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Some Truth to Wii as GameCube 1.5?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the low-blows-when-the-strike-true dept.

Wii 519

Newsweek's N'Gai tackles the allegation that the Wii is a glorified GameCube. He specifically looked at recent comments by Microsoft's Robbie Bach saying that 'the video graphics on it aren't very strong; the box itself is kind of underpowered; it doesn't play DVDs; there are a lot of down-line components [that] aren't actually that interesting. ... They don't have the graphics horsepower that even Xbox 1 had. So it makes sort of the comparison set a little bit difficult.' LevelUp spoke with a pair of technical experts at third party publishers and learned that, essentially, Bach's comments about horsepower are accurate. However, "the 'Gamecube 1.5' moniker, while accurate, doesn't mean that gamers won't see graphical improvements on the Wii. 'There are three main differences which will result in graphics improvements. One, the increased memory clock speed, from 162 megahertz to 243 megahertz, means that it is easier to do enough pixels for 480p mode versus 480i. Two, the enhanced memory size of the Wii gives much more room for image-related operations such as anti-aliasing, motion blur, etc. The performance to these memory systems from the graphics chip is also improved. So full-screen effects and increased texture usage seem likely as a result.'"

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Who cares? (5, Insightful)

shawngarringer (906569) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081827)

Who cares, the thing is fun to play, so maybe the Wii's wee isn't as big as the xbox 360 or the PS3 -- does that really make such a big difference?

Re:Who cares? (5, Interesting)

Volatar (1099775) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081869)

The wii's motion sensing capability is so novel, it really makes the graphics not matter.

Graphics are not the only thing that makes a game console new and improved, there are many more factors.

Re:Who cares? (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 7 years ago | (#19083019)

My favorite games are on old consoles. The only exceptions are "MX vs ATV Unleashed" and the Hockey games (2K Sports' s and EA's) - and for those, a PS2 is just fine.

Re:Who cares? (3, Insightful)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081903)

Agreed. Just another smoke and mirrors show that misses the point entirely. If Nintendo had come out with the controller set for the gamecube would the same critics be complaining about it being an outdated platform? I imagine so.

Re:Who cares? (4, Insightful)

cHALiTO (101461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082149)

There's a big difference however, between offering an *alternative* innovative controller to an existing console, and launching a new generation of consoles with such controller as a default.

Alternative controllers often end up having only a few games for them, as game companies know they'll be addressing a fraction of the customer base if they do games for that controller.
If the controller is the default on the system, all users of that system have it, so it's not risky to produce games for it.

Re:Who cares? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082257)

A lot of people thought Nintendo was crazy when they released the analog stick for the N64. Remember, there was no dual shock controllers at this time for PS1, it's main competitor. A lot of people didn't like it. Now every console (minus the wii) is using this control scheme, and everybody has gotten used to them.

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

Jonathan_S (25407) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082675)

A lot of people thought Nintendo was crazy when they released the analog stick for the N64. Remember, there was no dual shock controllers at this time for PS1, it's main competitor. A lot of people didn't like it. Now every console (minus the wii) is using this control scheme, and everybody has gotten used to them.
Even on the wii the nunchuck controller attachment has an analog stick on it.
So it looks like every current or recent console is using that control scheme.

Re:Who cares? (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082791)

And you can still plug in your old GC controllers. Although I'm not sure if you can use these controllers for playing Wii games, or if any Wii games require you to use one. I would be a nice option for game publishers who don't want to utilize any motion sensing capabilities. You can get a GC controller for about $20 now, so I think a lot of people would buy one, if they didn't already have one left over from their GC.

Re:Who cares? (1)

haddieman (1033476) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082949)

Actually, Dragonball Z allows the use of either the remote/nunchuck, the classic controller or the GC controller, and the last I heard Super Smash Brothers: Brawl is supposed to require the use of either the classic controller or the GC controller....just FYI :)

Re:Who cares? (4, Interesting)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082807)

What I find really interesting is that almost *every* feature now used on game controllers was first introduced by Nintendo. Their base design for the NES is still used today: D-pad on the left, buttons on the right, start/select in the middle. Then came the SNES adding shoulder buttons and two more buttons on the right in the diamond configuration - which is still pretty much exactly the configuration used by everyone but Nintendo.

So looking back I guess the Wii controller shouldn't be a surprise - it's exactly what Nintendo has been doing ever since the Famicom's inception: innovation in controller design.

Also interesting is that the Gamecube was their only system that didn't include anything really new on the controller (analog shoulder buttons was about it) and was also their least-successful system.

Re:Who cares? (1)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082825)

Wii has the nunchuck to provide analog precision control. They still use it, and easily more than than half the games for the wii use the nunchuck. (some games like Wario Waare Smooth Moves only use it for certain parts, Wii Sports uses it for some games, etc)

Re:Who cares? (4, Funny)

HoosierPeschke (887362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081985)

I agree, it's affordable, it's fun, it does what it needs to do, and it has innovative features. Speed isn't everything, just ask a woman... oh, wait..

Re:Who cares? (5, Insightful)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082071)

Well look forward to this being rehashed over and over again for people who don't really get what the Wii is. It's not just a gamecube 1.5 because hardware is xx% faster than the previous generation, it is an entire reorientation in what gaming today IS. One of the most intriguing things I read was a comment from a Nintendo engineer who said something to the effect of: "We saw a trend that if we gave people X, people wanted X + Y, you give them that and then they still want more. There is no way you can every really satisfy people with hardware, it is a loosing battle and one that only raises the cost of the console the more you try to please those who cannot be pleased".

Reality is Nintendo is going after NON gamers, and people who just want to have fun. Think grandma and grandpa care about graphics? You're deluding yourself (they probably can't see that well :) Simple truth is that people don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a console, and they want to have fun. Nintendo's innovation isn't with the hardware, it's what they do with the hardware.

Re:Who cares? (2, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082275)

of the most intriguing things I read was a comment from a Nintendo engineer who said something to the effect of: "We saw a trend that if we gave people X, people wanted X + Y, you give them that and then they still want more.
In Sony's case it's even worst. Since the beginning of the PS3 marketing they kept throwing fake pre-rendered videos at us (Killzone 2 anyone?). then once it's out their console can't even match their fake videos.

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082533)

In Sony's case it's even worst. Since the beginning of the PS3 marketing they kept throwing fake pre-rendered videos at us (Killzone 2 anyone?). then once it's out their console can't even match their fake videos.

Actually you can go right back to when they were throwing fake pre-rendered videos at us before the launch of the PS2. Or the dev demos from back then - anyone remember the disembodied head that we were told would be an accurate indication of characters in PS2 games...

I still play on the ps2 now and again ... but I really don't see the point in a ps3. It's not the graphics that are the problem. I will be buying a Wii just as soon as the uk price comes down from its ridiculous level. They just look like more fun.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19082097)

It's sold more than the PS3, and it's on track to outsell the xbox 360 by the end of the year.

Re:Who cares? (5, Interesting)

Benosaurus (1100067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082163)

Exactly! I'll admit that the $$$ boxes like PS3 and Xbox 360 have some pretty graphics, PCs are still better. I already have a DVD player, a stereo system and a computer. Why would I want to buy a PS or Xbox? What can they offer that I can't already do?

