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Will Wright Opines That Wii Is the Only Next-Gen Console 381

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along dept.
PhoenixOne writes "In an article that will probably tick off a lot of PS3 owners, Will Wright calls the PS3 and 360 'incremental improvement(s)'. 'The Wii feels like a major jump - not that the graphics are more powerful, but that it hits a completely different demographic. In some sense I see the Wii as the most significant thing that's happened, at least on the console side, in quite a while ... I still, for the most part, prefer playing games on the computer - to me the mouse is the best input device ever. Every generation it's like 'the PC's dead! The PC's dead!'. But it carries on growing when consoles are flat for five years. At the moment I can get better graphics on my PC than I can on the PS3.'"
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Will Wright Opines That Wii Is the Only Next-Gen Console

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  • I agree... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by midifarm (666278) on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:20AM (#21129013)
    All about gameplay baby and NOT pretty graphics. While they're nice to have, I'd rather have fun and be somewhat active than sit and look at pretty pictures. Viva le Wii!!! Peace
    • Re:I agree... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by TheGeneration (228855) on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:31AM (#21129253) Journal
      I've always felt like Nintendo's game have more soul. The addition of the Wiimote takes that up a notch. Now the on screen characters and gameplay make you feel in your heart and mind while the Wiimote makes your body feel as well. It's a nice touch.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Seumas (6865)
      I also agree. Unfortunately, most of the wii games have absolutely no quality gameplay and for the most part the only enjoyable Wii games are the ones that require at least two people to play.

      As for the other points:

      . I still, for the most part, prefer playing games on the computer - to me the mouse is the best input device ever. Every generation it's like 'the PC's dead! The PC's dead!'. But it carries on growing when consoles are flat for five years. At the moment I can get better graphics on my PC than I can on the PS3.'"

      Yes, I prefer playing games on the computer, too. And yes, a good computer today has better graphics than any of the consoles. It's been that since the day each of the consoles were released. However, I'm getting tired of having to spend $2,500 every year to build a top of the line gaming machi

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by FauxPasIII (75900)
        > Unfortunately, most of the wii games have absolutely no quality gameplay

        Thank you!!

        I finally acquiesced and played the new Metroid game, which my Wii-apologist friend assured me was the pinnacle of interface design for the system. I couldn't play it for more than about 4 minutes without my hands starting to ache, but okay, fine, I'm not used to the Wii.

        Then I watched him try to throw the grapple line to pull doors open. He got it to work about one out of four tries. >_

        ALL THAT SAID... the bowling
      • Re:I agree... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by omeomi (675045) on Friday October 26, 2007 @12:39PM (#21130389) Homepage
        Yes, I prefer playing games on the computer, too.

        I enjoy computer games (and console games), but I think "to me the mouse is the best input device ever" seems a bit stupid. I'm surprised such a statement came from someone as esteemed as Will Wright. The best input device clearly depends on the application. Is the mouse the best input device for a word processor? How about Tetris? Anybody ever play Monkeyball, and then try to play Neverball with a mouse? I bet you'll find yourself wishing for an analog control stick...Of course the mouse is better for, say, an FPS or an RTS war-game, but it's not the be-all and end-all of input devices...
        • Best does not mean "best possible" it means "better than all others." If I were to evaluate numbers between ten and twenty, for example, to see which one would be "the best" for being divided by integers, I'd pick 12; its factors are one, two, three, four, and six. If I needed a factor of seven, then 14 would be used. It doesn't mean that in all situations it's the best possible number for factoring, but it is just better than the others. The same is true of the mouse -- no, it's not applicable in every s
      • Re:I agree... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by zippthorne (748122) on Friday October 26, 2007 @01:00PM (#21130783) Journal
        You really picked the wrong spot on the treadmill. Sure, if you want to be able to play every game on its maximum settings, you're going to have to upgrade $2500 worth of computer equipment every year. But if you're willing to "settle" for playing those same games, but waiting until you upgrade your computer to experience the best graphics, you realize that you don't have to have the very best equipment available.

        This is especially important because computer equipment has geometric price increases for diminishing returns. If you buy low-mid range computer every two or three years, you'll still be able to play all the same games, but you'll pay the same price as the PS3.

