Staff Discussion: What do you think about the Revolution?

Welcome to DarkZero Staff Discussion #14 the weekly (well kind of weekly) place for to come and watch (or read) as our staff members of our fair site discuss the hard hitting matters (well kind hard hitting) that are the talk of the gaming industry. This week we focus our attention on Nintendo’s Revolution as we oh so cleverly ask our staff:

What do you think about the Revolution? Is it a revolution, will it catch on, what is Nintendo smoking, is it really something new, will it be copied, what is Nintendo smoking, it will change games but will it change them in a good way, will it appeal to non gamers, will it appeal to long term fans. WHAT IS NINTENDO SMOKING????

Quite simply, I think it is too soon to say anything. If the technology ends up flawed, because it won’t detect movement precise enough for example, then the revolution will fail as well. This is just one example; there are so many other things that can still go wrong. One thing is certain though; it has a LOT of potential. I for one fully trust Nintendo, especially after the DS, and I expect the revolution to be really good once it comes out. I’m excited to say the least; I’ve never seen a controller that fit to adjust to the specific situation. In a video I saw it being used as a lightgun, a baseball bat; a normal controller and I can only imagine so many other possibilities. For now I like to believe that Nintendo has hit the nail on the head. But I am more than aware that it is too early to say anything about the final product.

I’m not sure if it will catch on or not. Mainly because it’s a Nintendo console! Also, I just think there are too many idiots buying video games that will not see the potential, or even comprehend how the controller will work. I really like the controller so far, and it will be a success in my eyes at least, the possibilities are endless.

I have to say, it does have potential, but I really can’t say I like it. I think it’s just too revolutionary to be honest. This whole controller lark has made me wonder what was going on, but I have to say I was disappointed. I think this could be a mistake. As Tino so rightly put it: What is Nintendo smoking?

Sad to say but it’s pretty obvious that the Revolution (or whatever it ends up being called) is going to be shunned by the majority of gamers, just because it’s something different. I think it’s pretty brave of Nintendo to try something like this, and whilst it does look like it’s got a lot of potential, it’s going to be overlooked by all but the hardcore fans really. Seems to me like Nintendo have resigned themselves to a niche market, which is all well and good if they can still make a profit from it, but if they can’t then I can see this being the last home console from Nintendo.

It’s hard to say whether or not the Revolution will catch onto people’s interests. While it is innovative, I wouldn’t want to be swinging my arms around in a game of Smash Bros. Even in simple platformers like Mario I’d probably prefer the classic ‘A’ button jump instead of flicking my wrist. Aside from the tilt sensitivity, the remote itself looks horribly un-ergonomic and heavy. Having not used it, I can’t say that for sure. I really liked the concept of the separate controls though where different attachments can be made for other innovative games like Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat. That said, it really all depends on the third parties this time around. We’ve already seen several show support (Square Enix, Sega, Kojima Productions) and assuming they can bring a new light to Nintendo, Nintendo may not walk away weeping. If there’s literally no third party support, we’ll probably see sales sink far lower than the Cube’s. Revolution’s success primarily depends on the third parties. Where the Revolution bleeds potential, will people rise to the challenge?

Nintendo have always had the ability to think out of the box and create new concepts and original games. However, because it’s different it has the possibility to be shunned by gamers. And added to the fact that the market has already been inundated with Sony and, to a lesser extent, Microsoft – many people won’t even consider buying the Revolution.

Nintendo need to find the point between originality and mainstream, and I don’t think they are doing this effectively. It will always appeal to the hardcore fans – but I don’t think it will with other gamers. After all, Nintendo is looking to have the least powerful console out of the three, so people may prefer to buy a different console on the basis that the 3rd party games will run faster and with better graphics. Another qualm with Ninty is that their marketing is awful. They have the least shelf space in video game shops and they have the fewest amounts of TV adverts. They need to do some good publicising and push their product and beat whatever Sony and MS can do in the marketing.

The revolution has great potential, but can you really see the third parties like EA changing their games just for the revolution, I don’t think so. Again it will come down to what Nintendo can do with technology, tis a big gamble that I don’t think will come off, sadly.

So, Nintendo has finally decided to do something rather innovative, and it’s about time. The GameCube was doing more than simply going through the motions, playing second fiddle to the Xbox and PS3. Nintendo now clearly realise that they must move in another direction as the market isn’t big enough for 3 similar approaches. By doing this they will hope to leave Sony and Microsoft fighting over the tried and tested console formula, whilst they take advantage of people who want a refreshing change in their gaming lives.

But the question is whether people other than Nintendo fans will take to this new approach. I remain highly unconvinced at Nintendo’s ability to appeal to the mainstream and even though Nintendo DS sponsors late night shows on Channel 4, it looks totally out of place because of the general styling of the system. With the Revolution Nintendo has gone I-pod white in a blatant copy of 360. Now all three next gen consoles will be either white or silver and it surprises me Nintendo haven’t stuck with black, as this is a much more serious colour in the world of gaming. In the past only the Dreamcast has gone bright white and we know how that went.

Although the whole 3D space remote control idea is an interesting one, it could well undermine the more traditional attempts to play standard games (e.g. football, adventure games) on the console. A joy-pad addition will be released but this will undoubtedly force people to choose a more regular console for their gaming needs, and then maybe consider the Revolution as a secondary source of fun. This is pure speculation, but I have a feeling that the Revolution’s control method is too ahead of its time as the software to take advantage of these facilities is not yet in place. The resulting factor will be that most of Revolution’s early to mid releases will be 1st and 2nd party, meaning popular 3rd titles are highly unlikely to be supported. Nintendo probably see this as a big problem but perhaps think they are capable of coming up with a handful of new world class games themselves.