On the other hand... the Wii DOES have something to offer, yet its not the graphics powerhouse that its 'competitors' are. Oh and as a little bonus, Wii is cheaper by about 50%.

Sony and Microsoft have to be really pissed about it. They must be like, buuuuuut.... uh.... our graphics are better. And... uh... our controllers vibrate! Does that count as motion control?

Re:Who cares? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082347)

Why would I want to buy a PS or Xbox? What can they offer that I can't already do?

They offer games that are not available for the PC, as well as simple gaming that isn't affected by the endless hardware and software problems of the PC.

Re:Who cares? (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082783)

isn't affected by the endless hardware and software problems of the PC


You mean like Heat issues? http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_conte nt&task=view&id=1712&Itemid=2 [next-gen.biz]

Software Compatibility problems? http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=35 728 [theinquirer.net]

Crashing? http://www.xbox-scene.com/xbox1data/sep/EEFkZkkkyE HasmrPqu.php [xbox-scene.com]

Seems to me I'm not missing much by sticking with a PC.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19083107)

They offer games that are not available for the PC, as well as simple gaming that isn't affected by the endless hardware and software problems of the PC.
What hardware and software problems? I guess if you're an idiot you would have problems but if you're not (myself and probably Benosaurus) then you wont have any hardware or software issues. However, consoles are plagued with hardware/software issues and your usually at the mercy of the manufacturer and cannot fix the problem yourself, unlike PCs which are easy for intelligent people to fix.

Re:Who cares? (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19083055)

I already have a DVD player, a stereo system and a computer. Why would I want to buy a PS or Xbox?

So you don't have to have a stand-alone DVD player, stereo, and computer.

Re:Who cares? (3, Insightful)

ps236 (965675) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082169)

The XBox360 and PS3 are really just like the XBox and PS2 but with extra processing & graphics power. Not a lot else. The Wii is quite different from anything before due to the control system and the 'ethos' of the games designed for it. IMV, the Wii is probably more 'next-gen' than the XBox360 and PS3, which are just like the previous gen with bigger bits.

I've got both an XBox360 and a Wii, and I like them both for the things they're good at. Graphics-wise the XBox360 wins hands now, no argument, but for 'fun' (especially if you want something other than a FPS or sports game) the Wii wins easily. (The PS3 just isn't worth buying at the moment for me).

Most people who's been playing computer games for a while will know there's more to an enjoyable game than fancy graphics - on a good game they are pretty much incidental. Heck, I've played crude ASCII graphics MMORPGs which were far more fun and "immersive" than some MMORPGs out today.

Re:Who cares? (2, Interesting)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082185)

Microsoft's Robbie Bach saying that 'the video graphics on it aren't very strong;

hehe, tell me about it! Here I am playing Super Mario Brothers, Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda, etc. Man, graphics must be REALLY important in selling a video game system or games for it! Oddly, like the GP said...

Who cares, the thing is fun to play

'nuff said.

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082227)

Also, about the graphics not being as good as XBox 1. Even GC was as good as xBox1. I've had people hook it up to their TV with the SVideo cable, and be amazed at how well some of the games look, especailly coming from such a small,quiet, and light machine. There's games on the Wii right now, like wii sports, that don't have stellar graphics, but nobody was trying to make it a visual masterpiece. While I admit that I saw a PS3 in stores the other day, and was amazed by the graphics, they were completely awesome, I'm not about to spend $700 on a game console. The graphics have gotten to a point where they are good enough, and companies should really start to focus on gameplay, lest they lose their audience.

Re:Who cares? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082399)

companies should really start to focus on gameplay

A common yet completely nonsensical statement. A myth. The truth is that developers have been focusing on gameplay for as long as videogames have existed. Modern games have excellent playability and gameplay.

Re:Who cares? (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#19083045)

It's not completely off the mark actually, although it isn't entirely accurate either.

If you listen to the media, the PR jargon, and read the game reviews there is a constant presence of "HD". "HD" is all the rage, everyone is doing it, you must see this game in "HD" etc etc. It's highly reminiscent of the early Playstation/Saturn years, just subsitute "Polygons" for "HD".

You don't hear as much about advances in video game AI, or other aspects of what makes a video game complete. While that doesn't mean such things are missing, it does create a perception (which to some degree may be true) that companies are overly focussed on the "HD" portion of games, neglecting everything else.

However, the ideal situation is not one where we forsake graphics, but where graphics (or anything else for that matter) do not get in the way of other aspects of the game.

I remember watching my cousins play NCAA Football, and I was horrified. The game reminded me of half-baked shareware products on the PC, lacking strong artistic assets or polished gameplay. The initial menu was so horrifyingly poor in its artistic design I could hardly believe this was anything but a bargain bin game. However, it wasn't the graphics that were wrong with the game, it was everything.

And that's how it generally is with most of these games. Everything is bad. Occaisionally you'll find a bad game with a nice coat of paint, perpetuating the "ZOMG NO MOAR GRAFX" concept, but for the most part you simply have bad games and good games.

Re:Who cares? (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19083121)

No. They don't. Things could be much better in terms of interaction with the environment. Games that really stuck with me like GTA are because the environments are interesting. People walking around, occasionally they are chased by the cops, etc, whatever, etc.... Look at games like Halo. It's basically run, jump, and shoot. There isn't really an "environment" and the game play while for a while, is entirely linear and predictable.

The Wii has broken out as more as a party console than a loner console. While I'm sure plenty of good single player games will come out, i think the majority of the pull is from people who want to play the Wii with their friends and family.

Compare that to most 360/PS2 games and you can see the attitude shift. 360 games are good single player games with absolutely no replayability. Once you finish Halo you hardly want to sit down and play it again from scratch. And most games which have good interaction [like guitar hero] are just not really fun in groups.

Tom

Re:Who cares? (1)

SWad (454879) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082237)

Right on target. Microsoft & Sony are pushing tools. Nintendo is pushing concept. In the end, that has more horsepower.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19082281)

It's not the size that counts, it's how you use it. At least that's what I like to think.

Re:Who cares? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19082455)

So why don't you fucktards get a used Atari 2600 if games were only meant to be fun. Oh that's right you are a bunch of pretendo loving sheeple. You will purchase anything from pretendo even if it meant Apple II style graphics.

Casting Aspersions (1)

Alaren (682568) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082799)

The difference is in casting aspersions and spreading FUD.

...the 'Gamecube 1.5' moniker, while accurate...

Like that. What the heck is that supposed to mean? I mean, the DS Lite is clearly a "DS 1.5." The slimline PS2 is obviously a "PS2 1.5." Calling the Wii a GameCube 1.5 is meant to say, "that's not really a current-gen system." Which is garbage; it's a significant improvement over the GameCube, and not just graphically. Similar arguments were made about the PSP and DS--the PSP is a "handheld PS2" while the DS is a "handheld N64," which supposedly meant that Nintendo had lost the handheld war because PS2 > N64.

I guess we know how that turned out.

