June 17, 2010
Since the recent re-emergence of 3D in the movie industry I have been very leery of how this would affect our beloved game industry. With the success of Avatar we knew it was only a matter of time before 3D in gaming would become the new marketing battle cry. I honestly would rather not have it if the experience mimicked the movies as Sony is looking to do. The tint in the glasses darkens the screen and I have thought that overall image seems blurry as compared to a non 3D film. Don’t ge me wrong, Avatar was an amazing visual experience and Monster vs. Aliens is by far my favorite 3D movie but I just don’t feel that experience lends itself well to gaming. Wearing glasses for 2-3 hours for a movie is one thing. Wearing them for a 50+ hour play through of Mass Effect 2 is another. I have said that if they could do 3D without the glasses then I would be interested.
With that being said Nintendo’s showing at E3 has me very excited for a 3D experience. When I frist heard about the 3DS I was afraid it would be just a gimmick, but based on all the review I have read Nintendo has pulled off 3D without the glasses! I think this innovation will once again place Nintendo nicely at the top of the handheld industry keeping the iPhone at close second. I’ve honestly never seen the PSP as a true competitor in this market but that’s for another post. I’m now looking froward to the 3DS release and will be first in line to place my pre-order. The inital first party game library looks absolutely amazing and with the 3rd party lineup that Nintendo showed off it looks like the 3DS will have very bright future.
May 24, 2010
I have to admit I was late to the game when it comes to Wii Motion plus. It looked interesting enough and I’m always up for some Mii inspired mini-games but with early support for only Wii Sports Resort and Tiger Woods 10 it didn’t seem worth the money. I recently purchased a new Wii for my daughter and it came packed in with Wii Sports Resort and the Wii motion plus attachment. The attachment does make the controller much more responsive and Wii Sports Resort is a lot of fun but is that it? Looking at the list of games that currently support the Motion Plus the only other notable game on the list is Red Steel 2. With more than 16 million units sold adoption has been high so I doubt developers are worried about users not having the device to support a game. Now that we see Nintendo providing the attachment bundled with the console along with retailers creating bundles and discounts for the attachment one has to wonder if there are more supported games on the way. After using the device I really hope that Nintendo and third-parties begin to use the attachment. With Natal and Move about to launch Nintendo needs to get on the ball with a second round of promoting this new technology. Wii Motion Plus is great tech but if developers fail to leverage it soon I fear the Wii may find itself playing catch-up.
May 12, 2010
The past 25 years have been a true rollercoaster ride for Nintendo. They dominated the industry with the NES and SNES and then slid into second and third with the N64 and Game Cube. Now they find themselves once again comfortably back on top with the Wii which at times seems like a money printing machine. Nintendo has always impressed me in that it is what I consider to be the only true video game company. Unlike Microsoft and Sony Nintendo relies solely on the success of its consoles and games to succeed. It has no fortune 5o0 company piggy bank backing it up and has survived effectively in the cut throat world of the console wars.
Nintendo has also consistently revolutionized the industry by giving us the first D-pad with the NES, expanding our world into multiple dimensions with Mario 64 and the current revolution that is motion control. It is comical at times to see the same people who bashed motion control now promoting variations of it on their own consoles.
The one major complaint that I have always had with Nintendo is the lack of top-tier third-party titles. Since the release of the N64 Nintendo hasn’t come close to the competition with third-party support. Nintendo’s salvation comes from its innovation and its iconic first party franchises which make up some of the best games in video game history. As we speak games like Mari Kart Wii, Wii Fit and Super Mario Bros. Wii continue to top the sales charts for months on end. Nintendo does needs to invest in better hardware as well as increase their support of third-party titles. It also wouldn’t hurt them to do a complete overhaul of their online strategy. Super Mario Bros Wii is a great game but it would be that much better if the co-op\multiplayer could be done easily online.
Nintendo has rarely ceased to impress and does so at times going completely against conventional wisdom. I have thought for a long time that the Wii has been test run for what is to come much in the same way the DS Phat was for the handheld market. I think at minimum some form of the Wii HD is on the horizon if not something that will kick off the next revolution in gaming. I can’t wait to see what Nintendo has to offer next. I’m sure it will be amazing. I just hope that the next time around they will work on some of the issues that have been plaguing them as well as work on bringing in more external developers along for the ride.