How did I miss this thread until now?
Ah... my good friend John Lucas - bold purveyor of uncommon logic (often at the expense of common logic).
I largely agree with your analogy of the console industry and Nintendo's stand on it.
However, I'm otherwise in agreement with richardhutnik.
Apple has upended the table and the games industry is no longer the one Nintendo created or reshaped with Wii.
iOS/Android are creating a new paradigm on what games are and mean to people. They have done what Nintendo only dreamed - made video gaming a universal experience shared by (almost) everyone on the planet.
People here bury their heads denying that those Angry Bird/Temple Run running devices will ever threaten their professed love (console gaming). But their viewpoints are limited.
The children of today are growing up playing on tablets and smartphones. Bastard controls and all - and loving it. They expect to be able to get a new game anytime for next to nothing. The best mobile games are the ones that master what Nintendo does so well - fun, engaging experiences that keep you coming back for more. Not story, not graphics and not cut-scenes. Gamecrafting, pure gamescrafting. The biggest mobile games are played by 100's of millions of people. That dwarfs anything Nintendo has ever done. Even their profit margins dwarf Nintendo's best. But these are upstarts and some will crash but others will last and grow, and become the titans of tomorrow.
While the old dinosaurs are fighting each other as their time on earth wanes, the rodents are evolving at an alarming pace. Nintendo has chosen not to be a dinosaur, but it's no rodent. It's still working on the rules in place before Apple up-ended the table. That's why WiiU is failing. It's addressing old realities when it needed to be addressing the future realities.
Gamerace, nice to hear from you again.
You said a lot here so let me answer thoroughly.
It is true. Apple & the smartphone gang disrupted Nintendo. They rocked them good.
Like I said in the thread they absorbed what Nintendo started with DS & Wii then employed it for their own benefit.
Nintendo first tried to cut them off with the DSi. It does pretty much everything a smartphone does except make calls.
For example I use my DSi like some people use their smartphones (I don't own any cell phone or smartphone).
There's the Nintendo Countdown Calendar to track important dates; there's the Animal Crossing & Mario Calculators to add things up; there's the Animal Crossing, Mario, & Photo Clocks to use as an alarm to wake up (not to mention the default alarm in all DS's); there's the DSi Cameras to take pictures; there's DSi Sound to play music from your SD Card; there's various keyboard apps like 'Music on' which allow you to play a song; there's the DSi Instrument Tuner to help you sing on key; there's the DSi Metronome to help you keep on beat; there's Flipnote Studio to make animations; there's Pictochat to write messages on; there's various apps like myPostcards, myNotebook, & myDiary to write notes & memos on; there's the Internet Browser to check whatever you need online (like bank account, Wikipedia, sports scores, whatever).
Add all the onboard & offboard games to the list & you have a pretty robust system.
All it doesn't do is make phone calls. It pretty much does everything else.
Wasn't enough to stop the smartphones so Nintendo put together the 3DS which has all the functionality of the DSi along with a whole new set of functions.
A stronger Internet Browser, 3D Cameras that allow video recording, Swapnote being more versatile than Pictochat, Game Notes which allow you to write notes & memos, all of it powered by the very versatile StreetPass & SpotPass functions of the handheld.
Once again add in all the onboard & offboard games to the list & you'll find that it does pretty much everything else except make phone calls.
But the 3DS can only parallel the smartphone gang, never eliminate them. Why?
Because the smartphones & their bigger brothers the tablets represent the NEW PC market.
This new PC market finally figured out how to CONSOLE-IZE the Personal Computer.
The desktops & laptops are heavy duty machines that can never really be as accessible as a console is whether handheld or home-based.
They still have roots in office functions, business functions. They're workhorses. And it's hard to make a workhorse a fun machine.
Tablets & smartphones (which are just mini-tablets anyway) are simplified & not usable for heavy duty use.
But most people never used the computer to its full capacity anyhow. They use it to browse the Web & look at Facebook or Instagram or YouTube.
