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Nintendo Businesses Entertainment Games

Some Revolution Downloads Will Be Free 130

Posted by Zonk
from the hook,-line,-and-sinker dept.
GamesRadar has the details from an interview with Nintendo of America VP George Harrison, in which he passes on the very good news that certain past-gen Nintendo titles will be free for download onto the Revolution. The article seems to imply that primarily the games available for free download will be Nintendo created titles. From the article: "This is a clever move by Nintendo: regardless of the final power of Revolution and the frequency of new titles, Nintendo knows that its loyal fans will cry tears of joy over a free service that lets them download previous Nintendo classics straight out of the box."
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Some Revolution Downloads Will Be Free

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  • oh yippie (Score:1, Troll)

    by cassidyc (167044)
    I can download another version of zelda.

    Fan-fecking-tastic

    CJC
    • not another.
      but the original.

      it's a nice addition that doesn't cost nintendo anything...

      and well, at least nintendo hasn't gotten into the pissing contest with sony and ms - both of which taut how freggin awesome their machines will be, showing tech demos.... while not even having real silicon yet(which begs the question, did they use a pc to show how much better their graphics are than pc's? probably.).
      • Re:oh yippie (Score:5, Informative)

        by koi88 (640490) on Friday June 03, 2005 @09:24AM (#12713237)

        did they use a pc to show how much better their graphics are than pc's? probably.

        In case of the XBox 360, they used Macs [anandtech.com]. Which should be kind of embarassing for Microsoft...
        • Which should be kind of embarassing for Microsoft...

          Ummm, why? Microsoft is (primarily) a software company. It's not like they could have used Microsoft(TM) PC's - they don't have any products in that market. So they used Apple hardware.

          Now, if they were running OSX on that hardware instead of their own custom OS, THAT would be embarassing.

    • Well...

      But...

      Eh, when you're right you're right. I picked up the rest of the Zelda series up when they released the promotional disk for Wind Waker. There will be a good number of other games released with it too, I'm guessing, besides Zelda, and those might be cool to play. But I have all the old-school Zelda now, I'm thinking, I'm thinking, I'll ever need.
      • actually, the Wind Waker pre-order was just Ocarina of time and Master Quest.

        The Zelda Collection was for buying 2 nintendo games out around that time. Me, i bought Mario Kart and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA)

  • Best idea ever (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alcimedes (398213) on Friday June 03, 2005 @08:18AM (#12712827)
    Considering that anyone can go to a ROM site and download the entire NES and SNES library anyway, I think this is a great move on Ninetendo's part.

    I'm sorry to say but I'm really burned out on most of today's games, regardless of which platform they're on. I don't have 20 hours to dedicate to a title. A lot of times I'm coming in from work, I want to blow off some steam and a round or two of Punch-Out would be right in line with what I'm looking for.

    I know there's a big market for the Epic game title, but it's good to see that someone hasn't forgotten that millions of people loved those old school pixelated 2D games.

    I'd buy the console for the old games alone.
    • Agreed, it seems that all too often the old games are too easily forgotten. Ive always said that corporate sponsored emulation would be well accepted.
      • Agreed, it seems that all too often the old games are too easily forgotten. Ive always said that corporate sponsored emulation would be well accepted.

        The one feature I really hope they will include in their "emulator" for NES and SNES is the ability to save the state. Not "save game", but really "save state", as in "dump the current status of the memory so I can restore this exact same position". Considering the very very small amount of memory required for those old games, compared to the size of the har

        • Is there any emulator that doesn't support savestates?

          I could imagine that Nintendo wouldn't allow infinite savestates since people would abuse them like there's no tomorrow and finish the games in one or two days, then start complaining. Perhaps make the system delete savestates when you load them and quit the game when you write a savestate, makingit impossible to use them for anything except keeping your progress between gaming sessions.
          • I could imagine that Nintendo wouldn't allow infinite savestates since people would abuse them like there's no tomorrow and finish the games in one or two days, then start complaining.

            Heaven forbid people should show some self-control by simply not abusing the feature in the first place.
          • Is there any emulator that doesn't support savestates?

            Midway arcade collections, Atari 25th Aniversery, Sega Classics, and any other commercial emulator I ever used did not allow state saves.
          • I could imagine that Nintendo wouldn't allow infinite savestates since people would abuse them like there's no tomorrow and finish the games in one or two days, then start complaining.