Re:Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19082947)

I care, I would find the Wii far more interesting if it wasn't just a Gamecube on steroids and a new controller. How is that in anyway worth my money? Just sell the controllers for whatever money as a special controller for the gamecube (or PC, PS3, XBOX 360, w/e), in the same way that Eye Toy was PS2's extra controller.

From all consoles on the market today, I'd say the Wii is the least worth it's money.

I'm surprised.. (5, Insightful)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081867)

I'm surprised a suit would say that comparison is 'difficult', when sales figures are readily available [vgchartz.com] . Maybe what's difficult is having to explain them to billg?

Re:I'm surprised.. (3, Funny)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081925)

maybe not difficult as in "logically challanging", but difficult as in emotionally painful?

interesting quote (2, Interesting)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081885)

Microsoft's Robbie Bach saying that 'the video graphics on it aren't very strong; the box itself is kind of underpowered; it doesn't play DVDs; there are a lot of down-line components [that] aren't actually that interesting. ... They don't have the graphics horsepower that even Xbox 1 had. So it makes sort of the comparison set a little bit difficult.'


Yep, I'll agree to all but the last sentance. One can easily compare sales and popularity figures.

Kinda that something that can have all those complaints, which are accurate, with such a lousy marketing campaign (come on, two creepy Japanese guys telling a little girl, "Wii would like to play"? There is so much that is wrong with that), could even get 10% of the market share of the current XBox or PS consoles, and yet it does.

Says something rather bad about MS and Sony if anything.

Re:interesting quote (2, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082103)

If you focus on a few seconds of one of many commercials then yes, you may think they have a lousy marketing campaign. Marketing to families is what are driving the sales. If you were a mother or father, would you spend $250+ on a console that you can enjoy too, or $600+? Showing families having fun together while playing the Wii sure was a bad idea!

Re:interesting quote (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082131)

I wasn't saying it's a bad idea to market it to families.

But if I were thinking of family stuff, that whole beginning part would have me way too creeped out to consider the Wii.

Or were you just misrepresenting what I said as a way to troll?

Re:interesting quote (1)

jamar0303 (896820) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082739)

You mean this? [youtube.com] I don't see what's so creepy. I left the US some time ago, though- are the Wii commercials worse in the US?

Re:interesting quote (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082367)

I'm rather surprised by that - everybody I work with (geek and non alike) seem to love the commercials. For weeks, it seemed that whenever someone entered someone elses office, I'd hear "Wii would like to play".

My wife, who isn't a gamer at all (the only game she plays is "Tetris" and "Brain Age") loves the commercials.

But, to each their own.

Re:interesting quote (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082583)

I have never once heard anyone quote that commercial. That hasn't stopped most of my co-workers from wanting one. Around here at least, the popularity has very, very little to do with the tv commercials. (I was going to say 'ad campaign' but their word-of-mouth campaign is what is really selling the boxes.)

Re:interesting quote (1)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082493)

I keep snickering "Wii would like to watch" when I see those ads (since the guys sit back and watch all the time). Yeah, that's wrong too ;-)

Re:interesting quote (1)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 7 years ago | (#19083153)

two creepy Japanese guys telling a little girl, "Wii would like to play"? There is so much that is wrong with that
Given that this ad has had considerable success and all the reactions to it I've seen so far, I'm pretty sure the only thing that's wrong is your mindset.

I wish the Wii had a better graphics engine - it's not that hard to put in something better than what they have - but to insinuate that Nintendo's success is entirely due to Microsoft and Sony's incompetence, well, let's just say it drops your credibility through the floor.

(For the record, I don't have a bias in the current console war - I dislike Microsoft and Sony about equally, PS3 and XBox360 are way too huge and power hungry, and the only console I own is a $100 PS2 Slim with just a few masterpieces like Katamari, Burnout, and Shadow of the Colossus.)

To paraphrase Tsun-Tzu (5, Funny)

Steeltalon (734391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081919)

"Cry more n00b!" I'm pretty sure that he said that at one point.

Re:To paraphrase Tsun-Tzu (5, Funny)

maino82 (851720) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082349)

Yes, that's from "The art of war", chapter 6. Which, of course, is entitled "Total pwnage."

Take Microsoft's word, it's not all that great. :P (4, Interesting)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081943)

He specifically looked at recent comments by Microsoft's Robbie Bach

A competitors review of a product, real informative.

Though I think the real issue is that the Wii is getting the market share of consumer attention in spite of the superior graphics processing power of the XBox and the PS3, and maybe they should do an article on not the resolution and frame rates but on the human interaction and game play of the consoles.

Re:Take Microsoft's word, it's not all that great. (2, Funny)

toolie (22684) | more than 7 years ago | (#19083017)

A competitors review of a product, real informative.

This just in, a competitor downplays a rival's product! News at 11!

Re:Take Microsoft's word, it's not all that great. (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19083125)

I think the Wii has been tough for the gaming media. First off, the gaming media primarily consists of hardcore gamers, which is exactly the market that the PS3 and Xbox360 were designed to target, and not the primary market for Nintendo. The Wii didn't appeal to much of the existing gaming community, because Nintendo wasn't as interested in what those people wanted. It's probably a mixture of the gaming media not understanding what Nintendo's trying to do, and also them feeling a little slighted that Nintendo doesn't feel the need to pander to them as directly as Sony and MS do.

But even beyond that, the way advertising works these days is all about the visual. You promote a game through screenshots and videos and such. A magazine or a website can include screens and talk about them and the connections are right there in front of the reader and easy to make. Gameplay is much harder to describe with words, although over time gamers have built up a vocabulary that allows many of the concepts to be communicated reasonably well. But the way you interact with the Wii and the Wiimote is very different from what's come before, and I think a lot of the gaming media reviewers have been at a loss to describe it. It's really something that you have to try to understand. It's tough to articulate how it plays with the pre-existing gaming vocabulary, and the only place where you can reasonably compare it to the other systems or previous systems is via the output, because the Wii has not changed the output, only the input. Because of all of this, many are still clinging to the visual aspects as paramount.

Over time, this should change. As games continue to be released, a more useful vocabulary will build up to describe the ways you interact with them, as well as having a bigger catalog of old games to compare the new stuff to. And as the system moves further beyond the "controller experimentation games" stage and into more refined control and gameplay models, the hardcore gamers will become more comfortable with the Wii. It's already started to happen.

Isn't this a retread? (4, Insightful)

\\ (118555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081975)

Isn't this something people were saying before the Wii was even released? I don't understand why this is news again, almost (or possibly more than) a year later.

My PC (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081979)

Did you know that my AMD64 is really just a Pentium III 1.5? I heard it on the Internet, so it must be true!

I wish people would get a grip. Especially since these specs have been know for... oh.... EVER. Get over already, will you? Yeah, it's the first console since the 80's to perform upgrades to components rather than replacing them outright. That's not a big deal. The console still has more than enough power to play games like Zelda, Super Paper Mario, and Red Steel.

Let me put it another way. In the Super Nintendo generation, it was less powerful than the TG16, the 3DO, the Phillips CD-i (pardon me while I die laughing), and the Neo Geo. But it was also worlds less expensive. Its only real competitor in that generation was the Sega Genesis, a console that was less powerful than the Super Nintendo!

