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Some Truth to Wii as GameCube 1.5? 519

Newsweek's N'Gai tackles the allegation that the Wii is a glorified GameCube. He specifically looked at recent comments by Microsoft's Robbie Bach saying that 'the video graphics on it aren't very strong; the box itself is kind of underpowered; it doesn't play DVDs; there are a lot of down-line components [that] aren't actually that interesting. ... They don't have the graphics horsepower that even Xbox 1 had. So it makes sort of the comparison set a little bit difficult.' LevelUp spoke with a pair of technical experts at third party publishers and learned that, essentially, Bach's comments about horsepower are accurate. However, "the 'Gamecube 1.5' moniker, while accurate, doesn't mean that gamers won't see graphical improvements on the Wii. 'There are three main differences which will result in graphics improvements. One, the increased memory clock speed, from 162 megahertz to 243 megahertz, means that it is easier to do enough pixels for 480p mode versus 480i. Two, the enhanced memory size of the Wii gives much more room for image-related operations such as anti-aliasing, motion blur, etc. The performance to these memory systems from the graphics chip is also improved. So full-screen effects and increased texture usage seem likely as a result.'"
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Some Truth to Wii as GameCube 1.5?

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  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shawngarringer ( 906569 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:37AM (#19081827)
    Who cares, the thing is fun to play, so maybe the Wii's wee isn't as big as the xbox 360 or the PS3 -- does that really make such a big difference?
  • I'm surprised.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by igotmybfg ( 525391 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:40AM (#19081867) Homepage
    I'm surprised a suit would say that comparison is 'difficult', when sales figures are readily available []. Maybe what's difficult is having to explain them to billg?
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bin_jammin ( 684517 ) <> on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:42AM (#19081903)
    Agreed. Just another smoke and mirrors show that misses the point entirely. If Nintendo had come out with the controller set for the gamecube would the same critics be complaining about it being an outdated platform? I imagine so.
  • by \\ ( 118555 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:47AM (#19081975) Homepage
    Isn't this something people were saying before the Wii was even released? I don't understand why this is news again, almost (or possibly more than) a year later.
  • My PC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <> on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:47AM (#19081979) Homepage Journal
    Did you know that my AMD64 is really just a Pentium III 1.5? I heard it on the Internet, so it must be true!

    I wish people would get a grip. Especially since these specs have been know for... oh.... EVER. Get over already, will you? Yeah, it's the first console since the 80's to perform upgrades to components rather than replacing them outright. That's not a big deal. The console still has more than enough power to play games like Zelda, Super Paper Mario, and Red Steel.

    Let me put it another way. In the Super Nintendo generation, it was less powerful than the TG16, the 3DO, the Phillips CD-i (pardon me while I die laughing), and the Neo Geo. But it was also worlds less expensive. Its only real competitor in that generation was the Sega Genesis, a console that was less powerful than the Super Nintendo!

    The lesson to learn from this is that graphical power != better games. Better games == Better games, and damn the graphical power. The sooner people realize this, the better. (Or should I say, the sooner they get over their insecurity at having purchased a PS3?)

    As for the Gamecube "1.5" nonsense, it's two Gamecubes duct taped together. Get it right, will you?

    * Critics can shaddup about this one, too. If you can't get past learning the controls, well, that's too bad for you. But many of us actually find the controls to make the game. And the graphics aren't nearly as bad as they're made out to be. Sure, there are some dull hallways and whatnot, but there are also rooms full of steam, radiosity from windows, and other nice effects that help draw you into the game. And drawing me into the game is all I care about.
  • Propaganda (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TodMinuit ( 1026042 ) <todminuit@gmail. c o m> on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:48AM (#19081995)
    From the article:

    I'm actually not--the product has gotten more broad-base [sic] aclaim that I would have expected. It's a very nice product, but it actually has a relatively specific audience and a fairly specific appeal, frankly, based on one feature, which is the controller itself. And the rest of the product is actually not a great product--no disrespect, but...the video graphics on it aren't very strong; the box itself is kind of underpowered; it doesn't play DVDs; there are a lot of down-line components [that] aren't actually that interesting.
    Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 have a relatively specific audience and a fairly specific appeal, frankly, based on one feature, which are the graphics itself. And the rest of product is actually not a great product--no disrespect, but...the games and gameplay on it aren't very strong.