            What would people complain about if they abuse the save state feature? Nintendo is giving the games away, they shouldn't care about how people use the savestate.

            • Apparently you are young and not yet jaded.

              Alot of people don't care if they got it for free. They are going to bitch, moan, whine and complain as soon as whatever it is that they got suddenly breaks or no longer 'does it' for them unexpectedly. The only thing money does is amplify the amount of complaints there are.

              And, the sad part? It doesn't even matter if its their fault. They will STILL demand SOMETHING even if THEY broke it. :)

              • Alot of people don't care if they got it for free. They are going to bitch, moan, whine and complain as soon as whatever it is that they got suddenly breaks or no longer 'does it' for them unexpectedly. The only thing money does is amplify the amount of complaints there are. And, the sad part? It doesn't even matter if its their fault. They will STILL demand SOMETHING even if THEY broke it. :)

                Dang... you're actually right on this one... Somehow, I'm a professional programmer and yet I forget how dumb the

        • One thing I'm really hoping they do is take the time to write some net code into the emulation layer so that the previously same-screen only multiplayer games can be played over the internet.

          While half the fun of playing those games multiplayer was to be in the same place, it'd still be nice to have the option to play over the internet.
    • Especially some of the good old fscking hard games, like ninja gaiden and ghosts and ghouls. God, I could play those for longer than some titles that are being released today.
    • A friend of mine bought an xbox just so i could mod it for him and he could play nes/snes/genesis emulators on it after seeing my collection. not all roms work 100% obivously, but the ones that he wanted it for work perfect (this is the same kid who bought a dreamcast after seeing the emu disks i had burned. Obiviously a fan of the classic gaming)
    • I wonder if by "past-gen" they mean their ENTIRE past-gen lineup, including any and all past-gen systems (NES, SNES, N64) available for free.

      I also wonder if by "classics" they mean stuff that was just for the NES. Don't get me wrong, I loved those games, but the idea of playing Super Metroid or Ocarina of Time on the Revolution is simply mouth-watering.

      • I'm not sure if you realize this, but the emulator aspect is actually going all the way up to the GameCube level. There's a possibility you can even download say Pikman or something like that.

        The question is how hard is Nintendo going to swing. Are they going to play it conservative, and make a bit of money off the old games, or are they going to swing for the fences, put together a package that just screams buy me, and actually go for the jugglar.

        Because frankly, any package that comes with SMB3, Super M
        • I was just going to post something like that. If they put some of the classics on the flash memory so you could immediately enjoy them, I'm sure it would be a big selling point...especially if someone buys it who *gasp* doesn't have the internet or ability to download the games!
        • I'm pretty sure Gamecube games will require the disk, although I guess they might be available for download if you don't mind losing the disk space. They almost certainly won't be free, and I'd guess N64 games won't be either, at least not to begin with.
          • You're correct, the Revolution will support GameCube discs and all previous Nintendo systems via ROMs. Including the N64. So, obviously, to play Pikmin you will need to own it. As far as I know, they've made no other distinction about the system so all first-party N64 games (Mario 64, for example) will be free.
        • I really had no intention of buying this new console (as I really prefer PC games...) but if they allowed me to download all Nintendo 64 games and play them...I would buy it in a second.
        • Seriously, if Super Metroid is available for this thing for anywhere up to $25 for the game ($35 if I can put it on a flashable card I can play on my DS/GBA), I will be getting a Revolution ASAFP.
          How long it takes me to buy one after initial release is dependant on price of the console, of course, but of all the info I've seen of the next-gen consoles, the Revolution is the only one that has caught my interest, and that's because of the "downloadable nostalgia" feature alone.

          ....
          Vertex shaders and polyg

        • GameCube games will not be downloadable, however the console will play them directly -- simply slip the tiny disc into the slot-loader and away you go. It's likely PlayStation / GameBoy style backwards compatability, not straight emulation.

          The announcements about downloading and playing older games mentioned only NES, SNES, and N64 games as candidates for download.

