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Nintendos next generation, not a console, still a winner.

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Squilliam said:

My suspicion is that Nintendos next generation console will encompass the entire market and aim to defeat both incumbant players and manouver to prevent anyone else, Apple for instance from gaining traction in the console space. The next generation will not be won on performance as there will be even greater diminishing returns for hardware to even show to untrained eyes a significant difference in graphical capabilities. My suspicion is that they will throw out the book as to what constitutes a console and throw open development for the console to anyone and anything that people will want to add to it.

By not selling their systems at a loss they are even more dangerous if they give people freedom to use their systems as they see fit. The likely next generation Wii will probably be as much a personal computer as console. Its easier to sell people a system and then sell them games than it is to sell them games to sell a system. Its the most obvious way to expand their market by making a console less proprietary and freeing up the imagination as to what tasks it can perform. This is the counterpoint to the tactic of selling proprietary systems for a loss with proprietary capabilities in a razor/blades model.

The next step to capturing the market is to sell systems to people who would think to use it for tasks other than gaming and then rope them into using the full capabilities of the system. If they can have a fully functional application store and multiple user defined channels then the concept of a console walks out the door and in walks an organic user defined experience. Nintendo doesn't have to care if you buy the Wii as an advanced door stop/toast maker. They can't be everything to everybody so by throwing open the opportunity for many others to cater to their userbase both they and their users win in the end.

Although i see where you are coming for and respect your opinion I must completely disagree on this one point I've bolded.  I think, if anything, this generaiton has shown the complete opposite things.  Even on Ps3 and 360.  Evegreen titles on the Wii and DS are not becuase of consumers that have already bought the game, but becase of new buyers buying the game with the system.  Sure a certain percentage is the former, but most is the latter.  This is a video game market, and people buying the system go in looking for that form of entertainment.  They look for a certain title and buy it based off of that.  Whether it was Nintendo with Wii Sports (which luckily came packed in), Mario Kart, or New Super Mario Bros or later on with MS and Sony with Halo, Call of Duty, and Uncharted.  Big, quality titles move hardware.  It's easier to sell the hardware if you have the software to make it worthwhile.

And I understand a lot of people thinking the opposite, as it seems to be the opposite for other markets but that just isn't the case right now with the video game market.  This generation has shown the necessity of big games to influence buyers into picking up the system.  That's essentially what evergreen titles are.  And this was a failed philosophy, imo, that Sony and MS may have had at the beginning of the generation that the hardware itself would be worth the buy without any key software to move it.  If you think about launch titles, Zelda: Twilight Princes was biggest of all of them between the 3 systems.  Tie that in with Wii Sports out of the box and you can understand why the thing took off like it did.  And although there hardware did sell the systems, later on it was the games for it that sold the system and they capitalized, marketing wise, on it thereof.

 

When we start getting into the 8th generation of consoles and handhelds, the most important things are going to be the software that gets people to start switching over.  As you stated, hardware differences are going to mean less and less (except for Wii to whatever N6 has) so either it's going to be on innovative features or it's going to be on new/big games that show off these new features.  This is how all 3 will continue to keep the market large and vibrant along with expanding to new users.  Continuously making the industry more flexible in nature so that more and more people can join in.  And of course by giving them what they want: a solid gaming experience that will keep them buying more software.  Hardware features and functions will still be important, but I think what things have shown as of late is that people just want a game to play to enjoy themselves.  We can have the deeper games and even have these newer games get into them, but the way to expand out to more is just give them a game they can just have fun with.  Then they will grow into deeper experiences and more use of the hardware features. 

So yes lots of things the big 3 have to think about going into the 8th generation, but with the announcement of the 3DS, I expect big things. 



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HappySqurriel said:

Personally, I think Nintendo would try to win the next generation by advancing the way games are played in a way that Sony and Microsoft wouldn’t think of or don’t seem to see the potential in. One of my thoughts on this is that Nintendo worked on improving the way that our actions in the real world were translated into the digital/videogame world by introducing (decent) motion controls; in the upcoming generation, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo focused on improving how the digital/videogame world interacted with the real world.

 

I strongly believe that this is correct.  I have a few theories, but nothing that I can really say for certainty.



Zucas said:
Squilliam said:

My suspicion is that Nintendos next generation console will encompass the entire market and aim to defeat both incumbant players and manouver to prevent anyone else, Apple for instance from gaining traction in the console space. The next generation will not be won on performance as there will be even greater diminishing returns for hardware to even show to untrained eyes a significant difference in graphical capabilities. My suspicion is that they will throw out the book as to what constitutes a console and throw open development for the console to anyone and anything that people will want to add to it.

By not selling their systems at a loss they are even more dangerous if they give people freedom to use their systems as they see fit. The likely next generation Wii will probably be as much a personal computer as console. Its easier to sell people a system and then sell them games than it is to sell them games to sell a system. Its the most obvious way to expand their market by making a console less proprietary and freeing up the imagination as to what tasks it can perform. This is the counterpoint to the tactic of selling proprietary systems for a loss with proprietary capabilities in a razor/blades model.

The next step to capturing the market is to sell systems to people who would think to use it for tasks other than gaming and then rope them into using the full capabilities of the system. If they can have a fully functional application store and multiple user defined channels then the concept of a console walks out the door and in walks an organic user defined experience. Nintendo doesn't have to care if you buy the Wii as an advanced door stop/toast maker. They can't be everything to everybody so by throwing open the opportunity for many others to cater to their userbase both they and their users win in the end.

