Nintendo has to Set the Next Home Console Hardware Standard @ E3

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#1 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

It's what needs to happen. Nintendo has to come forward with Wii U's definitive specs at E3 and set the new hardware baseline for the next generation of AAA gaming.

Pushing processing power and memory as far as economically feasible, rather than trying to maximize their short term profits by producing their hardware cheaply - in order to protect their system from being outdone completely and become incompatible with multiplatform development for the next Xbox and Playstation and PC. Protection from becoming obsolete.

Relying on their gimmick will likely not work out as charmingly as it did with the Wii. Unless their hardware is capable of supporting future multiplatform development, they are in risk of losing the homeconsole market completely. That's a risk they're not willing to take anymore. Not if they can afford not to.

One of the Big Three has to come forward and decide on what the next generation of hardware is going to be capable of. If Nintendo doesn't do just that this E3, I think that's going to be it for them. If their upcoming homeconsole is anything but the next generation of gaming hardware, somebody's not doing their job right. They'll be dead in the water within a year.

What do you think will happen? Will Nintendo push their specs to the max? Do they keep walking 'the Xbox360 1.5 path'? Would Microsoft and Sony opt to keep their hardware somewhat compatible with Nintendo's, if it's an underpowered system? Or just try and push them out of the homeconsole market with much more powerful hardware? I'm really excited to see this whole drama unfold this E3. It's going to be epic! Epic for the win.

#2 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

Nintendo will not push it to the max, they will walk the Xbox 360 1.5 path, they will enjoy the 1 or 2 years of mulitplatform support and then they'll return to the exact same place they're in now.

@Seppli said:

They'll be dead in the water within a year.

Also; eff no.

#3 Posted by dekkadekkadekka (742 posts) -

Nintendo doesn't give a shit about anyone other than Nintendo. This is evidenced in their approach to hardware, software, and online functionality.

#4 Posted by Commisar123 (1798 posts) -

No they don't. That is not how they make consoles

#5 Posted by MB (13095 posts) -

The console has already been designed, you realize that right?

Moderator
#6 Edited by MikkaQ (10344 posts) -

Come on, man. It's 2012. No one cares about specs, the people who do all moved to PC gaming anyway. People look for sexy features and functionality, the occasional gimmick, whatever. Anything but the actual specs which the mainstream don't understand or care about.

There is no "next generation" in terms of pure spec. The next generation is literally the next platforms that comes out from those companies, regardless of how powerful or weak they are. There won't be a standard. The xbox and PS will come out, and whatever difference in specs will be immediately made null by multiplatform releases, just like this time. Developers, unless receiving tons of cash to make exclusives, are just going to make their games so that they could port to any platform at any time. That's how the business works these days, with the price of developing assets at a high... you gotta go wide.

Nintendo will do whatever they want, like they always have. They'll make money like they always have. They're off in their own world and that's fine.

#7 Posted by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@MB said:

The console has already been designed, you realize that right?

Last I heard the hardware specs are in-flux. According to that Team Ninja interview about it.

#8 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1733 posts) -
@MikkaQ said:

The xbox and PS will come out, and whatever difference in specs will be immediately made null by multiplatform releases, just like this time.

I don't think he's referring to the difference in spec between the machines, he's talking about the 'base' spec we can expect next console gen - the general standard of technical capability, that determines what these multiplat games will look like.
#9 Edited by MentalDisruption (1670 posts) -

Nintendo will do what Nintendo always does. They won't have the best specs for the new consoles. It's just not how they prioritize things.

#10 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@MikkaQ said:

Come on, man. It's 2012. No one cares about specs, the people who do all moved to PC gaming anyway. People look for sexy features and functionality, the occasional gimmick, whatever. Anything but the actual specs which the mainstream don't understand or care about.

There is no "next generation" in terms of pure spec. The next generation is literally the next platforms that comes out from those companies, regardless of how powerful or weak they are. There won't be a standard. The xbox and PS will come out, and whatever difference in specs will be immediately made null by multiplatform releases, just like this time. Developers, unless receiving tons of cash to make exclusives, are just going to make their games so that they could port to any platform at any time. That's how the business works these days, with the price of developing assets at a high... you gotta go wide.

Nintendo will do whatever they want, like they always have. They'll make money like they always have. They're off in their own world and that's fine.

Well - Nintendo has a home console out there, but isn't competing for multiplatform sales.

I don't think they can rely on their own gimmick alone this time around. Especially since most of their classic IPs have lost a lot of momentum in recent years. Outside of Mario, nothing does that well anymore really. The demographic of videogame consumers grows older too. The most money can be made of 30-40 year old males these days.

The demand for true HD gaming gets louder by day too. I for one already have moved my multiplatform gaming to PC and I have an increasingly hard time going back to consoles. With mobile devices like the iPad having a x3 higher pixel density than a 1080p 24' screen, the demand for true HD rendering resolutions gets louder across the board - also by casual audiences.

#11 Edited by MikkaQ (10344 posts) -

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

@MikkaQ said:

The xbox and PS will come out, and whatever difference in specs will be immediately made null by multiplatform releases, just like this time.

I don't think he's referring to the difference in spec between the machines, he's talking about the 'base' spec we can expect next console gen - the general standard of technical capability, that determines what these multiplat games will look like.