They use it to play on-board Solitaire, Hearts, Minesweeper, & a host of Web-based games. Even less write documents or notes on it.
They used to send e-mails on it. They may have went on Instant Messenger programs like Yahoo Messenger. Some go to Adult Friend Finder & other meat market services. They use it for porn viewing. They use it for the chatrooms. Maybe some print things from it. Maybe some pay their bills online.
But for the most part, most people don't deal heavily with the full functions of a computer.
And the stuff most people use it for is a result of the emergence of the World Wide Web.
This makes the simplified console-ized tablet & mini-tablet (smartphone) perfect.
You don't need heavy storage because most computer users wouldn't know what to do with all that space anyway.
Let the cloud take care of everything. Simpler form factor, sleeker aesthetics, easier to understand interface.
Nintendo's DS line has the laptop form-factor with its foldable ends. Good for protecting screens but whipping out a glass-faced baseball card & just running your finger across it is simpler & easier to get to than the DS's open-up & stylus-touch format.
The glass-faced baseball card is easier to store in a pocket too. Never mind how fragile most of these phones are.
My DSi fell on hard concrete from 6 feet up & didn't have a scratch on it much less a cracked screen.
Doesn't matter. People want the sleeker form factor & accessibility of the smartphone over the durability of a DS.
Yes these days the kids are playing on smartphones & tablets of one brand or another. It's true.
But remember what happened 30 years ago (28 to be exact).
This little Japanese company named Nintendo held off the omnipresent home computer & created the current reality we live in now where consoles even EXIST.
Consoles should have been dead 30 years ago. The kids were playing on home computers back then since you could do your homework on it AND play games too. Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, MSX, BBC Micro, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, & so on.
Nintendo never stopped people from using home computers, personal computers.
They just made a proposal that weakened the games market on those platforms.
And the current reality from that is that old-market PC games of the desktop & laptop era sit on the shelves wide open while console games are protected by plexiglass & other elaborate security measures.
The old PC games market still exists but it has been absolutely dwarfed by the console games market.
Microsoft finished off what was left of this market by pretty much absorbing them into the XBox.
Most if not all of the old PC game developers now make their stuff for the consoles one way or another.
Even Valve-man Gabe Newell put out Portal 2 on the XBox 360. The Steam-master even gave props to console game classic Super Mario 64 which convinced him that videogames are art.
I wouldn't get too excited about the mobile market.
It's easy to have 100s of millions of people play your game when it only costs a dollar to buy or is even FREE.
I'm looking on Wikipedia's best-selling games of all-time list & they break it down by platform.
Funny thing I notice when I get to the Mobile Phone section...
I look at Angry Birds under the Paid Downloads caption & it says 12 million. Not bad.
I look at Angry Birds under the Freemium caption & it says 1 billion. Hmmmm...
What that tells me is that even though Angry Birds has an appeal that can reach 1 billion, that appeal is only strong enough to get 12 million of that 1 billion to actually PAY for it.
Only 12/1000 of the potential audience was willing to spend any amount of money on the game & that amount was low to begin with.
Not 12% of that audience. 1.2% of that audience. A little over a penny on a dollar.
It's telling that Tetris, Pac-Man, & even Sonic outrank Angry Birds on the Paid Downloads list.
12 million is a very good number but Nintendo sees that number often & many times surpasses it.
Nintendo sold over 40 million bathroom scales called Wit Fit Balance Boards at $90 a pop, remember.
That's hard to do but they did it.
There's a reason why the console & old-PC developers haven't jumped fully on board to the smartphone/tablet PC games market.
They know that it will reduce the videogame business to a commodity & eventually they will make no significant money making games for a living.
The Web-game model used by the smartphones & tablets restricts the type of games you can put on a platform.
If games are going to be sold for a dollar or even offered under Freemium plans, there's no incentive to create anything terribly innovative or intensive.
The game makers are going to be in the mindset of turning over those dollars as quick as possible & look for addictive fads to jumpstart this process.
