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Nintendo Businesses Entertainment Games

Mario All Grown Up? 188

Reggie Fils-Aime, frequent spokesperson for Nintendo, has a piece extolling the way in which Nintendo will disrupt the videogaming market with the release of the Revolution. His editorial uses the movie industry as a comparison, and likens the systems of Sony and Microsoft to 'flops'. From the article: "Nintendo's counterpunch is disruption. We've determined that the videogame market is ripe for revival--and we're looking to make it happen by reaching out to the millions of players still on the sidelines, including those over the age of 35. Early moves have been promising. Nintendogs, a game that allows people to train virtual puppies, has doubled the typical percentage of female purchasers, selling 1.5 million copies in about four months. Not bad, given that Nintendo DS hardware is in 4 million hands." Yeah, it's just more advertising claptrap, but the levels of hyperbole they're reaching is sort of breathtaking to behold.
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Mario All Grown Up?

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  • by slashbob22 ( 918040 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @06:42PM (#14711566)
    .. Mario's been at those mushrooms again.
  • Claptrap? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_skywise ( 189793 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @06:44PM (#14711587)
    "Yeah, it's just more advertising claptrap"

    In a time where you have other industry elites saying the video game market has topped out (EA), there's no room for growth in MMOG (Richard Garriott), many companies are just going belly up (Atari), Microsoft can't get is product to the street, the PSP is nothing more than a mini-DVD player and one of the major selling points of the PS3 is that it's a HI-DEF DVD player, Nintendo OPENED UP a new market and sold 1.5 million copies of a game to WOMEN in 4 months.

    Claptrap? Nah... I think I'd listen to what the guy has to say.
    • Re:Claptrap? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by AK__64 ( 740022 )
      Great point. Nintendo, in my opinion, has been seeing much less fanboyism and "claptrap" than the rest of the next gen consoles. The Nintendo bigwigs do seem to be off in a world of thier own, but I do honestly think that the Revolution deserves at least some of the so-called hyperbole it's been given, especially since little or none of that has come from the average gamer, who is far more concerned with the pixel counts and the quality of the next sequel than innovation.
      • If by next gen consoles, you mean the XBox360, then perhaps you're right, although Nintendo still appears to have a very strong fanboy following.

        But the PS3? Where are the fanboys? Where's the claptrapped hype?

    • by Carnildo ( 712617 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @07:09PM (#14711832) Homepage Journal
      ...many companies are just going belly up (Atari)...

      Atari goes belly-up on a regular basis. How's this supposed to be news?
  • But if Nintendo... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    If Nintendo tried to compete with Sony and Microsoft on the same level and with the same features, it would lose. Right now we can just expect familiar game licenses with new and inovative gameplay elements (IE the controller) and updated graphics.

    • I think Nintendo's opinion is that if they tried to compete with Sony and Microsoft on the same level and with the same features, everyone would lose, because it's just not a good feature set.

      I'm not saying they're right... it sounds to me like the 360 is doing some pretty good stuff with Live, and I have to assume that Sony has something up their sleeves that just hasn't been mentioned yet (er... at least, hasn't been mentioned on Slashdot, so I haven't heard about it).

      But regardless of the merits of the M
  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @06:50PM (#14711647) Homepage Journal
    Which is why Nintendogs is doing so well.

    If game companies don't grok this, they'll be stuck with FPS that noone wants to play.
    • No, they'll be stuck with an FPS that only attracts their core audience.
    • The growth is all in women and girls

      So that's why Nintendo put the rumble pack into that new wand-shaped controller.

      I keed, I keed...
  • Are we talking about prostitution or video games?
  • Every time I enconter the phrase "polarizing (group1) and (group2)" I think that people really need to play with []
  • by dstone ( 191334 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @06:56PM (#14711710) Homepage
    The article says "Not bad, given that Nintendo DS hardware is in 4 million hands."