    Blah blah blah. What do you expect them to say? "Oh, the Wii kicks our ass. It's cheaper to build and is selling more. We're fools?" Give me a break.
  • Jealous much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grapeape ( 137008 ) <mpope7.kc@rr@com> on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:52AM (#19082057) Homepage
    So Microsoft is upset with Nintendo because they were smarter? After spending huge amounts of money MS ended up with a new machine based on making everything faster while nintendo spent their money on researching new ways to play games and applied them to what they already had.

    I have a 360, it has some great games, but its still just a prettier version of the xbox that is barely backwards compatable. I cant get my wife or relatives to play the 360, but all of them seem to gravitate to the wii. I came home from work yesterday and caught my wife bowling at 3 in the afternoon, I can guarantee I've never come home and caught her playing halo.

    So perhaps MS feels like they wasted money and resources? Have we finally reached a point where the old argument about graphics vs gameplay is actually a legitimate one?
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by archen ( 447353 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:53AM (#19082071)
    Well look forward to this being rehashed over and over again for people who don't really get what the Wii is. It's not just a gamecube 1.5 because hardware is xx% faster than the previous generation, it is an entire reorientation in what gaming today IS. One of the most intriguing things I read was a comment from a Nintendo engineer who said something to the effect of: "We saw a trend that if we gave people X, people wanted X + Y, you give them that and then they still want more. There is no way you can every really satisfy people with hardware, it is a loosing battle and one that only raises the cost of the console the more you try to please those who cannot be pleased".

    Reality is Nintendo is going after NON gamers, and people who just want to have fun. Think grandma and grandpa care about graphics? You're deluding yourself (they probably can't see that well :) Simple truth is that people don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a console, and they want to have fun. Nintendo's innovation isn't with the hardware, it's what they do with the hardware.
  • by megamerican ( 1073936 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:55AM (#19082103)
    If you focus on a few seconds of one of many commercials then yes, you may think they have a lousy marketing campaign. Marketing to families is what are driving the sales. If you were a mother or father, would you spend $250+ on a console that you can enjoy too, or $600+? Showing families having fun together while playing the Wii sure was a bad idea!
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cHALiTO ( 101461 ) <> on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:59AM (#19082149) Homepage
    There's a big difference however, between offering an *alternative* innovative controller to an existing console, and launching a new generation of consoles with such controller as a default.

    Alternative controllers often end up having only a few games for them, as game companies know they'll be addressing a fraction of the customer base if they do games for that controller.
    If the controller is the default on the system, all users of that system have it, so it's not risky to produce games for it.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ps236 ( 965675 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:00AM (#19082169)
    The XBox360 and PS3 are really just like the XBox and PS2 but with extra processing & graphics power. Not a lot else. The Wii is quite different from anything before due to the control system and the 'ethos' of the games designed for it. IMV, the Wii is probably more 'next-gen' than the XBox360 and PS3, which are just like the previous gen with bigger bits.

    I've got both an XBox360 and a Wii, and I like them both for the things they're good at. Graphics-wise the XBox360 wins hands now, no argument, but for 'fun' (especially if you want something other than a FPS or sports game) the Wii wins easily. (The PS3 just isn't worth buying at the moment for me).

    Most people who's been playing computer games for a while will know there's more to an enjoyable game than fancy graphics - on a good game they are pretty much incidental. Heck, I've played crude ASCII graphics MMORPGs which were far more fun and "immersive" than some MMORPGs out today.