The lesson to learn from this is that graphical power != better games. Better games == Better games, and damn the graphical power. The sooner people realize this, the better. (Or should I say, the sooner they get over their insecurity at having purchased a PS3?)

As for the Gamecube "1.5" nonsense, it's two Gamecubes duct taped together. Get it right, will you?

* Critics can shaddup about this one, too. If you can't get past learning the controls, well, that's too bad for you. But many of us actually find the controls to make the game. And the graphics aren't nearly as bad as they're made out to be. Sure, there are some dull hallways and whatnot, but there are also rooms full of steam, radiosity from windows, and other nice effects that help draw you into the game. And drawing me into the game is all I care about.

Errata (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082017)

The note at the end is supposed to point to Red Steel. Excuse my flubby fingers. Here's a wonderful review on Red Steel from IGN to help make up for it:

http://wii.ign.com/articles/747/747541p1.html [ign.com]

Re:My PC (1)

EricWright (16803) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082047)

The lesson to learn from this is that graphical power != better games. Better games == Better games, and damn the graphical power.

Aficionados of roguelike games have been saying this for 20+ years.

Re:My PC (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082183)

I think a lot of people have been saying it for that long. The problem stems from the fact that graphics can have an impact on what you can do with a console. Especially in the early days of game consoles, where the 2600 was limited to two sprites, a 1 pixel ball, two 1 pixel missiles, and a 20x2 by 190 pixel background. Obviously, that was quite limiting. Later consoles touted how many sprites they had, and their hi-res background capabilities.

The upgrade from the NES to the SNES was similar. The SNES allowed for bigger characters, larger games, scaling and rotation effects, and other features that allowed game creators to make games that they couldn't have otherwise.

Unfortunately, the market has become blind to the reasons behind why those graphical upgrades were important. As a result, they're fixated on this idea that we need photo-realistic graphics to have better games. It doesn't work that way. The Atari 7800 had better graphics than the NES. It failed. The Colecovision and Intellivision both had better graphics than the 2600. They didn't capture nearly the market that the 2600 did. The Neo Geo has the best 2D graphics available anywhere. It did not displace the SuperNES. (Though it did do well for itself among hardcore fans of SNK fighting games.) The Playstation was graphically inferior to the N64, yet it was the best selling console to date. The Playstation 2 was graphically inferior to the Gamecube and XBox, yet it was (and still is) the best selling console ever.

History is very clear on this. If you give the market good games at a good price, you will outperform your competition. If you try and push the envelope with the idea that money is no object, you WILL fail. Or at best, only capture a niche in the market.

Re:My PC (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082705)

The Colecovision and Intellivision both had better graphics than the 2600. They didn't capture nearly the market that the 2600 did.
They came out much later, so had less time to sell, and did so in the face of an established console with a large established library of games.

The Neo Geo has the best 2D graphics available anywhere. It did not displace the SuperNES.
The Neo Geo was very expensive; it used (IIRC) basically the same technology as arcade games and AFAIK was never intended to be a mass-market console (it couldn't have been at that price anyway).

The Atari 7800 had better graphics than the NES. It failed.
The 7800 was put on hold after the video game crash; they only revived it after Nintendo had shown that they *could* make a success of their NES, by which time they had a head-start. Also, regardless of anything else, Atari couldn't sell ice-cream in a heatwave.

Re:My PC (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082969)

They came out much later, so had less time to sell, and did so in the face of an established console with a large established library of games.

The Intellivision was only 2 years later than the 2600. (Its test market was in 1979.) It wasn't discontinued until 1991. That gave it nearly as long to compete as the 2600, yet it only captured about 1/4 the market that the 2600 did.

The Neo Geo was very expensive; it used (IIRC) basically the same technology as arcade games and AFAIK was never intended to be a mass-market console (it couldn't have been at that price anyway).

It wasn't intended to be originally, no, but it was mass-marketed due to demand from fans. Its price was similar to that of the PS3, so if graphics were the only deciding factor, it would seem that the Neo Geo would have been far more popular than it already was?

Of course, it wasn't. Because graphics don't rule the day. SNK was well aware of that sitation, and that's why they had never intended to mass market the system. Thus their business model centered around the Neo Geo being a niche product, rather than Sony's business model which centers around selling over 100x the volume of what the Neo Geo sold.

The 7800 was put on hold after the video game crash; they only revived it after Nintendo had shown that they *could* make a success of their NES, by which time they had a head-start

Nintendo built and released the Famicom before the 7800 was created. Atari had always intended to give Nintendo the runaround so that they could release the 7800 instead. The Tramiel takeover delayed things, but the NES and the 7800 hit the market around the same time. Putting aside Tramiel's attempts to screw himself over, he still had access to the impressive library of games originally created for the 1984 release. Unfortunately, the arcade-style games couldn't hold a candle to the new and innovative gameplay seen on the NES.

Also, regardless of anything else, Atari couldn't sell ice-cream in a heatwave.

That statement belies the fact that Atari sold 40 million 2600's, and probably about as many computer systems. Atari could sell, they just couldn't execute new products after their original line.

Better games are made possible by better hardware (1)

LightStruk (228264) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082531)

I sympathize with the fatigue many people are feeling with the "my console's wang is bigger than your console's wang" flamewars, and I agree that better games often have little to do with graphics horsepower.

However, it's important to realize that most great games take full advantage of the hardware they run on, and therefore they are limited by their hardware. The parent post mentions the SNES generation, so I'll use that as my example.

The SNES had the best sound hardware of its generation, which made the excellent music that accompanied Final Fantasy IV-VI possible. It had excellent sprite rotation and scaling capabilities, which were used as an integral part of gameplay in even the first batch of games, including Super Mario World, F-Zero, and Pilotwings.

Want more proof how much the raw hardware matters? Some of the best games on the SNES required expensive co-processors in the game cartridges. Starfox has a RISC processor on board that's at least as fast as the CPU in the SNES. Similarly, Super Mario Kart was only possible due to the DSP chip it included.

This approach was possible back in the cartridge era, but it's impossible to do in the modern day. You can't put accelerators on a DVD. All of the hardware has to already be in the console.

Re:My PC (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082963)

Good post. However, the Sega Genesis was actually more powerful than the Super Nintendo in terms of pure processing power (Genesis: 32-bit Motorola 68000; SNES: 16-bit 65c816). However, I think the SNES graphics unit was a little bit better. At least it coul display 256 colors at once vs. Genesis only being able to display 64 colors at once.

Propaganda (4, Insightful)

TodMinuit (1026042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081995)

From the article:

I'm actually not--the product has gotten more broad-base [sic] aclaim that I would have expected. It's a very nice product, but it actually has a relatively specific audience and a fairly specific appeal, frankly, based on one feature, which is the controller itself. And the rest of the product is actually not a great product--no disrespect, but...the video graphics on it aren't very strong; the box itself is kind of underpowered; it doesn't play DVDs; there are a lot of down-line components [that] aren't actually that interesting.
Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 have a relatively specific audience and a fairly specific appeal, frankly, based on one feature, which are the graphics itself. And the rest of product is actually not a great product--no disrespect, but...the games and gameplay on it aren't very strong.

