News We Care About Update 12.29.08

Nintendo to offer streaming videos, just not here
Nintendo is bizarrely slow to adopt some aspects of technology. Their latest console, the Wii (pronounced “Why”), has only cursory online abilities, and lacks both a practical storage device and the ability to function as a time machine.

As a curmudgeon who spouts things like, “Game systems should do nothing but play games” I was once on board with Nintendo’s seemingly similar stance. Their real position, which they have revealed at glacial speed, is game consoles should do a lot of things poorly and much, much later than other game consoles.

Whether this half-assed approach to new technology will be their ultimate undoing as Sony and Microsoft take over your living room in 2010, your wine cellar in 2015 and your apiary in 2020 is yet to be seen.

3D games coming to the PS3?
Blitz Games, the technology experts/ design wizards behind some of the industries most beloved and respected series such as Bratz: Girlz Really Rock, Barbie Horse Adventure and the newly famous Zapper (get it now on Xbox Live!) predict that the PS3 will support stereoscopic 3D in 2009.

In order to see this in 3D, open and close your eyes alternatingly then buy a Nazi bomber.

This will undoubtedly be the silver bullet Sony needs to bring down its competitors because if this generation has taught us anything, it is that technology and graphics trump all. Sony will need the extra cash flow to settle lawsuits from nauseous Japanese gamers.

EA misses the boat…by not focusing enough on core games?
You are likely familiar with the turmoil in the game industry. Companies are cutting jobs and developers are going under. A lot of people have taken these facts as a spring board for “support the Wii or die” type diatribes.

Whatever console a publisher supports, it must be very aware of the market and lately it looks like many haven’t done their homework. HD games are great, only they cost a lot of money. Rising costs coupled with relatively stagnant core gamer growth is a recipe for disaster. When a big game bombs, it bombs hard. Expect many sequels in the future.

My favorite part of this analyst’s opinion is that EA wasted their time with Wii projects because no one can compete with Nintendo. So the advice isn’t “make more appealing new HD IP,” “Don’t release all of your games in the same quarter,” nor “Try releasing big Wii titles like Rock Band 2 on time,” but rather, “Make more sequels.” Awesome.

Pachter predicts hardcore gamers are hardcore gamers
Quoth Pachter, “They may be wealthy, they may be poor, but they have no clue we are in a recession.” I don’t disagree that there are gamers who will spend money during recession, depression or rapture, but what useful information does that give us?

Saying 4% of the population will buy games despite being on fire would be useful, but Pachter only offers us a tautology. This just in! People who really like coffee will buy coffee even when in unstable economic times.

Nintendo confident Wii Motion Plus won’t suck
Wii Motion Plus is both a gamble and an admission. With it’s introduction Nintendo is saying, “We did what we could with the remote technology. Now enjoy an enormous dead period while we design games for our newly souped up remote.” This alone isn’t too damning. But when coupled with the paltry third party support it becomes a bigger problem.

Much more can be done with simple motion control – three years later there is still no high quality equivalent for most of the Wii Sports titles. How fucking hard is it to make a good tennis game? The move to Motion Plus may guarantee 3rd parties don’t explore the wide space of what’s-left-to-be-done-with-basic-motion-control.

Wii Sports Resort promises to bring us such classic games as throwing a frisbee to a dog and peekaboo.

The gamble is evident. If Motion Plus doesn’t catch on, it may be this generations Sega CD (only much more little nub shaped, and less a CD expansion add on for the Genesis). Or even worse, this generations 32X (insert joke template). Or even more worse, this generations Virtual Boy (I can go on all day, can you? Let’s see.) Or even worser, this generations N64 DD (though Motion Plus won’t be worth as much on eBay). Or even more worser, this generations Jaguar (minus Aliens versus Predator). Or even morer worse, this generations CDi (joke about bad Zelda games). Or even most worse, this generations M2 (and that didn’t even come out. Think of how bad something would have to be to compete with a non-existent entity!) Or even mostest worsest, this generations Dreamcast floppy drive (803 words, this is almost article length.) Now that would be bad.

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15 years ago

What about the Gameboy Camera? The Game Gear TV Tuner? The PSP GPS?

The PSP? Zing!