)

As long as Nintendo continues the Mario, Zelda, (etc) franchises, their consoles will continue to sell with or without third party support. Fact is, their first party games are just THAT good.

On the NES, SNES and N64 Mario and Zelda games where awesome, however that time is long long ago. MarioSunshine and Zelda WindWaker on the Gamecube disapointed for most part. So did NewSuperMarioBros on the DS. Sure, none of those games where horrbile, but they where far away from the legendary status that those franchises earned in the old days. If Nintendo continues down that road I doubt that they could hold out for much longer.

Nintendo might have realized that themself, since the DS doesn't sell because of Mario and Zelda, it sells for large part because of BrainAge, Nintendogs and similar new kinds of games.

The days of Mario and Zelda are not numbered yet, but they have much less relevance these days already and are sold quite a bit less then Halo, GTA and friends.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (3, Insightful)

joshsisk (161347) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132274)

"On the NES, SNES and N64 Mario and Zelda games where awesome, however that time is long long ago."

There has only been one Zelda game and one Mario game since then. One game is not "long long ago".

Windwaker was good, though not quite up to the standard of the N64 games. I never played Mario Sunshine, so I can't comment on it as a follow up to Mario World (or was it called Mario 64, I forget?).

New SMB, however, was great fun! It's a retro-esque game, though, deliberately designed to be a succesor to the NES/SNES games... you can't really expect it to be a worthy follow up to Mario World/Mario 64/whatever it was called.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (1)

moo083 (716213) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132285)

I agree with a lot of the points you make, but I'm going to disagree with you on New Super Mario Bros. I personally really like Wind Waker, although you are right that it is not legendary status like Ocarina of Time, but New Super Mario Bros. was one of my favorite Mario games in a long time. I really missed a Mario sidescroller and they hit the hammer directly on the nail. Also, you are ignoring Super Smash Brothers which was a HUGE hit on the GameCube, not to mention mario kart, and Madden, and Resident Evil 4 (which a lot of people liked on the GameCube more than any other console). Another thing: Halo and GTA are ONLY relevent in the US. USA != Earth! No one cares about either of these games to the same extent as they do in the US.

Re:Zelda, Mario, Rinse, Repeat (1)

Hitto (913085) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132317)

I feel there's a strong pressure on Nintendo. But, when the GC was released, I didn't really care about it because the original lineup was really, really, shitty. This time, I'm pretty excited to try out wii sports and a zelda that doesn't involve setting a direction on the boat, go cook dinner, and wait another twenty minutes until you arrive at your destination.

But!

You (and I as well) might have been disappointed by these latest titles, but I can tell you every casual gamer really didn't care. It's mario, he jumps on things, and if you've never played "the lost levels" and haven't spent your life in front of videogames, there is no difference between now and fuzzy childhood memories.

Plus, I don't think icons like mario can die that easily. Maybe in a few decades, when the first-timers are all gone? Yeah, right, it also happened to bugs bunny and mickey mouse, remember? ;)

It also means we're gonna be stuck with halo or gta, but it is good news to gamers who appreciate these kinds of games, and more money generated for the industry, so it's good news to everyone.

Will it run Linux? (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132050)

So it's nice that it'll run all these games and such, but will the design be open enough to run Linux on it? Sounds like the processor is pretty fast, though neither the Nintendo website nor Wikipedia said how much RAM it has (there's 512MB of flash storage, but there's USB so you can easily add more.)

Imagine a game called Beowulf for it....

A little more than a month? (0, Flamebait)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131457)

Nov. 19 *minus* Sept. 19 *equals* TWO MONTHS. 200% is now considered a "little bit more"?

No, I didn't read TFA, not after that line


(ooooh Flamey Flamey -1!!)

Re:A little more than a month? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131517)

(and, yes I realize today is the 18th, like 30 seconds after I posted that... EGG ON MY FACE :) )

Opinion of article.... (4, Insightful)

Aeron65432 (805385) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131486)

Another flop? Did I miss something?
"Nintendo reported that as of June 30, 2006 they have sold a total of 21.00 million Nintendo GameCube units worldwide."
"With 32.93 million Nintendo 64 units sold worldwide..."

They're not #1, but they are certainly a strong (read: profitable) second-place contender. I wonder what these flops are?

Re:Opinion of article.... (3, Insightful)

Valharick (903629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131520)

Typically when someone talks about a Nintendo flop they like to pull out the Virtua Boy. Pretty much the one system Nintendo had that didn't do too well. Personally, I'd rather work for a company that sold 50M units in the black than one that sold 70M in the red.

Re:Opinion of article.... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132253)

If you count add-ons, the Famicom Disk System was not very successful either.

Re:Opinion of article.... (4, Informative)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131580)

Nintendo was actually 3rd place worldwide on the last generation... in unit sales (Microsoft shipped 24 million xbox)

Of course, Nintendo trounced MS in Japan and got a damn huge lot of profits out of the gamecube era (hint: you're nearly the only game publisher for a 20million user base. Ohhh look, every single release gets a million sales!) while Microsoft lost $2billion in the process. But on shipped units count, they lost.

Re:Opinion of article.... (2, Informative)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131851)

The OP was merely pointing out that none of Nintendo's systems have flopped... and that he did forget about the not so venerable Virtual Boy. *Sigh*

So, even though their home console sold the least, they were the clear winners of the last generation with regards to profit. And I agree with your statement about their lack of 3rd party support.

Re:Opinion of article.... (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132046)

Shipped or Sold? Nintendo reports in sold, not shipped.

How many XBox are actually sold out of that shipped number?

Re:Opinion of article.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16132226)

One thing that always has me curious is that the XBox numbers almost *always* say "unofficially estimated". The fact is, nobody really has any *real* Xbox sales numbers, because Microsoft doesn't share them. For instance: http://www.vgcharts.org/consworld.php [vgcharts.org] . Who is the only one missing here? Microsoft is the only one that won't share. Makes me wonder. You should to.

Re:Opinion of article.... (5, Insightful)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131699)

I don't think you understand... Nintendo is always on the brink of failure. Yeah, they completely own the handheld console market. True, they don't lose money on hardware like Microsoft. Oh yeah, and they've only had one unprofitable quarter in their 100+ year history. But wait! No! They're doomed! (really)

Re:Opinion of article.... (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132035)

Read the complete article [gameinformer.com] . Billy Berghammer fairly clearly defines what he means as a flop: third-party developer support never really materialized.

