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Nintendo Businesses Entertainment Games

Nintendo's New Look 187

Posted by Zonk
from the blue-ocean-red-ocean-all-kinds-of-water dept.
Forbes has an article talking with Nintendo of America's VP of Marketing Perrin Kaplan. She talks a little bit about Nintendo's upcoming plans, and the concept of the Blue Ocean. From the article: "For us, it's all about the experience, not if the technology allows you to play your game on the high-definition formats, which are now in such a small percentage of homes. Many independent sources tell us that experiencing current high-def games on a regular TV makes it near impossible to see everything clearly. That means the majority of homes are experiencing something lesser than what they bargained for. "
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Nintendo's New Look

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  • by TaxiZaphod (892500) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @06:45PM (#14664244)
    From TFA: Microsoft made the first move with the Xbox 360 three months ago, but with fewer than 700,000 units sold so far, gamers appear to be reserving judgment and waiting for Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Revolution, both expected by the end of 2006. Raise your hand if you've seen unsold 360's lying around unsold at your local retailer. This kind of misinformation leads me to question the impartiality of the whole article.
    • Are MS not meeting demand , or is there no demand .
      Perhaps the sales figures are skewed , but from the data that no shops have them , you can not conclude they have more than 700,00 units sold , only that all units shipped have been sold / are being hidden to create demand (or something else similar ) .
    • I don't understand what your complaint is?
      TFA states that the xbox 360 sales are weak, and you state that you have seen xbox 360s lying around unsold. Consoles lying around unsold would seem to be an effect of poor sales.
      • Xbox 360 sales are not weak. They have sold very nearly 100% of the systems that have left the factory. They have only sold 700,000 systems because they have only produced 700,000 systems, not because "gamers are reserving judgement"
        • They only produced 700,000 units to create artificial demand and press. And yes, I've seen Xbox 360s lying around. I could go buy 10 right now if I wanted, easily.
          Regards,
          Steve
          • At this point I find the "artifical demand" theory to be highly unlikely. I think MS could have held back stock on the initial shipment to create such a demand. But the question is: When are they planning to cash in on this artificial demand?

            It would be rediculous for MS to not take advantage of their hype durring christmas. Now that Xmas is past, we are into the window in which a potential customer might wait for PS3 or Rev. The fact that they are still apparently short stocked when the peak oppertu

            • today i was walking around looking for something else, and happened upon a few in a music store. thought about picking one up.

              if youre looking in places outside of your major electronics or games stores you might find a few. they are in short demand though, ill admit that much.
          • Yeah, that makes awesome business sense.

            Only in Slashdot land would someone think that selling FEWER of a product might be good for a company.
          • Where? Seriously? Do you mean buy 10 from eBay, paying $100 over retail?

            I'm sorry, but claims like that require evidence, and I don't see that you got any. IF there were 10 Xbox 360s sitting around for sale somewhere, someone would already have bought them and put them on eBay for a healthy profit. Unless you're just sitting on them at some podunk gaming store to be a jerk or something.
            • Seriously, and I've said this before, the XBox 360 is not unfindable. It's difficult, and apparently largely dependant upon where you are, but they are out there. I still see five or six boxes at my local Toy's R Us, and I saw some at wal-mart too. This may not be true in your area, but they are there.
            • I have been to my Target twice this month. Both times they had several 360's on the shelf.
          • Well maybe you should set up an ebay store...there are about 250,000 folks in Australia who'd buy one rather than wait till March 23.
    • by Cutriss (262920) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @06:51PM (#14664320) Homepage
      Sensationalism aside, at least they're actually mentioning Nintendo. Usually these days, an article in Forbes about video games wouldn't even mention Nintendo, lest it take up valuable print space to be devoted to Microsoft and Sony.

      I wouldn't complain too much.
    • by Gr33nNight (679837) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @06:56PM (#14664369)
      Here are a whole ton of unsold Xbox 360s. Boy those are sure flying off the shelf!

      http://img304.imageshack.us/img304/1277/360nosello utscreen0016aa6os.jpg [imageshack.us]
    • by bigman2003 (671309) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @06:58PM (#14664390) Homepage
      Many independent sources tell us that experiencing current high-def games on a regular TV makes it near impossible to see everything clearly. That means the majority of homes are experiencing something lesser than what they bargained for.