        In fact, I posit that no matter how much your budget is, you'll get more "power" by buying new low-mid machines as often as your budget allows rather than buying monster machines that drain the budget infrequently. This goes for graphics card upgrades as well if you choose to go that route. The price for the currently high-end drops very rapidly in that field. If you're paying more than $100-$200 cards on a video card, you're throwing money away.
      • I also agree. Unfortunately, most of the wii games have absolutely no quality gameplay and for the most part the only enjoyable Wii games are the ones that require at least two people to play.
        Keep in mind that the system is still in its first year. Quality software takes time, especially since none of the third party publishers appear to have any idea how to make even decent Wii games at the moment.
      • by Thrymm (662097)
        It doesnt cost me $2500 every year. It's called staggered upgrading. Ram is dirt cheap for 2gigs (newegg.com)... A processor every year or so not a bad investment or high priced AMD which doesnt have to be the highest end either mind you. A graphics card, I usually upgrade maybe once a year if that. I was running my 7800gtx just fine and that card still would run Unreal Tourny 3 great, however I did upgrade to 8800gts just recently which that component is always the most expensive.

        Bottom line, who buys $250
      • I don't quite understand the constant argument in favor of consoles, simply because "keeping up with the PC hardware is so expensive"?

        I do have a PS3 *and* several computers, but here's the thing. My last PC ran everything I wanted to play (on a 24" LCD monitor), simply using an AGP Radeon 9800 Pro video card, up until about a year ago. Then I upgraded from an Athlon motherboard to an Intel Core Duo with PCI Express video, and went with a mid-range ATI card (X1600 I think?), and once again, it plays all t
      • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday October 26, 2007 @01:34PM (#21131359)
        You are doing it wrong. I think perhaps this is one of the reasons PC gamers suffer is because of the FUD spread around by people with regards to the costs. Is it more expensive than consoles? Sure. Is it thousands a year? Not even on the high end. Turns out you can get quite a good gaming experience with a $100 graphics card. Get one of those every year, and you'll find that you can do a decent job running all the games out there at a reasonable resolution. Nab some benchmarks on midrange cards some time, they do just fine.

        I don't know why it is so often presented as "Ultra high end or nothing." You know what? Turns out you can have plenty of fun gaming on a PC without everything being as high as it can be. You don't have to have a 30" monitor and play at max rez to be happy, you can play at 1920x1200 or 1280x800 and be perfectly happy (and in line with the resolution consoles use). Not every graphics setting in every game has to be turned all the way up, and so on.

        I am a PC gamer and have a whole lot of friends who are and none of us break $1000/year. I spend by far the most, probably averaging about $500-600 since I get a new pretty high end graphics card each year and usually upgrade something else. Most of them spend in the range of $150/year if amortized on a yearly basis (generally it's a bi yearly type of thing). Still more than a console, though you are arguably getting close, but not breaking the bank.

        So if you want to always have the best of the best, fine, but don't pretend that's what PC gaming requires and don't pretend it's comparable to consoles. You already have a system far in excess of any console.

        There is, of course, the additional factor that a PC doesn't just have to be used for games. My PC is also a word processor, an Internet terminal, a DAW, a video editor, and so on. If you own a PC purely for gaming, ok then, but I'm going to guess most people get secondary use out of ti and that does factor in to the price.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by demi (17616) *

          There is, of course, the additional factor that a PC doesn't just have to be used for games. My PC is also a word processor, an Internet terminal, a DAW, a video editor, and so on. If you own a PC purely for gaming, ok then, but I'm going to guess most people get secondary use out of ti and that does factor in to the price.

          The reason why "PC game detractors" focus so much on high-end graphics hardware is that 1) it is what distinguishes the PC gamer's primary gaming device from the general-use computer th

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ShadowsHawk (916454)
        You can buy a PS3 and a couple of games for $200? As for having to upgrading a dual core with a GF 8800... I'm able to play most games on medium-high settings with the below listed specs.