If you read through the article, it's fairly clear that he's a Nintendo fanboi. His concerns are essentially that the Wii will fail to gain developer support, and essentially float by on only Nintendo games.

With the new control scheme, there's a very real risk that third-party developer support will never materialize and the Wii will suffer the GameCube's fate of not having enough games to really push it forward. If you're looking at one new Nintendo game every couple of months, that's not the most compelling reason to buy a console.

His concern isn't that Nintendo won't make a profit, they almost certainly will. (It's Vladimir Cole who says we shouldn't buy the Wii because Nintendo makes a profit [joystiq.com] . Seriously.)

Berghammer's concern is that developer support will fail to materialize and the Wii will be stuck with a small game library while most of the games are on one of the other consoles.

huh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131487)

quote: Dyed-in-the-wool Nintendo loyalists and haters alike have both come to the same conclusion: if Nintendo is to stay a force in the non-portable console market, this system has to succeed.

Says who? Oh, someone on the internet. So it MUST be true.

Bad style! [beep! beep!] (2, Funny)

oc255 (218044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131492)

"I am of course talking about the Wii (pronounced as we), which while perhaps being the strangest name ... [snip]"

Alert, alert! They call it "THE Wii" when the Nintendo Wii style guide explicitly says to call it just plain "Wii". Deploy the style sentinel drones of doom!

Re:Bad style! [beep! beep!] (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131582)

Their style guide is boneheaded and doesn't seem to have had any input from a native English speaker. "Wii" just doesn't automatically parse, when heard verbally, as a proper noun. "I have Wii" "You mean, you have ... us?" "No, I bought a wii." "You bought away? You bought a wee ...?" "No, I bought a Nintendo Wii." "Oh, I see. Nice, short name there."

Re:Bad style! [beep! beep!] (1)

SoapDish (971052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132141)

Sure, it may sound odd to say "I love Wii", or "I have a Wii", but in terms of syntax it works. Any native english speaker's brain should think "A noun refering to a third party has to go there. Therefore Wii is an object".

So the real news here is... (3, Insightful)

DorkusMasterus (931246) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131498)

that of the big three, Microsoft seems to be in the most stable place currently. Now, I'm by no means an M$ fanboy, but it does seem that the analysts are correct in their looking at Nintendo as needing a solid hit out of the Wii, to have a future in the console market. (They will still be fine with handheld sales alone, of course). Same thing with Sony and their PS3 (excepting the haldheld market, as the PSP is still struggling to find a foothold anywhere). PS3 will no doubt sell well to loyalists and such, but will it be enough to keep the company making as much money as they did in PS2 and game sales?

Only time will tell, but it's very interesting that this all places quite a bit on Microsoft's side, as they are going to be regarded as the "established" player in the market, come Christmastime, and with a well timed and measured price cut, they could be looking at a very good situation over there...

I personally (and here's the fanboy side) hope the Wii does well. Even if it's not all we hoped, it's still someone trying to innovate in a market crowded with sequels, little improvements from generation to generation, and I hope they are rewarded for it. I think it will do much better than say, the Dreamcast. But, overall, it's going to be an interesting year from here on out to see where the consumer speaks with their wallets...

Re:So the real news here is... (2, Interesting)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131607)

that of the big three, Microsoft seems to be in the most stable place currently.

Uh... what? So basically, losing $2b on each generation of your console and not being able to get any decent foothold in japan is "a stable place" now?

God, and there I thought that earning money meant you were in a stable position. The times, they are a-changing.

Re:So the real news here is... (1, Insightful)

DorkusMasterus (931246) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131683)

I replied to your previous comment on this as well. You're looking at things from a purely financial standpoint, whereas I see it as a "on the gamers' radar" standpoint.

If Wii doesn't sell well, and for argument's sake, neither does the PS3, who stands to benefit in the minds (and living rooms) of the world? Microsoft.

Again, that is not to say Nintendo won't make more money (because truthfully, Nintendo will hedge everything very well as they always have, with a great business-savvy, and be fine).

Just to say that when consoles come out again, it will be like two years ago, when people were saying "PS3 will be the thing to beat" until specs and figures came out...

Microsoft will be there with the "successful" consoles, (perhaps not in terms of profits, but in terms of perhaps brand loyalty, if anything), and Nintendo will have to "prove it" in terms of the system.

Don't get me wrong. I love Nintendo, and hope the Wii is a success... I plan on getting one. And I DON'T have a 360. But I still think that MS is not trying to profit on the 360, at least the system itself. They're trying to build a brand that's successful with gamers and synonymous with fun/good product. And if Sony and Nintendo don't do that this generation, then Microsoft, by default, wins in that arena.

Re:So the real news here is... (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131853)

Microsoft will be there with the "successful" consoles, (perhaps not in terms of profits, but in terms of perhaps brand loyalty, if anything), and Nintendo will have to "prove it" in terms of the system.

Having to prove itself all over again is the position Nintendo's been in since the (relative) failure of the N64 and the successes of the PS and PS2.

For Nintendo, this generation is more of the same, they're the challenger and they want to get back to the SNES era.

My point is that Microsoft may look good as far as this generation goes (and i don't think so, their sales are far from impressive. They have interresting titles to be released before christmas though, so who knows), but nothing more.

Re:So the real news here is... (1)

tourvil (103765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131897)

But I still think that MS is not trying to profit on the 360, at least the system itself. They're trying to build a brand that's successful with gamers and synonymous with fun/good product.

Microsoft is trying to build a brand with gamers for the express purpose of making a profit. They knew up front that xbox 1 was going to be a net loss in the end, but what they were buying was mind/market-share. That was true for xbox 1, but you can be sure that they're going to do everything they can with the 360 to make a profit. What good is building a brand if it doesn't result in making you more money?

And I think Microsoft has a real shot at making money with the 360. I don't have one, and I'm not sure if I'll get one (I haven't seen a "killer app" for it yet). But with the high prices on the PS3, and the added revenue from Live and Arcade, they have a good chance to turn a profit.