      Do these independent (crack addict) sources not understand that you CAN switch your resolution to 480i with the current consoles that support HD?

      On the 360 the games look fine...good...even 'great' (excluding King Kong).

      Having the option of going HD doesn't mean that 480i gets worse.

      Unless you work in Nintendo marketing of course.
      • by ziggles (246540) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @08:06PM (#14665027) Homepage
        A game optimized to look best at 480i will always look better at 480i than a game that was optimized for 720p and scaled down (assuming all other factors are equal).
        • A game optimized to look best at 480i will always look better at 480i than a game that was optimized for 720p and scaled down (assuming all other factors are equal).

          No, in fact the opposite will occur. The 720p game will look better on 480 than the 480 native game will. Because the 720p game will be using higher res textures and models.

          • No, it doesn't turn out that way most of the time. If you're designing for 480i, then you can use a lot of tricks to give the illusion of detail. If you're designing for 720p, you're making things with "real" detail. When you view that on a lower resolution, most of the details will be lost/distorted.
          • Take, for example, the GUI (or HUD). That's a screen element with a 1:1 texel:pixel ratio. Suddently it has to be downscaled by a non-integral factor. What was previously sharp is now blurred because multiple texels are averaged to draw each pixel. Or it becomes larger and takes up more screen space than it should.
          • No, in fact the opposite will occur. The 720p game will look better on 480 than the 480 native game will. Because the 720p game will be using higher res textures and models.

            Uh-huh, it will be using them, but you won't be seeing them. That's the whole point.

            Details will simply not be visible, small text will not be readable anymore, and so on.

          • For precisely that reason, it'll look worse. A 480i game will be using far less texture bandwidth to fill in all those extra pixels, so they can afford to do more processing on the pixels they have to have better effects.

            Given that the hardware is all the same, in order to design a game to work well on 480i and 720p, the game will either have to cut down on graphics effects when running at 720p or simply scale down the 720p image to 480i, and waste lots of graphics work computing pixels that don't get seen
      • Games written with a long draw distance in mind can be a pain at low res, especially multiplayer FPSes. Back in the day I used to play Shadow Warrior in 640x480 and had a hugh edge over the guys at 320x240 because I could see them accros the map and nail 'em with a railgun. In Morrowind, I set the draw distance high so I could avoid monsters that were too powerful for me.
    • Wikipedia is good for one thing; illustrating how half-ass some people can be. Honestly I think a lot of bad reporting can be attributed to laziness rather than malice. Just because it has to sound interesting doesn't mean it really is... blah blah blah experts agree.
    • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @07:15PM (#14664548) Homepage Journal
      Raise your hand if you've seen unsold 360's lying around unsold at your local retailer.

      I admit that I don't have a "1337 Gam0rz B00t33k" in my town, but the local Wal-Mart has a stack of 360s available for sale. I personally don't care one way or another - I don't dislike MS any more than I dislike Sony - but your implication that the 360 is flying off shelves doesn't jibe with what I've personally seen.

    • I've seen the games for the 360 and was just unimpressed. I haven't even thought of buying one. I'll probably buy a PS3 and the Revolution. The PS3 just because I've always been a fan of the quality of the PlayStation and the huge assortment of games available and the Revolution because it sounds really interesting. For me, XBox is a brand trying to replace PlayStation but not really pulling it off. They'd have to either really have some good titles available exclusively to them or Sony would have to really
      • Depending on the lineup, I'm probably going to get a Revolution. I'm not going to get an XBOX360 or a PS3, because they're really just more of the last generation, but I've been thinking about getting a Revolution ever since I got a DS, and saw how great that was. If they were four hundred, I wouldn't, but for two hundred or two fifty, it's well worth it.