        2.66 Ghz P4
        1.5 Gig ram
        Radeon X1950 512ram

        You are either sorely mistaken or lying. No one outside of the idiots who buy from Alienware are spending nearly what you claim.
    • All about gameplay baby and NOT pretty graphics. While they're nice to have, I'd rather have fun and be somewhat active than sit and look at pretty pictures. Viva le Wii!!! Peace

      Gameplay? Like as in 10s shake the controller vigorously mini-games that comprise warioware? I have a wii and I think most of people who exalt it's gameplay are just jumping on a bandwagon. It's basically taking older game concepts (NES era) tacking on a *shake* mechanic replacing button mashing mechanic and calling it a game. Some
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bluesman (104513)
        I tend to agree. I have a PS3 and a Wii, and I don't think there's anything particularly innovative about the Wii. The new controllers are fun for the sports games, but they're not perfect. Playing these games remind me of playing the old nintendo track and field game with the power pad, or Duck Hunt.

        That said, the wii is a lot of fun, and much more intuitive for people who don't play video games regularly. My wife and I can have people over and teach them Wii bowling in two minutes and play it for hour
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by darthflo (1095225)
      Ditto. Plus in a few years (that's <5), they could just release the Wii2 which was basically a copy of the Wii with beefier hardware. It'd play Wii and Wii2 games, might use the same controllers the Wii does and thus atttract some of the graphics fanatics. Microsoft and Sony, on the other hand, can't really release an intermediate-gen console. (Still need to compensate losses made by selling 360 and PS3 under break-even, missing innovation from their side...)
  • by fistfullast33l (819270) on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:21AM (#21129037) Homepage Journal
    Seeing as Spore currently is on track to be Next-Next-Gen anyways. I guess it's safe to say it'll be on the Wii 2 rather than the Xbox 720 at this point.
  • Real article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dr. Eggman (932300) on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:28AM (#21129193)
    A link [guardian.co.uk] to the real article from The Guardian would have been much nicer.
  • by grommit (97148) on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:29AM (#21129203)

    "In an article that will probably tick off a lot of PS3 owners, Will Wright calls the PS3 and 360 'incremental improvement(s)'.

    So you're saying that 360 owners are resigned to knowing that their system is mediocre at best?

    • by lluBdeR (466879) on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:36AM (#21129379) Homepage
      Ever use Windows? I don't think Microsoft is capable of much else.
    • Re:Poor 360'ers (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Churla (936633) on Friday October 26, 2007 @12:03PM (#21129839)
      I think you missed some of his point.

      It's not that the 360 or ps3 are bad systems. It's that what they really added to the previous generation was a little better graphics, a little more storage space, small upgrades in individual aspects of the product.

      What the Wii did was introduce a really different way of playing the games, and in the process has tapped into a market the ps3 and 360 couldn't dream of. Ergo, the impact of the Wii on the console gaming genre is larger even through the technological advances involved aren't.
      • Re:Poor 360'ers (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Kadin2048 (468275) * <slashdot DOT kadin AT xoxy DOT net> on Friday October 26, 2007 @12:43PM (#21130449) Homepage Journal

        I think you missed some of his point.

        It's not that the 360 or ps3 are bad systems. It's that what they really added to the previous generation was a little better graphics, a little more storage space, small upgrades in individual aspects of the product.

        What the Wii did was introduce a really different way of playing the games, and in the process has tapped into a market the ps3 and 360 couldn't dream of. Ergo, the impact of the Wii on the console gaming genre is larger even through the technological advances involved aren't.
        Very well said. I wrote a fairly lengthy comment [slashdot.org] on the last Wii thread, so I won't rehash it all here, but I think the Wii is pretty amazing.

        The last console I owned was an original NES,* and I do not, as a general rule, play games. I don't even have any installed on my computers (okay, well, there's the free Chess game that comes with OS X, and I might have an old copy of EV Nova around somewhere). I was pretty content to just sit this whole console generation out, until my very much anti-videogame S.O. declared one day that she wanted a Wii. That in itself says something about the Wii ... it appeals to people who really dislike the sit-around-and-thumb-twiddle style of games.

        That said, so far we haven't found any really drop-dead awesome games other than Wii sports. We rented Rockstar Games' table-tennis game, thinking it would be like a continued/advanced version of Wii Tennis, but it was much more of a skill/twitch game than something you could pick up and have fun with immediately. And frankly, spending an hour learning how to hit a ball in a table-tennis videogame does not strike me as a productive use of my time. If I'm going to do something that feels that much like work, I'd best be getting paid, or at least producing something tangible. That's what I like about Wii Sports; the games don't feel like work. They're just fun. Plus, you play them standing up, which makes them feel more like lightweight VR than a regular video game.

