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Nintendo Businesses Entertainment Games

Are Game Publishers Late To the (Wii and DS) Game? 211

Posted by Zonk
from the better-late-than-never dept.
simoniker writes "A new 'Analyze This' feature on Gamasutra examines analysts' views on the rise of Nintendo's Wii and DS, and how well game publishers have reacted to it, with Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter commenting: 'It's hard to criticize anyone for putting too much faith in the PS3, as most [publishers] haven't created "cutting edge" titles yet for that platform. Most of the PS3 titles so far have been perennial titles, like Madden, Tony Hawk, etc ... I'd say that most failed to capitalize on the DS and Wii opportunity. The exception on the DS side is THQ, which has made every game it can for the platform. On the Wii side, Ubisoft took a big chance by making ten games for the [Wii] launch window, and it has performed very well, so far. I think that the others will catch up no later than early next year.'"
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Are Game Publishers Late To the (Wii and DS) Game?

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  • by netsavior (627338) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @02:37PM (#20415403)
    The Wii and to a lesser extent the DS almost require innovative gameplay. The result is that you can't just make a game with slightly bigger levels, more guns, and slightly better graphics and call it "new".

    The platform itself is calling for something different, and different takes time.

    • by tepples (727027)

      The Wii and to a lesser extent the DS almost require innovative gameplay.
      Unless you can make a bunch of ports of games for Windows that use the mouse or games for Windows Mobile that use the stylus.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The result is that you can't just make a game with slightly bigger levels, more guns, and slightly better graphics and call it "new".
      And New Super Mario Bros. is the name of one of the (if not *the*) best selling game on the DS. ;)
      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        by hansamurai (907719)
        And New Super Mario Bros. also makes almost zero use of the DS's most innovative feature: the touch screen. It uses both screens, but I can't think of any times it used the touch screen during regular gameplay. Anyways, I enjoyed New Super Mario Bros., but I believe the best DS games are the games that really use the touch screen well: Kirby Canvas Curse, Trauma Center, and Elite Beat Agents really come to mind. I know you were just pointing out something ironic and funny, but some developers are really
        • And New Super Mario Bros. also makes almost zero use of the DS's most innovative feature: the touch screen. It uses both screens, but I can't think of any times it used the touch screen during regular gameplay.

          You must not have payed much attention, cos it was constantly adding a big extra button on the bottom screen. Sure, it's not the most effective use of the touchscreen, but it was nice to have a big button that you could hit if you needed the powerup.
    • by Jesterboy (106813) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @03:14PM (#20415891)
      ...Which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. I bought a DS pretty soon after it came out, before the DS Lite was announced. All my friends made fun of me because about the only thing to play at that time was Nintendogs and several mini-game collections. Eventually, good games did start coming out, but they would still have this sort of tacked on "innovation" due to the touch screen or microphone. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, for instance. While a wonderful game, its inclusion of touch screen mechanics did nothing to improve the gameplay. However, because it was coming out on the DS they "had to innovate".

      Which is what bothers me a little bit about most developers approach to both the Wii and DS. Since the DS, everyone has been espousing how their unique additional features will open up developer creativity, which it certainly has. However, many developers seem to take it as since the additional functionality exists, they must use it. In my opinion, this sort of thinking hampers creativity, and leads to the "mini-game-itis" that both consoles have had in their conception; it's one of the easiest things to do that uses all that functionality. Certain game types just weren't made for the Wiimote's unique functionality, and they don't have to use it. I don't really what to play a 2D fighter by waving the Wiimote all over the place, so please don't force me to.

      I think Nintendo notices this, and that's why they've released peripherals like the classic controller for the Wii. I just hope that developers realize this too: innovation is great and all, but not at the detriment of gameplay.
      • For what it's worth, Portrait of Ruin got rid of the touchscreen addons. They learned their lesson.

        I'd also wager against the motion control being that big of a thing for the Wii. Twilight Princess played much like any other 3D Zelda. Some of the best games on the Wii are virtual console titles that use the classic controller or a Gamecube controller.

        If a game can use the new feature, great, but games don't need them. At least some developers know that.
      • "Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, for instance. While a wonderful game, its inclusion of touch screen mechanics did nothing to improve the gameplay. However, because it was coming out on the DS they "had to innovate"."