Well that's easy. It's gonna be whatever the next xbox puts out. Nintendo is once again too busy doing their own thing. This whole "We're going for the core gamers" thing is obviously not going to happen as wholeheartedly as they want you think. Maybe we'll get a few years of downports, but ultimately it's going to be the weakest non-nintendo platform that determines the standard, which will probably be xbox since that worked out reaaally well this generation. Being the most powerful just isn't what matters anymore, and a company like Sony is really slow at reacting to those sorts of things.

@Seppli: Yeah but Nintendo is going to push what they have as far as they can. They won't stop making games and consoles like that until there is a clear problem with making money. As long as Nintendo is profitable, they have no reason to change. Maybe next generation, but Nintendo still hasn't had any major indication that continuing what they do will stop working out for them anytime soon. Wii sales are as slow as Nintendo expects them to be 6 years after the fact, and they're not putting anything out accordingly.

#12 Edited by MB (13095 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@MB said:

The console has already been designed, you realize that right?

Last I heard the hardware specs are in-flux. According to that Team Ninja interview about it.

Even if that is what Team Ninja said...which isn't Nintendo...they are way too far at this point to be drastically changing hardware. I bet the specs are nearly final at this stage, with only minor engineering differences occurring until the Wii U starts undergoing mass production.

Consoles take years to develop. I think you are grossly misinterpreting what was said - there may be some optimization tweaks and some minor changes this late in the game, but Nintendo isn't going to change major components and, let's say, increase GPU & CPU power by 100% (or even 50%) at this point.

It's just too late for the kind of change you're imagining, Nintendo is committed and the Wii U is what it is.

Moderator
#13 Edited by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1733 posts) -
@MikkaQ said:

@Vegetable_Side_Dish said:

@MikkaQ said:

The xbox and PS will come out, and whatever difference in specs will be immediately made null by multiplatform releases, just like this time.

I don't think he's referring to the difference in spec between the machines, he's talking about the 'base' spec we can expect next console gen - the general standard of technical capability, that determines what these multiplat games will look like.

Well that's easy. It's gonna be whatever the next xbox puts out. Nintendo is once again too busy doing their own thing. This whole "We're going for the core gamers" thing is obviously not going to happen as wholeheartedly as they want you think. Maybe we'll get a few years of downports, but ultimately it's going to be the weakest non-nintendo platform that determines the standard, which will probably be xbox since that worked out reaaally well this generation. Being the most powerful just isn't what matters anymore, and a company like Sony is really slow at reacting to those sorts of things.

I do wonder how much of a gap between these system we can expect though; I don't see Sony modifying anything that major after the next Xbox is announced unless there is more than an 18 month gap between their release.  
Oh, and the next Xbox is rumoured to have a 6670, by the way. 
#14 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
theorycraft
 
@MB:  Yep, you basically nailed it.  At this stage their partners would already be deeply entrenched in development and while TN might be talking about the SDK's changing (which is something that often happens in the lead up tor release) the target specs of the console certainly wouldn't be changing much.
 
The idea that Nintendo could be out of business within a year is pretty funny though.  Theorycraft in action here folks.
#15 Posted by Fearbeard (834 posts) -

I don't see it happening. Nintendo is going to be too concerned about the price to really move the hardware ahead enough to compete with the Next xbox and PS4 when they release. They already have a black eye from the 3DS launch price (though I think the price would have been fine if it had the game support in a timely manner) and they definitely don't want to release too expensive a system. Plus the controller has to be quite a but more expensive to produce then a normal controller so there goes a chunk of the budget not even related to game performance.

I'm really cold on the whole console right now. I don't see how it could possibly be a big enough step to compete with the next generation Xbox and PS4, and it may actually hurt the advancement of games in the next generation if developers are concerned about making it compatible on all three systems and develop for the lowest common denominator; plus before the next generation arrives, it's not likely to receive much third party support outside of slightly upgraded ports of games from this generation.

#16 Posted by bigsmoke77 (791 posts) -

Nintendo needs to create a console that is not expensive, pushing specs to the max will not allow that. Its xbox 1.5 for sure.

#17 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8606 posts) -

I kind of see this every year since Gamecube.
 
They're still here.
 
We'll see it when it happens.

#18 Posted by Brendan (8136 posts) -

I hate that whenever something has a different functionality it's called a "gimmick". Everything that isn't a keyboard or a controller isn't a gimmick. The fact that the WiiU isn't even out and people are already calling it a gimmick says more about them than the console itself.

#19 Posted by Dalai (7070 posts) -

If it plays Nintendo games, I'm in. I'm fine with Xbox 1.5 as long as the games are good and make good use of the controller.

#20 Posted by Gamer_152 (14109 posts) -

I think you're looking at this from somewhat the wrong perspective. Nintendo have taken deliberate decisions to make sure that they're not in direct competition with Sony and Microsoft and can't be outclassed in simple terms of hardware. I believe the Wii is at least in part a result of the fact that they know brute power can't be the direction they take their consoles in, so they found an alternative. I also don't agree with this certainty that the methods that the Wii uses to appeal to the casual market are just a gimmick doomed to fail. Nintendo's move of bringing out a follow-up to a console aimed at casual gamers is like nothing we've seen before and we have to be very cautious about what predictions we make. Some people were saying all along with the original Wii "It's just a gimmick, it's just a gimmick", but that didn't stop it selling ridiculous numbers.