        I think the big challenge for the Wii is whether Nintendo can get a stream of games coming for it that give people who purchased it essentially just for Wii Sports something to do. I have no idea what their margins are on the consoles themselves, but if they're going for the usual razors-and-blades model, selling the consoles for little profit and hoping to make it up on games, they'd best do something about getting some more Wii Sports-like games out there. Otherwise, I know a lot of people who may be content to just never eject that disc and treat it as a single-purpose machine. (And I don't think that any of them will regret the cost, either; Wii Sports really is worth $250 in my estimation; any more games would just be gravy.)

        The Wii was a ballsy move for Nintendo, because it essentially lets Microsoft and Sony have the 'hardcore' market. But I think it's proving to be a smart one -- or at least a popular one -- judging from the sales figures. I see a lot of parallels between the Wii and the NES, including the pack-in game being one of the best (and in the long run, the defining) titles.
        • The Wii was a ballsy move for Nintendo, because it essentially lets Microsoft and Sony have the 'hardcore' market. But I think it's proving to be a smart one -- or at least a popular one -- judging from the sales figures. I see a lot of parallels between the Wii and the NES, including the pack-in game being one of the best (and in the long run, the defining) titles.

          According to NPD The hardcore market is worth more then all other market segments. So Nintendo let them have a lot.The wii is fairly old tech and thus isn't that expensive to create. Nintendo isn't in the same category as Microsoft regarding losing their shirts on consoles to attempt to make it up in software sales. In fact Sony isn't in that category either as they try to either not lose money or profit. Sega and Microsoft are the only two firms who are known to take a long term loss on console sales.

          • The hardcore market is worth more then all other market segments.

            That seems a bit shortsighted. I don't know what they're basing their analysis on, but I know a lot of people who've bought Wiis recently, who probably would have told anyone who asked, "no, I don't play videogames and wouldn't be interested in buying one." And they believed it, too, until they saw a Wii and (like me), before they knew it they were standing in line at Best Buy.

            They're manufacturing a market out of essentially nothing; out of people who have written off video games or have never been that i

    • by Targon (17348)
      It isn't about the hardware, it's what the game developers do with it. The PS3 MIGHT be seen as being a next generation console with last generation games, but with better graphics than we saw on the last generation console.

      Game devs are afraid of trying anything new, because the high cost of development makes it a risk many refuse to take.
    • by radish (98371)
      It's an interesting POV, I understand what he's saying about revoloution vs evoloution. But in reality, I have all three of the new consoles and 90% of may gaming time (or maybe more) is on the 360. My wife is currently similar, though when Galaxy comes out I'm sure she'll be all over that. My concern is not that the hardware (of both the Wii and the PS3) isn't capable of cool things, but simply that the software isn't there yet (with a few notable exceptions).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hey! (33014)
      It depends on who you think is on the right track. If Sony and Microsoft are on the right track, then jumping ahead on that road, while technically "just" an incremental improvement, represents an advance of the state of the art in the direction it ought to go. That can hardly be called "mediocre".

      What Nintendo has done is like backtracking to take a different fork in the path. From the viewpoint that Sony and Microsoft are doing the right thing, Nintendo has just shot itself in the foot, setting its con
  • by TruePoindexter (975295) on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:31AM (#21129247)
    I'm not at all surprised. Here's a man who is famous for creative mind asked what he thought about the new consoles. Of course he's not going to find the PS2 + 1 and the XBOX +1 (well + 360 in this case) interesting. They simply are more of the same. Better graphics with HD support. Even more bloat trying to act as a media hub. Wireless controllers. These are all nice things but really nothing that took any creativity. Really those two consoles are the sum of minor upgrades to bring them in line with newer technology.

    The Wii itself is actually even worse in this regard, it's the past generation of tech being sold...again. The innovation and creativity is in the controller and that's what he respects. In this way the Wii isn't a Gamecube + 1 it's more like a Gamecube + Demographic widening idea. Is he doing anything of note for the Wii/DS? I'd be curious to see what he comes up with.
    • Spore is being developed with a DS version in mind for release after the PC. Of course, EA (and Will too) wants to spread Spore to all platforms (even phones) eventually.
    • I wouldn't exactly say that-- the console's controller is innovative, yes... but nobody would care about that, if not for the games. The games are a lot more innovative on the Wii, IMO, than on the other consoles.