  • Re:My PC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <> on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:01AM (#19082183) Homepage Journal
    I think a lot of people have been saying it for that long. The problem stems from the fact that graphics can have an impact on what you can do with a console. Especially in the early days of game consoles, where the 2600 was limited to two sprites, a 1 pixel ball, two 1 pixel missiles, and a 20x2 by 190 pixel background. Obviously, that was quite limiting. Later consoles touted how many sprites they had, and their hi-res background capabilities.

    The upgrade from the NES to the SNES was similar. The SNES allowed for bigger characters, larger games, scaling and rotation effects, and other features that allowed game creators to make games that they couldn't have otherwise.

    Unfortunately, the market has become blind to the reasons behind why those graphical upgrades were important. As a result, they're fixated on this idea that we need photo-realistic graphics to have better games. It doesn't work that way. The Atari 7800 had better graphics than the NES. It failed. The Colecovision and Intellivision both had better graphics than the 2600. They didn't capture nearly the market that the 2600 did. The Neo Geo has the best 2D graphics available anywhere. It did not displace the SuperNES. (Though it did do well for itself among hardcore fans of SNK fighting games.) The Playstation was graphically inferior to the N64, yet it was the best selling console to date. The Playstation 2 was graphically inferior to the Gamecube and XBox, yet it was (and still is) the best selling console ever.

    History is very clear on this. If you give the market good games at a good price, you will outperform your competition. If you try and push the envelope with the idea that money is no object, you WILL fail. Or at best, only capture a niche in the market.
  • Sure. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cowscows ( 103644 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:02AM (#19082205) Journal
    If you wish to make the processing power of the Wii your main concern, then yes, you might be able to make an argument that the Wii is only 1.5 gamecubes. Unfortunately, you'd be entirely missing the point of the Wii.

    If you consider a new control scheme to be more interesting, then the 360 is more like Xbox 1.1. The PS3 has some motion detection added in, so we'll call that a PS2 2.0, but they couldn't manage to get the rumble back in, so we should probably dock them something for that. Let's just say it's a 2.0 that shipped before it was really ready. Nintendo, on the other hand, has shipped an entirely new product line.

    And the best part for Nintendo is that this isn't just some BS excuse that they're making up for not being able to keep up in the technology race, it's a very deliberate strategy that they've implemented in both their handheld and living room consoles, and sales have proved it to be extremely successful. Good for them.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:04AM (#19082227) Homepage
    Also, about the graphics not being as good as XBox 1. Even GC was as good as xBox1. I've had people hook it up to their TV with the SVideo cable, and be amazed at how well some of the games look, especailly coming from such a small,quiet, and light machine. There's games on the Wii right now, like wii sports, that don't have stellar graphics, but nobody was trying to make it a visual masterpiece. While I admit that I saw a PS3 in stores the other day, and was amazed by the graphics, they were completely awesome, I'm not about to spend $700 on a game console. The graphics have gotten to a point where they are good enough, and companies should really start to focus on gameplay, lest they lose their audience.
  • Re:you know (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GweeDo ( 127172 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:15AM (#19082401) Homepage
    Why do people keep saying "in another year or two, when the novelty of the motion detector has worn off"? This statement just doesn't make any sense to me at all. That is like saying "well, in a year or two when 0-60 in 4 seconds of your sports car wears off", it isn't going to. It isn't just a gimmick. It is a true advancement in the way interact with games. Sure, there are going to be games that implement motion control in crappy ways. The key is that there are going to be amazing games as well that simply aren't possible with a standard controller.
  • numbers != fun (Score:4, Insightful)

    by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:18AM (#19082459)
    There's more to creating beauty than polygon fill rates and shader algorithms.

    I think a game like Super Paper Mario, for example, is absolutely gorgeous; it's obvious that a huge amount of effort went into the art direction for the game. Who cares if the graphics could have been generated by a last-generation GPU? They're still beautiful.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smallfries ( 601545 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:23AM (#19082533) Homepage

    In Sony's case it's even worst. Since the beginning of the PS3 marketing they kept throwing fake pre-rendered videos at us (Killzone 2 anyone?). then once it's out their console can't even match their fake videos.