Blah blah blah. What do you expect them to say? "Oh, the Wii kicks our ass. It's cheaper to build and is selling more. We're fools?" Give me a break.

Re:Propaganda (-1, Troll)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082411)

Excuse me, but the game play of Resistance isn't strong? Or did you mean Motorstorm (which actually requires effort)? Or perhaps FlOw? Oh I know, must be Super Rub a Dub. Virtua Tennis? Tekken 5 Dark Resurrection? No? Or maybe you haven't actually played any PS3 games for any length of time. I'd go on about 360 games, but I don't own one of those.

I do however know that my PS3 hooked up to an HD CRT with a Dolby Digital 5 point sound system makes people grin ear to ear when they come over (don't try to take the controller away).

For the record, my 5 year old daughter loves playing FlOw, Super Rub A Dub, Virtua Tennis and NBA '07 on the PS3. My wife has put in almost 65 hours on Oblivion and is not a gamer. Friends come over weekly to put their time in on Resistance: Fall of Man online.

So the Wii is fun to some people -- that's great. I'll stick with my games that are fun and look and sound incredible. I don't like straining my eyes to see enemies on-screen, and DD 5.1 / dts sound is the _____. Have fun playing with your Wii though. "To each their own," as my grandmother always says.

Re:Propaganda (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19083085)

I'm afraid you are gonna fight a losing battle with the people on here who are convinced that the Wii has stronger gameplay than its competitors despite it not actually having any good games (except Wii Sports but only then when playing with other people) purely on the basis of the artificial argument that somehow graphics and fun are mutually exclusive.

On some level I don't care. I'm too happy playing Saints Row (when it comes out for the PS3 later this year you might wanna check it out - it fixes so much that's wrong with the 3D GTA series), PGR3, Dead or Alive 4, Oblivion and a whole host of other titles. I even have good titles to look forward to in the next few months (Forza 2 and Virtua Fighter 5 for example). Meanwhile, the Wii has really bad mini-games and sub-standard ports (NFS Carbon for example lacks online play). Oh, and Virtual Console of course. Because what I really want is a £180 box that's plays NES games.

So what? (2, Interesting)

AccUser (191555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19081999)

OK, so the XBox 360 is state of the art, full of raw processing and graphics rendering power, has a bleeding-edge software DVD player? Guess what? I bought a Wii and it is damn good fun. I enjoy it, my wife enjoy's it, my two boys (6) enjoy it... in fact everyone who has come round to visit has played Wii Sports. And do you know what? No body ever played with my XBox apart from my brother.

Microsoft wants to drive the market, but the market wants something else. They need to wake up and realise this, and stop dissing everyone else. I guess this is a similar ethos as to where those comments about business not wanting the iPhone originated...

Microsoft are no longer the piper, and they really need to start thinking about this soon.

I thought this FUD died of old-age months ago (4, Interesting)

datajack (17285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082001)

Yes, the Wii architecture is fundamentally the same as the Gamecube architecture, but so what?

All the way up the PC scale, each improvement is an incremental improvement on what went before. Does anyone complain about that? No.

Fundamentally, computers all do the same things. As long as you can perform the fundamental turin operations, you can do anything. Yeah, multi-core machines can do these same operations at a greater rate, but there's nothing different that what they are capable of (apart from making programmers worry about race conditions and such like).

People don't complain about the similarity between upgrades in PC processing power for a good reason, you don't have to spend many months training your programmers in how to get started and them watching them spend years before they are capable of fully utilising the system. With a similar architecture as you are already used to, the learning curve and associated costs are much much lower, programmers are more productive and happier.

Re:I thought this FUD died of old-age months ago (3, Insightful)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082599)

It's something that suits will never understand. It goes beyond pixels and megahertz and "high definition", deeper into the human heart where suits just can't see. People don't care about pixels. They don't care about fill-rates and texels and polygons and all the other bullshit that suits try to cram into their products -- all the crap they THINK people want. But they just don't get it. People want to be happy and have fun. People spend their lives miserable most of the time and want to spend their money that they worked hard for and get fun and happiness with their friends and family in exchange. It's FUN to play Wii with your mom or grandpa or uncle. It's not fun to play GTA or Gears of War with your grandma. The architecture is irrelevant. What's important is the amount of happy times you get for your money.

you know (2, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082003)

Graphical power isn't the only measure of a game system, but you know, it is still important. The fact that developers are already complaining about the limits of the system means that in another year or two, when the novelty of the motion detector has worn off a bit, the wii's popularity will start to slide.

Re:you know (4, Insightful)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082401)

Why do people keep saying "in another year or two, when the novelty of the motion detector has worn off"? This statement just doesn't make any sense to me at all. That is like saying "well, in a year or two when 0-60 in 4 seconds of your sports car wears off", it isn't going to. It isn't just a gimmick. It is a true advancement in the way interact with games. Sure, there are going to be games that implement motion control in crappy ways. The key is that there are going to be amazing games as well that simply aren't possible with a standard controller.

Re:you know (0)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082473)

Either it's a fad or an actual generational jump. If it's a fad then people really will get bored with it and move back to standard controllers. If it's a generational jump then the other manufacturers will release their own versions of it, and Nintendo will lose their big advantage, especially due to the Wii's lack of power.

Re:you know (2, Insightful)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082633)

If enough people have the Wii, there will be games...

And it certainly looks like there will be enough people with a Wii... So I wouldn't bet on a lack of games...

Re:you know (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082871)

And in 3-4 years we'll see a new console, which is about when the games will dry up for the Wii but your estimate.

Lets put it this way. Games take 2-3 years to make these days. The Wii has a huge console base, so games will get made for it, come out when it "looks old" and carry it until the next generation as all the Triple A titles will be on the Wii and single handedly rule the market until next gen.

PS3 is a fish out of water, 360 is a bit better but both are finding the Wii kicking their asses and can't do anything about it.

Turn the article around (4, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082051)

Microsoft and Sony find themselves out of the boat in pushing high end rendering machines as game consoles when what people really want is fun games.

Wii wins with a new way to interact with the machine making it fun and for having the standard Nintendo appeal of social games that involve a group of people vs the solo sniper approach.

Nintendo has a winner, Sony and Microsoft have dogs, very pretty dogs, but dogs. Of course Sony and Microsoft are going to point out their dogs are pretty. But they are not popular.

Things learned from this
1) group games have more mass appeal than solo games
2) interaction with the game can be fun
3) game play is more important than graphics
4) cheaper is better
5) make a console that is not a loss leader

Re:Turn the article around (-1)

abaddononion (1004472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082381)

4) cheaper is better

Im sure Im going to get lynched for being anti-nintendo on /., but still. The thing that bothers me the most about the Wii isnt that it's a Gamecube 1.5. It's that it's a Gamecube 1.5, AND nintendo jacked the price up to the point where they were making a profit on per-console sales. This is unheard of, ESPECIALLY for Nintendo, who is the longest running console maker, and knows the ins and outs of console sales better than anyone. And I think there are 2 major factors for that. 1. They were unconfident of the Wii, because of previous experimental flops like the Virtual Boy, and previous difficult launches such as the DS (which has turned things around now, but still had a rough first year or more). and 2. They knew they COULD jack the price up, and still undercut M$ and Sony.

