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More Next-Gen Console Smack-Talk 123

With the PS3 now out the door in Japan, Nintendo and Microsoft are engaging in what is essentially the last moment for smack talk before everyone's cards are on the table in the U.S. On Microsoft's part, they're complaining in Europe that they want to go head-to-head with the PS3, and can't until next year. Xbox EU Boss Neil Thompson says: "In a lot of ways we'd like people to put the system side-by-side and see whether people want a platform where they're paying for Blu-ray straight away." Meanwhile, Nintendo is taking shots at both companies, saying that the next-gen DVD format war is bad for consumers. Says Nintendo Canada's Pierre-Paul Trépanier: "I think forcing a decision on consumers would certainly not be part of Nintendo's strategy, because we want to get more people into gaming and we want to make it affordable. Forcing people to adopt a technology and a model that's proprietary and still not established is unfair to gamers."
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More Next-Gen Console Smack-Talk

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  • by HappySqurriel ( 1010623 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @02:17PM (#16826104)
    Nintendo is a very classy company by most standards and tends not to make (unreasonable) negative comments about their competition; in almost all cases of negative comments made by Nintendo about their competition you can interpret what they're saying as "We respect what are competition is trying to do, but we do not believe that this is the best strategy for Nintendo to try to achieve our goals at this time". On another note, it is always interesting to watch reporters get Nintendo to talk trash about Sony and Microsoft; you'll see someone ask Nintendo whether they think that it was a huge mistake for Sony to release so few PS3s in Japan and Nintendo would say "We understand the difficulty of maintaining a decent supply of systems, but our goal is to try to expand the market and we believe that the best strategy for that is to ensure that someone can buy our console in a store for the MSRP" ... or something like that
  • The 'choice' (Score:5, Insightful)

    by steveo777 ( 183629 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @02:23PM (#16826206) Homepage Journal
    I think /. as a whole tends to agree with Trépanier. Don't FORCE proprietary media formats at us through a console. In the end it comes down to what the consumer spends their money on. A good percent of people know they're getting a Blu-Ray player and that it's non-gaming functionality directly competes with HD-DVD if they purchase a PS3. I'm sure a lot of them see the Blu-Ray as a bonus. But I'd say even more people are outraged that Sony is offering them a product that is overpriced because of functionality they don't want or need. The consumer has a right to be angry, too. I know I wanted to play the next Gran Turismo, but now I doubt I ever will.
  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @02:23PM (#16826212) Homepage Journal
    "But look at it this way, if Blu-Ray fails, your PS3 is still an incredible game machine."

    But with the 360 you have the option of waiting to see how it will all shake out. With the PS3 YOU HAVE TO BUY the Blue-Ray.
  • by Control Group ( 105494 ) * on Monday November 13, 2006 @02:24PM (#16826222) Homepage
    But you're comparing the PS3 to the HD-DVD add on, which just doesn't hold water. If Blu-Ray fails, the PS3 is still a great games machine. If HD-DVD fails, the 360 is still a great games machine.

    What you're doing is equivalent to: "if Blu-Ray fails, the PS3 is still a great games machine, but if HD-DVD fails, your Toshiba HD-DVD player is a useless piece of plastic." The two statements are unrelated, except that the HD-DVD add on for the 360 is cheaper than the Toshiba was in the first place - so, if anything, you're better off with the add on (assuming you've got a 360).

    Sony opened themselves up for this by including the Blu-Ray drive as part of the core machine. MS avoided this by making it an add on. By the same token, of course, Sony has set themselves up to be successful if/when game developers start utilizing the extra storage capacity of the format, while MS has precluded themselves from so doing.
  • by chrismcdirty ( 677039 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @02:55PM (#16826678) Homepage
    Don't forget, Nintendo as run by Iwata is much different than Nintendo as run by Yamauchi. Iwata seems to be more in touch with the people who play games, whereas Yamauchi was a crazy old man, rumored to have five heads.
  • by Channard ( 693317 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @03:08PM (#16826872) Journal
    .. and here was me thinking this was news that there was a PS3 of the Smacktalk being released. Which is, for anyone who's not heard of it, a device that sits between the 360's headset and console and lets you assign swearing and sound samples to various buttons. I'd buy one to assign a bunch of Dr Weird voice samples to if they weren't so expensive, and if they were actually available in the UK.
  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @03:30PM (#16827198) Homepage
    Yeah, the GC mini-DVDs are also a nice example. Dragged kicking and screaming into the world of optical media, they still couldn't go with something mainstream. Most of their weird proprietary decisions seem to involve preventing piracy and enforcing their licensee agreements -- the GBA-SP thing was at least allegedly a form factor issue, though I don't buy that it would have been impossible to use a normal jack. Anyway, the point is that Nintendo has always been weird and supported strange proprietary tech, but only for purposes of locking down their own console. Sony and MS use proprietary tech as a lever to force consumer's to do things in other markets. This has always been the difference to me: Nintendo's megalomaniacal urges seem to only run as far as ruling video games with an iron fist.
  • by Hitto ( 913085 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @03:50PM (#16827496)
    Wii and a 25$ divx player.