          Not only has GameCube game-downloading not been announced, I'd say it's an infeasible thing to expect at this time. N64 cartridges, at their la
  • been there done that (Score:3, Informative)

    by cassidyc (167044) on Friday June 03, 2005 @08:21AM (#12712841)
    Xbox Live Arcade
    • by CoffeeJedi (90936) on Friday June 03, 2005 @09:35AM (#12713310)
      except that the games are about 10 bucks a pop!
      Namco Classics (Galaga, Dig Dug, and Pole Position) is 15 bucks, and you can't buy the games seperately

      i downloaded a few demos, but the price was too high for the games, $2 would have been my limit for most of those
      • What makes you think Nintendo WON'T charge for their games? Nintendo has repackaged and resold Super Mario Brothers so many times. Just recently they had their latest line of classics for the GBA and each title cost $20. A bit high for Excitebike if you ask me.
    • by bynary (827120)
      Right, because Xbox Live Arcade lets you download Super Mario Brothers, GoldenEye, Punch Out and Super Metroid.

      Keep dreaming.
  • This alone will make their console better. Some of the old-school nintedo games are the best ones anyway. Imagine getting Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and Pokemon series for free?

    This also combats the fact that I run all of these emulators on my current xbox. They are effectively taking back their own games.
    • Imagine getting Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and Pokemon series for free?

      Thanks for the orgasm :)
    • *Looks up from his P2P app* huh?
  • by popabawa (839091)
    Nintendo are often crititised and being "for kids", this move looks like it's aimed at an older set of gamers who don't have the time/inclination to figure out the emulation scene but want to relive those games they grew up on.

    Smart move in my book.
    • Or perhaps it's aimed at those who would buy their games if they had a chance to. Most emu gamers claim they use emulation because you can't buy those games anymore. Sure, most of that is probably BS but look at the success of iTunes, except this service won't be hampered by the huge (compared to the unit price) licensing fees the RIAA demands.
    • I think that there is another aspect to this.
      Most of my game-playing time is spend playing roms. I rarely have the time to get into most of the newer games, and there aren't that many new games that really interest me, in general I prefer something I can just sit down and play for a little bit (Katamari Damacy is great for this). I still own all my old consoles and games, but the largest problem with this is that between my nes, snes, genesis, saturn, n64, dreamcast, ps1, ps2, gamecube, and DVD player th
  • Considering they'd do this... What are the chances that if this is successful as a marketing strategy that they'd also make the N64 games available for a few bucks? (If not free sometime during the system's lifespan.) I think this is one of the best moves Nintendo could make against Sony and Microsoft. Simply because they have A LOT of classic games through the generations. And the first two being made free? ^_^ Say hello to major console sales. (Which means better sales of their exclusive games.) Not to m
    • They announced at E3 that it would play these games:
      1) NES (download)
      2) SNES (download)
      3) N64 (download)
      4) GameCube (disc)
      5) Revolution (disc)
    • Not convinced that this is the deal winner at all. All you would really manage to hit is the older Nintendo fans that don`t have their N64 sitting about somewhere.

      Personally I've never been a huge fan of Nintendo, so the ability to play their older games wont affect my decision as to which next gen console I'm going to be buying

      CJC
      • Not convinced that this is the deal winner at all. All you would really manage to hit is the older Nintendo fans that don`t have their N64 sitting about somewhere.

        Well, actually, it scores major points with me. I have an N64, but it's a pain in the ass to get it to work. Mine has problems, my second one has problems, all my friends' N64's have the same problems -- the damn thing never starts up, and when it does, it tends to just turn off within a few minutes. Sure, the GameCube and Gameboys are all impr
      • Re:N64 Support? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PhoenixFlare (319467)
        Not convinced that this is the deal winner at all. All you would really manage to hit is the older Nintendo fans that don`t have their N64 sitting about somewhere.

        Speak for yourself. I'm only 24 - hardly old (I hope?), and i'm giddy at the thought of being able to play NES, SNES, and N64 games while sitting on a comfortable couch instead of my desk chair.

        Particularly stuff like Mario Kart, Starfox, Super Metroid, Pilotwings, etc. that I hope they figure they've gotten enough profit out of in GBA re-relea
      • Actually it WILL affect your decision like it or not.

        This is a system seller. Plain and simple. Everybody I talk to about this WANTS one right now. If it was out now? It would be flying off the shelves, just for the classic game aspect.