Saying that Nintendo is going to go from being way out in front of the other two console manufacturers to being dead as a console manufacturer a year after the launch of their next console is a very bold proclamation, and one that I don't think you've backed up properly. As for this idea of "baseline hardware" that's just not how the industry works at all. It's not the case that one manufacturer puts their console out there and that defines technology for the generation full stop. Each console manufacturer is going to act largely independently and just try to create the best console that they know they can viably mass manufacture.

Moderator
#21 Posted by Ninja_Welshman (498 posts) -

For me personally I think the battle ground for the next consoles will all be the front end UI. Who has the best apps, services and design will determine who comes out on top not who has the most power.

#22 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@Gamer_152 said:

I think you're looking at this from somewhat the wrong perspective. Nintendo have taken deliberate decisions to make sure that they're not in direct competition with Sony and Microsoft and can't be outclassed in simple terms of hardware. I believe the Wii is at least in part a result of the fact that they know brute power can't be the direction they take their consoles in, so they found an alternative. I also don't agree with this certainty that the methods that the Wii uses to appeal to the casual market are just a gimmick doomed to fail. Nintendo's move of bringing out a follow-up to a console aimed at casual gamers is like nothing we've seen before and we have to be very cautious about what predictions we make. Some people were saying all along with the original Wii "It's just a gimmick, it's just a gimmick", but that didn't stop it selling ridiculous numbers.

Saying that Nintendo is going to go from being way out in front of the other two console manufacturers to being dead as a console manufacturer a year after the launch of their next console is a very bold proclamation, and one that I don't think you've backed up properly. As for this idea of "baseline hardware" that's just not how the industry works at all. It's not the case that one manufacturer puts their console out there and that defines technology for the generation full stop. Each console manufacturer is going to act largely independently and just try to create the best console that they know they can viably mass manufacture.

With the Wii Nintendo made a phenomenal amount of money. They sold like hotcakes and cost less in production than retail price from day 1. The large installbase and their strong brands made their own software very successful, but core games by 3rd party publishers pretty much flopped throughout the Wii's lifespan, because they couldn't match current gen gameplay experiences on the other systems.

Unless they can repeat the phenomenal initial sales of the Wii hardware, the installbase will be much smaller and the cashflow from their own games alone would be way less too. They'd be dependent on a higher attachment rate and 3rd party licensing fees to compensate - which will inevitably dry up in case ports are expensive or even technically impossible from Microsoft's and Sony's next boxes.

I think the market yearns for an increase in graphical fidelity. Current generation hardware does not yet cater to the established 1080p HD standard and once you get used to higher rendering resolutions and framesrates, you won't go back to the 720p/30FPS rendering standard of current generation console games.

My fear is that the next generation of homeconsoles won't push specs much at all. That'd they follow Nintendo's template and merely launch a 'Xbox360 1.75', which would bearly be enough to increase fidelity to a 1080p/60FPS standard for current generation games. Technical innovation will be hamstrung from the get-go. And us core gamers can't even rely on PC developments, because exclusive AAA PC games don't pay. It's pretty much a horror scenario.

I absolutely believe that this generation, they'll try and keep multiplatform developement cost at bay and try to match or even mirror hardware specs, rather than outdo each other. I think it will be Nintendo-like gimmick/innovation that they'll use to differentiate themselves from each other. Microsoft will go with Kinect and Sony might mirror Nintendo, maybe even push for the Vita being PS4's standard controller.

#23 Posted by Doctorchimp (4055 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@MB said:

The console has already been designed, you realize that right?

Last I heard the hardware specs are in-flux. According to that Team Ninja interview about it.

I doubt Team Ninja knows shit.

Nintendo does what Nintendo does.

They don't care about hardware processing power and if the next console rumors are close to true neither does Microsoft.

#24 Edited by Doctorchimp (4055 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@Gamer_152 said:

I think you're looking at this from somewhat the wrong perspective. Nintendo have taken deliberate decisions to make sure that they're not in direct competition with Sony and Microsoft and can't be outclassed in simple terms of hardware. I believe the Wii is at least in part a result of the fact that they know brute power can't be the direction they take their consoles in, so they found an alternative. I also don't agree with this certainty that the methods that the Wii uses to appeal to the casual market are just a gimmick doomed to fail. Nintendo's move of bringing out a follow-up to a console aimed at casual gamers is like nothing we've seen before and we have to be very cautious about what predictions we make. Some people were saying all along with the original Wii "It's just a gimmick, it's just a gimmick", but that didn't stop it selling ridiculous numbers.

Saying that Nintendo is going to go from being way out in front of the other two console manufacturers to being dead as a console manufacturer a year after the launch of their next console is a very bold proclamation, and one that I don't think you've backed up properly. As for this idea of "baseline hardware" that's just not how the industry works at all. It's not the case that one manufacturer puts their console out there and that defines technology for the generation full stop. Each console manufacturer is going to act largely independently and just try to create the best console that they know they can viably mass manufacture.

With the Wii Nintendo made a phenomenal amount of money. They sold like hotcakes and cost less in production than retail price from day 1. The large installbase and their strong brands made their own software very successful, but core games by 3rd party publishers pretty much flopped throughout the Wii's lifespan, because they couldn't match current gen gameplay experiences on the other systems.