Re:So the real news here is... (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132245)

Microsoft is trying to build a brand with gamers for the express purpose of making a profit. They knew up front that xbox 1 was going to be a net loss in the end, but what they were buying was mind/market-share. That was true for xbox 1, but you can be sure that they're going to do everything they can with the 360 to make a profit. What good is building a brand if it doesn't result in making you more money?

Sure, Microsoft is going to try to make money. It isn't clear to me that they actually expect to make money this time around. They may be happy with having a smaller (say < $1 bill) loss, and further establishing themselves in the market, in order to have a truly profitable 3rd console. As MS was saying with the Xbox, they are in the console market for the long haul. With their Windows/Office monopoly warchest, they can certainly afford to bide their time. If the Big N lost $2 bill on the GC, we probably wouldn't be hearing about the Wii. With Microsoft, it was all part of the plan.

There's more for microsoft here than just making money from consoles. They're looking at the entire home entertainment market, and the DVD format wars, and the xbox is playing a strategic role here (though a less blatant one than the ps3). This is part of why I think they're willing to continue taking a loss on console sales, since for them it's just a sunk cost against the incredibly lucrative future of owning the living room.

Look at sales of the DS (4, Insightful)

dividedsky319 (907852) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131504)

I don't think anyone expected the DS to be as big as it has become. The same could turn out to be true for the Wii.

Plus, BECUASE the DS has become so popular, I think that people will be a lot more willing to give the Wii a chance.

Obviously only time can tell, but I think the DS's success is very important to the Wii...

Re:Look at sales of the DS (3, Informative)

DorkusMasterus (931246) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131541)

Mod Parent Up!

I also believe that DS sales are going to really help the adoption rate of the Wii. People didn't take the DS seriously at first, and now, they're flying off the shelves. I think that people are seeing that Nintendo is not just being innovative to be wierd (okay, not ALL the time, at least), but really trying to push what we consider regular gameplay to be.

Re:Look at sales of the DS (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131695)

Something that was mentioned to me awhile ago was that Microsoft and Sony are working hard to capture the most "hard-core" 10% of gamers; a group of people that play a ton of games and purchase (potentially) over 50 games a year. The interesting thing is that these gamers require so much content that they will, likely, purchase any piece of hardware that comes onto the market. It seems to me that Nintendo is heavily targeting the people who will buy between 6 and 12 games a year and people who don't play games currently; if they're successful, I'd imagine that the Wii would sell 40 to 60 Million consoles worldwide in its lifetime and Nintendo would be super profitable.

Re:Look at sales of the DS (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132100)

Which is exactly why they are/have to sell the console at a profit. They can't assume their customers are going to buy more than a dozen games in its lifetime. So while they might even sell millions more consoles than xbox360 or PS3, they won't likly sell more games.

Re:Look at sales of the DS (2, Insightful)

Tremor (APi) (678603) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132101)

I agree with that, certainly. I do think that Nintendo Wi-Fi has boosted the DS significantly, and I find it alarming that we aren't going to see any online-capable titles on Wii until 2007. The 360 is all about Live, which is doing really well for MS, even though they're really using Live as a giant profit machine. You get your 360 and your headset and hook up the ethernet cable and you're good to go. Built-in WiFi on Wii is a good move - it keeps you down to just the power and A/V cables because of the wireless controller, which makes it easier to set up, but it needs to offer that online capability ASAP, and with good quality games. I'm looking forward to Batallion Wars online on the Wii, and I'm hoping for online-capable Mario Kart, Mario Strikers, and Smash Bros. to be out in the near future as well.

I see the Wii as a huge potential success for Nintendo; they can easily get up to 2nd place behind the 360 (the PS3 being very ready to flop, IMHO), and possibly even outdo the 360 if they succeed in drawing in non-gamers. The price point will be a big help on that front, but online capabilities are important; I want to be able to buy a Wii for mom and play some Wii tennis the day she unpacks it, or encourage a friend to buy a unit so we can go head-to-head online.

With a non-online console, you go to a friend's house and play - if you buy your own, you get convenience, at the loss of the social aspect. With an online console, you've got a bigger incentive to buy your own unit, because it means you can play games with your friends from the comfort of your own sofa. When you're targeting non-gamers, you have to get them to want their own unit, not just want to casually use someone else's.

Good call mods (1)

Rendo (918276) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131528)

For calling the article Pressures on the next nintendo console instead of pressures on the Wii. Could easily be mistaken as the iron grip Nintendo has on this console war of gamers. ... Their dicks people, God.

Same Arguments as DS had (4, Insightful)

MuNansen (833037) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131534)

The same arguments that were made against the DS are being used against the Wii ("gimmicky," lesser graphics power, etc.) as that Game Informer article proves. He hardly even mentioned the DS. He also neglects to mention the Sony backlash, and the fact that we're now in a time where people are a bit tired of the graphics arms race between M$ and Sony, and would like something new. At least to a further extent than has been true for consoles in the past.

That doesn't guarantee success by any means. There's just a lot of positive angles that the author was ignoring.

Re:Same Arguments as DS had (1)

SalaciousPucker (911419) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131651)

The handheld market is a different game. The market is younger and Nintendo launched the DS in the position they still have - the dominant player in handhelds. The only competition is Sony and the jack-of-all-master-of-none, that is the PSP, doesn't have the games to wedge into the GBA/DS space.

The Wii is launching from a company that was once dominant has, on two successive cycles, lost market share - has sold less consoles. The technology is not just unimpressive, it's backwards and it doesn't have the price advantage to make it look any better than the 'big boys'. The only real selling point the Wii has over the competition is Nintendo's stable of games, and look where that has got them since the N64.

Re:Same Arguments as DS had (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131748)

You disregard the console price so easily?
I think N will sell very well because of low price to get into it as well as you said regarding available games for it.

Re:Same Arguments as DS had (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131799)

The handheld market isn't *that* young...
The Gameboy was competing against the Sega game-gear in the 90s, and despite the obvious superiority of the game gear (colour screen etc), the gameboy still sold much better.

Re:Same Arguments as DS had (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131850)

Most of the color systems had obvious inferiorities as well: lousy battery life (3 hours on 6 AAs), cost, size, and weight to name four.

Re:Same Arguments as DS had (1)

SalaciousPucker (911419) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132117)

I worded that bad. I meant the people who buy & use portable gaming systems tend to be younger than the average console gamer, not that the markets maturity factors in.