        And what does having a large installed base get you? Quite simple. The beancounters at various publishers see how they can make money by making games for your system. So then your system gets the new games as well. Success breeds success in this business.
      • Re:N64 Support? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SScorpio (595836) on Friday June 03, 2005 @10:38AM (#12713799)
        Nintendo hasn't shown anything hardwarewise other than a prototype empty case for the Revolution; however, historically knowing Nintendo way of not releasing any information about new systems earily I wouldn't be surprised if they could release the system in time for the holiday season. If they actually do this they will slaughter Microsoft.

        First off the Revolution will very likely be cheaper than the Xbox 360. Also picture the parent holiday shopping for their child. The clerk at the video game store says, well you can buy this Xbox 360 for $300 (Pulled the price from my ass) and then you can buy the games for it for $50-$60, or you can buy this Nintendo Revolution for $250 (again out of my ass but maybe it will also only be $200) and while the games cost $50 you can also connect it to the internet and download classic games (with some of them possibly being free). Think as a parent for a moment. Little Johnny could have a new game console with a new game or two and have the ability to play older games that he just downloads, or you could pay more without having the classic games download option? And while you might not be a fan of Nintendo you have to admit after playing some of their games that they are innovative and their games are just simply fun which is all that really matters in the end.

        • Think as a parent for a moment.

          I am, and at the same time feeling sorry for little Johnny because his parents most likely had an NES/SNES and he won't get any time to play it.

          I'll be honest and say that if older games are downloadable for free (or even cheap) it's going to be the first next-gen system in my media cabinet.
        • I like your ideology, but I don't think it's realistic.

          Most parents will just buy what their kids tell them to buy. When I worked at Target I tried everything I could to convert all potential Xbox or PS2 buyers to buy a gamecube. Especially those with little kids (hey I'm an anti-microsoft nintendo fanboy - what do you expect?). I succeeded maybe two or three times. I failed dozens of times, despite the $50 price difference.

          I would also warn parents that they probably shouldn't be buying Grand Theft A
  • by sehryan (412731) on Friday June 03, 2005 @08:37AM (#12712919)
    This is the feature that will make the Revolution sell to current non-Gamers. For instance, my wife, someone who is decidedly not a gamer, said we are definitely getting a Revolution as soon as I told her about being able to play all the old school Nintendo games.
    • Tell me about it. I got Super Mario Sunshine with my Gamecube and let my wife play it who grew up playing the original Super Mario Bros. As soon as I told her "the little yellow stick controls the camera" she never touched it again.

      I don't blame her though. I miss the NES. You only needed to know A, B, Start and Select.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, and Right.

        Then B, A, and Start.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      > For instance, my wife, someone who is decidedly not a gamer, said we are definitely getting a Revolution as soon as I told her about being able to play all the old school Nintendo games.

      If your wife is not a gamer, I wonder what mine is. She would say something along the line of:

      "Err, exactly, who is Nintendo ?"
    • I guess I don't understand the logic of this statement. I think this would appeal to gamers and former gamers that have played all the old Nintendo games and want to have them all on one console. I don't see how it will bring non-gamers in though. It seems like the other "multi-media" consoles would do that more since non-gamers would be more interested in things other than gaming.
      • " I don't see how it will bring non-gamers in though. It seems like the other "multi-media" consoles would do that more since non-gamers would be more interested in things other than gaming."

        Because a lot of people quit playing videogames because they've become more complicated.

        Mario? All you needed was one button. Sonic? Same thing. Pacman? Simple as hell. Eat all the little dots, and millions played.

        But when you get all the camera angles, managing inventory, 10 different buttons that do 10 different th
    • Exactly. If I tell my wife that I can buy a Revolution and she can play her precious SMB and Mario Kart, she'll be the one insisting on buying it. I'm buying one.
  • by Swanktastic (109747) on Friday June 03, 2005 @08:39AM (#12712924)

    Here at Gamespot [gamespot.com]

    Don't you love it when an interview conducted by a first-tier site is rewritten by a second-tier website a week later, then posted to Slashdot? I know I do.

  • No-one has yet picked up on what this means for the Nintendo Revolution in our current market place. While many will pay £300-400 for a PS3 or X-Box 360 many will not. Not only because of initial outlay, but because of cost of games.