Unless they can repeat the phenomenal initial sales of the Wii hardware, the installbase will be much smaller and the cashflow from their own games alone would be way less too. They'd be dependent on a higher attachment rate and 3rd party licensing fees to compensate - which will inevitably dry up in case ports are expensive or even technically impossible from Microsoft's and Sony's next boxes.

I think the market yearns for an increase in graphical fidelity. Current generation hardware does not yet cater to the established 1080p HD standard and once you get used to higher rendering resolutions and framesrates, you won't go back to the 720p/30FPS rendering standard of current generation console games.

My fear is that the next generation of homeconsoles won't push specs much at all. That'd they follow Nintendo's template and merely launch a 'Xbox360 1.75', which would bearly be enough to increase fidelity to 1080p/60FPS standards for current generation games. Technical innovation will be hamstrung from the get-go. And us core gamers can't even rely on PC developments, because exclusive AAA PC games don't pay. It's pretty much a horror scenario.

I absolutely believe that this generation, they'll try and keep multiplatform developement cost at bay and try and match hardware specs, rather than outdo each other. I think it will be Nintendo-like gimmick/innovation that they'll use to differentiate themselves from each other. Microsoft will go with Kinect and Sony might mirror Nintendo, maybe even push for the Vita being PS4's standard controller.

You aren't listening to what he said.

Nintendo and Microsoft aren't in competition with each other. They never were last gen and they won't be in the next one.

Nintendo wants to make a unique experience that captures as many people as they can, if the experience is unique enough the hardcore will follow technical specs be damned.

#25 Posted by Jimbo (9988 posts) -

Just bundle a mouse and keyboard in with the console. Massive step up for about $10 worth of hardware.

#26 Posted by eugenesaxe (199 posts) -

Up til now, Nintendo's always done what it wanted and led the way in several innovations for console gaming. One thing they've never done is have the most powerful machine. That's not going to change with the U, but the one after that will almost certainly have to match/exceed the competition. Graphics have become more important with every generation; we're now to the point a game is almost a controllable movie. Nintendo's going to have to join the crowd, so to speak-at some point gameplay and gimmicks can't carry a system, players want pretty too.

#27 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@Doctorchimp:

Nintendo didn't compete with Sony and Microsoft because they couldn't. They didn't have the money. They took a huge risk and succeeded in creating a casual market for the Wii.

Microsoft and Sony both are eager for a marketshare and did launch Kinect and PS Move in order to compete for it. Kinect is a commercial success, whilst Sony's attempt did fail. They will compete for the casual market for sure.

Apple too has an increasing marketshare in the casual gaming market with the iPad and iPhone devices. I doubt Nintendo will win them back easily. At this point, I believe Apple owns the casual gaming market outside of the TV room.

Nintendo is in trouble. As far as I can tell, it will be extremely hard for them carve out another niche like they did with the Wii. I think it's more likely that they'll go more aggressively after the core market, because it's the only safe bet left.

#28 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@Ninja_Welshman said:

For me personally I think the battle ground for the next consoles will all be the front end UI. Who has the best apps, services and design will determine who comes out on top not who has the most power.

I agree. Nonetheless, it's the core gamer who drives initial sales. Unless they bring something to the table to excite us, they'll lack that crucial sales catalyst. I don't think the casual market will jump on Nintendo's next exclusive feature like it did with the Wii, since they're firmely in the clutches of Apple.

#29 Posted by Gamer_152 (14109 posts) -

@Seppli: Actually, the Wii's phenomenal success was never about what number of consoles they initially sold; a large part of what made the Wii a success was that month after month, even some considerable way into its lifespan, Nintendo were still making hundreds of thousands of sales of the thing. Every console manufacturer is reliant on selling a large number of consoles though, that's implicit. What's more third-party games weren't all a flop on the Nintendo Wii; the first party games certainly ruled, but a fair number of third-party titles sold over one million units. All of that seems a little irrelevant in light of the rest of your response though. While Nintendo certainly seem to care about "core" gamers, I'll repeat what I said before, Nintendo are not in direct competition with Microsoft and Sony. They're not trying to build the new Xbox or create a console for people obsessed with resolutions and frame rates, they're making a console primarily for the casual crowd and diehard Nintendo fans.

This idea of all the consoles trying to have genuinely identical specs just doesn't work. As has been said before in this thread, console manufacturers spend ages making consoles without any knowledge of what the competition is doing. They just don't have the ability to wait until another developer reveals their final console spec before they've even started designing theirs. You don't just whip up a console in a couple of months. If this was the optimal startegy don't you think companies would have tried it before now? I think you're right that Microsoft will continue pushing their Kinect technology in some form, given the success that's been, but for Sony things are more uncertain and I really don't see what the advantage would be for them to allow people to start using the Vita as the PS4's controller, when they've had a controller design for a long time much better suited to a home console.

In regards to what you said to @Doctorchimp: after he responded to me, Nintendo are not crafting out a new market, and the Wii market could hardly be described as niche. This is about using and expanding the market they already have, and I assure you, Nintendo trying to outperform Sony and Microsoft at this point is not a safe bet. The way I see it there are no safe moves any more.

Moderator
#30 Posted by gorkamorkaorka (446 posts) -

Rumor has it that the XBOX 420 and the PS4 will be less of a leap than last time.