And, yes, Nintendo has dominated the portable gaming industry since the launch of original gameboy - for good reason. In every clash they have had the better product and that includes the DS vs PSP match up.

I do think this market will expand greatly and get far more competitive in the next cycle. The stigma of gaming will fade (adults will play in public) and dual use devices (phone/ipod/gaming) will make it more prevalent & easier to carry for an adult than a Purple Gameboy of the past would be. The Zune will go against the Gameboy, eventually.

Re:Same Arguments as DS had (4, Insightful)

ArwynH (883499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132093)

The handheld market is a different game.

No, not really. Remember when the PSP was coming out how everyone was oo-ing and aah-ing the 'technologicaly impressive' PSP? I remember it well, mostly because I was one of the those posting replies to posts like yours, that stated Nintendo has had it and that those two screens, mic and touch screen were all gimics, especially when compared to the PSP which is 'more powerfull than the PS1'. Of course all I could say at the time was 'think of the possibilities!'. Now it's more or less a done deal and pretty much everyone accepts that the DS was a good idea. At least I haven't heard anyone call any of the DSs features a gimic in a while now.

The technology is not just unimpressive...

The controller is more impressive than two screen, a touch screen and a mic if you ask me.

...it's backwards and it doesn't have the price advantage...

Backwards? I doubt it. It's specs might not look as impressive as it's rivals, but numbers aren't what define technology. For instance, from what I hear, it's power consumption is pretty minimal. This means very little heat and smaller compact device. In those respects it's light-years ahead of it's rivals.

As for price, in Japan it's half-price of it's only rival. 250,000 compared to 600,000. I'd call that an advantage.

In the rest of the world it's cheaper than the cut-down version of the Xbox and includes a game. That is also what I'd call a price advantage. Don't forget those are release prices, I suspect the difference will grow further into the cycle.

...than the 'big boys'

Yes, the other consoles are a bit big aren't they...

The only real selling point the Wii has over the competition is Nintendo's stable of games, and look where that has got them since the N64

Looked at Nintendo's software sales recently? I'd say they've done pretty well for themselves. Considering they are one of histories most successful game makers ( and a lot of those games were post-snes), I say that thier catalog was worth quite a bit.

Re:Same Arguments as DS had (5, Interesting)

fwarren (579763) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132170)

I am a 40 year old programmer, been on computers since I was 15, never owned a game console, and have three kids.

My youngest is out at his friends, he has played them all, XBox 360, Xbox, PS2, Gamecube, and N64. For playability, he likes the N64 the best.

For the first time in my life, I am very tempted to put a game console under the chrismas tree. That would end up being a Wii as a family gift and a game for each of the kids.

I am sure many less tech savy folks than me will go, "Oh, I know my kid has their heart set on an XBox360, but at $400.00, I can get this $250.00 Nintendo system, buy some games for it, and still come out with an Xbox 360. I am sure the kids will like the Wii."

We'll know about abject failure pretty quickly (3, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131538)

I think we'll know whether it's an abject failure pretty quickly, and it's probably not even worth worrying about this close to release.

Just wait for the reviews about two weeks after the Wii has been released to the reviewers, after the novelty has had time to wear off and there's a better sense of whether the games are actually fun, or if the controller is just a useless gimmick.

Right now, probably nobody really knows. The game devs and their testers are too close to the game to know whether it is any actual fun, and almost all of our reviewers have at most a few hours experience, all in the same day.

I think we'll only know it's an abject failure if the controller simply becomes tiresome, or hard to use, or to sum it up "no fun" with real use.

Otherwise, I'd expect the first Wii generation to look like the first DS generation, for the same basic reasons, and again for the same reasons, if you tried to determine the success of the DS based on that first generation you'd have been way off.

Anyhow, of all the times to be worrying about whether the Wii is going to fail, this is really the silliest, when we're this close to release. Just wait and see.

Re:We'll know about abject failure pretty quickly (2, Interesting)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132072)

A few weeks won't really be enough time to tell, because Nintendo won't be able to ship out the systems fast enough in that time frame. Every console launch is like that (except the xbox in Japan).

The DS sold well at launch and was hard to find, even though there weren't that many great games available for it for a while. It was only months later, when better games started coming out, that the system really gained momentum. And then the DS lite made things even crazier.

The Wii might be a smash hit right out of the gate, beyond all the fanboys picking it up. But I wouldn't be surprised if in general it starts out a little slow, but then ramps up as more interesting games get released. Especially if Nintendo is really going after the non-gamer market. They aren't going to buy a system based on hype, but eventually they'll see something at a Wii kiosk at Target that will catch their eye, and maybe try it and enjoy it enough to purchase one.

Re:We'll know about abject failure pretty quickly (1)

Jerf (17166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132331)

We won't need a lot of systems to know if the controller is no fun; heck, ten shipped right now to the right people would do the trick.

The word "abject" wasn't tossed in to my phrase "abject failure" to show my vocabulary; it's an essential part of my point. Dreamcast-failure takes months or years to show. Virtual-boy failure, another abject failure, takes days for the hype to go from stellar to hellish, once people actually get their hands on the system for real and the hype fades like morning mist in the light of day.

It costs a Wii bit too much (-1, Flamebait)

SalaciousPucker (911419) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131554)

This is a console with about the same horsepower as the original XBOX (technology circa 2002) with a new age powerglove for a controller, all selling at a premium price. This thing will be a museum piece long before it reaches the traditional console end-of-life cycle. It's just not worth it.

It looks like they are trying to nab the Ipod branding playbook (look at name, website, color, presumption of a monopoly on 'fun' (Ipod uses 'cool'), etc), and that's what they hope to justify the price with. I think any gain of market share this generation for Nintendo will have more to do with gross incompetence on Sony's part, rather then the Wii product.

Re:It costs a Wii bit too much (1)

aleksiel (678251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131649)

yeah, but you forget that microsoft subsidizes a lot of the cost of an xbox to drive nintendo down, and they can get away with it because microsoft (and sony) both have other sources of incomes. they can stay afloat with their numbers. nintendo only does games. they have to make a profit on everything they sell in order to not shrivel and die.

Re:It costs a Wii bit too much (1)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131678)

How can you compare specifications that you do not have?