    Actually you can go right back to when they were throwing fake pre-rendered videos at us before the launch of the PS2. Or the dev demos from back then - anyone remember the disembodied head that we were told would be an accurate indication of characters in PS2 games...

    I still play on the ps2 now and again ... but I really don't see the point in a ps3. It's not the graphics that are the problem. I will be buying a Wii just as soon as the uk price comes down from its ridiculous level. They just look like more fun.
  • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:25AM (#19082581) Homepage
    Video games must be the only industry around where pricing a system to make a profit is somehow seen as a bad thing.

    Here's a hint: If Microsoft didn't have the Windows tax to fall back on, the 360 probably wouldn't even exist, let alone be sold at the losses it was during its first year.

    The money to make these things comes from somewhere. Nintendo sells the product for what it actually costs to make, Microsoft just uses some of the money from their monopoly.
  • by j00r0m4nc3r ( 959816 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:26AM (#19082599)
    It's something that suits will never understand. It goes beyond pixels and megahertz and "high definition", deeper into the human heart where suits just can't see. People don't care about pixels. They don't care about fill-rates and texels and polygons and all the other bullshit that suits try to cram into their products -- all the crap they THINK people want. But they just don't get it. People want to be happy and have fun. People spend their lives miserable most of the time and want to spend their money that they worked hard for and get fun and happiness with their friends and family in exchange. It's FUN to play Wii with your mom or grandpa or uncle. It's not fun to play GTA or Gears of War with your grandma. The architecture is irrelevant. What's important is the amount of happy times you get for your money.
  • by TimeForGuinness ( 701731 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:26AM (#19082615) Journal
    I really think Nintendo approached the Wii intelligently. When trying to shake things up in the gaming world and going with a whole new control scheme, using a revved-up Gamecube might not be a bad thing. Think of the risk involved. If they put out a platform that rivals the Xbox or PS3 with a new control scheme, the console would be expensive and people would not take the risk of learning something new. Nintendo is dead in the water.

    But if Nintendo bumps up the specs on the gamecube (small risk, graphics are decent) while introducing a new control scheme (big risk) while keeping the price cheaper than the other two consoles (still making a profit on each console), people can afford to take a risk...and they have. The Wii is a success so far, and caught the game makers with their pants down. They weren't prepared for this and now they have to shift too.

    What is really interesting, in this experiment by Nintendo, is that because the Wii is so far a success, this lowers the risk of incorporating higher end graphics, HD, 720/1080, etc for Wii 2.0.
  • by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:27AM (#19082623) Homepage Journal

    The only thing left is photorealism
    And that's the problem right there. The closer you get to photorealism, the more people feel like "it's not photorealistic enough".

    Case in point: when you watch old movies, you sometimes think to yourself "those are computer graphics", and they're still better-looking than today's consoles (and yes I'm talking about the Xbox360 and PS3 in this case, or even the most expensive consumer-grade 3D card). So if your brain can make the difference between real things and 3D things in movies that took months to render, imagine how long it will be until 500$ consoles can do it in real-time.

    Nintendo are smart to stay away from that "photorealistic 3D graphics" race. The finish line is still decades away.

  • Re:you know (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WaZiX ( 766733 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:28AM (#19082633)
    If enough people have the Wii, there will be games...

    And it certainly looks like there will be enough people with a Wii... So I wouldn't bet on a lack of games...
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jonathan_S ( 25407 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:30AM (#19082675)

    A lot of people thought Nintendo was crazy when they released the analog stick for the N64. Remember, there was no dual shock controllers at this time for PS1, it's main competitor. A lot of people didn't like it. Now every console (minus the wii) is using this control scheme, and everybody has gotten used to them.
    Even on the wii the nunchuck controller attachment has an analog stick on it.
    So it looks like every current or recent console is using that control scheme.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) < minus poet> on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:52AM (#19083121) Homepage
    No. They don't. Things could be much better in terms of interaction with the environment. Games that really stuck with me like GTA are because the environments are interesting. People walking around, occasionally they are chased by the cops, etc, whatever, etc.... Look at games like Halo. It's basically run, jump, and shoot. There isn't really an "environment" and the game play while for a while, is entirely linear and predictable.