#31 Posted by Levio (1786 posts) -

The only standard Nintendo will set with the next Wii is some kind of record number of people wishing Nintendo would make its first party games for a good console.

#32 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@Gamer_152:

I agree. There are no safe bets for Nintendo. They are in a predicament. The core market is attached to either Microsoft or Sony and the casual market is moving towards gaming on their Apple gadgets. It doesn't matter if Nintendo doesn't want to directly compete with Microsoft and Sony, because clearly Microsoft and Sony do want to compete with Nintendo. In fact they already made their first move with Kinect and Move. Hence I don't quite get your statement.

As for 'matching specs', either you push for strong hardware which you'll sell at a loss, or you don't. And you have to decide between common architecture or doing something origial (nobody will do that anymore after the billion dollar grave that was R&D for PS3). It's a question of timing and commitment. I don't think Microsoft and Sony will go all out, because it isn't smart business anymore. Nintendo has successfully proven that a distinguishing feature does suffice to attract costumers.

However, Nintendo will launch into the next generation 1-2 years before Microsoft and Sony, so if they don't push for strong hardware, they'll be in the same situation as they are now, having a low attachment rate and little 3rd party support and no marketshare in the multiplatform games business. They cannot soley hope that they'll repeat their phenomenal success again, because this time around the casual market will be contested - by Microsoft and Sony and most importantly Apple. They have to appeal to the core market. It's their only chance.

I don't think Nintendo have produced any units outside of devkits and that certain aspects of the hardware, like system memory, are very much still on the table and subject to change. CPU/GPU are certainly bound to be set - true.

#33 Edited by believer258 (12185 posts) -

One quick thing: Are you predicting Nintendo's utter downfall or just a loss in profits? Nintendo might not make as much money this gen - which is a possible but unlikely situation - but I doubt they're going anywhere. The Big N's doom and gloom has been predicted since the Gamecube days and it never happened. It isn't going to happen. There's a crowd that loves Nintendo games that always makes them a profit, and there's another crowd of casuals that got dragged in with the Wii and DS. Apple stole a fair share of that market but I don't think they stole it all.

The fact is that Nintendo isn't in competition with Sony and MS. Those two are in a world all their own. Nintendo has its own little world that has its own loyal fans who will buy the things that Nintendo puts out. The people that buy Sony and MS's consoles and the people that buy Nintendo's consoles are essentially two separate markets; if Nintendo were to cater to the Sony and MS crowd, it would be business suicide.

#34 Posted by Gamer_152 (14109 posts) -

@Seppli: Okay, yes, that's a good point, Microsoft and Sony are in competition on some level and while Sony don't seem to have much to offer in the casual gaming space, I do think there's some merit to the idea that the Kinect may supersede the Wii, but I still don't think there are any certainties there, and the Wii and the other two consoles are still very different beasts. The Wii makes use of a kind of old-school fan that neither Sony or Microsoft have and Nintendo are not pushing casual appeal as simply some side feature of the console, but rather the main attraction of the machine, while, unless there are some very radical changes, Microsoft and Sony are still building consoles with the more traditional gamer in mind. This isn't about Nintendo's idea of making profit on a console necessarily being better, it just fits with the approach that Nintendo is taking which doesn't involve the heavy focus on the "core" gamer that Microsoft's and Sony's do.

I'll say it again, the casual market is not desperately latching onto whichever console can do the most clock cycles in a second or has the most VRAM, those are just things they don't care about, which is for a large part why the Wii never needed to be a technical powerhouse, and why at least theoretically the Wii U doesn't need to be either. As for the idea that Apple are the big obstacle for Nintendo to overcome, I'm not convinced. You'd be hard pressed to say that Apple are manufacturing any directly competing product to the 3DS, but to say they're doing so for the Wii U seems like a huge stretch. What you're essentially saying is that the casual market inherently hold tablet and mobile phone gaming to be a replacement for a home console and that doesn't seem like the kind of thing we're in a position to say yet. As I said before, uncharted territory, it's very, very hard to know how the casual market is going to react.

Moderator
#35 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@believer258 said:

One quick thing: Are you predicting Nintendo's utter downfall or just a loss in profits? Nintendo might not make as much money this gen - which is a possible but unlikely situation - but I doubt they're going anywhere. The Big N's doom and gloom has been predicted since the Gamecube days and it never happened. It isn't going to happen. There's a crowd that loves Nintendo games that always makes them a profit, and there's another crowd of casuals that got dragged in with the Wii and DS. Apple stole a fair share of that market but I don't think they stole it all.

The fact is that Nintendo isn't in competition with Sony and MS. Those two are in a world all their own. Nintendo has its own little world that has its own loyal fans who will buy the things that Nintendo puts out. The people that buy Sony and MS's consoles and the people that buy Nintendo's consoles are essentially two separate markets; if Nintendo were to cater to the Sony and MS crowd, it would be business suicide.

They won't go away, but definitely won't be anywhere near as successful as they were during the Wii and DS era. Both the handheld market and the casual market are much more contested, with Apple winning a huge marketshare by happenstance, rather than effort. What I'm saying is, Nintendo is taking a turn for the worse as a company, inevitably. They simply cannot repeat the mass phenomenon that was the Wii and they'd be smart to reposition themselves to cater to the core audience again. It's actually their outspoken mission statement with the WiiU.