Re:It costs a Wii bit too much (1)

SalaciousPucker (911419) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131773)

Yes, we don't know the exact specs yet, Nintendo hasn't released them for good reason. As I understand it the processor on the Wii is made by IBM and is 800Mhz or less, single core. That is 2002 technology. That's not even in the same ballpark as the competition, each of which use 3.2Ghz multi-core processors.

Re:It costs a Wii bit too much (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131983)

As I understand it the processor on the Wii is made by IBM and is 800Mhz or less

Actually, all we know about the Wii's GPU (code name Hollywood) and CPU (code name broadway) is that they're custom built processors manufactured using a 90nm SOI CMOS process; the process is the same process which was used on the PowePC 970 processors (the G5) which came in single and dual core configurations and ran between 1.5GHz and 2.5GHz. We have heard from ATI that the graphics demonstrated at E3 were just "The tip of the iceburg".

Recently, in an interview with UBIsoft about RedSteel, it was reported that UBIsoft did not recieve Wii hardware until 2 months before E3 and they did not have time to complete the artistic upgrades before the demo had to be ready for testing (most developers require 4-6 weeks of testing a demo prior to E3); this meant that the E3 demo was more representative of what was running on Gamecube hardware than what the Wii can do. Now, I'm not arguing that the Wii is a technological marvel but it is not incapable of adequate graphics ( http://media.wii.ign.com/media/821/821973/img_3914 539.html [ign.com] ),

The one thing I will say about your "under 800MHz remark" is that I know for a fact that EBgames was publishing the fake IGN specs and received a nice visit from Nintendo's laywer; now they publish the same specs Nintendo does. Matt from IGN was either lying or believed a lie.

Re:It costs a Wii bit too much (4, Interesting)

GreatDrok (684119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131842)

This is a console with about the same horsepower as the original XBOX (technology circa 2002) with a new age powerglove for a controller, all selling at a premium price. This thing will be a museum piece long before it reaches the traditional console end-of-life cycle. It's just not worth it.

I don't know how you figure that out. Unlike the Xbox versus Xbox 360 you can directly compare the performance/power of the Wii against the Game Cube. The GC was only barely less powerful than the Xbox and certainly more powerful than the PS2. The Wii is pretty much a GC with 3x the clock speed on both CPU and graphics while being fully backwards compatible so it will be able to perfectly play GC games many of which are very good so there is a large library of available games to buy and be reissued.

No-one is going to argue that the raw compute power of the Wii is pretty far behind the 360 and PS3 but it really doesn't matter if none of the games really do much new. The 360 and PS3 are nothing but the evolution of the NES, nothing new, just more power. Nintendo defined the current controller structure and the Wii redefines it.

Judging by the number of people queuing up to pre-order the Wii this last weekend I think it is going to be very successful.

Re:It costs a Wii bit too much (1)

SalaciousPucker (911419) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131941)

IT is easy to compare cause they are sticking with ATI/PowerPC. The Gamecube had a 485Mhz PowerPC processor and the Wii will supposedly have one about 800Mhz or less. How is that tripling the power?

It's funny that Nintendo has declared a monopoly on innovation. Why? Cause you can download games and play online? Cause they have a controller that responds to motion? These things have been done before and they aren't going to change things. It will be fun for a game for most and won't have longevity. It's a gimmick.

Re:It costs a Wii bit too much (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16132350)

The Gamecube had a 485Mhz PowerPC processor and the Wii will supposedly have one about 800Mhz or less. How is that tripling the power?

So the 1.5 GHz Pentium 4 MP that was (said to be) about as powerful as the Pentum 4 3GHz was only 1.5 times as powerful as my Pentium 3 1GHz? What about the Pentium 4 Duo, since it runs at the same speeds that Pentium 4s ran at in 2002 it is no more powerful than that?

The fact is that modern CPU cores are getting 4 or 5 times the performance per cycle that they got on older cores; the 2.5 GHz G3 cores (the same core that was in the Gamecube) that are in the XBox 360 and PS3 are probably not as powerful as a PowerPC 970MP running at 2.5GHz.

Also, do you have a source of that less than 800MHz remark (one that goes to either a developer with a Wii dev kit or to Nintendo themselves)? No, all you have is a rumor that was posted on IGN by an editor who openly says he "Hates Nintendo" and has spent the past 5 years bitching about how he wants to be the editor for the XBox channel; a nice "unbiased" source.

It's funny that Nintendo has declared a monopoly on innovation. Why? Cause you can download games and play online? Cause they have a controller that responds to motion? These things have been done before and they aren't going to change things. It will be fun for a game for most and won't have longevity. It's a gimmick.

Do you know what the #1 selling videogame systems were in holiday season 2004 and 2005 were? If you said PS2, PSP or Nintendo DS you'd be very wrong. The best selling game systems were the atari-classic 25 in one game systems that were sold at toy stores. Do you know why they sold so well? Because gamers who grew up with the Atari and NES are having children and wish to share these games with their children, and at the same time children under the age of 12 can not play modern games very well. The virtual console will be huge to tons of people simply because they know the games and want to play them again.

The Wiimote may be similar to motion controllers, light guns and other input devices that have been tried in the past; but none of these previous attempts had been made by one of the largest game publishers in the world, who is currently riding the success of another platform that was dismissed as a gimick, who has billions of dollars to ensure that it won't flop.

Re:It costs a Wii bit too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16132354)

The mhz myth is really pervasive isn't it.

Re:It costs a Wii bit too much (2, Insightful)

jizziknight (976750) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132408)

The Gamecube had a 485Mhz PowerPC processor and the Wii will supposedly have one about 800Mhz or less. How is that tripling the power?
Clock speed isn't everything. You need to turn in your nerd card. Also, where are people getting this 800MHz BS from anyway? Unless something changed very recently, Nintendo hasn't released the final specs other than that the chips are made using a 90nm process.

Re:It costs a Wii bit too much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16132091)

"Nintendo defined the current controller structure and the Wii redefines it."

Yep, I can't imagine playing games without my PowerGlove.

If you want to give credit to those who don't deserve it, Sega had the brilliant idea of, "More than two buttons!" first, therefore, Sega is responsible for defining the current controller structure.

Portables? Innovative games? Japan? (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131578)

In the hardware department, Nintendo has been the king of portables for a long time. And Nintendo seems like it'll always have Japan... Microsoft is (and should be) trying hard to break into Japan, but Nintendo is still a very firm #2 there.

