Revolution: No HD support

Technology isn’t just 3D graphics. Clearly a lot of people care a lot about the technology of motion sensing controllers. And I’m pretty sure a touch pad is considered technology, meaning the DS is indeed about technology and marketed accordingly. (And don’t forget the Virtual Boy.)

Anyway, the point here is that everyone is parroting the exact same talking points that Nintendo is pushing: It’s suddenly not about polygons, it’s about gameplay. Well, okay. That’s fine. We all like gameplay. But if Nintendo chose to go in another direction, and the Revolution was pumping out millions of polygons, it would be about… the polygons. Like it was with the Gamecube and the N64 and the FX chip (or whatever it was called) for the SNES.

It’s just marketing and positioning, and people seem more conscious of it when it’s coming from Microsoft and Sony than Nintendo. Microsoft and Sony are selling sexy hardware and specs, and it’s shallow. Nintendo is selling gameplay, and they’re pure and noble. It’s still selling, though. And it’s equally dumb to get worked up over technology or the idea of superior gameplay without any actual games.

Hey, what about Microsoft Flight Simulator?

I don’t think anyone would deny Nintendo’s skillsand leadership position as the best developer of the bunch. But I think people are too quick to dismiss Sony and Microsoft for producing cool hardware that has allowed some amazing games (and new styles of gameplay).

Hell, Microsoft should get a Nintendo-sized free pass for Xbox Live alone. Nintendo may have grandma playing the Revolution in the living room, but I’m thinking that connecting every Xbox owner in the world over the Internet via Live is a more groundbreaking and important accomplishment. It’s what’s going to give them a lead over everyone else in the future.

That’s marketing. You play to your strengths.

Besides, Nintendo isn’t poo-pooing technology advancement anywhere that I’ve seen. They’re saying that their console is going to be less powerful than the competition, which is just managing customer expectations.

My question for Nintendo is why do they have to choose one or other? Why can’t they have interface/gameplay innovation and technology advancement? A one-two punch like that would blow the competition out of the water. Can’t afford it? Fine. But don’t spin it into all this “we’re doin’ it for the games, man” folderol.

Because they tried it this past generation.

The GC is competitive technically with the PS2 and the XBox. It [b]isn’t[b] competitive in terms of game ports–there are simply more games for the other two consoles. GCs still sell, because Nintendo has excellent first-party games that you can’t get on the other consoles.

The next generation of consoles is going to be even more expensive to make. Both the PS3 and the XB360 are taking a huge investment in development costs to bring out. Sony and Microsoft will probably both take even more losses on console sales, since they don’t dare price their consoles at a break-even level.

Nintendo could choose to compete with them directly, but why? The increasing costs of top-tier consoles have opened a market space for a low-cost alternative. They can spend less money, charge less money, and position the Revolution as the second console to buy, once you’ve got your PS3 or XB360. (Or the first console to buy, if you’re a fan of Mario and friends.)

It’s not a question of not being able to afford competing with Sony and MS. (Although maybe they can’t, for all I know.) It’s a question of making a profit by finding your niche.

Which is something they’re doing right now, that Sony and MS aren’t.

My first thought was that this would be something to do to make things easier on devs (with consumer simplicity a complementary effect). Anyone else think that was their focus?

re: naming… well, N64 could have kept the “Project Reality” name or whatever it was :o

That statement is the perfect example of “Kool-Aid” talk.

I really don’t get it. Why?

Should I think that the Revolution will suck, because…er, why? Because it won’t push as many polygons as the XBox360 and PS3?

Or should I be stylishly cynical, insisting that everything unknown will suck until proven otherwise?

That statement is the perfect example of “Kool-Aid” talk.[/quote]
“benefit of the doubt” is not even close to Kool-Aid, dude.

Regarding Nintendo 64. I would argue that in those days, the technology was a far greater obstacle for innovative games that it is today. The current gen graphics are already good enough, that I’m not personally all that excited about the graphical capabilities of the Xbox 360 or PS3. If Nintendo can push down the price of hardware and especially the development costs of games, I see that as a greater achievement.

That’s marketing. You play to your strengths.[/quote]
Sure. I know the game. However, that doesn’t stop me from calling “bullshit,” just like most people do with Sony and MS when they try to put a self-serving spin on their products.

Yeah, but I’d argue that the people who would actually buy a second console for their home are the same folks who would care about HD support, i.e the so-called “hardcore.” If you’re looking at the frugal set as potential buyers, then why wouldn’t they but a current-gen console with its large library of already existing games, all of which should be hitting bargain basement prices in the next six months or so?

I actually hope that the Revolution comes through as I’m a fan of Nintendo. I also realize that they’re going for a niche market while the other two duke it out for HD supremacy. I just fear that the niche market to which the Revolution will appeal might be too small, turning their sword-fighting, golf-swinging, music-conducting peripheral-based console into a curiosity instead of a contender.

I would be really happy if I’m wrong.

Why does it have to be a trade? Why can’t we have better graphics AND better gameplay?