      You don't find games like WarioWare on the other systems. The motion controls do help it a ton, though.

      And who cares if the Wii is running on Gamecube-level hardware (I'm pretty sure it's not, though)? Does that really give the PS3 an edge over it, disregarding graphics? I've played quite a few ga

  • Completely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:32AM (#21129291) Homepage

    I agree completely. I wouldn't care if graphics were stuck where Zak & Wiki and Metroid 3 and Mario are. They all look just fine. If someone could figure out a way to make actual curved surfaces fast, that would be an improvement, but those games look fantastic. Heck, even RE 4 and some of the other 'Cube games looked good enough.

    The Wii is different. I read something the other day where someone important commented that we have 50x more power this generation than last (or something like that) and we are using it to calculate 50x as many polygons and stuff like that. They are mostly being used for better graphics. Not more physics. Not more AI. Just more stuff in the background of games that don't effect things as much. There are a few games doing things differently, but the average game is still a PS2 or XBox game with more polygons and shiny things.

    This will improve some as people get more familiar, but the Wii is the only system that is trying to do something different at this point in more than 1 or 2 games.

    • I agree completely. I wouldn't care if graphics were stuck where Zak & Wiki and Metroid 3 and Mario are. They all look just fine. If someone could figure out a way to make actual curved surfaces fast, that would be an improvement, but those games look fantastic. Heck, even RE 4 and some of the other 'Cube games looked good enough.

      In SD maybe, in HD zelda looks really bad. The graphics are pretty sloppy, the 3d isn't set up for widescreen so when you turn the sides of the screen distort much more then th
      • by MBCook (132727)

        Zelda didn't look bad, but you will note that I didn't mention that game. I didn't have those problems on my HDTV.

        Remember though that Zelda was developed almost entirely on the 'Cube, and was later released on it. It was, in most ways, a last-gen game. It was very fun, but it was not a "look at what Wii graphics can do" game. It looked good though.

        Even Metroid Prime 3 was, from my understanding, developed to a large degree on the 'Cube (though I think they stepped it up after that). That's a very good lo

      • by metamatic (202216)
        I didn't have any of the problems you had, and I have my Wii attached to an HDTV.

        You're sure you weren't playing the Cube version of Zelda? The Cube version wasn't widescreen. The Wii version was.
        • You're sure you weren't playing the Cube version of Zelda? The Cube version wasn't widescreen. The Wii version was.

          I'm certain a standard sized disk with the wii logo printed on it isn't the GC version.
      • by hibiki_r (649814)
        What? Zelda looked bad on my HDTV precisely until I got component cables for the wii, and set the game at 16:9! After that, the blurred colors and geometry went away, and it started to look pretty good.

        Are you sure the problem wasn't the settings on your TV? or are you running the console with composite cables?
  • I kinda disagree (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:33AM (#21129305)
    I'd originally dismissed the 360 as just like the last generation, just with more shiny. But all of the internet and xbox live services really push this into realms I've not yet seen. The 360 is certainly one direction the next generation can take, even if you disagree with it. The Wii is another approach. I haven't played one or anything but I hear it has an arcade like the 360 and can explore that avenue. Exploring new demographics is a great idea and they've certainly built up some impressive hype to go along with it.

    The only console I'd really bag on at this point is the PS3. Whatever they tried to do with it, it ended up a failure. I don't really see that conclusion changing any time soon, a late lifecycle resurrection or the like.

    I'm still happy with the idea of multiple game systems vigorously competing against one another. The last thing we need is a video game monoculture that stifles all development.
    • Re:I kinda disagree (Score:4, Interesting)

      by PJ1216 (1063738) * on Friday October 26, 2007 @12:09PM (#21129917)
      the PS3 is set-up to have a lot of potential. it was released early to help push blu-ray. its unfortunate, but from that standpoint, not having the ps3 out there really would have hurt blu-ray. their hand was forced. as they continually update it, more and more features are being added that didn't exist in any previous generation console. while some of them may exist in the xbox360 or the wii, just the same, they didn't exist in the previous generation of consoles. its setup more as a entertainment system as opposed to games only, which, is just another direction next-gen can take.

