Nintendo Revolution Specs: Rainbows and Lollipops

Ganged from GAF who ganked from eurogamer:

In an interview with Dutch magazine [N]Gamer, senior director of marketing Jim Merrick is quoted as saying: "Regarding the specifications, we will probably never ‘release’ this information as we feel that it is largely irrelevant.

“While some of our competitors enjoy comparing specifications, it has little or nothing to do with how satisfied the consumers will be with the system and the games once they are released.”

And there was no budging him, either: “I know people are hungry for information on Revolution and we respect and appreciate that, but we don’t want to contribute to the cloud of meaningless information that surrounds the next generation systems.”

I’d love it if just for the fact that it would drive people batshit insaine.

I completely agree with him and think it’s a good move. Consoles are all about the games, the people who nitpick over the tiniest details of the specs drive me mad.

Not to mention that the only people truly qualified to do that are the developers themselves.

I feel the same way, but I know a lot of people who bought the XBox not because it had Halo but because it had the prettiest graphics.

I feel the same way, but I know a lot of people who bought the XBox not because it had Halo but because it had the prettiest graphics.[/quote]

Oh sure, I don’t doubt it. I know lots of people who make very irrational purchasing decisions. I’m just saying it drive me nuts and I wish the marketing people would try to bamboozle the customers with some less offensive flimflammery.

Oh, sure, but magical specs don’t make for the best graphics.

Nintendo is playing it smart. They’ve got much less impressive specs on paper than their competitors, they’re not doing HD resoltuion (they’ve admitted that much), and they’re trying to tell everyone it’s all about their funky new controller that will all of a sudden make mom and dad and grandma and the whole family play games together.

If you’re in that situation (which is not necessarily WRONG, just different from Sony and Microsoft’s), you’d be nuts to even mention your specs. The message you need to put forth is “it’s not the specs that matter, it’s the game experience.” So good job for Nintendo doing so. Of course, it puts a lot of pressure on them to actually deliver more great “gotta have it” games than they had on the Gamecube.

I find the rumors on Nintendo fan sites about the revolution’s specs amusing. They’re usually FAR too impressive, and seem to completely ignore the fact that the system is less than half the size of the PS3 or 360 - both of which are using external power supplies and STILL need that size to have proper ventilation and cooling for their chips. The Revolution’s size alone necessitates it being considerably less “powerful,” in the on-paper technical specs sense, than either one.

[quote=“Charles”]

Oh, sure, but magical specs don’t make for the best graphics.[/quote]

True! Artists and programmers do, generally. Specs help lift some barriers, but the closer we get to the prerendered CG quality, the more it’s all about the people involved.

That’s why tools are so critical. The revolution may have some great looking games not only because Nintendo has some great artists, but because its tools are very mature, easy to work with, and derived directly from the Gamecube.

We’re approaching some sort of inflex point where the “most powerful” console is the one with the best dev tools. Maybe not this generation, maybe next. Certainly the impact of dev tools, and how easy the architecture is to use optimally, is already having a lot more impact than in previous generations.

It’s possible they just have significantly better design, both in the chip layout and the cooling system.

Not likely, mind you, but possible.

Indeed, which is why you are hearing of more japanese developers going to 360. Sony’s tools are usually horrendous. And so much time and effort is required for next gen games that the time you save by having an easy development platform is worth way more than any small tech advantages.

Personally I think GameCube graphics are good enough anyway, and I’d much rather have a better controller than better bump mapping or whatever. But that’s just me.

Yeah, add me to the list of folks who think it’s smart for them to avoid talking specs. The Revolution will probably be beefier than the Gamecube and considerably less beefy than the PS3, but they aren’t selling this console on the strength of its graphics, and it would be foolish for them to jump into that particular pissing match. I expect them to market the Revolution as the console that offers something different than the rest (the controller), and as the console that the average person can actually afford.

[size=2]I still wish they were supporting HD, though.[/size]

Give me a great game on a dead platform anyday over great graphics that don’t, minimally, serve the interests of the gameplay itself. Being dragged through a poorly lit pixel-shader zoo ain’t a game, it’s a tech demo for folks that dig commercial-grade haunted houses.

Just because the controller will be different doesn’t mean it will be better.

Thanks for the update

I doubt that the majority of people who bought GTA on the PS2 could tell you how much faster the PS2 cpu is than the Xbox’s.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say specs are irrelevant, but I’m having a lot more fun with the DS than the PSP. If the PSP had Castlevania, I’d enjoy it more than the DS, but at the moment, it doesn’t.

Give me a great game on a dead platform anyday over great graphics that don’t, minimally, serve the interests of the gameplay itself. Being dragged through a poorly lit pixel-shader zoo ain’t a game, it’s a tech demo for folks that dig commercial-grade haunted houses.[/quote]

To be fair, more power doesn’t have to mean more flashy graphics. As I was telling some friends in a discussion on the future of gaming with regards to next gen platforms, the big change for the next gen will not be visuals, but scale. With these new platforms, where once you had to limit yourself to 10 or 15 characters on screen, you can now do 40+ if you plan right, easily.

Larger maps, bigger game world, and more world detail, are all going to be hallmarks of the next gen, and it will all require the kind of hardware that’s there, without necessarily being simply prettier.

My biggest concern with the Revolution is that Nintendo will not have enough third-party development support. Their specs mean nobody will be easily able to port a game over that is made for PS3 or XB360. That being the case, they can take a risk on a new controller scheme. It also means their success will depend entirely on finding a game (either first or third party) that will sell the system but they will probably not have as many third party games as the other systems.

In basic terms, Nintendo is going to try and play a different game this time around and if they are right they will be lauded and if they are wrong they will become completely irrelevant to the home console market.

No Dave Long? WTF?

Gamecube graphics are better than the PS2, if not the XBox. People get confused because most Nintendo games are cartoony, and they think that has something to do with the system. But if you look at RE4, it’s pretty obvious that Nintendo has merely made a design choice.

The thing that amuses me is when I look at the specs for the PS3 and 360, they’re not really that impressive. Especially the 256MB of RAM in the PS3. If you tried that with a PC, it would be grinding your harddrive to dust all through the game. With no disc-cache to swap to, it’s going to put pressure on developers to be very memory conscious. And for what? It’s not like RAM is expensive these days.

Dammit, Jason. I was looking forward to reading the rest of this thread, but now you’ve made me feel guilty for sneaking in a QT3 break from work.