    This move by Nintendo, on a console that is likely going to cost less, is brilliant marketing...Not only do they fill the die-hard Nintendo fans, but they entice all the families that don't spend £300-400 on a console plus 40 pound a game to but a £200 consol

    • I very much agree. Nintendo is finally going to be attracting their intended market in full force. Nintendo was never really meant for those who are out there bashing it.

      At the very least they'll also be attempting to penetrate the other market. Because... Who that was around for the NES era doesn't have plesant nintendo memories they can now relive.

      I just wonder if they'd end up allowing older GB and GBC titles. While they wouldn't look great on a TV... They could allow re-writeable carts for the DS wh
      • They could just allow the games to be sent to the DS wirelessly since both the Revolution and DS support WiFi. Sure the games will be lost if you power down (you have sleep mode though), but I doubt they will release a re-writable cart as that may allow the ability to pirate DS games.
      • Didn't they leave the processor necessary to play GB and GBC games out of the DS, so it can only do GBA and DS games? Otherwise, I agree.
    • "will keep the kids happy with old games while keeping daddy happy because all he has to do is buy one or two sport games"

      Uh. It's probably more likely that daddy will be playing the old nostalgic games while the kids play the latest Super Smash Brothers.
      I know the whole reason I got an Xbox was for emulation. Finally having a bunch of emulators which work consistently with a decent controller.
  • ...and Nintendo makes a killing on Flash Memory expansions.

    While how many Nintendo titles will be free and how much it will cost for others remains dubious, any number of quality games for free would be a true boon.

    Regardless, I highly doubt Nintendo will charge $9.99 for all but the most insanely good NES and SNES games (such as Legend of Zelda), and only pass that for some N64 titles. In fact, I find it far more likely that most titles for all three emulators will be either free or excessively cheap, un
    • ...and Nintendo makes a killing on Flash Memory expansions.

      Game images for older systems are really not all that big - you could easily fit almost all the NES games ever made into 200 MB or so, and most SNES games aren't very huge either. N64 images would be a bit space-hungry, though.

      Could be that they'll use some sort of compression, too - most of the decent NES and SNES emulators can run games straight from a *.zip file, for instance.
    • Let's see, the Revolution is a next-gen console, and the Xbox is a current gen console. Why are you comparing the two? It's like comparing the year 2005 with 2006. No doubt the Revolution will be a great console and that these downloads (whether free or otherwise) will get some additional people to buy it, but you shouldn't compare the Xbox with the Revolution. On a side note, I remember reading a Wired article where the 'casual gamer' (people who play games and have a life) think that $10 is a good pric
  • Well according to the article, everything nintendo does will be free...

    Now if that architecture is open for 2nd/3rd party devs (and comes standard in the dev kits) there should be no reason for backcatalogs and connection fees (unless you're doing an MMO at which point you have persistent server fees, GMs, and all that).

    If Nintendo is truly doing this, then what we have here is a console battle.net system. And if Nintendo is doing this for free (at least for their games) that's got the potential to throw
  • BS (Score:4, Informative)

    by Khuffie (818093) on Friday June 03, 2005 @09:36AM (#12713322) Homepage
    Why not link to the actual Gamespot [gamespot.com] article, that never says things in such a clearcut way as gamesradar does?

    Here's the quote:

    GS: Do you plan on having like a per-download pricing model along the lines of the microtransactions that will be used in the next-gen Xbox marketplace GH: Well, we can use it in a variety of ways. We've used some of the older games already as little bonuses, either as bonus gifts or hidden in levels of games. Certainly for the first-party titles we'll be making some of those available. We haven't really talked about whether we would sell them. The third parties can make their own decision whether they want to sell them, or maybe they will add it on as sort of a free benefit when you buy a current version of the game.
  • Nintendo fanboy: "This is just more proof that Nintendo understands gamers better than anyone else. I mean, who would have ever thought that you could play older games on a current console? Nintendo doesn't need cutting-edge technology when they have cutting-edge ideas like these! Let all those other posers have their Grand Theft Halo 7 or whatever -- I'm perfectly content playing only Mario, Metroid, and Zelda games!"