      though, honestly, i don't think he's referring to next-gen in these terms. he's talking about gameplay. as much as you want to say the live services are going into new realms, when you get down to it, its only changing the way you interact with the other players. the gameplay theory is the same. if you played a game on the xbox, you're going to have a very similar learning curve on 360 games as you did on the xbox. however, the whole theory used to develop the Wii was completely different. you could be a master on all other consoles, but be no better than a beginner on the wii.

      the gameplay on the PS3 & x360 is *not* that revolutionary. yea, the ps3 uses motion-sensing, but barely. you're talking about added features, which Wright isn't talking about. All of those things are just bells & whistles. The Wii is different. The gameplay is completely different. The way you socialize may be different on the 360. But that's not really next-generation. It may change the way you communicate or plan attacks, but again, its just modifications on a pre-existing framework.

      At least, thats my opinion.
    • I hate to be the person to jump in and say this, but: PC games have had online play since the dawn of time.

      It's not something that Microsoft invented for the XBox, and it's not even remotely new. Although they've done a very admirable job of putting a nice interface on it, and marketing it to every 14 year old in North America. It's nothing particularly new, special, or innovative.

      Nintendo shook things up, turned things in a direction where they've never gone before, and then had the balls to sell their c
      • we'd probably benefit from a console monoculture

        I see your point, and lower you a Windows 95. It worked wonders for games and operating system stability overall. /sarcasm

        While a monoculture would help game developers make games faster and more reliably, the question is what would it do for hardware? I mean, the Wii really is a hardware innovation more than software, right? The software is made to fit the hardware. If the Wiimote didn't exist, then WiiSports would be a lame party-game ripoff.

        I guess you
    • You posted my thoughts exactly.

      Wii is next gen in it's own way. But I'd say it's not even as "next gen" as the 360 because the 360 is all about Live and interactivity. The Wii to me is a novel party machine with a nifty controller. The 360 isn't about cutting edge graphics, it isn't about a special controller that lets me get bored of bowling after 2 hours.

      It's all about Live and how integrated the online experience is to the whole console. It certainly feels next gen when I'm playing MK3 that I just
  • by PJ1216 (1063738) * on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:34AM (#21129341)
    but, really, what it comes down to is semantics. I mean, look at the different generation iPods, yea, there were some leaps, but sometimes it was just an improvement in hard disk space and tweaks to the interface. the way people use the term "next-gen" is in terms of the competition available. the wii's competition has been deemed to be the ps3 and the xbox360. technically, it's competing with the ps2 and xbox as well, but its main competitors, the ones that everyone keeps an eye on, are the ps3 & x360. each generation is just the group of the current competitors of that era so to speak.

    So, while he does raise a VERY good point, its really just a different use of the term next-gen. its the next generation of each console (sony's, ms's, & nintendo's). while the wii is revolutionary, it doesn't mean you *can't* call the other consoles next-gen. technologically speaking, they are quite revolutionary (ie: ps3's cell processor) in their own regards, but the basic concept behind them hasn't changed.
  • I still don't have a Wii since it was released earlier this year as I can't find it locally or on Amazon. I go to Best Buy all the time to see the Halo XBox 360s that no one wants.
    • When I finally got mine, (just before Christmas, but it felt like finally) what I did was go into Wal-mart around 4pm to find out when their merchandise shipments came in so I could go in around that time and find out if Wii systems came in. I asked about it and the person at the desk got a phone call to pick up their division's merchandise: I got the first of 3 systems that came in that day. What's more, I got the idea from a family friend who got two systems the same way (after a couple more trips into th
    • That's less true than you think. I walked into a Zellers a couple months ago [zellers is basically like a Target or K-Mart] and they had two just sitting there in the display case.

      I think nowadays you're more likely to find one than say 6 months ago.

      Tom
    • If you want a Wii and can't find it yet, you should know that supply will double in Christmas [slashdot.org] according to Nintendo themselves. They've probably been stockpiling units for the important holiday season.

      The question is, when are they going to start releasing those units? You have to be attentive, because it's likely that demand is so high, that even doubled supply will still not be enough.
    • by radish (98371) on Friday October 26, 2007 @12:48PM (#21130563) Homepage
      I go to Best Buy all the time to see the Halo XBox 360s that no one wants.