        This sounds like a case of incompetence, if the touch screen added nothing or was not an agile easy to use input controller they should have avoided it. This "innovation" simply sounds like it was RUSHED, if game developers had more time to think things through they could have found a valid use f
    • The Wii and to a lesser extent the DS almost require innovative gameplay.

      I'd trade innovation for polish. Innovative games are usually gimmicky, unpolished, and often tiresome. The very few that are both polished and innovative tend to shine but they are outnumbered by the number of games that are innovative and crap.
      • by 7Prime (871679)
        Well, Nintendo's NEVER been one without polish. I don't think I've ever played a Nintendo game that didn't feel utterly polished to a shine. Even other companies games seem to be more polished on Nintendo consoles. Just look at Tales of Symphonia (GCN) next to Tales of the Abyss (PS2), for christ sake, and the latter was released almost 3 years later. I think hardware anti-aliasing was part of it, for the GameCube, but it's more than that. I think Nintendo does a certain amount of quality control, along wit
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @02:46PM (#20415555) Homepage
    That publishers have made in reference to the Wii are most certainly the following:

    No Star Wars light sabre-centric game out (or even officially announced, for that matter), no type of Gardening game (think about it...what would sell to grandmas around the country better than a Garden simulator using the Wiimote?)...etc, etc, etc.

    Really, the possibilities are VERY large indeed when it comes to the Wii's control sceme, despite its lack of power. I know these things aren't put together overnight, but developers really need to start pushing stuff like that out soon, before the Wii commotion dies down.
    • by tbannist (230135)
      Why would someone want a "garden simulator" when they could have a garden?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Why would someone want to play an interstellar bounty hunter when they can just be one? It's less of a hassle and you don't have to do it everyday.
      • by Pojut (1027544)
        Well, like I said...it would be geared towards the "senior citizen" bracket...think of it...a nice old grandmother who loves to garden but can't because she has some kind of messed up physical problem that prevents her from doing yardwork...now she can at least do the same motions without all the stress and pain.

        Not to mention those that have condos/apartments.
      • by Altus (1034)

        why would anyone play "guitar hero" when they could just get a guitar?
    • For the record, I would totally play that gardening game.
  • The DS has been out almost three years, the Wii for less than a year. I would agree that the first years for both consoles were similar, the best games were first-party titles developed internally by Nintendo. This is for a number of reasons (including that Nintendo developed games are generally very good), but I think the biggest reason is that each of the consoles did something so different, third-parties were playing the wait-and-see game. By now, most companies have seen the potential of both platforms, but the major difference between the DS and the Wii is that the great DS third party games have been out for a while now and they're still coming. The great third-party games for the Wii really haven't arrived.

    Look at the DS, some of the great third party games are Trauma Center (six months after release), Phoenix Wright (~year after release though a remake with extra content), and Meteos (~year after release). I can't think of a really great third party game for the DS that was available at release, except maybe Castlevania, but definitely not one that took advantage of the DS's unique capabilities.

    It took a while for the DS to catch on for developers, and it's the same sequence for the Wii. This was a mistake for many publishers, besides Ubisoft which took a "gamble" with the Wii and I guess it paid off. The development time for a console game is probably longer than that for a handheld, so we're waiting a little longer for those great third party games. I'm sure they'll come though.
    • Agreed. Conversely, look at the number of titles that either completely jumped from PS3 to XBox360 or went cross-platform.

      Back on topic, this is pretty much the main reason for this generation's drought of games for the Nintendo platform. Everyone thought the PS3 was going to emerge from November the champion and the Wii was gonna be left in the dust. Thus, publishers and developers positioned themselves for the PS3 and put significantly less focus on the Wii. Ubisoft, for some reason, took the contrari
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        But there's no games for the PS3 Either. I think most publishers banked on the 360 because they already had a lot of units in the wild when the other two were released. I think there was a lot of hesitation towards the PS3 because of the high cost, but also because it's hard and expensive to develop for.
    • the best games were first-party titles developed internally by Nintendo. This is for a number of reasons (including that Nintendo developed games are generally very good)


      Nintendo also took a long time to get dev kits out to 3rd party developers, at least for the Wii. Nintendo probably had at least a one year head start on any 3rd parties.
    • Your point is a good one, but your dates are a good deal off, I remember the timeline working a little differently.