        Something that I think about when I think about the XBOX360 and the PS3 is that everything there is possible with worse graphics on the XBOX or PS2
        • The only thing about the PS3 that really interests me is it's parallelism. The CPU has a lot of it going on and it's been rumored that it is designed to make plugging one Cell processing computer into another will let them divide tasks amongst them for more processing power. That sounds to good to be true but the PS3 does come with the proper arrangement of network ports to make it plausible.
          • True, in theory it sounds kind of neat, but there's two catches. First off, will it really work as advertised, and second, will a PS3 be able to take advantage of it in any meaningful way? I don't know enough to speak intelligently on the first point, but Sony certainly has a reputation of making promises that its hardware can't live up to. As for the second point, I'm willing to guess No, because console games are generally designed to a very specific set of hardware, and I don't anticipate many developers
            • With their plan to start putting Cell processors in tvs, dvd players, etc it could pan out but its hard to say yet. I think most game developers wont take full advantage of the Cell but that the ones that make the games that really count will - especially after they've cut their teeth a little bit on it.
              • I guess a number of years down the line, it could possibly work out that way, but I'm still not convinced. Even if half of the TV makers out there started producing sets with Cell processors inside tomorrow, how often do you buy new TVs.

                All we can do is make some assumptions about what might happen in the future, and try to predict the results if those assumptions hold true. Say every 5 years the average household adds a new set or replaces an old one. And we'll even assume that all new TV's have Cell proce
      • On X-Box 360: Seconded. The only games for it I'm interested in are for X-Box Live Arcade... which, I suppose, is better than nothing.
        • It's not that PlayStation is better, although I feel that it is, it's that PlayStation has a history, so I know what to expect and that my games will still work on the PS3, that XBox has to compete with. What keeps Linux from replacing Windows as the desktop of choice is what keeps XBox from replacing PlayStation as console of choice for most people.

          The competition is good though. I expect Sony's effort to be more open source and open standards friendly is largely due to the pressure from both the XBox and
          • "Details like backwards compatibility that Microsoft almost didn't include with the 360 (still didn't - depending who you ask)"

            Do you know that the PS3 will support all past games out of the gate? The PS2 doesn't fully support every PS1 game either, you know.
          • It's not that PlayStation is better, although I feel that it is, it's that PlayStation has a history, so I know what to expect and that my games will still work on the PS3, that XBox has to compete with.

            Hmm... well, at least Playstation is undergoing less of a drastic platform change than X-Box is this time, which is really what's hurting X-Box backward compatibility at the moment.

            What keeps Linux from replacing Windows as the desktop of choice is what keeps XBox from replacing PlayStation as console of cho
    • *raises hand*

      Not that this proves anything either way. Just because there may or may not be units sitting in my Walmart doesn't mean there have been fewer than one million sold.
    • Tonight I went to a Walmart that just opened this past week. Being the person I am, I just had to take a stroll through the game department, despite the fact I have not the money, nor the desire, for a new game. I did not see one Xbox 360 on the shelf. Neither did I see a PS2, GCN, or DS. The Xbox (original) section was nowhere to be found. Not even games. The only system on the shelf was 2 or 3 PSPs. What's that tell me? PS2, GCN, and DS are all selling out along with X360? Not likely. It could be that sto
    • Well the article's published in Forbes, hardly a hangout for Nintendo fanboys. I think it's much more likely that little problem is a result of poor research more than console partisanship.

  • "but with fewer than 700,000 units sold so far, gamers appear to be reserving judgment and waiting for Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Revolution, both expected by the end of 2006. " Perhaps that has more to do with stocking issues than to do with lack of interest. Though I would like to believe that it is because of interest in the Revolution, I hope Nintendo do well this generation, as they continue to innovate, and produce excellent first party titles.
  • Clever strategy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MMaestro (585010) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @06:47PM (#14664277)
    Inside Nintendo, we call our strategy "Blue Ocean." This is in contrast to a "Red Ocean." Seeing a Blue Ocean is the notion of creating a market where there initially was none--going out where nobody has yet gone. Red Ocean is what our competitors do--heated competition where sales are finite and the product is fairly predictable.

    I think its safe to say that this strategy is going to be hit-or-miss. If Nintendo fails with "Blue Ocean" the Revolution (or whatever they end up calling it) will flop, simply because the market isn't there. If it does work though, Sony and Microsoft's "Red Ocean" will find themselves overfishing for a depleting market.