Unless their hardware is powerful enough to co-exist in the multiplatform market with Microsoft's and Sony's next box, they will fail to achieve that goal. They'll still make money of their brands, but it will be nowhere near as much as now, since they cannot hope to repeat the hardware sales they had with the Wii. You cannot plan a phenomenon. You can have a solid business plan. Winning a decent marketshare of the core and multiplatform gaming business is a solid plan. The question is if they'll put their money where their mouth is at. E3 will tell.

This is a crossroads for Nintendo. Either way, they have tough times ahead. If they fail to win the core audience and a decent attachment rate with their upcoming homesystem, things could get dire again. Like Gamecube-era dire. They were half-way down the drain back then.

#36 Posted by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@Gamer_152:

Yes indeed. Uncharted territory. It will be so much fun to see it all unfold. There's drama in the air. I love it.

#37 Posted by believer258 (12185 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@believer258 said:

One quick thing: Are you predicting Nintendo's utter downfall or just a loss in profits? Nintendo might not make as much money this gen - which is a possible but unlikely situation - but I doubt they're going anywhere. The Big N's doom and gloom has been predicted since the Gamecube days and it never happened. It isn't going to happen. There's a crowd that loves Nintendo games that always makes them a profit, and there's another crowd of casuals that got dragged in with the Wii and DS. Apple stole a fair share of that market but I don't think they stole it all.

The fact is that Nintendo isn't in competition with Sony and MS. Those two are in a world all their own. Nintendo has its own little world that has its own loyal fans who will buy the things that Nintendo puts out. The people that buy Sony and MS's consoles and the people that buy Nintendo's consoles are essentially two separate markets; if Nintendo were to cater to the Sony and MS crowd, it would be business suicide.

They won't go away, but definitely won't be anywhere near as successful as they were during the Wii and DS era. Both the handheld market and the casual market are much more contested, with Apple winning a huge marketshare by happenstance, rather than effort. What I'm saying is, Nintendo is taking a turn for the worse as a company, inevitably. They simply cannot repeat the mass phenomenon that was the Wii and they'd be smart to reposition themselves to cater to the core audience again. It's actually their outspoken mission statement with the WiiU.

Unless their hardware is powerful enough to co-exist in the multiplatform market with Microsoft's and Sony's next box, they will fail to achieve that goal. They'll still make money of their brands, but it will be nowhere near as much as now, since they cannot hope to repeat the hardware sales they had with the Wii. You cannot plan a phenomenon. You can have a solid business plan. Winning a decent marketshare of the core and multiplatform gaming business is a solid plan. The question is if they'll put their money where their mouth is at. E3 will tell.

This is a crossroads for Nintendo. Either way, they have tough times ahead. If they fail to win the core audience and a decent attachment rate with their upcoming homesystem, things could get dire again. Like Gamecube-era dire. They were half-way down the drain back then.

You seem to have failed to read second paragraph, or failed to understand what I said.

Nintendo has stated, several times, that they are not competing with Sony and MS. They have a different crowd to cater to. Think of this in terms of books - fantasy authors do not cater to the wants of historical fiction writers, even though the two share some common ground. Why not, you may say? Would catering to the largest market not be the best thing to do? Not always. Sony and MS have the mainstream market covered. If Nintendo were to try to break into that, then they would indeed fail. In fact, I'd wager that this is why the Gamecube failed. It tried to do what it couldn't and cater to the Sony and MS crowd. The Wii succeeded because it didn't.

Also, Apple took some of that crowd but hardly all of it. A good number of people who got the Wii and/or DS became Nintendo followers, and anyone that didn't probably wasn't going to come back for seconds anyway.

#38 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@believer258:

I believe Nintendo's core following alone is a far cry from the hardware sales numbers they have achieved with the Wii. Nintendo will not be happy with only that. It'd be about what they had in the Gamecube era.

Essentially the Wii is the same as the NES. A phenomenal mass market success. Almost every household in the primary global videogame markets has bought a Wii. Just like it was with the NES. Their follow-up system, the SNES, wasn't a global phenomenon, but widely successful and the dominating homeconsole of its time. Nintendo has to develop similar forward momentum and sweep back into the core market, because they clearly cannot reproduce the mass market phenomenon they had with the Wii. It's simply not in the stars for their upcoming system. Circumstances will not allow it. Especially since attachment rates for the Wii are horrid, as opposed to the NES way back when. Finding any kind of market outside of Nintendo die-hards is going to be hard.

It all depends on whether the core games audience deems the Wii U a must-have or not. If it's too much of an incremental update, rather than a full step forward, I don't think they'll have any kind of longterm success with it. At least not the kind of success that makes you pop open champagne. And if Microsoft's and Sony's upcoming boxes outclass it completely, their outlook is going to be downright grim.

#39 Posted by President_Barackbar (3474 posts) -
@believer258 said:

Nintendo has stated, several times, that they are not competing with Sony and MS. They have a different crowd to cater to.