In the software department, Nintendo's first-party titles have routinely done very well.

Nintendo also has somewhat of a niche in coming up with interesting control schemes... maybe they'd have less flexibility with this if they ever left the hardware market. But they have so many niches to fill that it's hard to see how they'd suddenly lose at all of them.

Doom and gloom (4, Insightful)

urbanradar (1001140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131588)

It seems to me that TFA is just trying to cash in on the current Wii frenzy. It's the old trick: Write something controversial, watch it get slashdotted before long, and watch the ad revenue flow in.

Personally, I'm unconvinced. IMHO, the Gamecube failed due to two points. It was underpowered compared to the XBox and the PS2, but yet didn't have enough innovative features to really differentiate itself from the competition. And, secondly, there weren't all that many games for it. The N64, too, suffered from this.

With the Wii, Nintendo has already taken care of those points upfront. Not only are we going to have tons of classic games from older consoles, a lot of vendors have also already pledged support for the Wii.
And as for being underpowered, well, yes, the Wii isn't as powerful as the XBox360 and the PS3, but the sheer freshness of its gameplay and its innovative games should more than make up for it. Especially since the Wii is being marketed as the "console for everyone". If Nintendo's strategy works, a lot of people who wouldn't otherwise have bought a console will buy a Wii, and they won't care about sheer raw power. And neither will Nintendo fanboys.

So I don't see why the Wii should suffer from the same problems as the N64 and the Gamecube.

Re:Doom and gloom (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131726)

Personally, I'm unconvinced. IMHO, the Gamecube failed due to two points.

Ummm, so selling slightly fewer units than the Xbox and making money is a failure, while shipping slightly more and losing money is a success? I find your inherent statement that the Gamecube was a failure a little unreal... and I've never owned one.

So I don't see why the Wii should suffer from the same problems as the N64 and the Gamecube.

I certainly hope it suffers from the same widespread adoption and profit problems. I'm a very casual gamer and my perspective on these discussions is a bit different from the norm. I have an old PS2 that I occasionally play a game on. In the next few years I might pick up a newer console or I might not. Of the three new generation consoles, my decision will of course be made based upon which games run on which console and the price. Aside from that factor, the Wii is the only one that sounds interesting. I suspect I'm a lot closer to the average consumer than most people here.

Re:Doom and gloom (1)

urbanradar (1001140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131780)

Ummm, so selling slightly fewer units than the Xbox and making money is a failure, while shipping slightly more and losing money is a success? I find your inherent statement that the Gamecube was a failure a little unreal... and I've never owned one.

It's certainly not *my* inherent statement. I'm perfectly aware that Nintendo always did very well financially, and personally, I've had lots of fun with my Gamecube. I consider myself a pretty casual gamer too, I simply don't find enough time to be gaming all the time.

I was merely going along with the tone of the article, which suggested that the N64 and the GC had failed because they were picked up by relatively few gamers. It's TFA you should be arguing against rather than me.

Re:Doom and gloom (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131869)

It's certainly not *my* inherent statement.

You wrote "the Gamecube failed because..." That certainly does include the inherent statement that the Gamecube did fail and you were the one who wrote it, whatever your intention.

I was merely going along with the tone of the article, which suggested that the N64 and the GC had failed because they were picked up by relatively few gamers.

I'm not sure just being agreeable is a valid justification. If you disagreed with that point in the article, you should have said so, rather than explaining reasons that might explain why the article is correct on that one point, but not on another. But, there is no reason to argue about it now.

Re:Doom and gloom (1)

urbanradar (1001140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131963)

Well, the subject of the article is the potential failure of the Wii, so I made a point about that and ignored the entire "the GC didn't fail!" argument, because it would basically have been offtopic. The story isn't about whether the GC and N64 were profitable or not, after all.

But you're quite correct, not much use arguing about it. I'll cease now.

Re:Doom and gloom (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131970)

Ummm, so selling slightly fewer units than the Xbox and making money is a failure, while shipping slightly more and losing money is a success? I find your inherent statement that the Gamecube was a failure a little unreal... and I've never owned one.

The Gamecube might not have failed to make Nintendo money, but it did fail to capture the interest of third party companies. If the console is treated as if it doesn't even exist by some third parties than you can tell that something has to be wrong. And speaking about general game quality, I would say the Gamecube failed as well, there simply wasn't a Mario64 or Zelda:OoT class kind of game on the Cube, ResidentEvil4 was the only truely noteworthy game on the Cube. Last not least the Gamecube also didn't get much game releases the past year, so it basically died out even before the Wii was released, again not a good thing.

Re:Doom and gloom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131752)

Again: the GameCube is significantly more powerful than a PS2. This is why so many games (Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, even Mario Kart) on the GameCube look totally awesome, while even the PS2 startup screen looks like ass.

Re:Doom and gloom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131877)

The PS2 has a number of games that look "totally awesome"--Shadow of the Colossus is just one example. That said, you're right that the GameCube is more powerful than the PS2, though by less than the margin we'd expect given that it was released a year and a half later.

Re: PS2 was Weakest... (5, Insightful)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131914)

It was underpowered compared to the XBox and the PS2,

Incorrect. The PS2 was the least powerful contender this time around (after the Dreamcast dropped out fo course) The only thing the GC didn't have hardware wise over the PS2 was disk capacity, since they went with mini DVDs, and not DVD9's. For a good comparison of capable graphics, play RE4 for each.

I don't understand the 'Graphics Arms Race' much as The PS2 was technically inferior to both the GC, and X-box yet the PS2 had the largest user base. The PS1 was inferior to the N64 (except for disk / cartrige capacity) yet the PS1 sold more. The DS is weaker than the PSP, yet is sells more. The Gameboy was weaker than all competitors, but crushed the competition.

Clearly 'power' =/= greater sales. There is more to it than that.

Failure (4, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131620)

I agree it would be a terrible thing for the industry if the console were to fail, but it would be OK with me.

I had an N64 and it was my favorite console of that generation by far. Some people say it "failed" because it didn't put The Big N back on top. I really enjoyed the thing, and I'm glad I bought it.

I have a 'Cube and many people say it failed (or is close). I've bought FAR more games for the 'cube than my XBox and PS2. It was a great little system. I don't regret buying it at all.

