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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Comments

Joe M

>>BTW, Nintendo isn't necessarily doing anything wrong with the
>>Wii ...they're saddled as a system for children, for the most part. This
>>ain't good, given that the 17+ market is where the real action is
>>at nowadays.
I think you're missing their strategy. On the one hand, they will get SOME hardcore gamers by making a better mousetrap. Having played Metroid 3, for example, I have no interest in any console FPS that is hamstrung by a gamepad. Nor do I feel I have to keep upgrading an expensive gaming PC to get a decent FPS experience.

More to the point, they are going to sell them to people who either haven't bought a game console at all before, or haven't bought one in a generation or two. Even at this early stage (before any marketing) I'm amazed at how many "non gamer" types I talk to who are aware of the Wii and want to try it.

Their philosophy at bottom is:
- All human beings play games
- Only a small percentage of them play VIDEO games
- Therefore, logically, there must be some barrier to them doing so

Price is obviously one factor. Overly complicated, geeky controls (gamepads) are clearly another. Loading times. Online hardware that requires you to internet-wire your living room. These are the barriers they are tackling with the Wii. The point is, if they are even PARTIALLY successful at breaking down those walls, they will sell far more than Sony or Microsoft can dream of, with their static audience of hardcore gamers.

Having said all that Scott, two points:
- I agree with you that 360 will beat Sony. 360 will be a healthy niche market for those who still want that hardcore experience
- Lastly, I respect your willingness to stick your neck out and state your opinions. Good on ya.

Scott Miller

Just for repeated clarification again, I have no opinion of the Wiimote other than that the many of developers I've talked to, many the cream of this industry's crop, think that this controller might end up being more gimmick than worthwhile innovation. I personally think it's a good controller for bringing RTS games to consoles, assuming it's precise enough.

My main reason for picking the Nintendo in last place has nothing to do with the controller, but everything to do with the idea that Nintendo is mostly perceived as a family oriented system, while the other two consoles of note are perceived as harder core, teen and adult oriented systems. I think that there's a much larger sales potential for the upper teen and adult market.

Here's what GameIndustry.biz had to say about Wii's showing:

Part of that is down to the much higher level of interest in Wii than in the other next-gen consoles; but on the other hand, both Microsoft and Sony did have better-designed booths than Nintendo. While the queues to play Wii may have grabbed headlines in the short term, on a more important level they indicate Nintendo's own internal struggle to come to terms with what it means to be a company that wants to address the mass market. While the architects of the Wiii and its software may embrace that concept, the creators of the firm's booth clearly think we're still in the early nineties, and set out to appeal to the hardest of the hardcore, those who are prepared to brave hours of queuing to play the latest Mario game.

This essential dichotomy has done Nintendo some damage already. What the firm needed from E3 was not a select few hardcore nerds who queued up over and over to play games on the Wii; it needed an absolute horde of ambassadors who had walked up to a stand, picked up a controller and enjoyed a game, and who then went home to their jobs, families and friends and talked positively about the new gaming experiences they had tried out. Short-term headlines about queuing for five hours leave Nintendo's new console already sounding hardcore and offputting to casual gamers, which is exactly what the company didn't want to do at this point in time.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=17084

Goran

How much did the PS2 cost when it came out in the states.
Because where I live, in Holland it was priced at 600,- euro's for about a year, and still sold very well.

And does anybody know if Nintendo has plans for some online support for the Wii.

Goran

Oh yeah, I would like to know what all the people that like Nintendo here think of this article: http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/games/fanboy.html
It's mostly an anti-fanboy article that applies to everyone, but he uses examples of the Wii and has some critisizm. I would like to know what you think of it.

P.S sorry for double post

Freakhead

I'm sorry, but the gamesindustry article made no sense.

Mainstream coverage of NIntendo's booth showed the Wii was fun and enjoyable and that folks playing the games looked like they were having fun which is an image Nintendo wanted to show. I saw a mainstream CNBC TV segment and the reporter and studio host declared Wii was something they would play (even tho they aren't into games) and was their favorite of the show. The long wait only increased the desire of the product imo.

I can't imagine a casual gamer in the wings seeing the report (only this with nobody in line) and saying, 'Oh yeah I want that. No one is in line for it. It must be something for me.' Or with a long line saying, 'Man that lines too long I could never play that product.' I'm sorry, but it's not the same as long lines at your local supermarket. Long lines at E3 won't turn off folks from buying the product come this fall. Casual types probably don't care 1/100th of an iota about E3.

Could the lines have been shorter? Maybe. But I think folks saying that don't realize you'd have other problems. YOu'd have chaotic mob deciding on your booth with no sense of organization. I think that's the situation Nintendo wished to avoid.

Anyway the article in a nutshell spins NIntendo's popular booth into a negative. That having E3 popularity is now detrimental to Nintendo and Wii. I guess with some folks you never can win, can you?

Charles E. Hardwidge

It’s significant that there isn’t a European console. I think, I’ve got a pretty good idea why and what the solution to that is. It’s not as if there isn’t the brains, industrial capacity, and market. Still, people won’t be told and I sure as hell ain’t dishing out a business plan for free. I guess, when I’m rich enough I’ll do it myself. Don’t hold your breath…

Brant

The GameIndustry.biz article made perfect sense to me.