      You do know the 360 outsold the Wii last month, right? Do you assume that because your supermarket always has bread on the shelf that no-one wants it?
  • What happend? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:36AM (#21129381) Homepage
    Usually I agree with Will Wright (regardless of your opinion of his games, you cannot deny the impact he has had on the industry) however, in this case, I think he is a little off the mark.

    The Wii does something new and exciting, yes, but so do the PS3 and the 360...it's not just "shinier graphics", there are many things that game developers are able to do now that they were unable to do before...that extra computing power can go towards smarter AI, larger level design (for example, compare the size of the levels and objects on screen in Beautiful Katamari to the first three Katamari games.)...it's similar to CGI in movies...it is allowing us to achieve things in movies that were previously nigh-impossible.

    And let's not forget the online portion as well. Yes, Live was around with the original Xbox, but look at what Live has grown into...a massive marketplace, tons of video and game demos right at your fingertips, not to mention Arcade titles...ditto for the PSN, so much stuff it's nearly overwhelming. The Wii has done well with the Virtual Console in this area, although out of the three I would have to say it has the furthest to go.

    The Wii has made some baby steps towards innovation, but it's going to take games where the waggle is no longer labeled as such (Prime 3 is a great example of this, btw.) More powerful CPUs and GPUs don't just make things extra shiny...they make gameplay possible that was not possible before...just like a Wiimote.
    • Re:What happend? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IceCreamGuy (904648) on Friday October 26, 2007 @12:02PM (#21129807) Homepage

      that extra computing power can go towards smarter AI, larger level design (for example, compare the size of the levels and objects on screen in Beautiful Katamari to the first three Katamari games.)...it's similar to CGI in movies...it is allowing us to achieve things in movies that were previously nigh-impossible.
      How are the things you mentioned not "incremental improvements?" All of the aspects of video games you just mentioned have been around since Doom, they've just gotten better ever since then... incrementally. Motion control, in the sense that the Wii has it, is new, as in never been done before in a console. What can you do on the 360 and PS3 that you can't do on a PC? Nothing. What about on the Wii?

      Maybe the wording he's using is a little off; "next gen" has always meant "incremental improvements" over a wide array of features and capabilities. But "next gen" in the context that Will Wright seems to be using it truly does only describe the Wii.

      • because as far as I can tell, he's only saying that the Wii is a completely different type of gameplay platform. Well isn't that just insightful?

        If the criterium is as you say things "you can't do on a PC" - then it's an argument already lost. There are already 'wiimote'-style controllers for the PC and silly games that make use of them. But say that this peripheral didn't exist, then one could argue that the gun in duck hunt or the mat in DDR was 'next gen'. Puh-lease.

        If the criterium is "smaller, more
    • by Targon (17348)
      Your comment touches on the real problem with the current generation of consoles without saying it. The consoles are able to do a lot more than the previous generation of consoles, but at this point, the only real improvements have been to the eye candy/graphics rather than being focused on the potential of the new consoles.

      Games for the PC have been advancing a bit faster because game developers know that they can develop a game for what they expect the PC will be able to do, and make the game scale base
    • by 8tim8 (623968)
      The Wii does something new and exciting, yes, but so do the PS3 and the 360...it's not just "shinier graphics", there are many things that game developers are able to do now that they were unable to do before

      Maybe, except that the things you list are, essentially, "shinier graphics" sorts of things that you get through more horsepower in the console. Bigger levels, smarter AI, more online...these are pretty obvious things that *any* next generation platform could supply.

      More powerful CPUs and GPUs don't ju
      • by Pojut (1027544)
        Read my reply to a post further up in this thread. My post there is my same answer to you.
  • by jdgeorge (18767) on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:40AM (#21129469)
    I don't know why it would tick off PS3 owners (or Xbox 360 owners, for that matter)....

    1. If your point of view is that "next generation console" means "console that introduces a new model for interacting with the system", then it is generally true that the Wii is the true next generation system (though the PS3 does cautiously dip its toe in that water).

    2. On the other hand, if "next generation console" means "console that provides the core functions of a next generation TV-based entertainment environment," then the Wii misses the boat and the PS3 (and perhaps the Xbox 360) is the true next gen console.