      11/20/04: DS release
      12
      01
      02
      03
      04
      05
      06/13/05: Kirby Canvas Curse
      06/28/05: Meteos
      07
      08/22/05: Advance Wars DS, Nintendogs (same day release)
      09
      10/04/05: Trauma Center, Castlevania (same day release)
      10/12/05: Phoenix Wright

      After that came a torrent of games like Mario Kart, Sonic Rush, Animal Crossing, and in the spring Metroid Hunters. It took about 8 months to get the first true* DS game, Kirby. By t
  • This question has been asked and answered. Look at the numbers of marquee games out by publishers, by platform, vs. the sales numbers for the Wii and DS. This is not news.
  • I'm not sure what this guy is looking at in regards to the DS. Plenty of third-party developers have been coming to it since it became clear that the PSP wasn't going to be a giant killer, which we've known for at least two years now. I can name plenty of big-name third-party titles on the platform, and I don't even own one.

    As for the Wii, while it's true that third parties were caught off-guard by it, I'm not sure that they should put too much effort into joining the "Wii game" to begin with. Most peopl
    • Re:Not really (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @03:17PM (#20415927) Homepage

      Wii, assuming that they get any games for it at all besides Wii Sports, have been buying and are going to buy Nintendo games and not much else. It was the same with the GameCube, and the same before that with the N64. Waggle doesn't change anything.
      Wii, assuming that they get any games for it at all besides Wii Sports, have been buying and are going to buy GOOD games and not much else. It was the same with the GameCube, and the same before that with the N64. Waggle doesn't change anything.

      There, fixed that for you. The fact that most publishers completely ignored the GameCube while Nintendo released some very good games, means that obviously most of the games that are being bought are going to be from Nintendo. One notable exception is Resident Evil. Same thing seems to be happening on the Wii. Nintendo is releasing a lot of really good games, meanwhile, the other publishers seem to be ignoring it, or at least did at the beginning. Most people don't even bother checking who the publisher of a game is. All they want to know is whether or not the game is good, and base their decision off that.
      • by Pluvius (734915)
        have been buying and are going to buy GOOD games and not much else. It was the same with the GameCube, and the same before that with the N64. Waggle doesn't change anything.

        That's basically the exact same thing that I said. If you think that there are going to be more than a handful of third-party games that go beyond mini-game gimmickry, you're living in a dream world. Waggle really doesn't change anything.

        Rob
        • What "waggle" does is break the symmetry between consoles. Before, it was easy (or at least not overly difficult) to develop a game for a single console, and then just port it over to the other ones. Adding a unique control scheme forces game studios that want to follow that same model to either port games to the Wii poorly, or port games from the Wii poorly. Assuming that the Wii can reach a "critical mass" of market penetration -- whatever that number might be, I don't know -- what I anticipate is a gr
          • by Pluvius (734915)
            What "waggle" does is break the symmetry between consoles.

            Which is horrible from a third-party standpoint. A publisher doesn't want to produce a game for only one system out of three unless that one system's parent is paying a lot of money for an exclusivity deal.

            Adding a unique control scheme forces game studios that want to follow that same model to either port games to the Wii poorly, or port games from the Wii poorly.

            And it's going to be (and already is) the former, not the latter. The reason why is t
            • I agree with you except that it could change if wii ever reaches whatever elusive critical mass that people keep talking about. Attachment rates can be somewhat low but if there are enough wii out there, it may still sell better. 360 and ps3 may be similar to design toward but if there are more wiis out there than 360s and ps3s combined then the wii design may still be the priority.

              It still can't overcome the power issue. They simply can't make the graphics as detailed on the wii as they can on the other
          • by Mr2001 (90979)

            Adding a unique control scheme forces game studios that want to follow that same model to either port games to the Wii poorly, or port games from the Wii poorly.
            Counterexample: Scarface for Wii. The reworked controls don't always work well (careful not to sprain your wrist while beating up pedestrians), but overall, the ability to shoot anywhere on screen, even while driving, means the port is probably better than the originals.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kjella (173770)
          Yeah, they're all going to ignore where the majority of the current-gen market is going to be (Wii is now bigger than 360 and growing faster than 360 and PS3 combined). You sound like IBM at the height of their OS/2 arrogance, where their exclusive and powerful OS would be the cash cow while Windows would be the toy OS for commoners. Until they realized all sorts of useful software was being written for Windows and OS/2 was dying on the grape wine. SD is cheap to produce. Produce a good Wii game for cheap,
          • by Pluvius (734915)
            Yeah, they're all going to ignore where the majority of the current-gen market is going to be (Wii is now bigger than 360 and growing faster than 360 and PS3 combined).

