ImaJAN Media Network
MeltedJoystick Home
   Games  Members
Search +
Searching... Close  
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
  
 
  Login Using Facebook
Twitter
 
     

Generation 8 Begins?

View Nelson Schneider's Profile

By Nelson Schneider - 04/17/11 at 02:30 PM CT

Several media outlets have recently broken news that Nintendo will be revealing their 8th Generation console, and successor to the Wii, at E3 2011. All of the ‘details’ are nothing more than rumor and speculation at this point, but there are some intriguing concepts on the table:

+The upcoming console will not have the ‘Wii’ moniker attached to it.
+The upcoming console will be able to output HD video.
+The upcoming console will have a controller that features a touchscreen, buttons, and a camera.
+The new controller can serve as a Wii sensor bar.
+The upcoming console will be backward compatible with Wii.
+The upcoming console will be ‘more powerful’ than Sony’s and MS’s current consoles.

It certainly makes sense for Nintendo to abandon the name ‘Wii,’ as that is a very specific console that the company created to target the ‘Blue Ocean’ demographic of non-traditional gamers. Non-traditional gamers are not only not real gamers, but they tend not to keep up on technology at all. These are the same grannies and technophobes who still watch movies on VHS. Trying to sell them a ‘Wii2’ would be a complete non-starter, as the first thing they would be inclined to say is, “Why do I need a new Wii? My old one works fine.” The other half of the market, the ‘hardcore,’ are put-off by the Wii name because, to them, it represents the dreaded casualization of their hobby and mountains of shovelware by unscrupulous American software developers. Basically, Nintendo CAN’T market a ‘new Wii’ to anyone.

So by making a clean break with their marketing past, Nintendo is free to, once again, surprise us with something new and unexpected. Of course, most of these rumors about the ‘Nintendo HD,’ are things that have been a long time coming.

It was absurd that Nintendo released the Wii without even basic HD output capabilities, despite the fact that HDTVs were just coming into their own in 2006. Of course, we still don’t know exactly how much HD the Nintendo HD will be able to handle. Even the great and illustrious HD Twins by Sony and MS don’t output full HD all the time. Most PS3 games still look amazing at 720p (despite the constant screen tearing), while the few that do display at 1080p just push the envelope that much further. Then, of course, there are the PC gaming performance whores who immediately pipe-up about how obsolete 1080p is because their 25” monitor supports 1440p. Honestly, I don’t see any resolution above 720p being necessary for quite a long time. Whether or not Nintendo sees it that way is anyone’s guess.

The touchscreen controller is something I’ve been expecting since Sega brought us VMUs on the Dreamcast. Unfortunately, after actually getting to play with touchscreens on the DS and the iPhone, I am no longer very supportive of the technology. By combining an inaccurate and temperamental touchscreen with inaccurate and temperamental motion controls, Nintendo could create a controller that literally makes it impossible to do anything in a game with any reliability. However, I am heartened by the fact that the rumors about this controller also say that it will have real buttons and a real d-pad (and hopefully two real analog sticks!). If Nintendo, and whatever third parties they manage to seduce/trick/bully into making games on their next console manage to use moderation with the touchscreen and motion controls, I can foresee things turning out very well. Nintendo certainly learned their lesson with motion controls, as very few good Wii games use them at all, and the ones that do use them minimally and elegantly. Giving game developers the ability to create a custom keyset or sub/map screens on the controller itself could lead to great things.

But the greatest thing that the touchscreen controller could lead to is, finally, a “Gameboy Player”-like device that allows us to play DS games on a TV screen. Of course, there are still some possible issues with this idea, considering that several (not-so-good) DS games (like “Phantom Hourglass” and “Dragon Quest 9”) use the touchscreen as the ‘main’ screen instead of an inventory/interface/map. It’s still a product I would at least like to see attempted.

The issue of backward compatibility is also a huge one. Allowing Wii owners to play Gamecube games on their new console was a great selling point that contributed to a lot of Gamecubes being traded in for cash to spend on Wiis. Sony did the same thing with the PS3 as a way to supplement its wretched launch library and help justify the ridiculous price tag. While I hope the Nintendo HD is compatible with Wii and Gamecube games, I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be compatible only with Wii games and its own new games. Aside from that disc compatibility, the Nintendo HD must (and I mean MUST!) be compatible with existing Virtual Console and WiiWare titles purchased from the Nintendo Shop. Nintendo absolutely needs to get their stuff together when it comes to managing digital purchases. They already have the necessary framework in place in the form of Club Nintendo. All they need to do is link-up re-download and platform migration privileges to these accounts in order to allow Wii owners who purchase a Nintendo HD to move their WiiWare and VC games to the new platform. Sony does this kind of thing with PSN, it works great, and it’s free. There is no reason not to do this.

Finally, it would be nice if Nintendo made up for the Wii’s few shortcomings in their new console. When I say this, there is exactly one thing on my mind: Storage. The Wii’s tiny <512MB of flash memory (after taking out the chunk reserved for IOSes, System Menu, and built-in channels) was laughable in 2006 and it’s even more ridiculous now. Having to cumbersomely move WiiWare from the NAND to an SD card and back is incredibly user hostile AND creates too much wear and tear on the flash memory itself. The Nintendo HD needs an internal hard drive no smaller than 100GB. While more space would be welcome, it could also contribute to the corruption that is infecting the PS3 and 360: half-assed games being released with zero-day bugs that make them unplayable. If developers know they’ll be able to patch a game after release, they WILL release it unfinished… and they WILL require massive multi-gigabyte installs… and they WILL release launch-day downloadable ‘add-ons’ that are already on the disc. Aside from the storage issue, many gamers like to complain about Wii’s online functionality, but I quite like it. I never play games online, so it doesn’t affect me outside of Nintendo Shop purchases. Enhanced online capabilities would be okay, but not necessary, provided they don’t contribute to the previously mentioned Patch/DLC Hell.