Case in point: a lot of people at my work love the DS but I've never played it and don't bother with it now. I would've tried it at e3 if it was more accessible (not this year). The Wii sounds like it could be cool but I'm not really gonna go out of my way to make sure I try it. I was really hoping to play some at e3. Now, instead of being hyped about it I really have no opinion because I didn't have the time to wait in that huge line. I'm not any more or less impressed that a bunch of nintendo fans waited in line- that doesn't mean I'll like the Wii or hate it. The only thing that does matter is that it's a nonevent to me.

Jay Kyburz

I'm a dev and I played the wii and I was disappointed. I often had to do and action two or three times in order for it to register. I saw allot of people with the same problem. I would rather be pushing buttons. Wielding a sword, swinging a golf club or tennis racket is not what you would imagine.

It will be fun no doubt, but not the revolution I was hoping for.

Freakhead

@Brant. You don't make any sense either much like that article. I'm talking about your whole 'CAse in Point: People at your work love the DS, but you never played it and so you don't bother with it???' I take it this is all because you couldn't play the DS at E3 last year or the year before?????

That makes alot of sense. Not. I'm sorry, but have you ever thought of asking your friends to lend them your DS for five minutes so you can try it? Just a thought. Or are you still today punishing NIntendo for the long DS line at an E3 some years back despite the fact your friends love the it. !??!??

I can see how you'd be disappointed you couldn't try a product at E3 because of a long line, but every booth on that showroom floor would have killed to have as many customers lining up for their product as the Wii had.

Anyway I can't see how an article has the nerve to spin high demand to try a product into a bad thing. The article acted like E3 was this open to the public convention where casual gamers stop by after a day's work to check out gaming products for 5 minutes. And that long lines prevented these folks from trying the Wii. I have to say those types of folks don't exist at an E3. Fact is 99.9% of folks that attend E3 are 'hardcore' gamers.

The other thing about E3 is that it actually is for the buyers who work for retail chains. You know the folks that actually are in charge of buying product to put on the shelves of your Best Buys, CompUSAs, Wal-marts, TArgets, etc. These guys don't have to wait in line. And I tell you if I'm a buyer and I see alot of folks lined up for a product it sure as hell ain't a negative. IT's something I'll want to look into putting on my shelf at xmas time.

IF the article wants to fault Nintendo's booth setup for the long wait it should have provided the reader with some evidence on exactly what was wrong with the booth setup. All I see is a superficial accusation with no substantiating evidence.

Brian 'Psychochild' Green

I've expanded some of my thoughts into a post on my own blog.

Just a Wii bit of innovation?

The important bits for people too lazy to follow the link:

And that's the problem with people like Scott (or me!) trying to say that the Wii doesn't matter. We not only focus almost exclusively on the hard-core, we are the hard-core. We understand shooters and fighters and those types of games. A game that doesn't involve a gun and amazing amounts of manual dexterity are alien to our way of thinking. It takes a long time to finally realize that this whole "casual games" thing isn't a passing fad.

Now, this isn't to say that Nintendo has found the silver bullet and will dominate over everyone else. I doubt my mother will buy a Wii for herself (although she might get one as a present from me some Christmas). Attempts to attract the "mass market" to games in the past have mostly ended in crying.

On the other hand, Nintendo is willing to try something new. The Brain Age games have been a huge hit in Japan, supposedly attracting older people to play the game according to the press release. If this is true, it means that Nintendo might actually have a shot at reaching that nigh-mythical mass market with the Wii. And, if more people start playing games, that's good news for everyone.

[...]And that excites me much more than any new controller ever could.

Have fun,

Charles E. Hardwidge

Great article, Brian. Looking at the design and character issues, I think, more people will be able to see where I'm coming from when I link them together. I'm hesitant to boast but, on this, I'm standing in a field of one at the moment. I guess that makes me a world leading authority. :D

Dewd

Hold on dude, isn't Prey a generic name for a genric FPS with fancy graphics and one (weird geometry) original twist? Black kettles...

Brant

I'm just saying that there should've been a perfect opportunity to play the Wii at E3 and I didn't have one. It's unfortunate cause I wanted to see what it was like.

Nintendo's booth was so private that you couldn't even see the big screen from the outside. It seems like they could've let us see that and then go in after we saw something interesting.

The fact that we're talking about this means it pissed a lot of people off, so that's not the question. The question is: Was it more of a benefit to do it that way or not? I don't have an answer for that and I have no doubt that you feel it was a great choice. I just know that I talked to more than a few people who were pissed off about it.

Did Nintendo lose a sale because I didn't want to wait in line? I can't say that, but I can say that if I played the Wii and liked it that they would've made a sale. Like the DS will I have chances down the line to play the system? Sure, but like the DS I may have lost interest by then. Maybe I'm fickle. Maybe I wouldn't have bought one anyway. I'm just sayin'.

>Could the lines have been shorter? Maybe. But I think folks saying that
>don't realize you'd have other problems. YOu'd have chaotic mob deciding
>on your booth with no sense of organization. I think that's the
>situation Nintendo wished to avoid.
Exactly. I wish the booth-whiners would offer something constructive. OK, a viewing area - that would have been nice, to at least watch people playing without lining up. Make the wall transparent.

Otherwise, what are ya gonna do with that much deman? Nintendo developers and retail reps didn't have to line up, which is as it should be, they could all get in quickly to see the thing. Without line management it would have been utter madness, it would have been a crazed-pack and I'm guessing even less people would have actually played the thing.

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