    The Wii has broken out as more as a party console than a loner console. While I'm sure plenty of good single player games will come out, i think the majority of the pull is from people who want to play the Wii with their friends and family.

    Compare that to most 360/PS2 games and you can see the attitude shift. 360 games are good single player games with absolutely no replayability. Once you finish Halo you hardly want to sit down and play it again from scratch. And most games which have good interaction [like guitar hero] are just not really fun in groups.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:53AM (#19083137) Journal

    So in a way was/is the DS. It was in fact claimed by Nintendo themselves that the DS was NOT the full sequel to the GBA.

    The Wii is NOT a next generation console as we have come to expect. It is decidely underpowered, even compared to last generation.

    The lack of a dvd player is trivial, anyone who wants one can get one so cheap nowadays it is pointless to have it as a feature and either HD-DVD or Blu-Ray just wouldn't fit with its low price point.

    The simple fact is the the Wii is an attempt to go a different route. Can Nintendo succeed in selling games that despite not being able to compete on graphics terms are considered fun enough to be bought? Or perhaps an even simpler bet, that not enough people will have HD tv screens to notice the higher res graphics of the PS3/360? After all, unless your tv is HD ready you won't see much improvement anyway.

    But does anyone else find it ironic that Microsoft who has made billions in the last decade selling point upgrades to their OS is commeting on someone else doing a 1.5? Could windows 98 be considered a full .5 upgrade to 95? How about XP to 2000 and 2000 to NT4 etc etc?

    The simple fact is that right now the Wii, no matter how underpowered is the one console still sold out. No I don't see why. I do NOT like its games. Then again, I in general don't like consoles. But for a 1.5 console, Nintendo ain't doing bad. If anything MS and Sony should be really worried because with the cash Nintendo is taking in they could be the ones who in a couple of years could launch a 2.5 console that will truly blow the PS3 and 360 out of the water while these consoles by then will be considered old.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:59AM (#19083257) Homepage
    I like that the GC moved away from the diamond button configuration. They added the big green "A" home button, with all the other buttons easily reachable from the home button. Just like the J and F home keys on your keyboard. It helps you to always know which button you are pressing. The only thing I didn't like about the GC controller was the Z button. It's hard to press. luckily it isn't needed for much in most games, at least not for anything you have to press quick, usually just to bring up the map or something. However, Nintendo is the only one to use the d-pad (from what I see) not as a directional control, but more of a hat-switch-extra button thing. Look at Zelda WW, or TW, or Metroid. Pressing the dpad in different directions lets you choose weapons, bring up maps, or other menus. It's great, and something I haven't seen on other systems, although I'm sure there are other games that use this.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by @madeus ( 24818 ) <> on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:05AM (#19083397)

    The wii's motion sensing capability is so novel, it really makes the graphics not matter.

    I don't see how you can arrive at that conclusion. I love the Wii remote for games like Wii Sports, Rayman and Tiger Woods. It still pisses me off that it's so blurry and indisticint in some games and it makes them much less pleasant, though I realise the impact is less significant of those not used to HD games on large displays.

    Graphics certainly matter to gameplay and IMO with 3D games it's that much more important to have the fidelity than in 2D games. Compare Super Mario World (2D) which has aged very well (and still looks great on a large Plasma), with Mario 64.