I, for one, am looking forward to E3 and learning just how many of these rumors are actually true. I am also looking forward to Nintendo’s next console, as it means they will finally stop trying to patch Homebrew out of the Wii. Whether or not the Nintendo HD will actually be worth buying depends entirely, as always, on the quality of the games available for it. Let’s just hope that Nintendo comes up with a better launch library than they did for the 3DS.

Share:    
MeltedJoystick Gaming Blog RSS Feed
Comments
5 comments
Name: 

Avoid spam Captcha: Sign Up + or Log In +   



 
View Matt's Profile

Matt

Wrote on04/24/11 at 09:30 PM CT

Good article. HDMI is a must and the ability to have backward compatibility with the Wii will make this system very attractive to me. I do think that touch interfaces are still developing and that IF a game is CORRECTLY designed around the interface it can work. The problem is when games have an input identity crisis, then they fail miserably. Good article.

Write on Profile +

View Nelson Schneider's Profile

Nelson Schneider

Wrote on04/19/11 at 12:02 AM CT

Yes, backward compatibility for peripherals has become increasingly important as various developers have continued releasing more expensive and ridiculous add-ons. It should be incredibly easy to implement, however, as these modern consoles all use stock, non-proprietary connection methods for their controllers. Since the Wiimote uses Bluetooth, and the Nintendo HD will supposedly support the Wiimote, all of the peripherals that incorporate the Wiimote should be good to go.

Write on Profile +

View Chris's Profile

Chris

Wrote on04/18/11 at 07:23 PM CT

I fixed the double post! Anyway - I know I'll be keeping my eyes and ears open relating to this new launch. I agree that backward compatibility and downloads are a must - I also hope peripherals are also compatible - I have a lot invested in Rockband / Guitar Hero music and instruments I don't feel like shelling out for again. Still, if worse comes to worse, I can keep the WIi hooked up. I'll be most impressed if Nintendo can indeed equal or exceed the output of the PS3 and Xbox 360 - while I know the Wii has exceptions, for the most part it has relied on existing franchises and casual gamers this generation. Hopefully more power means more selection.

Write on Profile +

View Jonzor's Profile

Jonzor

Wrote on04/18/11 at 05:51 PM CT

Also... I don't know why that posted twice, but I'm guessing it was because I refreshed the page after posting.

Write on Profile +

View Jonzor's Profile

Jonzor

Wrote on04/18/11 at 05:51 PM CT

Given that Nintendo has promised that downloadable games purchased on the DSi will be able to be transferred to the 3DS, I'd say there's a good chance WiiWare will be transferable as well.

http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/systems/3ds/en_na/ht_apps.jsp

Though, the 3DS can't do it yet. They'll have to provide that service in a future update.

Also, I think Nintendo needs to stop treating online multiplayer as a simple luxary. There's been quite a surge of multiplayer in video games lately. Resident Evil has co-op and competative now. Zelda and Mario have gone co-op. FPS games are now almost REQUIRED to have co-op on top of the mandatory competative. There are two things I think even the most hardcore Nintendo fan-boy needs to admit:

1. The online MUST be comprably clean and lag-free to the competition found at Xbox Live and PSN. Anyone who tried Smash Bros online knows what I'm talking about. What a lost opportunity.

2. ONE FRIEND CODE. I get that Nintendo doesn't want stalkers hunting children online, so they have the friend code system. But do I need a NEW code for EVERY game when I'm going to play with the same person? Why don't we just make a system where if your Wii is on my friend list we don't need to add every game individually?

i'm not a big online gamer, either. I don't do anonymous online with whoever is out there, but I do like doing co-op with my friends that I've been playing games with for nearly a decade. I'm not going to drive 50 miles every time I want to play video games with a friend, and I don't get why Nintendo has to be the last company in the world to act like the internet is a fad.

Write on Profile +

Bloggers

Previous Blog Posts

Archive

All Posts

April 2021

March 2021

February 2021

January 2021

December 2020

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

December 2019

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

February 2011

 
Log In
 
For members wanting to use FB to login, click here
remember me
 
 

What Members Are Doing

Comments about...

New Game Reviews

The Deep Paths: Labyrinth ... game review by Nelson Schneider
The Vagrant game review by Nelson Schneider
Avadon: The Black Fortress game review by Nelson Schneider
Strange Brigade game review by Chris Kavan
Satellite Reign game review by Chris Kavan
Watch Dogs 2 game review by Chris Kavan
Soldner-X 2: Final Prototy... game review by Hurain
Dead Cells game review by dbarry_22

New Game Lists

Top Super Nintendo (SNES) Gam... by Jonzor
Backlog by Nelson Schneider
Games I Own: Switch by dbarry_22
Top Game List by SIngli6
Top PlayStation 4 Games by Megadrive
Top Game List by Barmak
My Backlog by Chris Kavan
Games I Want To Play by Shaneo99

 

 

 

Contact Us Public Relations MeltedJoystick Friends    

Advertise and Business

Contacts Us

Jobs

About us

SiteMap

 

Support Us

FAQ and Help

News and Press

Terms of Use

Privacy

Hitfix.com

Amazon.com

OVGuide.com

   
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
  
Are you sure you want to delete this blog?