    3. Now, if one asserts that what makes a console "next generation" is that it taps a new or expanded audience of users, then it is not the console that is "next generation" at all. In this case, one might understandably describe the audience as "next generation gamers".

    In summary, having a new or expanded class of users means there is a "next generation" audience. Having a new or expanded class of functions means there is a "next generation" device.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Friday October 26, 2007 @11:53AM (#21129677)
      If you're going to go by features, the first next-gen console was the original Xbox.

      1) Large local storage built-in to the console
      2) Online gameplay with matching service
      3) Downloadable games
      4) HD support (at resolutions higher than 480p; I know 480p is a HD resolution, but it's not what people mean when they say "HD.")
      5) Built-in ethernet which can be used for the aforementioned online features, and also for setting up local LAN play

      Notice how every single console that's come out since the Xbox has integrated all of these features. But no console before the Xbox had them.
  • I guess I am an avid gamer, but aparently not a hardcore one (all of my free time is spent on games, but not all of my money). I own aprox 500 Console games, my annual budget for console games is probably in the $400-$500 range. In other words, I play games when the price is right and I own many games from many generations. I bought a Wii and about 5 games, and I will probably not buy more till next year. I still have never owned an Xbox of any kind and do not have a PS3. The games I really want to pla
  • Having played on the Wii a good bit now has convinced me that it isn't the revolutionary next step people claim it to be. Sure, it's got some great games and the controller is quite entertaining. The Wii, for me has provided a gaming experience no different from that offered by the Gamecube. What has made the console so approachable to non-gamers is not the controller but rather Nintendo's marketing and their game design. The controller may allow for some flexibility with game design, but not to the profoun
    • by xtracto (837672)
      . What has made the console so approachable to non-gamers is not the controller but rather Nintendo's marketing and their game design. The controller may allow for some flexibility with game design, but not to the profound extent some believe.

      Well... for my fifty-something year old mom and my sixty-something year old aunt it was the fact that they only needed to press ONE button (or hold, one button, in case of bowling) and/or swing the darn thing to play tennis, bowling, ping-pong, shooting, golf, etc. Wh
  • the mouse is the best input device ever.

    But he thinks the Wii is the only modern console, even though it's different mostly because of its controller. Which is as much like a mouse as a mouse is like a light pen [wikipedia.org].

    Speaking of which, touchscreens which can use a stylus, especially a stylus with 2 position points for angle, plus pressure, are the best input device ever, if we're not counting MIDI musical instruments.

  • False Bifurcation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by billtom (126004) on Friday October 26, 2007 @12:52PM (#21130617)
    Why can't I have it all? Jaw dropping graphics and innovative controls (and compelling gameplay while we're at it).

    I see too many people dismissing the importance of improved graphics, particularly in the face of the wii's novel controls. But graphics can improve the gaming experience (of course, I'm not saying that they automatically do; a bad game is a bad game, from text adventures, to sprites, to 3D). And I'm not just talking about hyper realism. Improved graphics can help immerse you in highly stylized games as well (see the upcoming Little Big Planet).

    What I'm getting at here is that I think that the wrong message to take from the current generation of games is: graphics don't matter because the wii sold well. (Which isn't really what Wright is saying, but I see it a lot.)

    What I want from the next generation of consoles is an amalgam of everything that is good about the current generation. And that includes graphics better than the ps3.
  • As I recall, Johnhamsta asked him about having Spore and other such games on the Wii very early on, and it looks like it did some good.

    Now, a more intriguing question is - what will the next gaming console be when America converts over to 80 percent HDTV somewhere in 2009?

    I've seen how the PS3 is now shipping features that are part of the Wii in an attempt to catch up - what other features do we think we're likely to see? One can assume it will be an HD-DVD version capable of running both DVD and HD-DVD, w
  • I own a Wii, and in a way I agree with Will's comments. Especially in how the Wii has attracted players from new demographics. The fact that my Mom can enjoy it, is fantastic.

    But, when I bought it I wasn't expecting to be FORCED to use the wii remote for FPS games. I thought I could use it if I liked and if I didn't I could pop in my gamecube controller and play it like a normal game. I was excited about the remote-as-a-gun-pointing-device idea but as it turns out, I'm not a fan. In fact I hate it, mostly d

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