Thursday April 21, 2005 11:50 pm
Should Nintendo Bring The Revolution To E3?
The E3 rumor mill has been buzzing quite loudly over the past few weeks. People are excited about what Microsoft is doing with the Xbox 2/360. People are curious about how Sony is going to use the PlayStation 3 to combat the hype machine that the next generation Xbox has been generating. And Nintendo…well…Nintendo has people buzzing for a different reason. We have been hearing that Nintendo may choose to play down the Revolution at E3 – and that is if they even choose to show it at all. Does it really matter if Nintendo shows the Revolution or not? Is Zelda enough for a successful show for Nintendo? The Playfeed editors take this issue to task in our Nintendo at E3 Roundtable.
Andru: Nintendo, you really have me worried. Let’s be serious here for a moment. The word on the street here is that Nintendo is worried about showing their hand with the Revolution because they are concerned that their competitors might copy their ideas. This feels so familiar, because this was their position with Mario Sunshine. I haven’t seen any water pack-toting heroes on the PlayStation or Xbox consoles to date. If Nintendo’s next console is so revolutionary, then isn’t it a bit too late in the game for Microsoft and/or Sony to switch up their plans to steal Nintendo’s ideas?
Jesse: The news that Nintendo will not show the console has not been confirmed yet, but a lot of times when rumors of delays come out they tend to be true. This could be a good and bad thing for Nintendo and here’s why.
The downside to Nintendo not introducing the new system is that they will be behind everyone else. This won’t be the first time this has happened to Nintendo in regards to releasing a home console. When the PlayStation 2 came out, Nintendo was far behind them and even launched after Microsoft. This resulted in lower than expected Gamecube sales. Nintendo left themselves open to fall behind and give everyone a chance to buy a system made by their competitors. By waiting to display their new system they are hurting their reputation as a leading game manufacturer, while everyone else has the word out on the streets.
Andru: As far as I’m concerned, Nintendo’s reputation as a leading game manufacturer isn’t in jeopardy. The problem is that no one is going to be playing Nintendo’s games if they don’t have Nintendo’s system.
Oscar: Nintendo can’t let itself be left out in the cold this year. Too much hype has been given to Sony and Microsoft regarding their next generation consoles, so much so that it seems as though a new rumor or leak is talked about each day. What about Nintendo Revolution rumors? Not many rumors or hype has built up about that console. They need to come out big – make people talk about their innovative products and new console for days, weeks, maybe even months after E3. If Nintendo were to surprise everyone with something big following Microsoft’s and Sony’s E3 unveiling it would definitely be the buzz of the E3 week.
Right now whenever someone mentions IBM or writes about the Cell processor you can expect to read a mention about the next PlayStation console and how it will include that technology. Whenever you hear a new gaming rumor, 9 times out of 10 it’s about the next Xbox. When you mention MTV and May in the same sentence, instantly a conversation about Microsoft’s Xbox 2/360 sparks. These are all ways these two companies have been able to create major hype and buzz about their consoles. Remember, most of us have not even seen them yet! However, the only thing that sparks conversation about Nintendo is when people mention Zelda. I’m sorry to break it to you Nintendo, but the Zelda talk is getting old. In fact, it’s almost a year old. Sure it is a great franchise, and will likely be great game, but its time to think about the future.
Jesse: This game was announced last year at E3 and we’re all hoping for even more information. This will keep some pressure off of the new system. The other good side to this is that if Nintendo gives themselves enough time they can possibly skip a step in the game system life cycle and make the “Revolution” into an evolution. By seeing what the other companies have planned Nintendo can surpass it, but at the cost of falling behind in hardware sales.
Andru: I just can’t see Nintendo’s holding back the Revolution as a good thing in any way, shape or form. At E3, I want Nintendo to give me a reason not to buy one of the next consoles from their competitors because I want to save my money for theirs. Nintendo has said it so many times – the industry needs a revolution, yet they are considering not telling us why. Allow me to hypothesize on why they feel the industry needs a jumpstart. Nintendo seems oblivious to everything going on around them. It is as if they don’t realize that its two competitors have outsold the Gamecube. They came in dead last. It appears that all they see is their sales numbers. They lost about a third of their market share, and their games sales have slowly fallen – especially in comparison to those of their competitors. This is the reason that they feel the game industry needs a Revolution. The cold hard truth is that it doesn’t. Gaming is getting more and more exciting, Just look at what Microsoft is doing. Only one part of the industry needs a Revolution, and that is Nintendo themselves. They need to move far, far away from their practices of old. However, it seems the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Oscar: I truly believe that software hype is where it’s at, and that is what will make or break the next generation of consoles. You can have the best gaming set up in the world, but if you don’t have a great game to show it off with, then you don’t have a good product. Nintendo needs a game that will do for them what Halo did for the Xbox, and what Grand Theft Auto and the Metal Gear Solid series did for PlayStation. Without this they don’t have much to go on.
As far as Nintendo focusing on the new Zelda and the Nintendo DS, those are all products mainly tailored for the young generation gamers. Microsoft and Sony realize that the age group of serious gamers who will go out and actually buy their games and hardware are 18-35. This is the group that grew up with such characters such as Mario, Sonic, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter and so forth. This is the generation that has the money and is willing to go out and buy their software and hardware the day it comes out. Take for instance the recent launch of the Sony PSP. The system launched with a $250 price tag, and when I went to pick it up I did not see one underage person buying it. Instead I saw people who were my age and older eager to drop $250 on the system alone. Now my nephew of 11 yrs will also own one, not because he has the money to buy it, rather because his birthday has recently passed and that is what he wants. Nintendo should not rely on the younger generation to ask for a certain Nintendo game or system on a birthday or during the holiday season - they need to build as much hype as possible so as to make the older gamers want to spend the money as soon as they can get their hands on it.
Andru: Bingo – and therein lies the problem. Microsoft has scored an MTV special t reveal the Xbox 2/360. It doesn’t get much more mainstream than that. In comparison, Nintendo may wait until August for a possible SpaceWorld to show the Revolution, once again being the last out of the gate. I say stop trying to point fingers at everyone else, as touch sensitive as they are, and look at yourselves for a moment. Nintendo is my favorite video game company out there. They are an extremely talented company with the most imaginative people in the industry working for them.
That being said, I really hope that Nintendo proves me wrong this year. Zelda will likely be the game of show. A wireless Nintendo DS service announcement would be great – for those that own a DS. However, the attention is going to be on the next generation announcements. Microsoft will have one. Sony will have one. Nintendo, you need to have one as well. Make it big. Knock it out of the park. Show us you are still the company that can lead, not follow, the gaming industry.
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