    • Blue ocean implies bringing gamers out of people who aren't currently gamers; Hence, a sucessful Nintendo market expansion doesn't need to cut into Sony/MS sales. FPS players will still play FPS's. The only 'bleeding' would be 'red ocean' gamers tired of the same old crap being shilled to them and they decide to spend their dollars on something new.

      Personally, I haven't owned a console since SNES/Genesis days. Anything thats been worth playing has been on PC and I've loved it. Now, I have an expanding inter
    • If it does work though, Sony and Microsoft's "Red Ocean" will find themselves overfishing for a depleting market.

      For some reason, i really can't see this happening. As long as there are going to be multiple platforms to release games on, there will be games like Madden, NCAA football, prince of persia (etc.) That have huge audiences, and developers will decide to release multi-console.

      In my mind at least, multi-console releases hurt the revolution. In the current generation, all the consoles have reasona

      • In my mind at least, multi-console releases hurt the revolution. In the current generation, all the consoles have reasonably similar hardware specs, and so while a game may look slightly better on the Xbox, playing the port of the game on PS2 doesn't change that much. However, with the revolution not supporting HD, and having noticibly worse hardware specs than Xbox 360 and PS3, multi-console games are going to look much better on the other consoles. I know if i had the choice of two identical games, one pl
      • by Anonymous Coward
        What are the revolution's stats?

        If you are going to say that it's only 2 to 3 times better, well then show me an xbox360 game that looks more than 2 to 3 times better than any new xbox game. Numbers don't exactly translate into performance.
    • Blue Ocean isn't a new strategy, and it has already been successful. Blue Ocean doesn't mean they have to open up a new market with every game -- they can build on the successful Blue Ocean franchises like Animal Crossing with very little risk.
  • by Dr. Eggman (932300)
    We think there is an untapped nostalgia market: Gamers who grew up and cut their teeth on these older games could come back.


    While I am very excited about greater support for this market, what exactly has Nintendo been doing with ports going as far back as Super Mario All-Stars, if not tapping this market? Exploratory Surveying?
    • Super Mario All-stars and the like are nice, but what they're planning with the Revolution is really a few good leaps beyond that. Re-releasing a couple of games from the most popular franchise in all of video games history is very different from making huge swaths of back catalog from multiple consoles available for download. Digital distribution truly is a whole new step in economics, because it avoids all the expensive things inherent in physical goods, like materials, shipping, shelf-space, etc.. The c
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday February 07, 2006 @09:32PM (#14665717)
    "Inside Nintendo, we call our strategy "Blue Ocean." This is in contrast to a "Red Ocean." Seeing a Blue Ocean is the notion of creating a market where there initially was none--going out where nobody has yet gone"

    Looks like people at Nintendo have been reading this:

    "Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant" (2005, Harvard Business School Publishing), by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne.

    Ironically, it's also the book Ford cited when it took the knife to its belly a few weeks ago...
    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200 6601230398 [freep.com]

  • She mentioned the untapped nostalgia market. Well, with MAME, NES emulators, N64 emulators, etc., the "nostalgia" is already there, a click away. The problem is that it's more for quick amusement...doing the remember when. Sure it's fun to fire up some of these games, but I'm not sure I'd want to play all the way through, especially since I did so several times on the original consoles.

    I'm okay Nintendo downplaying the whole graphics war; they're right in saying that the game play is what matters most. Hell
    • You're not sure, so maybe you would like to give those other games the occasional once over again. If Nintendo prices it right(really the biggest question mark in this whole idea, imho), it should only cost a couple bucks, a low enough price to be an impulse buy. So even if you only get an hour or two of entertainment out of it, you're not feeling entirely ripped off. If a hardly-remembered NES game costs me $2 to download, and it takes five of those games to entertain me and my girlfriend for an evening, t
  • "If you were playing a fishing game, before you would just press buttons on a controller held in both hands in front of you. With this, you can move your arm back and forth and cast your bait. It senses depth. As someone who doesn't spend hours per day gaming, I was thrilled with the experience."

    Kind of like what I've been doing for 6 years with Sega Bass Fishing? I bought the controller AND game brand new when it came out for about $60, which is the apparently the new price point for this next generation

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