    Maybe they're talking about just one market (seems unusual though, considering the DS and its games are regionless), but many I've sources [] claim a DS sales figure of at least 13 million units. Which means it's in around 26 million hands.
    • The article you linked to:
      The Japanese gaming company had sold about 4 million Nintendo DS units in North America and more than 5 million in Japan since the game systems U.S. launch in November of 2004.
      Considering Reggie is the spokesman for NOA, it makes sense for him to quote NOA numbers.
    • If the average player plays about 4 hours and 20 minutes a day, it would be in 4 million hands and 11 million pockets at any given time.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    We've determined that the videogame market is ripe for revival

    How can the market be ripe for revival when it's not even dead? Unless if that was meant to read Nintendo's console market. I have seen no signs of Sony's and Microsoft's consoles suffering from lack of sales.
    • How can the market be ripe for revival when it's not even dead?

      The Japanese videogame market has been in decline since 1999. The US videogame market slowed (it might've actually declined, I can't remember) in 2005. Yes, a large portion of this is due to the fact that it was a transitional year, but they've had transitional years before that weren't nearly that bad.

      This isn't the first (or second) time Nintendo's seen this trend.
    • The Gamecube was Yamauchi's baby. He really dropped the ball on that thing, and arguably the Nintendo 64 too. Iwata, on the other hand, seems to know when his company is fighting a losing battle, after all, how can he hope to compete when his company has had a history of subpar consoles past the SNES? When the current console generation is about "MY GRAPHICS ARE BETTER THAN YOUR GRAPHICS" dick waving, how can you get ahead, other than creating a bigger, badder console than your compedators, while costing
  • by DeadMilkman ( 855027 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @07:01PM (#14711754) Homepage
    We (gamers) are being sequeled to death...

    we all know this... Usually we blow it off by casting the shame towards the genre we don't like as much...or point to the fewer and fewer glimmers of originality.

    But this does not stop the truth we all well know.

    Something needs to change.

    Maybe its the publishers, maybe its the develoupment model/cycle.

    Nintendo is trying to change its machine to be able to do something more than push out one polygon/sprite/bit more than its competitors.

    Last time they were our saviors (NES)...maybe..just maybe...they are trying to save us again before the industry REALLY needs it.

    *NOTE: trying to save us does mean they can still fall on their asses trying, not to mention how much money they made last time they *were* right ;)
    • Is having many sequels really such a bad thing? It's a safer buy for the consumer. "I liked Sly Cooper, I bet I'll like Sly 2 as well." It makes for easy logic. It's like looking at the box and thinking "I like mech games, maybe I'll give this 'Ring of Red' a go."

      Besides, some of us actually like sequels to our favorite games. That being said, as with any game purchase, research first.
      • ### Is having many sequels really such a bad thing?

        There is nothing wrong with a good sequel, the throuble with todays sequels is that they come out far to quickly and change the gamemechanics almost not at all. Looking at SplinterCell1 vs SplinterCell3 its almost the same game, stuff like that shouldn't get released as full price sequel, but as a low-price add-on. Even worse is that there aren't not only sequels, but cloning of game-concepts all over the place, ie. NeedFor Speed Underground started the Pim
    • We (gamers) are being sequeled to death...

      You mean like with Mario Party 7?

      (Disclaimer: I have nothing against Mario games)

  • good=disruptive (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spoogle ( 874602 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @07:07PM (#14711807)
    What they are really saying is that their new work will be disruptive by:
    • making games which are good as opposed to crappy
    • making games which do not follow the same tired old gameplay mechanics

    I was explaining to someone (who does not play games) the other day what computer games are about, and since I like FPSs so much, I was explaining FPSs to her. But I felt kind of embarrased because I don't approve of or particularly like shooting things. Shooting things = tired gameplay mechanic. Violence = tired gameplay mechanic.

    Compare two different concepts for Nintendogs: 1. raise and train cute puppies, 2. shoot lots of cute puppies. I rest my case, QFD.