Everybody will be making some quick-play Angry Birds or Candy Crush Saga clone & as more & more of them flood the platform, the games become interchangeable. It's what happened on the Facebook Web-game platform.
Dirty Zynga with their Mafia Wars which so many say ripped off Mob Wars (I still don't know how they got away with flat copying Scrabble & calling it Words with Friends).
When games are cheap or free like that people are less discerning & say one is as good as another.
Sort of like with what happens with store brand foods being side by side with the originating brand.
Do you always buy Duracell or Energizer batteries or do you most likely get the cheaper Rayovac or some other obscure brand saying one is as good as the other?
Let me go further with why the Web-game business model restricts the variety of games.
Since most of them operate on the Freemium model, gameplay gets hijacked by annoying "wanna pay now?" schemes that Zynga is known for.
Do something & all of sudden "Invite a friend!". Do something else & then "You need this tool to pass. Buy it here!".
The business model is so desperate to turn money that it can interfere with gameplay.
The free version only allows you to play 30 of the 100 stages. How many will pay the money to play the full 100 stages?
And since it's a business model so desperate to make money, what happens when gameplay advantages are tilted towards those who would pay the money?
It's one thing to have a single player game like Candy Crush. But what happens when there's a multiplayer game & one's a freeper & the other pays?
What happens to the gameplay balance when the one that pays gets better tools, weapons, powers than the one who plays for free?
What happens to the playing experience as a result?
The old coin-op arcade business model worked on people's lack of skill. You COULD possibly play the entire game for just one quarter, just 25¢, but most likely you're putting in constant quarters to keep playing. That's how they made their profits. The model is biased towards player skill over player wealth.
A rich man with all the quarters in the world can get destroyed by a homeless man holding just one quarter he found on the street.
That's a beautiful social statement in my opinion.
In every other facet of life, I may be downtrodden & forgotten. But on this arcade game machine, I'm on top of the world & everybody is in awe of me.
In the Web-game model, it would be the old status quo. Those with the green rule the scene.
You're in a boom cycle right now with the mobile game market but the bust is coming because ultimately the business model isn't sustainable.
There will always be games on that platform but as time goes on the limitations of the market & the platform will become apparent to all.
It's very telling that as much money developers/publishers made from their mobile game hits that they STILL put the game out in console form.
There's something undeniable about PHYSICAL media. Digital Angry Birds could be forgotten as soon as the download service disappears (the instability of the Web).
But when you see that physical game package they can fortify their longevity in history.
Plants & Zombies, Angry Birds, Bejeweled, Minecraft, Cake Mania, Fish Tycoon, & others will be seen 25 years later in some out of the way old games shop & conjure up good memories. Memories that inspire a purchase.
If these memories are strong enough these old games can fetch good prices on the Amazons & Craiglists of the future.
The game shops & pawn shops in my area (not talking about that lousy GameStop crap) have lots of old NES/SNES/N64/GC/GB/GBC/GBA games to look through. I just saw Hogan's Alley in one of them. I bought Rad Racer from that shop earlier for less than $5 & will probably pick up Hogan's Alley soon.
I still have my Zapper & the system still works (except for my faulty AC Adapter which I'll get fixed).
Can't do this if the games are all digital & dependent on hosting from a Web service or a server.
The console environment is STILL the proving grounds.
The mobile/digital market is a great supplement, a great reservoir for upstart developers to make a name for themselves, but they all come to the consoles to see how much their idea is REALLY loved. Will your fans pay you $30, $40, $50, $60 for your idea?
Zynga was all the rave not too long ago & now look at them. The company's on a crash course.
Nintendo has weathered every storm this industry has thrown at it & still carries on.
Mario has survived & thrived throughout every era. Can those Angry Birds do the same?
Nintendo has placed themselves in a no-man's land. Too core for casual, too casual for core, too primate for touch users, too gimmicky for traditional gamers.