But that's what bothers me. They jacked the price up completely for their own benefit... but with no real reason! Absolutely NO love for the consumer is shown there, despite everyone marching around preaching the Nintendo is the new "man of the people". If they were going to jack the price up to the level that they did... then why not put some tech improvements into the thing, and still sell it at a regular loss margin, like consoles have been for aeons? There's no reason they could have at LEAST put the Wii up over the original XBox's level, and kept the price tag EXACTLY the same, in the current market technology state. Or if they didnt want to do that... they could EASILY be selling Wii's for 100 dollars cheaper. But like every company, they're going in for the whole "We'll charge more because we can. what's to stop us? people will still pay it." And I think that's just as dangerous of a trend for future games as the M$ and Sony approach is. Same evil, different flavor. It reminds me of how the oil companies nowadays keep bumping up gas prices, even though barrel prices arent fluctuating at all. It's just a matter of raising price for no reason OTHER than to raise profit margins.

Mind you, Im not saying Nintendo is worse than Sony or M$. That would be insane. But I do think they're getting way too much credit for being the "good guy" than they really deserve. They're just like the other guys. The only reason they're playing nice this generation is because they lost out so hard last generation, and it humbled them, and forced them to change tact.

Re:Turn the article around (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082581)

Video games must be the only industry around where pricing a system to make a profit is somehow seen as a bad thing.

Here's a hint: If Microsoft didn't have the Windows tax to fall back on, the 360 probably wouldn't even exist, let alone be sold at the losses it was during its first year.

The money to make these things comes from somewhere. Nintendo sells the product for what it actually costs to make, Microsoft just uses some of the money from their monopoly.

Re:Turn the article around (0)

abaddononion (1004472) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082787)

...the money on videogames has always been made on game sales and licensing. I am by no means saying "Game makers shouldnt make a profit!" Im saying "They dont need to make more of a profit. They dont need to be making a profit coming and going."

To me, the mindset like yours is a problem. It's like how 10 years ago, everyone was saying "We need to help poor telecommunications companies! they shouldnt have to bare such a huge initial investment! they should be able to show some profits immediately!" And now what state are they in? They own all of the telecommunications lines, which government programs effectively paid for, they claim they have the right to dictate their usage, and they whine "Well we put all of the up-front effort in. How come other people should just be able to come in and use it?" When there was, in fact, no up-front effort.

If Nintendo is making profit on console sales now, then why do they still need to completely control all licensing for the system? Previously, building a console was a huge monetary investment. And by licensing all the games, and getting a cut of those profits, the endeavor still worked out to be QUITE profitable. Now, they're literally profiting coming AND going. They're making the profit up-front, as their "investment" into the industry, and yet they're still going to license and control all content on the system, and get a cut of every piece of software sold as well.

My point is, there's still no good reason for Nintendo to have jacked their prices up. They didnt to it "So they could make a profit." they're going to make a profit anyway. If they had sold the systems at a reasonable loss, then they could have provided a BETTER product to the customer, at the same PRICE to the customer, and Nintendo would have STILL. PROFITED.

How can anyone think that there's anything except for pure opportunistic price-gouging in this?

Re:Turn the article around (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 7 years ago | (#19083047)

Because "price gouging" implies they actually have some kind of power to force you to buy it.

Oil companies can price gouge if they feel like selling gas for $10/gallon tomorrow. Most people need to drive to make a living, so they'll have little choice in the short term but to pay it. Water suddenly costs 10x more then it did yesterday? You can't really choose to stop requiring liquid to survive.

The Wii is a luxury. Nintendo could decide tomorrow to charge $1000 for it. You can decide to not pay it, and nothing bad happens.

The console market is highly competitive, and the Wii is already the cheapest console in it. How can anybody think that in a highly competitive market, selling a product for less then your competitors but at a profit amounts to price gouging?

Re:Turn the article around (1)

niconorsk (787297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082997)

I kind of agree with you on the whole thinking Nintendo are the messiah thing. But I thought I should point out one thing: selling consoles at a loss is not something that's always been done. Nintendo have never done it, and as far as I know, the only consoles that have are XBox, XBox 360, PS3, and maybe PS2.

Re:Turn the article around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19083033)

I like the Wii better, but XBox Live is far superior to any internet multiplay Nintendo has. And other people can make other games fun more easily than innovative control. Wii is only better with friends in the house.

Jealous much? (4, Insightful)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082057)

So Microsoft is upset with Nintendo because they were smarter? After spending huge amounts of money MS ended up with a new machine based on making everything faster while nintendo spent their money on researching new ways to play games and applied them to what they already had.

I have a 360, it has some great games, but its still just a prettier version of the xbox that is barely backwards compatable. I cant get my wife or relatives to play the 360, but all of them seem to gravitate to the wii. I came home from work yesterday and caught my wife bowling at 3 in the afternoon, I can guarantee I've never come home and caught her playing halo.

So perhaps MS feels like they wasted money and resources? Have we finally reached a point where the old argument about graphics vs gameplay is actually a legitimate one?

Wii vs Xbox360/PS3 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19082121)

Would you rather play a first-person shooter game on the Wii, which means less amazing graphics but more precise controls (Wiimote+nunchuck = almost as good as keyboard+mouse) or on the Xbox360/PS3, which means better graphics but useless controls (screw those stupid little analog sticks). It doesn't matter if a game looks better if you can't play it.

Another detail that a lot of people don't take into account: load times. If you got a lower resolution graphics then it means lower resolution textures which means it loads faster. It doesn't matter if the game looks better if you need to wait 2 minutes between each level. You may be used to long load times but as a Nintendo gamer I hate load times.

One last detail that hard-core players keep forgetting: the console price. Not everyone can afford to shell more than 400$CAD for a damn GAMING BOX. Not everyone can afford a 800$-2000$CAD+ television either. Not everyone cares about specs over fun. Brag all you want about your PS3 and Xbox 360 connected to your 50" plasma screen, I don't care.

The Xbox360 and PS3 may be selling, but I'm glad Nintendo is taking over again. Fun is back!

An F for Innovation? (2, Interesting)

Anarchysoft (1100393) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082123)

From the article:

Our final verdict on the charges leveled at the Wii? While Bach's statement that the Wii is graphically underpowered compared to the first Xbox wasn't quite a bulls-eye, it's so darned close to the mark--technically speaking--that we've got to compliment him on his aim. The question, then, is how much will developers be able to squeeze out of the less-flexible Wii hardware?
For all the talk about how important graphic power is, it seems like there is a whole class of pundit that doesn't care whether there is anything interesting or innovative in the graphics to begin with. Super Mario Sunshine is a good example of a game that looked wonderful due to utilizing the special qualities of the Game Cube innovatively (notably with water.) The developers that the Wii's supposed lack of power most negatively affects are those that doing a cheap and quick port from one console to another without making it suit the console. With the originality of the Wii's controllers this is exacerbated considerably. Sometimes when gaming companies decry the lack of graphics or CPU power on a machine, it brings to mind amateur musicians blaming their mistakes on their 1000 dollar instruments. Like ASCII art, 4k demos, handheld hacking and more, using a machine's limitations resourcefully can be a powerful test of creativity.