    XBox fanboy: "Nintendo R teh sUxX0rZ, d00d. XBox graphics R sick, w/ redder blood +

    • Hey now, I have one of those obscenely expensive HDTV's in my living room - and I bought it to:

      a) watch movies
      b) play games

      and I plan on using it for the Revolution!

      (although didn't I read they arent supporting high def...wtf!?!)
    • Don't you mean:

      Sony fanboy: "I'm glad that you enjoy your cutesy games about fat, mushroom-eating plumbers. In the meantime I'll be enjoying emulated NES and SNES games on my PSP."?

    • You got us Nintendo fanboys right, but let me try touch the others up a bit.

      XBox Fanboy: Nintendo is for kids. They proved that with Windwaker and Twilight Princess is a desperate and failed attempt to keep up with today's market. We've been playing online for three years, and it'll be another 2 years before Nintendo makes their first game online. (Obligatory leet).

      Playstation Fanboy: This is futher proof that Nintendo is living in the past. "Dur, lets pay money for old games that we already bought whe
  • At some point it makes more sense to give stuff away to get goodwill from customers who are buying your newest toys anyway.

    Or sometimes --like with GTA & GTA2, you can even get the oldies without owning the lastest.
  • It would appear that all those roms people are trading on the Internet as "abandonware" aren't so obsolete after all.
    • Nintendo has been quietly furious about ROM trading all along [nintendo.com]; now they are taking constructive action by offering them via Revolution (as opposed to just destructive legal action). I think they are finally noticing the sites that call their 'ware "unused classics" (hint: search for that phrase + ROMs) and giving them what they want (all for the price of an original DRM tool, the console).

      "Don't call it a comeback; I've been here for years..." --James Todd Smith
  • N64 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by techstar25 (556988) <techstar25 AT cfl DOT rr DOT com> on Friday June 03, 2005 @10:16AM (#12713609) Homepage Journal
    Although not comfirmed, it's certainly possible to get N64 games for free also. Mario 64 as well as the Zelda games from that generation would make the Revolution worth owning just for those alone. When you throw in the SNES and NES games and it's a no brainer. It's great that Nintendo is moving forward with the most novel, and brilliant use of an online service we've seen yet, considering they wouldn't touch online with the last generation.
    • I've still got a N64 and all the stuff that goes with it. What I'm looking for is a system that will play the N64 games at 60 fps instead of emulating a real N64 and play them at 15-20 FPS as many N64 games orginally played.

      An addon for the system that would let you insert an N64 cartridge to play the game would also be great.
  • Third party support (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Has it occured to anyone else that this might be a move by Nintendo to bolster their third party support? I mean, if Nintendo can demonstrate that enough people are willing to pay a small ammount for an 'clasic' game ($1 Nes, $2 Snes, $5 N64) than many third parties (Sega, Namco, Konami, Square) may end up releasing both new and clasic games and using the revinue generated from the clasic games to offset development costs. If it is successful (and new 'clasic' games can be made) then companies could even en
  • by Reapman (740286)
    Free? I'll wait and see I can't imagine Nintendo would turn down this goldmine opportunity. As long as it's cheaper then what the Nintendo classics for the GBA are (I think in Canada it's around $30 ea) this seems like a no brainer to me, even if most games do cost a bit. I'll get one (or maybe both) of the PS3 and X360 sometime, but the Revolution? That's a definite yes.
  • It's nice to see a company come up with a novel idea once in a while. Nintendo seems to be making a smart move, one that's taking them out of comptetion with MS and Sony and putting them into another category.
  • Charge money for all the games, but give $50 worth of downloads out of the box?

    Then people can choose their favourite games and "buy" those instead of getting dredetermined free games, and feel like they're saving $50 off the Revolution.
  • by J0re (603383)
    from an interview with Nintendo of America VP George Harrison

    Where's the rest of the staff? John, Paul, and Gringo?
  • Over the past decade, Nintendo has lost their grasp on the two major gaming markets: the casual gamer (who would rather play games like most of those in the EA library, and online too) and the hardcore gamer (Sony and Microsoft both have much greater third-party support than Nintendo, therefore the Gamecube tends to get bought last if at all, and not many games get bought for it either). Therefore, Nintendo has to consolidate itself around the audience it has left. No, not kids; most of them fit in one of

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