  • by uzusan ( 951058 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @07:10PM (#14711856) Homepage
    in these days of gaming that are just re-hashed vesions of previous generation games, we need a bit more innovation. there are a lot of innovative games out there, but they dont seem to be getting the prominence that they deserve. However, most companies seem content to pump out unnecessary-sequel 5, without regards to innovation. it seems even the companies normally renound for innovation are falling under this spell.

    even nintendo itself. they have a lot of great titles, but seem to be increasingly padding it out with rehashes of previous stuff. Im a massive fan of mario, but do i really need another version of super mario bros? a game that was amazing on the nes, but why should i buy it on the DS? or the GBA? sure if they do anything new (like they did with mario kart ds) then ill consider it.

    i would love to play an completely new mario game on the DS, not one that looks like its just a level redesign (from the few leaked shots ive seen so far). maybe im becoming jaded and looking at the gaming past through rose tinted glasses, but to me it seems that the games industry needs a good swift kick up the behind and get its ideas in shape (and give those designers who actually have loads of good ideas a chance).
    • ### i would love to play an completely new mario game on the DS, not one that looks like its just a level redesign (from the few leaked shots ive seen so far).

      The NewSuperMarioBros game looks nothing like a simple level redesign, ok some of the items seen there have been probally seen in previous titles, but the gameplay looks much more like SuperMario64 packed into a 2D world combined with tons of YoshiIsland-like pseudo-3D Effekts. I have no idea how the game will turn out in the game, but it definitvly s
  • by adavies42 ( 746183 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @07:19PM (#14711933)
    The hell with Mario, I want her!
  • by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Monday February 13, 2006 @07:24PM (#14711984) Homepage
    because gameplay is weak and games are intimidating and hard to use? It's true in my case. More to the point, previously "hardcore" gamers are, I think, being pushed into the "non-hardcore" camp.

    Games are what brought me to the PC from Unix platforms in the late '80s and early '90s (well, games and Linux). I am the ideal market: male, 20s-30s, very technical, able and willing to assemble my own systems and very, shall we say, "intrigued" by ever-faster and sexier hardware.

    For a long time before I started with PC games, I was a rabid text-based adventure and Nethack fan. But the graphics and variety of PC platform games were just too sexy to me and by the mid-to-late'90s, I was what I would consider to be a hardcore gamer: SMP, relentless video card upgrades, lots of RAM, RAID for faster level loads, CD changers to play multi-disc games more smoothly, 21" monitor, etc., moving into console platforms, buying just about every game that came out...

    But it all tapered off somehow. Games would feel less engrossing, or the keyboard learning curve would be so high that I wouldn't play it after I'd bought it. At first, it was just one or two games that I wasn't bothering to complete, but by the time I had the latest 10 or 15 titles in my hands and a system that could play them all, yet I hadn't finished any of them and found myself preferring to do other things instead, I realized that this gaming thing was becoming a worse investment since I didn't seem to be enjoying it as much... and my game buying tapered off.

    In retrospect, though I played a bunch of FPS games all the way through, the games that I find most memorable (and that I still own long after most of my game library has gone the eBay way) are the games that today's "hardcore" gamers ruthlessly mock. I still own Myst, Riven, Zork Nemesis, the Ultima series (including Ultima IX: Ascension), the King's Quest series (including Mask of Eternity), and so on. In short, they're primarily adventure-driven games whose interfaces and schemas are not so complex that one must spend two weeks in "learning curve" mode before actually having any fun.

    I have some friends who still game all the latest titles, but I've tried them and they're just not that entertaining. There's nothing for the imagination there. You simply mindlessly flail about on your keyboard with ultra-complex controls while trying to blast things. Rather than being revealed to you through experience, evidence, and events (as was strongly the case with, for example, Myst or Riven), stories are simply told to you in annoying pages-long sessions of reading or long monologues by animated characters that I don't care about and that punctuate the otherwise mindless action.