Another thing is that Microsoft have really pushed the software, whereas the hardware hasn’t been the main focus. On the other hand Nintendo has just pushed the hardware and it leaves me thinking they haven’t got too far when it comes to the software aspect. Everyone wants PDZ but when it comes to Nintendo they will have to guess and people will just expect another Mario and Zelda. Nintendo need to market their software early to change common perceptions that they just do the same old games.

As an initial thought the Revolution is innovative, but to me there are huge problems that stand in the way of it even matching the GameCube’s success. History has shown that Nintendo fans alone cannot make the console a success. I predict that the next 2 years will be dominated my Microsoft’s 360, so if Nintendo release the Revolution anytime soon it may be largely ignored just as the Dreamcast was. Only time will tell.

I said this once before. Microsoft are very uncreative in their names for consoles. So too is Nintendo and most of all is Sony. Sony didn’t even come up with the name PlayStation, Nintendo did. Anyway, Nintendo pops up with the GameCube, because it’s a cube and it plays games, LONG before the Xbox was announce as the name of that console. Then Microsoft comes up with Xbox as the name, because it’s a box based on DirectX architecture. Nintendo comes up with Revolution, and so Microsoft come up with 360, a complete ‘revolution’. Meanwhile, Sony is far off in the distance in ‘unoriginallity-ville’ with the PS3. Nothing is sacred, the inevitable thing is, everything is going to be copied, including people.

Anyhow, back on topic. I think it is far too early to say anything about the Revolution, either good or bad, as we are yet to see software utilizing its features. In the context of things, I whole heartedly agree with Space. It will not go down well with particular franchises. What’s more is that in order to have a ‘conventional controller’ the user has to fork out extra funds. Meanwhile, the competition has these conventional controllers out of the box. Third parties will not be quick to adapt, because, despite the praise from Activision, THQ, EA, Sega… etc, they will not have dedicated Xbox360 and PS3 teams and one Revolution team. That is far too expensive on development houses.

Not only this, but how are the little teams going to cope? Nintendo claims it will be the biggest idea, and not budget, that will win sales, saving many smaller third parties. But if they develop for Revolution, they can’t develop for 360 and PS3, as the formats are completely different, and far too expensive to have two dedicated teams. But then, I can’t help but feel enlightened that it is something new, creative and is able to detect depth in movement. Honestly, I can’t wait to swing a sword. I really cannot.

I think changing the colour of the preliminary console is a very minor point, I’m sure it will launch with range of colours and Nintendo is simply using the one they think looks best at the current time to market the machine as best they can. Personally I think the white machine looks fantastic and I can certainly understand why they’ve chosen to use it at this stage of development. Anyway, onto the real point of my post. I absolutely think that the Revolution is going to signal a big change in the way we play games. I wasn’t all that sure about it when they first showed it but thinking about it the control method makes pretty much any game/control setup possible. Stick the remote in a Golf Club and you’ve got a golf sim, Baseball bat and you’ve got a baseball game. There’s just so many possibilities with this thing that I’ll make sure one is in my collection just so I can do something different during my gaming sessions.

PS2 and 360 will both be doing exactly the same thing, in today’s gaming market where many, many people own more than one console Nintendo have just made themselves an essential second console to the PS3 and Xbox boys, if they can nail this market as well as drag in some formerly none game playing people then they’re going to do damn well this time around. As a final thought, put one remote in a sword, another in a shied. An analog stick on the shields grip and a few buttons on the sword and you’ve got one hell of a Zelda game. I cannot wait for gamings Revolution.

White is the colour of the moment, that’s why Microsoft chose it so did Nintendo in a ‘subtle’ jab at Microsoft kind of way. iPod is the term used to describe this as it is indeed the tech gadget that brought the white into fashion again in a massive way. Anyway back on topic, I cannot see Revolution making a huge dent in the industry in Europe this time around… Its performance will be territory based more than ever before. Xbox has taken Nintendo’s place as second console in the market hate it or love it, in Europe gamers and general consumers will undoubtedly go for the 360 over the Revolution purely because they know roughly know what capabilities the 360 has graphically and that it is simple and does all they want it to do with the knowledge that it can do more. General consumers are trend gamers playing games for short bursts instead of dedicating hours to finding a games nuances. Nintendo is very niche in both its marketing of its consoles and its attraction to customers, this is shown in its games and licenses such as Mario, Link, Kirby and Pokemon. Most customers will take one look at that line up and judge it as a kiddies console immediately thus choosing a console which is more adult and cool (xbox = adult, PS2 = cool). This is a tag that Nintendo will take a fair while to shake off and I cannot see it doing so anytime soon, Things have started off very promising with the styling of the console but the design has taken a step back to ‘toy-like’ and gimmicky which I can see most people being alienated by. What will be the factor in the Revo’s success is how it manages to show the general public that the console is more than a gimmick and a proper console for all kinds of games and not just a ‘cute’ second console kind of like the GameCube really although this time it looks less toy-like which can only be good for Nintendo’s credibility.

I still am unconvinced by the controller… Cannot see how I will be able to play a football game well on this console and until im shown otherwise it will just have to settle for being second fiddle at least and sales wise third place again. Then again its all about the software right? So far there is nothing that has been shown but has only been announced… Then again I don’t want to play the same old game again, kind of like Mario Sunshine this gen and Mario 64 last gen.