We all know (although some here will never admit to) that Nintendo's classic franchises (Mario, Zelda, Kart, Smash) can't lift a home console over GC/N64 numbers (and they both had much better 3rd party support). Nintendo burned their bridge with the casuals by abandoning the Revolution and then bringing back the dual analog controller. Core players won't buy without massive 3rd party support so who is going to buy this system?
You make no argument as to why anyone (aside from the diehards) will want a WiiU. Supposedly they simply will once they realize the misguided nature of MS/Sony? No. If and when those 3rd party companies implode the former developers will regroup as new mobile game makers. We have seen this happen already, again and again. Many of the brightest minds have moved to mobile for the creative freedom it allows. What does Nintendo have to offer them to entice them to WiiU? Nintendo diehards who hardly buy anything outside of Nintendo IPs? No.
The casual market has rejected the WiiU. They are content with their mobile gaming offerings and as those offerings develop and power increase, more mid-core players will turn to mobile as well, and then finally, the core will come because there will be games simply too good to miss. Where is Nintendo in this? Selling $60 games with an antiquated controller? No.
Nintendo still has a shot to make a difference and be the bridge builder you (and they themselves) foresee them being but WiiU won't be the vehicle that gets them there. It will be what comes next (or it won't be at all).
First off Gamerace, let's kill this nonsense called 'Casual Gamer' & 'Hardcore Gamer'. It was always marketing BS.
They are grandmas who play Bookworm hardcore & college dudes that play Madden casually.
So does that make Bookworm a hardcore game & Madden a casual game? Or does it spell out that maybe just maybe these terms are not accurate altogether?
This stuff didn't exist in the era of Atari 2600, in the era of the NES. There were just people from all walks of life who played games.
The so-called soccer mom, the chain-smoking bachelor, the teenage whiz kid who could build his own computer, your little sister, a deer hunter from the woods of Georgia, a Hollywood movie star on the set, a lonely widow who plays to mediate her grief, a local stripper, your pastor/rabbi/general spiritual leader, a garbage man, a skateboarder, a street B-ball player, an accomplished scientist, an opera singer, a street fighter, a gang member, a judge, The President, paramedics, retirees & pensioners, preschoolers, someone who works a low-paying McJob, a billionaire, circus performers, race car drivers, Mensa members, sex workers, inventors, musicians, political activists, janitors, people who live in the cul-de-sac, people who live in the projects.
Just people from all walks of life who play games.
I said that Wii U is Wii Part 2. The 3rd party locked together on Microsoft's & Sony's platforms to stop the Revolution.
Nintendo is using Wii U to break the lockdown. They put a few more ingredients into the Wii formula designed to trap the 3rd parties into finally relenting.
So far the 3rd parties are still fighting Nintendo & trying to starve the system like they did to Wii.
Short-term that will work for the 3rd parties. Long-term Nintendo will reap the benefits as the 3rd parties finally get in line.
The 3rd parties won't go to the mobile platforms for the reasons I mentioned earlier.
They would have already abandoned both Microsoft AND Sony for the mobile market if it was as healthy as you make it out to be.
All those obscene revenues & you DON'T think the 3rd party establishment would jump in headfirst???
I mentioned earlier in this thread that Microsoft & Sony are about to hit a wall with XBox One & PlayStation 4.
For one reason they're fighting themselves with the still popular XBox 360 & PS3.
Sony bombed out with the PS3 & spent years trying to turn the system into some kind of success.
Over the years all the packed-in Blu-ray functionality & power of the system has begun to pay off.
Too late to win the 7th gen but enough to give PS3 solid sales for the rest of its planned 10 year cycle.
The recent price drop of the PS3 to $200 will interfere with sales of the PS4 at its $400 price & lack of backward compatibility with PS3 disc games.
See unlike the days of the 5th generation & back, consoles are no longer mere playing devices anymore. The change started in the 6th generation & became prominent in the 7th.
Now a console has your playing history, its own personalized account, customized features, its own photo/video/audio libraries. They have become an ecosystem for the player.