            I'm sure you have proof that most of the current-gen market is going to be on the Wii. Obviously past performance is the same as future results, everyone knows that!

            You can say what you want about the platform, but bean counters will see "potential market". They'll tell the developers to suck it up and produce for the market that makes them
      • Re:Not really (Score:5, Interesting)

        by vonPoonBurGer (680105) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @03:57PM (#20416461)

        The fact that most publishers completely ignored the GameCube while Nintendo released some very good games, means that obviously most of the games that are being bought are going to be from Nintendo. One notable exception is Resident Evil. Same thing seems to be happening on the Wii.
        I disagree completely. The GameCube had little 3rd-party support because it was the runner-up in the last generation of the console wars, selling far less units than the PS2 and original Xbox did over their lifespans. Most 3rd-party developers decided to take a "wait and see" approach with the Wii, because no one was quite sure how it would do. The only major exception was Ubisoft, and they're laughing all the way to the bank now. The Wii has 10.57 million units [vgchartz.com] sold so far, the largest slice of the next-gen pie, and that number is growing faster than the 360 and PS3 combined [vgchartz.com]. At this point all we have seen for the Wii is the tail end of the first round of games, especially considering most publishers and developers were late to start projects for the Wii. With over 10 million units sold, I fully expect to see the first major round of 3rd-party Wii titles appear next year. I mean, seriously, what publisher isn't going to want to take a stab at the gaming dollars behind over 40% of the marketplace? That incentive of being able to tap into a large chunk of the market virtually guarantees that the Wii will enjoy far better 3rd-party support than the GC did.

        If you look at why the PS2 was successful, it got to market earlier than its competitors with a good product at a good price. That lead to strong initial sales, which in turn led to a lot of titles being developed for this new system. More titles turned into additional hardware sales, which led to even more developer attention on that platform, and the whole thing snowballed and ultimately 120 million PS2s were sold. The Wii may have been later to market, but at the rate it's outselling PS3 and 360 it will be the most common next-gen console by a significant margin for the Christmas '08 season. That is confirmed to be attracting increased developer attention (see the comments made by the CEO of EA [crunchgear.com] for example), which means we're going to be seeing more 3rd-party titles for the Wii in the future. That in turn will likely lead to increased hardware sales, and so on.

        I don't think the Wii will have anywhere near the dominance that the PS2 enjoyed, however. This generation marks the first time that I can think of where the capabilities of the various competitors were split so starkly, while at the same time being somewhat equal in terms of their desirability. The 360 and PS3 are natural extensions of the bigger better faster more mentality, but the Wii is going in a completely different direction, last-gen graphics with a new control scheme. No one's measured it yet to my knowledge, but I suspect there will be a significant amount of overlap between owners of the Wii and "true" next-gen consoles (i.e. 360/PS3). That may have an impact on how gaming dollars get spent down the road. My money's on a rough split between the Wii and the 360, though I'm not sure which will be on top. I'm convinced at this point that the PS3 will be this generation's distant third.
        • Re:Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Psychochild (64124) <psychochild AT gmail DOT com> on Friday August 31, 2007 @04:25AM (#20422269) Homepage
          I was a game developer working at a game publisher/developer when the PS2 came out. I can offer some insight into how things went last generation from that point of view.

          The PS2 was huge because the original PlayStation was a huge success. Sony came out of nowhere to dominate the console market by releasing the right product at the right time. The number of exclusives that Sony got helped seal the deal. It didn't hurt that Nintendo shot itself in the foot by trying to stick with cartridges instead of optical media, so people wrote off the Gamecube as a failure before it launched. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

          If you look at why the PS2 was successful, it got to market earlier than its competitors with a good product at a good price.