If the Wii fails, so what. I can afford to lose $250 on a console that that will only have a bunch of great games during it's life (Marios, Zeldas, Pikmins, Smash Brothers, etc.). That's OK with me. It will be sad, but I'll still love the games.

Let's not forget that even if Nintendo's grand experiment fails (the controller) everyone could always use the "classic" controller for the rest of the console's life-span (not unlike the NES Zapper was basically forgotten about). The Wiimote can still be used for fun with light-gun games (and is worth it for me for that fact alone).

The PS3 is $600. I'm not buying that until I'm dead sure there are tons of games I want for it. Even with the price drop that will have to happen by the time I buy it.

The 360 is $400. It's not as worrying as the PS3 but that's still a fair amount of money.

The Wii is $250, and worse case scenerio I can use it as a replacement 'Cube and have a few new fun games.

The Wii may "fail" because it doesn't take over the industry or ends up in 3rd place, but I bet I'll still love it anyway.

All that said, who do we think... objectivly... is the most likely to fail? The cheap one with the "gimmick", the expensive one that is more of the same, or the obscenely expensive one that currently seems like more of the same?

Re:Failure (1)

thectrain (880905) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131708)

I dont think the Gamecube failed. It is exactly like all the other Nintendo systems(Minus the Virtual Boy). All there systems make money, and alot of it. Plus they always have the games that are pure fun, unlike the 340 hour Final Fantasy 15 game that will be on the ps3. I probably will be making Wii the one system i've bought since the gamecube purely for the Tennis game, and the guaranteed duck hunt sequel.

Re:Failure (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132164)

All there systems make money, and alot of it.

So does every Microsoft Windows release, however from a consumer point of view I still would call it a failure. In short I don't really consider it that important that the companie makes money, its of course a good thing when it does, since it means healthy business, but it might also mean that the consumer is getting ripped of.

With Gamecube its of course different, but I would consider that as a failure as well, since it simply didn't delivered what I had hoped for, namely great first parties and plenty of third parties (Zelda, Mario where medicore on Cube, third party gaming took place on PS2 and XBox for most part). I don't feeld like being ripped of with the Cube, since it had great hardware at a great price, with Wii on the other side the hardware power hasn't raised much, the price however has.

Re:Failure (1)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132212)

So does every Microsoft Windows release, however from a consumer point of view I still would call it a failure.

Your license to judge the relative success of anything has been revoked.

Re:Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131863)

The Wiimote can still be used for fun with light-gun games (and is worth it for me for that fact alone).

It will be worth it to me for the two (so far) golf games announced.

Re:Failure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16132090)

The 360 can be purchased for $299.

Re:Failure (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132289)

Someone always posts that. It's idiotic. You have buy a memory card ($40) or a hard drive($100), plus XBox Live ($50). That is $390 to $450 depending on which way you go for storage. That also doesn't include things like the wireless controller (which the Wii comes with) for comparison, or the price of games (the Wii comes with a game, the 360 doens't), etc.

You can not buy a usable XBox 360 for $300.

clarification (1, Informative)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131717)

"Microsoft is (and should be) trying hard to break into Japan"

Microsoft barely spent a dime on pre-360 release marketing in Japan. There were reports of gamers going to stores to buy Xbox1, seeing the 360, and thinking it was just an Xbox1 with a new look.

Microsoft only started marketing in Japan a few months ago when it was confirmed that Sony was having major pushbacks in dates. Even then it wasn't much.

Truth is Japan has some of the most brand-loyal customers in the world. They will buy a Japanese console over an American one even if it is far inferior. In America I don't think I've met a person who will buy the 360 over PS3/WII simply because it is based in the US.

Re:clarification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16132096)

I'm amused to still see the "japan brand loyalty fact" being thrown around. If that were true, why is the iPod selling so well in Japan?

oh .. but we will have them! (1)

Frag-A-Muffin (5490) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131719)

FTFA:

There are so many people out there that love to buy the new Madden release or the latest Final Fantasy sequel that it's difficult to believe that Nintendo can change their mind or be a success without them.

Ummm .. but we will have them. (or in the case of FF, we probably will have them. Square-Enix is in a love fest with nintendo these days)
Madden is coming to the Wii. And in fact, will probably be the first (American) football game I buy since like '98. After reading that developer interview [ign.com] over at IGN, I'm quite excited about play this game! It's a very long read, but it sounds like it'll be a lot easier to play. Running with the ball, I'll be able to straight arm a guy to my left, and at the same time, juke to the right, and it'll be as easy as flicking my wrist. Something we all probably do already when playing video games!!!

Profitability and Competition (1)

thesaint05 (850634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131749)

At the risk of sounding like a Nintendo apologist, I think the WhatEntertainment editorial is a little drastic. As long as Nintendo continues to churn a profit on just about every machine they make, they're going to continue doing the things they do the way they want to do them. In the more recent history, Nintendo has generally been the one to do something different first (with the exception of Microsoft with XBox Live). Looking at the DS as an example, the first games that came out were crap and gimmicky and I'm honestly expecting the exact same thing with the Wii launch. It depends entirely on the publishers though, and that's where the risk for Nintendo comes in. You'll generally see innovation in most industries where there is competition. So, even if in the doomsday scenarios Nintendo no longer creates consoles but moves to a software only shop for the non-portable consoles, MS and Sony will still be around to provide innovation. Even if you take Nintendo out of the equation this round, Microsoft is already doing something different with the Xbox Live Arcade on the 360 then has been done before, including on the Xbox. It just looks as if Sony is the only one without any originality the past couple of cycles (I could be mistaken here, feel free to correct). Putting Nintendo back into the equation, they are already spurring innovation by prompting Sony to put some sort of motion sensing capabilities into their controllers (evidenced by the last minute inclusion into some of the E3 demos). What I love is everyone is pointing out what will happen if Nintendo fails, and according to Billy, fails again. Failure depends on who's doing the judging and from a profitability standpoint, Nintendo succeeded where the other two did not. What nobody seems to be asking is what could happen if Nintendo "succeeds." And in a way you could look at it that they already have succeeded in that they've prompted Sony to mimic an aspect of their design, or if Sony had thought of it before, then prompting them to at least include it in this generation as opposed to the next or never having included it all.