Considering the graphics (1)

AccUser (191555) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082143)

When I first got my Wii, my father-in-law (retired, likes to spend his pension) came over and had a go. He was hanging out for a new XBox 360 (don't ask me why - he hardly plays the XBox he has), but was interested in trying the Wii out. An avid sportsman (or so he tells everyone) he played all of Wii Sports (except the boxing - something about his knees?!), but it was the golf that really intereted him. He played all nine holes over and over, and really got the hang of it, but at the end decided that it was a kids game as the graphics were cartoonish. He asked if someone was likely to bring out an 'adult version' of the game. Stifling my laugh and assuming that he meant one with more realisting graphics, I asked why that would make a difference. He didn't really know, but I do understand everyone's obsession with graphics these days. For so long the market has pushed the boundaries of visual realism, with both hardware and software, that we stand today with some amazing technology. It is a pity that in the meantime, gameplay didn't progress as much.

I think that Nintendo have done a fantastic thing with the Wii and the Wiimote - it has opened a new an exciting (and accessible) avenue for video games and entertainment.

Re:Considering the graphics (1)

cHALiTO (101461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082373)

Tell him he can get tiger woods's pga tour 07

Re:Considering the graphics (1)

FullCircle (643323) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082487)

In Japan, it's common to see businessmen with manga.

In the US, you are considered childish to be seen playing a cartoonish game.

I'm sure that his golf buddies would give him no end of grief over playing Wii Golf, but a realistic Tiger Woods "simulator" would be completely different even if it was only a change of graphics.

Nintendo or some third-party needs to realize this cultural difference and cash in.

Re:Considering the graphics (1)

allthingscode (642676) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082597)

The adult version of the golf game would be the Tiger Wood's game. That ought to give him something to do.

Re:Considering the graphics (1)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082721)

He played all nine holes over and over, and really got the hang of it, but at the end decided that it was a kids game as the graphics were cartoonish. He asked if someone was likely to bring out an 'adult version' of the game.
They did that, too. There's a Tiger Woods game out for the Wii. Haven't played it, but I understand it uses a similar control scheme to the Wii Sports golf game. Myself, I wish the Wii Sports games would stick a bit closer to the actual rules of the sports in question; the tennis game is incredibly fun, but I wish you could actually play a set according to the actual scoring system used in tennis rather than the best-of-five thing they're using. Same for baseball. But the game is still fun, and that's what really counts, right?

DVD? (5, Interesting)

chadamir (665725) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082153)

Why is dvd playback such a selling point? Does anyone NOT have a dvd player that will buy a wii? A dvd player is 30 dollars!

As of the end of 2006, over 80% of households have dvd players http://blogs.zdnet.com/ITFacts/?p=12220 [zdnet.com] . Do you think the other 20 percent are choosing between a console or dvd player? 3.5 percent of households are below the poverty line http://www.soundvision.com/Info/poor/statistics.as p [soundvision.com] . So now we're around 85 percent; factor in old people and I'm sure we're just left with luddites and the margin of error.

What are they going on about?

Re:DVD? (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082297)

Some people like to whine about the clutter of having both a DVD player and a game system near their tv. Personally, my gamecube and SNES (especially the hard-to-balance stacks of its cartridge games) cause a lot more clutter than my DVD player, and that's one problem the Wii would fix!

Re:DVD? (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082897)

Some people like to whine about the clutter of having both a DVD player and a game system near their tv.
Aside from clutter, there's having to faff about with extra connectors (and switch-boxes, etc, if your TV doesn't have enough sockets), leads, and power supplies, etc. If you're not a diehard gamer/DVD addict, a convenient all-in-one box is much nicer. Whining? Matter of opinion...

Re:DVD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19082549)

I can't comment on what a ps3 sounds like fired up, but I know the xboxen are akin to B52s when it comes to noise generated when compared to "normal" dvd players.

About the only console dvd player that doesn't make a racket it the old PS2.

The wii, if it could, would be fairly quiet. And it would come with an actual remote.

Really, why do people insist that having a noisy dvd player is a required feature for a console? The wii being able to replace the gc makes it multipurpose enough for me.

Re:DVD? (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082609)

I would've liked the wii to play DVDs so I could get rid of a peripheral that doesn't sit plugged in and unused 99% of the time, and i don't have to switch input cables (and so i can get rid of another controller that just is going to get lost!)

there are tons of solutions but yeah, it's the laziness factor.

Re:DVD? (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 7 years ago | (#19083135)

I'm still hoping that they'll release DVD playback as a downloadable feature. Yeah, a DVD player is only $30, but you also have to deal with yet another set of input cables and another remote.

Crappy Graphics Makes Things Fun (1)

mb10ofBATX (126746) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082181)

Lets pick up our favorite mantra: Technology does not equal game play.

The Wii owns the best game play right now, hands down. Graphics are just icing on top of the game play cake. And for too friggin' long game companies have been trying to sell their games with graphics rather than gameplay - all icing, no cake. For some people, this is a good thing. For me, not so much.

I can't tell you how much time I have spent playing on the Mii Channel. Caricaturing people is a lot of fun and oddly very engaging for my entire family (my wife, two boys under 5, and myself). Watching them play in Wii Sports - awesome! We've even set up a competition with some friends to try to make the better Mii's and send them to each other via Wii-mail. And the Mii Channel? Crappy graphics. Even my wife (not a gamer) has commented on how simple and unimpressive Mii's are on the surface - but that's really the source of the fun. For all its simplicity, the amount of seamless variety is amazing.

If graphics ever truly equated to fun, computer games would never have been successful. Granted, graphics can totally destroy a game, but that's due to poor design and planning - for consoles, it's never the fault of the graphics card.

And if you can produce a game like Princess Twilight, I don't think there's too much more to want in a game, graphically. The only thing left is photorealism ... and that's a lot of work for ... what? In the end, it doesn't make the game more interesting. It'll knock your socks off the first few times you play it ... and then you'll play it and think no differently of it as when you play Wind Waker (assuming you can get over yourself playing a cartoon).

Re:Crappy Graphics Makes Things Fun (4, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082623)

The only thing left is photorealism
And that's the problem right there. The closer you get to photorealism, the more people feel like "it's not photorealistic enough".

Case in point: when you watch old movies, you sometimes think to yourself "those are computer graphics", and they're still better-looking than today's consoles (and yes I'm talking about the Xbox360 and PS3 in this case, or even the most expensive consumer-grade 3D card). So if your brain can make the difference between real things and 3D things in movies that took months to render, imagine how long it will be until 500$ consoles can do it in real-time.

Nintendo are smart to stay away from that "photorealistic 3D graphics" race. The finish line is still decades away.

Sure. (5, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082205)

If you wish to make the processing power of the Wii your main concern, then yes, you might be able to make an argument that the Wii is only 1.5 gamecubes. Unfortunately, you'd be entirely missing the point of the Wii.