    In short, most games aren't fun anymore. The past is full of great games in dead genres. Text- or command-based adventure (i.e. Infocom games, early Sierra games), text-based RPG (Nethack, Rogue, et. al.), graphical adventure (Myst, Riven, Sanitarium, Obsidian, Grim Fandango, a million other amazing titles), action-adventure (Ultima IX: Ascention, Mask of Eternity, Nocturne), action platform/scroller (NOX, Gauntlet, Flashback), strategy (Civilization, Heroes of Might and Magic, Alpha Centauri).

    I can't really think of any FPS, pure role-playing, racing, or sports computer games that are at the top of my list... Yet that's all that's on the market today. Compare to 1997, when the shelves were full of imaginative games in many genres. It's as though the improvement in graphics has pushed the "reality" paradigm to the forefront, leaving no room in the marketplace for "fantasy," which is really the only reason I ever played games to begin with. I want to go to other worlds that don't bear too big a resemblance to mine, and to enjoy myself while I'm there (i.e. it shouldn't feel like work).

    Instead, today's games have a very high learning curve (trying to learn to play one of them feels like being in school, you can't just pick up as you go, and the controls demand full attention, not leisurely
    • To you I have only one thing to say. Well, two things. Alright, three including this declaration, but that's not important. First, well, you pretty much nailed it. Less gratuitous blood (reasonable blood is fine), more action and, dare I say it, thought. Although that's close to saying that music today should have a melody, damn these kids today... You were especially correct about the fact that you used to be able to sit and hang out with friends, casually playing Zelda/Mario/whatever, with moments o
    • What makes you think it was the industry that changed and not, say, yourself?

      I know, personally, my attitude towards games has changed a lot. I used to be able to play Tribes for 20 hours straight in college. I used to beat every RPG I bought, even the horribly buggy ones, and I bought every RPG I got my hands on.

      Recently, I bought Dungeon Lords, a great RPG in the old-school PC style, and I got about 6-7 hours into it before just stopping. Why? I'm not going to pretend the games changed... is there muc
      • Considering you didn't read his post, it sounds more like short attention span syndrome to m... ooh, shiny!

      • ### but I think all you are experiencing is nostalgia

        There is of course always a bit of nostalgia when talking about games of the past, but things definitvly have changed as well, for most part probally simple because the industrie got a whole lot more 'professional', thus every game has to appeal to the 'target audience' and the little crazy ideas never make it very far if the publisher doesn't think they follow certain 'standard'. This is probally most obvious when looking into the early days of gaming,
    • I've been gaming since the Atari 2600. Since then I've bought the Intellivision Colecovision, NES, SNES, TG-16, Jaguar (hey, it dropped to $30 at a local game store), PSX, PS2 and an xbox. I've also had a gaming PC since Wolf3D. So I'm into my gaming.

      These days I wander into a game store wish cash in my pocket, look through everything there, and walk out empty-handed. Nothing sounds interesting.

      Maybe I'm just no longer the target market, because I've been there and done that. I'll play every GTA game that c
    • I can see how someone coming from a non-gaming background could have some trouble jumping in and getting all the controls of modern games. But you don't really have that excuse since you were playing for a long time. It is really easy to get in to any game. There are different learning curves for games...but they are still extremely easy to pick up. I mean...if you look online how many idiots there are playing these games...I'd have to assume that the majority of people given the tiniest amount of effo
  • Nintendo hopes to gain the 35+ market, their spokesperson says so. ( I think its more they need to capture the 20+ market).

    Then he goes on about Nintendogs, a game squarely marketed for juvenile girls.

    I am all up for the new Revolution, hoping Nintendo will put their money where their mouth is, but I have no doubts that the new Revolution will cater to children with derivative Mario Party titles that will make novel use of the new motion based controller system. Nintendo has not yet focused on adult gaming

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."