It makes the console cheaper, sure. But I don’t like the way Nintendo has sort of convinced everyone that the fact that innovating in gameplay (even to the point of having that funky new controller) means giving up graphics advances. It doesn’t.

Absolutely right, which is why the Revolution will have better graphics than the Gamecube. It’s just not going to have the super-duper HD graphics that you have to pay big bucks for. I kinda like the fact that Nintendo offers that lower-cost choice in the marketplace, otherwise you’d have no option but to pay $400 for a console that is perhaps more geared up than you need it to be or even care about.

Regarding Nintendo 64. I would argue that in those days, the technology was a far greater obstacle for innovative games that it is today. The current gen graphics are already good enough, that I’m not personally all that excited about the graphical capabilities of the Xbox 360 or PS3. If Nintendo can push down the price of hardware and especially the development costs of games, I see that as a greater achievement.

This is drinking the Kool-Aid. Come on. Nintendo pushed the envelope back when it was important, and now that graphics are “good enough” it’s time for some games.? I guess that’s why the N64 and GC had so few good games, with Nintendo it really is a choice.

Anyway, the even weirder shift is the now complete acceptance of Nintendo not even trying for the same demographic as Xbox or Sony. 18 months ago, such a discussion was met with shrieks of outrage and accusations of insecurity.

When has Nintendo ever “pushed the envelope”? The SNES maybe? The Sega Master System was more powerful than the NES, the CD Rom alone made the PS1 more attractive than the N64, and the Cube was less powerful than the Xbox. They’ve always had competitve hardware but they’ve hardly been at the forefront of technological revolutions.

Uh, have you ever seen a PS1 game? The N64 pushed a few more polygons here and there.

So twice in their 4 consoles they’ve had the edge technologically. The other two times they were competitive.

Yeah but it was still limited by the cartridge medium which limited the games devs were willing to bring over. And I can’t recall any N64 games that were significantly better than the best of what the PS1 could do. I would call it a wash, not the technological edge.

So every time they’ve been competitive, only once they’ve outright had the edge (SNES) and that was 15 years ago. So how are they known for consistently pushing the envelope again?

The GameCube is also arguably a faster piece of hardware than the PS2. Witness graphically intensive games developed for the GC and then ported to the PS2 later (yeah, I know–there aren’t many of them), such as Resident Evil 4 (which looks better, albeit only a little, on the GC).

In fact, the PS2 is probably the least impressive piece of hardware this generation, and yet it’s selling (by far) the best, so there’s some validity to the argument that graphics aren’t everything. But that doesn’t mean they are nothing, and it’s still disappointing (for me, at least) that the Rev won’t support HD.

There is complete acceptance because dude, they put together this awesome idea for a console and they are executing on that.

If instead, they had said “we are going to do another console just like the gamecube but maybe a little cheaper this time even, because we are going for a different demographic” then everyone would have pronounced them dead on the home console front.

Also, they get extra acceptance from me just based on the fact that the games being put out on the Xbox 360, and probably the PS3 as well, are just boring me to death. (Same goes for most PC games).

Yes, exactly.

If the best Nintendo had in the handheld space was the SP, well…the PSP kicks a lot more ass than the SP. It costs more, but hardware prices fall over time.

But Nintendo has the DS. Which might not have the graphics of a PSP, but has a touchpad, and a microphone, and games small enough to share over a wireless link, and generally kicks just as much ass as a PSP, only in different ways. Which is why I have both a PSP and a DS.

If I could choose only one of the two, however, I’d take the DS, since it’s the one with the weird-ass quirky stuff like Kirby and Ouendan that I’ll remember fondly a decade from now. And jaded game junky that I am, I’m much more into flawed-but-innovative than polished-but-stale. (Not that the occasional polished-to-perfection game isn’t fun, of course. Lumines is just another falling-block game, but it’s damned fun all the same.)

So when a console manufacturer decides to position themselves as being in the weird-ass quirky segment? I’m all over that.

And, hey, I don’t own a HD TV, so lack of HD support isn’t going to bother me just now.

Kevin- You’re completely missing the point. Yes, the cart system screwed the N64 because devs wanted to use CDs(and which of Blu-Ray or HD-DVD is the Revolution supporting, again?).
But the system itself was significantly more powerful than the PS1, and early N64 games looked worlds better than their PS1 competition. And they marketed that point hard. It wasn’t just about the games in 1996, back when Nintendo was coming off 2 generation wins in a row. Now that they are niche, fuck being a major player. We never wanted to be one anyway!

On this very forum we’ve had innumerable threads about whether Nintendo makes kiddy games or games for mainstream gamers. Until the Revolution was revealed, Nintendo fanboys consistently threw temper tantrums at the mere suggestion that Nintendo was aiming for a younger demographic. Now it’s “Who wants mainstream games? I hate video games. Give me touchpads and tilt-sensitive controllers to play gimmicky puzzles with and you can have ‘fun’ pushing polygons and listening to rap music, philistine.”

So how are they known for consistently pushing the envelope again?

I didn’t say or even imply that was the case.

Isn’t Ouendan just another rhythm game? It’s polish and the presentation that make the game.