Although i see where you are coming for and respect your opinion I must completely disagree on this one point I've bolded.  I think, if anything, this generaiton has shown the complete opposite things.  Even on Ps3 and 360.  Evegreen titles on the Wii and DS are not becuase of consumers that have already bought the game, but becase of new buyers buying the game with the system.  Sure a certain percentage is the former, but most is the latter.  This is a video game market, and people buying the system go in looking for that form of entertainment.  They look for a certain title and buy it based off of that.  Whether it was Nintendo with Wii Sports (which luckily came packed in), Mario Kart, or New Super Mario Bros or later on with MS and Sony with Halo, Call of Duty, and Uncharted.  Big, quality titles move hardware.  It's easier to sell the hardware if you have the software to make it worthwhile.

And I understand a lot of people thinking the opposite, as it seems to be the opposite for other markets but that just isn't the case right now with the video game market.  This generation has shown the necessity of big games to influence buyers into picking up the system.  That's essentially what evergreen titles are.  And this was a failed philosophy, imo, that Sony and MS may have had at the beginning of the generation that the hardware itself would be worth the buy without any key software to move it.  If you think about launch titles, Zelda: Twilight Princes was biggest of all of them between the 3 systems.  Tie that in with Wii Sports out of the box and you can understand why the thing took off like it did.  And although there hardware did sell the systems, later on it was the games for it that sold the system and they capitalized, marketing wise, on it thereof.

 

When we start getting into the 8th generation of consoles and handhelds, the most important things are going to be the software that gets people to start switching over.  As you stated, hardware differences are going to mean less and less (except for Wii to whatever N6 has) so either it's going to be on innovative features or it's going to be on new/big games that show off these new features.  This is how all 3 will continue to keep the market large and vibrant along with expanding to new users.  Continuously making the industry more flexible in nature so that more and more people can join in.  And of course by giving them what they want: a solid gaming experience that will keep them buying more software.  Hardware features and functions will still be important, but I think what things have shown as of late is that people just want a game to play to enjoy themselves.  We can have the deeper games and even have these newer games get into them, but the way to expand out to more is just give them a game they can just have fun with.  Then they will grow into deeper experiences and more use of the hardware features. 

So yes lots of things the big 3 have to think about going into the 8th generation, but with the announcement of the 3DS, I expect big things. 

I believe that you would have to consider Apple as one of their competitors too. They have made up a lot of ground ever since they released their iPhone and other closely related products they have shot into the position of being Nintendos most formidable competitor yet in the handheld space, so the question of what they can learn from Apple's success is a very relevant one. Apple sells their iPad and iPhone especially on the overall utility of the system for features which are relevant both inside and outside the gaming realm. Once people buy an iPhone they are free to explore its gaming capabilities even if gaming was not even remotely considered as relevant when they made their purchase decision.

The reason why I wanted to explore the idea of an application store and various software partnerships was that it increases the number of possible killer applications that can come out of one or two people working on innovative ideas. I wasn't meaning that there would be no software to sell the system, what I was meaning was that the software which sold the system doesn't have to be games initially. I believe theres a very strong possibility they will open up the possibilities for their next generation hardware and take advantage of some of their competitors strengths, like the app stores for instance. Nintendo cannot solely see themselves as being the impetus for their hardware adoption momentum and if third party publishers continue to fail in this regard then perhaps its gotta be the individuals or the small teams with the big innovative ideas who do it.



Tease.

PhalanxCO said:
HappySqurriel said:

Personally, I think Nintendo would try to win the next generation by advancing the way games are played in a way that Sony and Microsoft wouldn’t think of or don’t seem to see the potential in. One of my thoughts on this is that Nintendo worked on improving the way that our actions in the real world were translated into the digital/videogame world by introducing (decent) motion controls; in the upcoming generation, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo focused on improving how the digital/videogame world interacted with the real world.

 

I strongly believe that this is correct.  I have a few theories, but nothing that I can really say for certainty.

I don’t have a clue what Nintendo will do, but I personally have noticed that some technologies that could be used to do this have become very inexpensive. First off are digital cameras which would (probably) be the core component for any system being that the videogame console would have to be able to track and identify what is happening in the environment in order to create areas of interaction; these cameras might be used like Project Natal or the Playstation Eye but they could also be incorporated in controllers (like the Wiimote) or possibly even be worn by someone playing the game.

The second technology is obviously projectors. Small video projectors that were often sold as projectors for mobile devices were sold for a couple hundred dollars each around 2005/2006 (with a large mark-up for both the manufacturer and retailer) and by the time the next generation begins they might be very affordable. Beyond this, you don’t necessarily need full color images that can produce video at high quality to start interacting with the environment; and simple laser projectors can produce images and be manufactured very affordably; although they would mostly be limited to red, orange or green still images.

The final thought is projected audio. While it hasn’t found much of a practical application yet, a few years ago it was discovered that ultrasonic beams deteriorate in a predictable fashion and that you can use the extremely directional nature of ultrasound to “beam” sound to a particular point in space. Trying to create a surround sound system using this technology would (at this point in time) be a bad choice for Nintendo, but there are probably some audio effects which would be cool; and you could use the projected sound to create a force feedback/rumble in 3D on the player if you desired.

 

 

Now, much like motion controls these technologies would start off being very primitive, but over time could develop into something very cool.