          Then, how do you explain the Dreamcast? It launched earlier, had good games, and at a reasonable price. Even included a modem for internet connectivity. No, what really helped the PS2 was the marketing campaign and the unquestioning support of developers. The PS2 defeated the Dreamcast before launch because it promised the moon and the stars and people decided to wait for the PS2 instead of buying the Dreamcast. (Remember the "emotion chip" that was so powerful it would show real emotion on character's face? Or, at least, on the faces of pre-rendered movies.) I'm sure it really stung for Sega, because they were derided for having made the Saturn so hard to program for. They turn around and produce a extremely nice system to work on, then get trounced by the PS2 which was a real bitch to work on. I remember one of the top programmers at the company complaining on a daily basis about how hard it was to get anything to work on the PS2. But he had to because the company was backing the PS2 110%.

          Note that this "generation" of games is a bit different. The increase in graphics isn't as huge as it had been for the previous generations. The jump between PS2 and PS3 graphics is a fraction of what the jump between PlayStation and PS2 graphics were. Add in that many people don't have HD TVs yet (see the articles about most people not even knowing about the HD capabilities of the XBox 360, etc), and you have people that aren't buying a console because it looks, "ZOMG SOOOOO MUCH BETTER!"

          What Nintendo did for the Wii was to go in a different direction. If Nintendo had built the Wii to appeal to the same hard-core audience that all the console makers had been chasing for the past decade, then we would have seen the Wii falter. If they had focused on graphical presentation, they would have probably been crushed (along with everyone else). No, what they did was to appeal to a new crowd that was interested in more than just the prettiest graphical presentation. So, even though the publishers wrote Nintendo off as lost, once again, people decided that the Wii was cool enough to buy without having the latest version of Madden on it. This catches all the publishers by surprise (they are the ones that decide which projects get funded), so they're now scrambling to take advantage of one of the most popular platforms for this generation.

          So, this explains why things have turned out the way they did. Publishers wrote off Nintendo because they were able to do that successfully last time. Didn't work quite so well.

          Some insight from someone who has seen the inside of the beast.
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      The N64 and GC were disasters for Nintendo's 3rd party support, and it had very little do with the popularity of Nintendo's 1st party titles. 3rd parties were extremely active and successful on the SNES and NES; N just did a great job of ostracizing them in the N64 generation and an inadequate job of luring them back in the GC generation. Based on appearances N has fixed the problem with 3rd party relations, and now looks to have fixed the other problem of not having enough units out there to be attractiv
      • by Pluvius (734915)
        Based on appearances N has fixed the problem with 3rd party relations

        Not in my observation. The Wiimote discourages traditional games, the Wii itself is so weak that its full potential will likely be realized within a couple of years, and Nintendo is still lackadaisical about online gaming. Those things are strong negatives to third parties.

        Rob
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Chris Burke (6130)
          3rd party relations means business relations, as in not treating 3rd parties like shit (as they did in the N64 generation), and instead encouraging them with development support and other assistance to publish games for the system (as they did insufficiently in the GC generation). Nintendo made it clear they understood their errors.

          Just like more and more 3rd party game developers are making it clear they understand their own error in underestimating the Wii. Having more consoles out there than any other,
          • by Pluvius (734915)
            In each case the largest library and the largest player base was on the weaker system, in some cases vastly weaker.

            In what cases vastly weaker? I don't remember ever seeing a console succeed whose full potential could be realized so quickly. Less than a year into the Wii's lifespan, we already hear speculation from developers that they're approaching the limits of what the Wii can do. And how do you explain all the games for the PS3 and 360 which have no planned ports for the Wii, even after the third pa
            • Re:Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @04:55PM (#20417329) Homepage
              In what cases vastly weaker?

              PSP is PS2-level hardware while DS is N64-level hardware. Speaking of N64, it was vastly more powerful than the PSX (see Waverace vs Jet Moto if you don't remember), though the PSX had the advantage of CD storage which was important for some games but not most. Mostly the ones that used lots of FMV. Gameboy vs every pre-PSP portable is a perfect example.

              Pretend power is important all you want. History says otherwise. Game developers understand this.