If you consider a new control scheme to be more interesting, then the 360 is more like Xbox 1.1. The PS3 has some motion detection added in, so we'll call that a PS2 2.0, but they couldn't manage to get the rumble back in, so we should probably dock them something for that. Let's just say it's a 2.0 that shipped before it was really ready. Nintendo, on the other hand, has shipped an entirely new product line.

And the best part for Nintendo is that this isn't just some BS excuse that they're making up for not being able to keep up in the technology race, it's a very deliberate strategy that they've implemented in both their handheld and living room consoles, and sales have proved it to be extremely successful. Good for them.

numbers != fun (3, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082459)

There's more to creating beauty than polygon fill rates and shader algorithms.

I think a game like Super Paper Mario, for example, is absolutely gorgeous; it's obvious that a huge amount of effort went into the art direction for the game. Who cares if the graphics could have been generated by a last-generation GPU? They're still beautiful.

Illustrating the Wrong Point (1)

Mephistophocles (930357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082483)

Bach's comments illustrate in hideous detail exactly what's wrong with the gaming industry. He's so obsessed with graphics power and cool new technology that he's forgotten that games are supposed to be - well, fun. And that's why the Wii has kicked everyone's ass. It doesn't need to have the newest graphics accelerator or 3GB of memory or 8 damn processors - it just needs to be engaging, nifty and fun as hell to play.

Hell, I still occasionally play Duck Hunt on an old Nintendo. Graphics power?? Ha!! Who needs it when you get to blow the crap out of feathery little ducks with a physical gun?

Until folks like Microsoft and Sony realize this, they're going to fall behind in the market. Loads of graphic power can be a great thing, but only if it's used to make fun, innovative, creatively "different" games.

When will they learn (1)

EvilGoodGuy (811015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082559)

It's not the power of the console, it's how you use it.

Brute Force trash talk (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082569)

Well, MS appears worried enough to comment. Yes, the Wii's graphics aren't XBox1. They weren't targetted to be. They're more than enough for NTSC/PAL TV sets.

'tendo has put their efforts into other innovations, particularly around controllers and responsiveness. These are tougher things to develop than raw horsepower, but more valued by the user community. MS has chosen the lazy development way. The problem is they will find it difficult to become more innovative, while Nintendo can catch up on graphics any time they choose. It's not rocket science, just brute force. These same comments largely apply to Sony, too.

Paradigm Shift and Risk (3, Insightful)

TimeForGuinness (701731) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082615)

I really think Nintendo approached the Wii intelligently. When trying to shake things up in the gaming world and going with a whole new control scheme, using a revved-up Gamecube might not be a bad thing. Think of the risk involved. If they put out a platform that rivals the Xbox or PS3 with a new control scheme, the console would be expensive and people would not take the risk of learning something new. Nintendo is dead in the water.

But if Nintendo bumps up the specs on the gamecube (small risk, graphics are decent) while introducing a new control scheme (big risk) while keeping the price cheaper than the other two consoles (still making a profit on each console), people can afford to take a risk...and they have. The Wii is a success so far, and caught the game makers with their pants down. They weren't prepared for this and now they have to shift too.

What is really interesting, in this experiment by Nintendo, is that because the Wii is so far a success, this lowers the risk of incorporating higher end graphics, HD, 720/1080, etc for Wii 2.0.

Gamecube1.5 (0)

Stevecrox (962208) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082621)

The article shows why so many dislike the Wii. I'll try to explain why, the Wii is a jumped up Gamecube (or Gamecube 1.5 if you prefer) but it has one key difference is the Wiimote. Its barely a technical upgrade but it has this 'amazing' Wiimote, it advertises the Wiimote first and the games second. I've seen two Wii demo setup's and both spent more time showing people through that remote around then spend times on the game.

The games aren't selling the console, this bugs people alot there are already alternative input controllers for systems like the PS2. When I buy a console its a game/games thats sold the console to me, not controllers, DVD playback, power or speed. With the Wii people are buying it because its cheap and you get to wave your hand around.

Why does the low power and apparent 'fun' factor of the Wii worry me? Half Life was a great game it gained a lot of support, years later Half Life 2 is released with some major enhancements and it really produces a real advancement in gaming. Half Life 2 Episode 1 was just HL2 with some minor enhancements on and a shiny new toy (HDR lighting) its a great deal of fun but not really an advancement if it had been more expensive I might have been upset. HL2 Ep2 has taken almost as long to be released as HL2 but isn't going to offer the mind bending difference's that Hl2 gave us when compared to HL. The Wii is like episodic gaming, sure in some applications its perfect but it would kill off the pace of advancements in gaming (much like Episodic gaming.)

Do you know what I would have been working on ever since the Wii became so popular? If I was Sony I'd make my own Wiimote, package a few first party games (something similar to Wiisports) and kill off the buzz its created. I'd have it run on Bluetooth (with a bluetooth adapater for the PS2) sell it at a dirt cheap rate (say £40 with SonySports.) I'd have flung alot of recources at the issue and had a PS2/Sonymote out before the end of the year and packaged for £140. Then again I'm not a sony executive, at best you've just stillborned the Wii and at worst you've eaten a little into Nintendo's new market.

Smells like BS (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082625)

They (the Wii) don't have the graphics horsepower that even Xbox 1 had.

i don't know enough about the topic to back up the following claim, but that smells a hell of a lot like bullshit. Isn't the Wii graphically more powerful than either the Xbox or the PS2?

They convinced me! (1)

El_Smack (267329) | more than 7 years ago | (#19082701)

Man, and all this time I was having a lot of fun with my family and friends, playing 4 player games that end up with everyone laughing and having a good time.
Rats, I'm really going to miss that.

Wii fanboys aside, the things is underpowered. (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19083137)

So in a way was/is the DS. It was in fact claimed by Nintendo themselves that the DS was NOT the full sequel to the GBA.

The Wii is NOT a next generation console as we have come to expect. It is decidely underpowered, even compared to last generation.

The lack of a dvd player is trivial, anyone who wants one can get one so cheap nowadays it is pointless to have it as a feature and either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray just wouldn't fit with its low price point.

The simple fact is the the Wii is an attempt to go a different route. Can Nintendo succeed in selling games that despite not being able to compete on graphics terms are considered fun enough to be bought? Or perhaps an even simpler bet, that not enough people will have HD tv screens to notice the higher res graphics of the PS3/360? After all, unless your tv is HD ready you won't see much improvement anyway.

But does anyone else find it ironic that Microsoft who has made billions in the last decade selling point upgrades to their OS is commeting on someone else doing a 1.5? Could windows 98 be considered a full .5 upgrade to 95? How about XP to 2000 and 2000 to NT4 etc etc?

The simple fact is that right now the Wii, no matter how underpowered is the one console still sold out. No I don't see why. I do NOT like its games. Then again, I in general don't like consoles. But for a 1.5 console, Nintendo ain't doing bad. If anything MS and Sony should be really worried because with the cash Nintendo is taking in they could be the ones who in a couple of years could launch a 2.5 console that will truly blow the PS3 and 360 out of the water while these consoles by then will be considered old.

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