    I mean, c'mon guys. I know the next-gen storage format war is important to movie enthusiasts and people who have huge storage needs, but the rest of us are still happy with our "old" technology, and don't see (or care about) the artifacts or "bad quality" of the image. I mean, there's being interested in bleeding-edge, and then there's being anal about a percent performance increase.

    I thought we geeks cared about content, low prices, and squeezing the most life out of any piece of kit, however old it may be. What's the rest of /.'s opinion on this, I'd love to know.

    And on the upcoming games front? Personally, I am not interested by either the Xbox 360's or the PS3's offerings, even though I enjoyed the main franchise games on both consoles' predecessors. We have already witnessed how the cheaper, innovative console is more fun in many ways to the expensive, state-of-the-art piece of hardware that "isn't a console". (yes, I am in eternal love with the DS)

    You may now post your best "Wii is barely powerful enough to run MARIO PONG : kidz version" flames... :)
  • by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @04:28PM (#16828072) Homepage Journal
    I bought Paper Mario a while back and I just have to say that I loath that game despite all the rav reviews I saw for it. It's boring with lame puzzles that require mostly trial and error or repetitive tasks than actual thought or skill and the dialog is so lame as to be a crime. I love the Mario family of games and RPG style games but Paper Mario is just a mockery of both.

    I do like the Skies of Arcadia remake for Gamecube (a bit better than the Dreamcast version) and the Gamecube I think is the choice platform for party games. I think Nintendo is making a mistake by choosing a design for the Wii that looks more like the PlayStation instead of keeping the easily portable little cube design of the Gamecube.

    I'd like to see Nintendo shrink the form factor of the Gamecube further and bring it's price down to around $50 as I think they could really hit the market for younger kids and party players if they did. Maybe add some Wii-like controllers while their at it. I think a smaller, cheaper, and improved Gamecube could sell better than the Wii. The Gameboy isn't all bells and whistles like the PSP but it consistantly sells better than the PSP and similar expensive rivals. I think the Wii price is to high for the market it's going after.
  • by amuro98 ( 461673 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @04:39PM (#16828232)
    What it really comes down to is:

    IF Blu-Ray is successful, then the PS3 has a big leg up, as it already includes the means to play Blu-ray movies.

    IF, on the other hand, Blu-Ray is not successful, Sony must still support it for the PS3, just as Sony must still support UMD for the PSP because both mediums didn't just play movies, but are used for software (the games) as well.

    Sony is gambling that the higher prices NOW will pay off in the future by launching Blu-ray into millions of homes, striking a large blow against HD-DVD.

    As for games, it's yet to be shown how Blu-Ray adds anything to them, other than providing tons of extra space for those long, beautifully rendered, non-interactive CGI movies Square so loves using in their Final Fantasy games and other RPGs. I've not heard of any game filling a Blu-Ray disc. Supposedly the developers of 'Resistance...' were claiming each level was going to use up 4GB of space on the Blu-Ray disc, but later it was shown the entire game fit into 12GB (down from their initial claims of 24GB) While still larger than a dual-layered DVD, there's not much real information on how that space is being utilized (is it multiple versions of the cutscenes? is it uncompressed texture and graphical data? etc.)

    Personally, I could care less what format the games used. And I'm not going to get interested in next-gen DVDs until the format war has gone away, or multi-format players are readily available and under $500. I figure that's a good 2 years away.

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  • by 7Prime ( 871679 ) on Monday November 13, 2006 @04:50PM (#16828392) Homepage Journal

    Physics, AI, etc. have almost NOTHING to do with disc capacity. These things are dry code, which takes up an insignificant amount of drive space. A good 95% or more of a disc goes into graphics and sound. Code for most contemporary games could still fit in an N64 cartridge. Maybe this is an exaduration, but not by much. All the disc capacity is for is for "pretty". Disc capacity has NO overarching effect on gameplay, WHAT SO EVER. Now, I'm not saying that disc capacity is pointless. Graphics and sound enhance the atmosphere of the game, making it more immersive if used well (which most HD games, I would argue, do not). So if it's gameplay you are concerned about, do not worry, the Wii will probably have the best gameplay (AI, Physics, etc.) since companies are being persuaded to concentrate more on that than "oooh... pretty".

    This is coming from a person who thinks that the game with the best graphics, that I've ever seen, is Okami, a PS2 game. I don't believe that most developers have come to terms with the graphical capabilities that they had with the last generation, let alone the current one. Graphics are only as good as the artistic vision of the creators. Although, I will admit that Shadow of the Collosus is one example of a game made painful because the creators surpassed the capabilities of the machine, and the game was increadibly choppy because of it.

  • by iainl ( 136759 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2006 @06:05AM (#16835630)
    "Both cost the same" REALLY?

    The cheapest standalone Blu-Ray player is $1000, or £950 if you're in the UK like me.
    The cheapest standalone HD-DVD player is $500 or £430

    The XBox 360 add-on is $200, or £130. The cheapest PS3 is $500, or will be £425 when it eventually turns up here next year.

    That's quite extraordinarily wrong.

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