Oh noes, the sky is falling! (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131751)

In a landscape already filled with the carcasses of those that dared to try something new, and publishers more afraid than ever to try something a little different, the high-profile failure of a system that tried to put innovation and fun before graphics could be the final nail in the coffin of creativity.

Yeah, if the Wii fails, who's going to make interesting games like Katamari Damacy and Shadow of the Colossus?

Oh, wait.

Rob

Re:Oh noes, the sky is falling! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16132040)

I loved those games! Sony really knows how to develop good ones.

Oh, wait.

different market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131757)

Just because Nintendo doesn't have the best history, "taste" for the hardcore gaming demographic, doesn't mean it wasn't highly successful in other markets. If you take any one that has a GameBoy or a DS (best selling handhelds) under the age of 18, I'm safely going to say, they probably have a GameCube in house.

Just because 30 year olld gamers don't flock to it (like myself) doesn't make it a failure, just in that demographic...and ultimately, get that younger market, they'll grow up - just like we did...

This always happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131769)

Consoles, like pretty much everything in life, never really live up to their potential. They always cost a little too much, never have all the games you want, and the games they do have are never quite right... Wii will be the same. Welcome to reality.

For instance, lets look at the DS, which is my favorite console right now. It's good, but it doesn't live up to it's potential. It doesn't let you play GBA games multiplayer, meaning I'll basically never get to play Zelda 4 Swords. It hardly has any online games, and MarioKart online got boring the minute people figured out snaking. It doesn't have a single RTS game. I can only play Metroid Prime Hunters in short bursts, it's not comfy enough. The games are too expensive - Tetris is somehow more expensive than Titan Quest on PC.

Basically, consoles always sit in that 6/10 to 8/10 slot, like everything else. The cube was a 7, the DS is an 8, the saturn was a 6...

$60 unreasonable price for controller? (4, Insightful)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131807)

I keep seeing these jabs on the price of the Nintendo controller (both parts). I can understand the disappointment. After the prices for x360 and ps3 people are looking to Nintendo as cheap affordable fun. Add on to that, Nintendo is well-known for making great party games and seem in a position to continue that so multiple controllers for a nintendo system seems a given. Given all that, is anybody seriously surprised by the price of the controllers? Sure, they probably could have taken a loss or a smaller profit by pricing the pair for $50 (35 and 15?) but is that typically the place to have lower profit margins? You're going to pay $50 for a wireless x360 controller and likely at least that much for a ps3 one. Why would anyone expect to see less for a two component wireless controller that probably has more state of the art technology in it? I wish they released a wii bundle with an extra controller rather than a game but I can see why they went the other way. To me, this is just further evidence that they will be successful. Financially, they'll make money. And because the wii is so much cheaper to develop for, they don't even need to have a HUGE install base for developers to continue giving support. Developers don't need to sell as many to make all their money back and then some. Finally, if the games are frequently $10 cheaper it won't take long before you've saved enough from the games to pay for the $10 more expensive controllers.

Cost is low in comparison to real life (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 7 years ago | (#16131835)

My Wii money has just been spent on a new Power Shower after my current one blew up. Add on top both the plumber and electrician fees (plus the likelihood that the latter will require that I install an up-to-date fuse box) and the cost is quite significant. A Wii + some games is what I'd rather have spent the money on.

Quite honestly I don't see Nintendo not selling their consoles now. The issue is Nintendo's long-term strategy - will they continue to drive the Wii in the marketplace, unlike what they did with the Gamecube? It's all very well selling some 10m consoles by the end of 2007, but that's no use in 2010 if you only shifted another 5 million because you neglected to keep the console price competitive and publicised, and all the third party publishers dropped away and the Premium PS3 costs $299.

Just an informal show of hands.....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16131955)

Reply "Wii" to this thread if you have one pre-ordered or intend(o) to buy one before Xmas.

Failure of Nintendo predicted for over a decade. (2, Insightful)

Maul (83993) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132200)

The failure of Nintendo has been incorrectly predicted by game magazines and other "journalists" for well over a decade... more like 15 years now that I think about it. It always is supposedly right around the corner. It started in the 90s when Nintendo was late to the North American 16-bit market and hasn't let up since.

Nintendo is still around making consoles after all this time. Maybe because they know how to make a profit without having to necessarily be the top-seller.

the controller has me worried (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132208)

There was video from last week's announcement of a guy demonstrating bowling in Wii Sports. He was making the point that it's so great because "hey look, I'm standing in front of the TV and actually making bowling movements to bowl, just like real bowling!" That certainly has a cool factor, but having to jump up from my seat and flail about to play a game is going to get old fast. It seemed to me that the demo/ad for Red Steel also had a guy jumping off his couch to play. I really hope I can sit in a chair and play games. If I can't make all the necessary controller movements sitting in a chair without bobbing and weaving side to side, I'll be more inclined to go with an XBOX 360 over the Wii.

well.. (1)

dolson (634094) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132227)

If you let the fear of failure stop you from making the purchase, you're contributing to the potential failure.

If you want something to succeed, you need to be a part of it. It's a little bit of the chicken-and-the-egg, but if you really think about it, 3rd party support isn't going to happen unless there's a market. The market will come if people believe in this console, and believe me, I haven't been so excited about a gaming system since I got my TurboGrafx 16... I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Step out in faith that good things will come, and they will. Many developers have already confirmed things that we had thought, cheap development, great controls, etc. Everything points to success. I think Nintendo is doing everything right, despite the things that might make some people complain. Really, the only thing I can do is buy the Wii and hope that everyone else does too. If we all do, then it will be a success. But if nobody buys it because they're afraid they'll drop off the map, then it's our own undoing.

I just can't see it failing, and if I'm wrong, then I'm wrong. But I have faith in it.

You can't guarantee that any new product will succeed. It's a risk that you as a consumer have to take.

What is #1? (1)

Admiral Frosty (919523) | more than 7 years ago | (#16132300)

I think there is some confusion as to what a success would entail for Nintindo. People cry that the the Gamecube and N64 were not the most popular console, and thus a failure. What their missing is that success in the game business is not a popularity contest, it's a question of profitability and games.

Both consoles made loads of money and sported top of the line games. The only way Nintindo has failed is with their relitivly smaller library of games , due to the lack of third-party devs. But even this is being rectified, what with the two largest publishers (EA and Ubi) heavily on-board the Wii.

I predict success.
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