              I don't remember ever seeing a console succeed whose full potential could be realized so quickly. Less than a year into the Wii's lifespan, we already hear speculation from developers that they're approaching the limits of what the Wii can do

              And I don't remember ever hearing anyone say that having it take 5+ years to figure out how to get the promised performance out of a console is a good thing. The Wii is the same architecture as the GC just with ~2-3x the frequency. It's hardly surprising that it takes developers less time to figure out how to max its potential than the PS3 given 5 years of experience with the GC, and judging from their comments they prefer it this way.

              And how do you explain all the games for the PS3 and 360 which have no planned ports for the Wii, even after the third parties are supposed to have "gotten it"?

              Well pretty much like you said the Wii encourages non-traditional game play. Half-assed ports with waggle controls added are what the companies are putting out now. Having "gotten it" they are not planning on continuing, instead they will be developing titles that play to the Wii's strengths. This is what you would expect.

              You haven't actually said how any of these things are negatives for game developers... they just seem like things you aren't impressed with. Game developers are impressed by market share numbers. Game developers have openly supported the Wii and said they made a mistake not supporting it and are changing course in order to do so. Why you think that means the opposite of what it seems to, that 3rd parties won't be supporting the Wii, I don't know.

              • by Pluvius (734915)
                PSP is PS2-level hardware while DS is N64-level hardware.

                Ah, trying to make equivalent the portable market and the console market, even though the two are not similar and never have been.

                Speaking of N64, it was vastly more powerful than the PSX (see Waverace vs Jet Moto if you don't remember), though the PSX had the advantage of CD storage which was important for some games but not most.

                So in other words, the N64 wasn't really all that much better than the PSX? The idea that CD storage wasn't important is
                • Re:Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday August 30, 2007 @06:11PM (#20418195) Homepage
                  Ah, trying to make equivalent the portable market and the console market, even though the two are not similar and never have been.

                  Just answering your question. The fact that hardware power has not and has never been a dominant factor in console success is true in both the portable and home console market. In that way they are very similar. The history is very clear on this.

                  So in other words, the N64 wasn't really all that much better than the PSX? The idea that CD storage wasn't important is total bull, BTW.

                  In terms of "horespower", as in "ability to draw pretty pictures", then no the N64 was way more powerful than the PSX. And sorry, but most games didn't use the CD's capacity. Because most companies back then couldn't afford massive amounts of FMV. For those that did, clearly the N64 suffered. Yet for those that didn't, the PSX didn't die merely because it was "obsolete". Because nobody cared if the games were fun.

                  As opposed to either being stuck with an obsolete console for years or having to migrate to a new one every couple of years with all of the hassle that entails?

                  So "able to squeeze maximal performance from" means "obsolete" now, meaning the PS3 will never become obsolete since nobody will ever figure out how to keep all the SPEs busy, just like Sony said. Once again, this is a plus from a developers point of view. And based on the ongoing sales of the PS2, I think it's clear people care about "obsolete" a lot less than you.

                  And the Wii's strengths are towards gimmickry, not towards the magnificent games we've been seeing on the other systems like Bioshock and Oblivion, neither of which would really be difficult to port to the Wii if it had the required power.

                  I didn't know magnificent games required a certain power level unachievable before this generation. I guess Halo 1 was ass then. Of course it would have sucked less without being hindered by terrible controls. Good thing being able to aim in an FPS is just a gimmick, just like those PC users and their mouse gimmick.

                  Seriously, you sound like the DS detractors in its first year (which, since your first post made it seem you aren't aware, I'll let you know was light on quality 3rd party support and heavy with "gimmicky" mini-games). Competitors called the analog stick a gimmick too when Nintendo introduced it to consoles. Until they universally adopted it.

                  Because those go against the things that the market wants. The fact that a lot of Wiis are being bought doesn't mean anything if the games aren't being bought with them, if the Wiis are just being bought out of impulse and hype.

                  The market disagrees with you. The game development studios disagree with you. You want to know what happens with a console selling based solely on hype? Look at the the hysteria at the PS3 launch compared to it's performance this year. That's what hype with no substance gets you. People buy Wiis because they play them at a friend's house and find it to be fun.

                  Really you just don't like the Wii, and that's fine, but stop pretending that your opinion actually represents things game developers see as a downside, especially when they're saying the opposite.
                  • by Pluvius (734915)
                    And sorry, but most games didn't use the CD's capacity.