A player puts so much of himself/herself into the console that the system becomes an integral part of his/her general lifestyle.
After investing so much of your personality in the PS3, do you think it's easy to just leave it behind ESPECIALLY with a system that won't retain all of what you put into the older one?
Same goes for the XBox 360 if not a little bit moreso.
The 360 is Microsoft's most successful console. It was easier to make the transition from XBox to XBox 360 because original XBox wasn't as successful.
But the 360's relative success to generation-leader Wii makes it harder to leave it behind especially with the same lack of backward compatibility & even higher $500 XBox One price.
It was hard for the PS3 to get out of the shadow of the PS2 which had less of that personalization seen in all of the 7th gen consoles.
Maybe this is one reason Nintendo essentially killed the Wii prematurely.
They didn't want to be fighting their own phenomenon like PS3 had to do with the PS2.
And by having backwards compatibility to the extreme (controllers & all) it will make it easier for players to transition from Wii to Wii U.
Old Wiis become hand-me-downs played in a certain room in the house especially with the gutting of WiiConnect24 functionality (I think they should have done this differently. Should have included it in larger Nintendo Network in my opinion).
The other reason & probably the foundational reason why Microsoft & Sony are gonna hit the wall in the 8th gen is the Graphics thing.
I had a reply somewhere in this thread showcasing the same character from PS3's Killzone 3 & PS4's Killzone: Shadow Fall (Killzone 4).
See if you notice the difference in graphics.
Does this REALLY warrant all the extra expense for a new console?
Yes I know it's an early edition PS4 game to a late edition PS3 game but still...
To me it seems like what's done in Killzone: Shadow Fall could be done on Killzone 3 with simple art design choices not graphical power.
XBox One's Killer Instinct looks like it could be done on the XBox 360 now!
How many sides does it take to make a cube? 6. Just 6. Trying to add an extra side is redundant. It only needs 6 sides.
Once all the tools you use fulfill the goal you don't need more tools.
Nobody beats Nintendo in gamecraft so they have to use the allure of power to get the edge on the master gamecrafter.
Now power doesn't pay off anymore & you are playing on the same plane, the same level as the master gamecrafter. What do you do now?
The HD Twins really didn't stop the SD phenomenon known as Wii. They just stalled the inevitable completion of the Revolution.
As this generation goes on, Nintendo will separate the wheat from the chaff.
The XBox One controller is virtually no different than the XBox 360 controller.
The PlayStation 4 controller is still that same doubled-up Super Nintendo/Nintendo 64 design it has been the past 20 years except with a screen in the middle (their attempt to answer the Wii U).
When people talk about a "traditional controller" who's tradition are they speaking of?
Nintendo's tradition: The NES/Famicom Standard of 1983.
But the REAL Nintendo tradition is reshaping & making new standards in the controller to bring out new playing experiences.
The other guys will have games that look about the same as the last ones & play the same as the last ones.
That wears thin after awhile & eventually franchises grow stale.
Once Wii U is understood at large, it will dominate. You have to touch Wii U unlike Wii. Wii you could see from afar. You have to put your hands on Wii U.
I once thought the tablet controller was contradictory but it turns out to be complementary.
They essentially made your TV a DS yet with all the appeal that a home console brings.
And as for the Wii U versus the tablets. They will not stop people from using tablets.
But they WILL wreck the gaming market on tablets just like they wrecked the gaming market on PCs 30 years ago.
Solid buttons still matter. Precision gameplay still matters. Tablets will have games & will be used for all sorts of functions.
But gaming will still rule on the consoles because Nintendo will insist that the consoles rule gaming.
Wii U is Nintendo's Catch-All Answer to ALL of their competition on ALL sides. It's the Multi-Strike.
They will break the blockade of the 3rd parties in the console realm, they will stem the flow of gaming centering on the tablets & smartphones.
Like I said, U stands for Unity.
That U-shaped magnet will draw them all back home.