Like it or not, Nintendo IS competing with both. Maybe they aren't the ones competing with Sony and MS, but both the Move and Kinect prove that they are both interested in competing with Nintendo. Just because Nintendo says they are trying to fill a niche doesn't meant that Sony and MS are going to stay out of their territory. They are both attempting to extract that casual market that made the Wii such a hit, but Sony and MS have the added bonus of also having a dedicated core following that allows them to attract third party devs. I think that is the core of the issue here: will Nintendo be able to survive now that Sony and MS have decided that they want the market they initially ignored when the Wii launched.
#40 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

Nintendo, the company which has weathered multiple failed launches, critical and consumer backlash will be fine.  So far, Sony and MS remain reasonably untested for the same kinds of issues and the longevity which spawns said issues.  Sony and MS have a lot of money from other ventures which have funneled into this market and only occasionally have they actually been making a profit from it (MS has been recommended to separate off the costly XBOX division because it has never been solvent on its own merits while Sony has gone through multiple VPs in the last decade in response to losses and failed launches like that of the PSPGo).  By comparison Nintendo has always made a profit, even despite some well known failures (VirtualBoy, GCN to name two) and people calling their death seem to have a very short term view of the market and are also not looking at the history of things.  Nintendo of America has had the same VPs for almost a decade (some even longer) and Nintendo Japan hasn't changed much at all in almost 30 years.  Nintendo aren't concerned what their competitors are doing, they are, as is consistent with all properly successful business, only really concerned with what they alone are doing.
 
The idea that of the casual vs hardcore market is very dated.  There is no longer a delineation.  Hardcore gamers are casual gamers and vice versa because they cross platforms do so extremely easily.  Hell, an iOS game made one the GB top 10s of 2011, from one of the most curmudgeonly critics the enthusiast press has ever spawned.  And that was from the same list which starred Portal 2, SR3 and MK.  It's no longer a matter of who captures what market but rather who can get as many people to buy their products, regardless of market.  In that reality (our reality) the company with the best product wins, specs, market and features are meaningless.

#41 Posted by believer258 (12185 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@believer258:

I believe Nintendo's core following alone is a far cry from the hardware sales numbers they have achieved with the Wii. Nintendo will not be happy with only that. It'd be about what they had in the Gamecube era.

Essentially the Wii is the same as the NES. A phenomenal mass market success. Almost every household in the primary global videogame markets has bought a Wii. Just like it was with the NES. Their follow-up system, the SNES, wasn't a global phenomenon, but widely successful and the dominating homeconsole of its time. Nintendo has to develop similar forward momentum and sweep back into the core market, because they clearly cannot reproduce the mass market phenomenon they had with the Wii. It's simply not in the stars for their upcoming system. Circumstances will not allow it. Especially since attachment rates for the Wii are horrid, as opposed to the NES way back when. Finding any kind of market outside of Nintendo die-hards is going to be hard.

It all depends on whether the core games audience deems the Wii U a must-have or not. If it's too much of an incremental update, rather than a full step forward, I don't think they'll have any kind of longterm success with it. At least not the kind of success that makes you pop open champagne. And if Microsoft's and Sony's upcoming boxes outclass it completely, their outlook is going to be downright grim.

I believe I said that one of the big reasons the Gamecube wasn't as successful as its predecessors was because it was trying to compete with Sony and MS in the first place, when Sony had already won that battle. It's that very core audience you mention that kept the Gamecube afloat.

Nintendo cannot try to be direct competitors with Sony and MS. You could say that they are technically, but they really aren't. There's a different crowd that wants Nintendo products, one big enough to make them a profit, and that is where I'm leaving this thread. If you feel you have something to say THAT HAS NOT ALREADY BEEN SAID A MILLION FUCKING TIMES then say it. Otherwise, let us have a difference of opinion and we'll see how it turns out about the time that 2018 rolls around.

#42 Posted by zudthespud (3284 posts) -

Seppli, I've seen you posting opinions as fact in several threads recently and I think you should qualify a lot of your statements with the prefix "I think". I'm ready to echo everyone else's statements, I don't think Nintendo are chasing the audience that the Xbox and Playstation are best known for so having the most powerful console deviates from their business plan of cheap fun for everyone that has served them well recently.

#43 Posted by Kung_Fu_Viking (717 posts) -

The broad specs are pretty locked down at this point. They have been for some time.

#44 Posted by Azteck (7449 posts) -
@Seppli said:

set the new hardware baseline for the next generation of AAA gaming.

You realize how wrong this is, when the specs of the Wii-U is more or less on par with the Xbox 360, right?
#45 Posted by coakroach (2492 posts) -

Did they say whether or not you can use two of those controllers? Or if they're gonna be priced reasonably?

Sorry I havent been paying any attention to WiiU news. Ever.

#46 Posted by GS_Dan (1397 posts) -

I miss the Gamecube days.

#47 Posted by redefaulted (2829 posts) -

I don't think it is possible to knock Nintendo out of the market unless they do it themselves at this point. Nintendo isn't even really competition at this point for the juggernauts that are Sony and Microsoft. In the next generation, when we see a real Kinect (and whatever Sony re-formats that Move into) push Nintendo will be a viable competition. Nintendo doesn't really have anything behind it other than Mario, Zelda, Kirby, and pretty much any of their tried-but-true first-party IP's. All I know is unless Nintendo puts out more than 5-6 great games within its entire Wii-U life cycle, I will be passing up on buying that console as I regret my Wii purchase every day.

PS: Unless they make another Luigi's Mansion, then I will sadly go purchase one with my chin attached to my chest, walking in shame.