                    Most of the best games did. There's also the fact that N64 ROMs were much lower in capacity than CDs, so you didn't have to use anywhere near the CD's full capacity to do better. And I shouldn't even have to mention the fact that CDs were a lot cheaper on top of all this.

                    So "able to squeeze maximal performance from" means "obsolete" now

                    The fact that the Wii will be obsolete in a couple of years is separate from the fact that its potential is already a
        • by EggyToast (858951)
          I'd imagine that developers would quite like the reduced cost of a more established, yet slower, system architecture, and would be perfectly happy not having to introduced network code into their games.

          The problem is that the games that work well with those type of elements (flashy FPS games just to name one large genre) exist almost entirely due to those two elements.

          But they're hardly dealbreakers. It's not like BioShock has online play.
        • by Tacvek (948259)

          Based on appearances N has fixed the problem with 3rd party relations

          Not in my observation. The Wiimote discourages traditional games, the Wii itself is so weak that its full potential will likely be realized within a couple of years, and Nintendo is still lackadaisical about online gaming. Those things are strong negatives to third parties.

          Rob

          Generally this has been the case. Nintendo has a major focus on younger age range and non-gamers. These areas of focus mean that nintendo cannot really do much more than the irritating friend code system. Otherwise the Media would do a bunch of "pedo's can communicate with the children via the Wii!!!" type stories. (Those have already happened with the DS.) This is a shame. I will admit that the XBOX360 has a much better system (except for the idiotic subscription system). (I have never seen or used the PS

    • by seebs (15766)
      Nintendo produced the best games so far. Other companies do fine when they produce decent games -- but even a mediocre game for Wii can sell better than an excellent game for PS3, making it an easy target.
      • by Pluvius (734915)
        Of course a mediocre game for the Wii can sell better than a great game for the PS3 right now, since the Wii has a lot more units sold. Draw a fair comparison by changing "PS3" to "360" and you'll see a dramatic difference.

        Rob
        • by seebs (15766)
          No, my comparison is fair -- it's the comparison that, for a game programmer, determines whether there'll still be a job to come in to a month after the project is released.

          These people are, in the end, trying to earn a living. Actual sales matter. What percentage of first-party sales your game can reach doesn't matter as much as whether you can make a game that justifies its development costs by recovering them does.
  • ... to take Wii profits and use them to produce better 360 and PS3 games. Or so say the folks over on a PS3 forum I hang out on.

    Frankly, I think it'll take the third parties a while to get the hang of the system. There's a widespread belief that third parties can't succeed on Nintendo platforms -- which may have been partially true, but some of that is just that Nintendo polishes games to a mirror-like finish before shipping them, and most companies can't outdo them.

    Still, there's plenty of awesome 3rd-pa
  • by hellfire (86129) <(deviladv) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday August 30, 2007 @04:46PM (#20417225) Homepage
    Every company, including game companies like to bet on what they think is a sure thing. In the console market, the Wii is a disruptive technology. Few mainstream titles bet on disruptive technologies. And the larger the company, the less likely the CEO is going to have some kind of innovative idea or an innovative team that explains to the CEO why this disruptive technology would be good. Every game maker was going by historical numbers based on the gamecube, which weren't good compared to the PS2 or xbox.

    Same thing happened with the dot com bust. Everyone was going gung ho, expecting higher sales in 2001, when suddenly, everyone stopped buying and the bottom fell out of everyone's earnings. Customers were buying because of the Y2k scare, but when it never came, they didn't have to buy any more.

    The CEOs are praised for having such good earnings before 2001, and then bemoan their luck after 2001 when they say "oh well we didn't see the crash coming." Everyone saw the damn market crash coming EXCEPT these slow CEOs. I'll admit no one knew exactly when it was coming, but it was coming soon enough.

    Same with the Wii. They all were geared towards the old consoles, and now they all are getting bitten in the ass because the PS3 is overpriced and buggy, and the xbox is "eh, whatever." But the Wii is something that is getting new customers, and requires new thinking. Big slow corporations don't like to think in new ways until they are forced to.

    There are of course exceptions, but the ones that do everything like everyone else don't tend to care that much or get severely penalized. They are average humans after all.

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