    On the Wii, Rayman has good, crisp, well styled graphics that are suited to the Wii's abilitles. I have nothing bad to say about the graphics on that title, great job guys. It's fair to say Tiger Woods doesn't really try push the Wii, but if it had been easier to get more out of the console, it would look a heck of a lot better. It's disappointing, but the line up of *good* Wii titles is anemic at the moment. as for any newly launched console, so it will do (until EA release a new version in time for xmas). Zelda has graphically been a big disappointment and is very murky and instinct in places, it's murky color pallet doesn't help. The gameplay is okay, but it's not always easy to navigate the world or identify potential points of interest because of the low fidelity (I don't find that aspect 'challenging' anymore than I find it fun when I lose my glasses, it's just annoying).

    I'm not even going to talk about Far Cry. Just think of that JavaScript +canvas FPS demo, scalled from a 150x150 box to a 50" screen, except imagine looking at it through the bottom of a pint glass. Except the gameplay isn't as good (but that's going OT).

    Most of my TV is in HD these days (from movies, to series (shows like SG-1, Atlantis, Battlestar Galatica, Torchwood), a number of new BBC shows (Planet Earth) and the Discovery/History channels) even the stuff that I watch that isn't (e.g. regular BBC TV shows, News 24) is of far higher fidelity than the content on the Wii (which is typically upscaled from 3D from a very low resolution). Of course all the games on the 360 are miles better graphically (I wouldn't never get titles like Sports, Rayman or Tiger Woods on the 360 though, as the only appeal to me because of the controller). So, my point is, I'm use to considerably better quality (and have been for over a year now) when it comes to entertainment.

    I will say that if you have a smaller TV, the much lower quality is not as noticeable. If you are not used to better quality images, it's not as noticeable. That applies to a lot of people (just look at how well the PS2 is still doing, and it's STILL crappier than the ~ '98 Dreamcast!). Personally I'd rather pay market rate and have a better product, than a cheaper product where corners have been cut, and that's the truth of it.

    I haven't bought any racing games for the Wii, and I don't currently plan do (unless someone brings out something that actually looks half decent AND uses the controller in an interesting way). If I want a better controller input for racing, I'll use a steering wheel (there are plenty to choose from for the 360. I think I've seen at least 3 - including a wireless one). Given the option of spending more money to play the 360 version of a game than save money and play a lower quality version on the Wii, I would currently choose to spend more and have the better experience.

    I think the Wii is a good console, especially if gaming is something you like doing, but don't want to spent heaps of money on (although the decent games still cost about the same as decent 360 titles, I would note). This business of people pretending (and trying to convince everyone else - in addition to themselves) that graphics are somehow unreleated to good gameplay is a nonsense though.

    Graphics are not the only thing that makes a game console new a

  • by R2.0 ( 532027 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:16AM (#19083579)
    It's like the jock complaining that the stoner dudes get all the chicks. After all, jocks are bigger, faster, and have larger penises, so the stoners are obviously inferior, so how come women hang out with the otehr guy.

    Hmmm - maybe 'cause they're fun to be around?
  • by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:17AM (#19083599)
    Im sure Im going to get lynched for being anti-nintendo on /., but still. The thing that bothers me the most about the Wii isnt that it's a Gamecube 1.5. It's that it's a Gamecube 1.5, AND nintendo jacked the price up to the point where they were making a profit on per-console sales. This is unheard of, ESPECIALLY for Nintendo, who is the longest running console maker, and knows the ins and outs of console sales better than anyone.

    If you're going to get lynched, it would be because that statement is flat out wrong. Nintendo has almost always priced its consoles to break even or make a profit. It's the johnny-come-latelies that use revenue in other industries to subsidize their consoles that brought about the idea of selling consoles for a loss.

  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ricera10 ( 932325 ) <> on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:30AM (#19083841) Homepage
    I think you missed the point of the's to have fun, not obsess over how good it would look in HD. If you need it to look good, then why do you even have a Wii?
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BobPaul ( 710574 ) * on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:35AM (#19083915) Journal
    Because it's fun to play. But that doesn't mean it can't be disappointing in many aspects.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:44AM (#19084107)

    Graphics certainly matter to gameplay

    No, they don't. Gameplay is what you do in the game, not what special effects are drawn to the screen.