#48 Posted by Jams (2966 posts) -

@Gamer_152 said:

I think you're looking at this from somewhat the wrong perspective. Nintendo have taken deliberate decisions to make sure that they're not in direct competition with Sony and Microsoft and can't be outclassed in simple terms of hardware. I believe the Wii is at least in part a result of the fact that they know brute power can't be the direction they take their consoles in, so they found an alternative. I also don't agree with this certainty that the methods that the Wii uses to appeal to the casual market are just a gimmick doomed to fail. Nintendo's move of bringing out a follow-up to a console aimed at casual gamers is like nothing we've seen before and we have to be very cautious about what predictions we make. Some people were saying all along with the original Wii "It's just a gimmick, it's just a gimmick", but that didn't stop it selling ridiculous numbers.

Saying that Nintendo is going to go from being way out in front of the other two console manufacturers to being dead as a console manufacturer a year after the launch of their next console is a very bold proclamation, and one that I don't think you've backed up properly. As for this idea of "baseline hardware" that's just not how the industry works at all. It's not the case that one manufacturer puts their console out there and that defines technology for the generation full stop. Each console manufacturer is going to act largely independently and just try to create the best console that they know they can viably mass manufacture.

@Seppli:

They can make all the deliberate decisions they want, but a console is always going to be in direct competition with another console. Especially since there are only 3 out there. There are always going to be people making a choice on which console they want. Just look at this last Christmas. Didn't the Xbox have its most successful holiday sale yet? While everyone else is talking about how they have to dust off their Wii to play Skyward Sword. I don't think Nintendo can keep this up for too long. Their gimmick controls (and they are gimmicky) aren't going to be enough to keep them afloat forever. What's going to keep them alive are new and innovative games. That's the real tipping point. Are they going to stay with their old way making the same old games that everyone has played for the last 25+ years or are they going to make new and interesting games with great gameplay, decent stories, online components etc?

Nintendo can't just innovate on their console anymore, they need to innovate in their games if they want to survive in the next two generation of consoles.

#49 Posted by Deranged (1859 posts) -

Why does everyone care about goddamn competition? Each console has it's own strength's and weaknesses but honestly it comes down to personal preference. They are all the same fucking things.

Get over yourself, enjoy the console for yourself. You aren't going to draw anyone in just because you want to.

#50 Edited by Seppli (10250 posts) -

@mcderby4 said:

Why does everyone care about goddamn competition? Each console has it's own strength's and weaknesses but honestly it comes down to personal preference. They are all the same fucking things.

Get over yourself, enjoy the console for yourself. You aren't going to draw anyone in just because you want to.

The thread is about speculation. What's going to happen and why. And have fun with it. Not about console preferences.

@Azteck said:

@Seppli said:

set the new hardware baseline for the next generation of AAA gaming.

You realize how wrong this is, when the specs of the Wii-U is more or less on par with the Xbox 360, right?

You do realize, unless they've already revved up produciton for their launch units, they might do the costly move of delaying the WiiU and overhauling their hardware specs? Maybe even throw the whole concept overboard.

So far we've gotten no commitment for a launch date yet. Last I heard, the hardware is still somewhat in flux. Nintendo might be looking into rebranding the system, stepping away from the WiiU brand. Until I see them publicly commit to their system and a release date, it's perfectly okay to assume nothing is absolutely set in stone yet, even if major changes to the hardware are unlikely.

I for one believe it's a bad move for them to bank on repeating the mass market phenomenon that was the Wii in this economy. It's a complete leap of fate trusting in that tablet controller of theirs. Unless they put their best foot forward hardware-wise, I fear they might be obsolete from the get-go. Why would I need a third current generation multiplatform system? Nobody outside of Nintendo die-hards and extremely hardcore gamers who need every system will give a crap. If it is a Xbox 360 1.5, it will be mostly redunant and find not much of a market.

I get a very insecure vibe from Nintendo about their future homeconsole plans and I hope they'll scrap and delay them and try to match the launch window and hardware specs Microsoft and Sony shot for. Nobody will 'pull a PS3' next generation and go all-out in the hardware department. They'll all try to launch their system retailing at cost or at a profit. Nobody in his right mind would launch a console at a loss after Nintendo showed them off the way they did by not doing so and banking on a distinguishing feature/gimmick instead. They'll just wait 'til they can launch true next generation hardware at cost.

@zudthespud said:

Seppli, I've seen you posting opinions as fact in several threads recently and I think you should qualify a lot of your statements with the prefix "I think". I'm ready to echo everyone else's statements, I don't think Nintendo are chasing the audience that the Xbox and Playstation are best known for so having the most powerful console deviates from their business plan of cheap fun for everyone that has served them well recently.

The complete redundancy of the addition of a qualifier like "I think" in everything you say and write is a pet peeve of mine. It's unnecessary. Of course it's what I think. Who takes anything for a fact without references anyways?

@Jams:

Agreed. Nintendo and Sony and Microsoft are in direct competition. Hell - even Apple is.

Sometime in the future - streaming services like Gaikai and OnLive will become more competitive too. Eventually publishers and even indipendent developers will become their own gaming platform. The next generation of dedicated gaming hardware has been touted to be last by many a industry insider. In the long run, the mass market for core games will likely move to such streaming services, whilst only the hardcore will keep investing into own dedicated gaming hardware - on the PC.

These are trying times that are coming up for all the big players in the videogame industy and I feel like Nintendo is about to blow it.

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