    What amuses me about the Wii is that 360 and PS3 fans will mock Nintendo for catering to kids, yet it's the Wii that has all the adults playing while the audiences for the 360 and PS3 are made up of adolescent Grand Theft Auto and Halo fans. It's weird how the gaming press hasn't caught on that it's the 360/PS3 that is played by sugar-charged kiddies while Nintendo systems are played by adults who grew up with the NES and SNES.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Richthofen80 ( 412488 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:48AM (#19084171) Homepage
    Why does everyone focus on graphics as the only feature for next-gen platforms?

    Nextgens like xbox360 and PS3 have more processing power and memory, which allows them to do more advanced AI functionality. Also, more performance means that developers can spend less time tweaking the game for the console, and more time releasing the actual game(s).

    Also, Wii lacks what PS3 and Xbox360 really excel at, which is online play (well, xbox360 anyways). Granted, the Wii is fun, but who plays Wii sports at home by themselves?
  • The original NES (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Overly Critical Guy ( 663429 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:05PM (#19084489)
    You have to keep in mind that the gaming press is biased, misleading, and easily duped into marketing. They're the worst segment of the online press besides political blogs. They're the reason everyone was once obsessed over "8-bit" and "16-bit," because those amateur journalists didn't understand what the terms actually meant, so neither did we. They bought Sony's PS2 hype, and they made Halo out to be the greatest game ever played by the entire world (even though the XBox only tied with the Gamecube at 15% marketshare). Now they're having to take notice with the Wii and come to grips with the realization that they really are a small, hardcore segment of the market that is outnumbered by everyone else.

    The original NES used an old 6502 chip, a cheap processor that came out in the 1970s. The NES was underpowered compared to some of its competitors but was so well-designed that it got the good games. It appealed to the wider, mainstream market like the Wii. Remember the track pad? The educational games? The Zapper games, the puzzle games, the side-scrollers, the RPGs, and so on? It appealed to everyone, not just sugar-high kiddies playing a neverending series of XBox 360 first-person shooters.
  • Re:Propaganda (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <> on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:06PM (#19084521) Homepage Journal
    Yes, those of us who actually like our high definition TVs get bullied by people who refuse to buy glasses but claim they "can't see the difference". When I bought my Yamaha receiver and speaker system I got a similar response from the "you can't hear a difference crowd" (I've yet to have anyone say that in person after listening, mind you). They decry whatever they want, and in my opinion, they can lose out. I just wish they wouldn't make claims they can't substantiate.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:17PM (#19084741) Homepage
    What amuses me about the Wii is that 360 and PS3 fans will mock Nintendo for catering to kids, yet it's the Wii that has all the adults playing while the audiences for the 360 and PS3 are made up of adolescent Grand Theft Auto and Halo fans.

    That's because the only people who care about playing a game for "kids" are insecure adolescents.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by insignificant_wrangl ( 1060444 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:35PM (#19085133) Journal

    The same criticism that drives adolescent commentary drives the commentary of executives such as Branch: an incomprehsibility that power and visuals alone don't comprise the totality of experience and preference.

    This despite the fact that virutally every game review I've ever read stresses that graphics only really matter for the first ten minutes. After that, if a game sucks, then it is collecting dust. In the long run, play is what matters. And that's what Nintendo seems to understand (even if the mechanics are still under development). Not to mention that the casual gamer's rushing to the Wii, unlike hardcover gamers, haven't geeked out on PS2's and XBox 360s', so most (many of whom my friends) don't realize that they are looking at a graphically inferior product.

    In the long run, the advanced power of the 360 and the 3 might devalue the Wii--but just wait until Star Wars: Who Cares What They Call It comes out for the Wii and Ninten-dorks everywhere are swinging lightsabers. Oh glorious day.

  • KISS (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:48PM (#19085435)
    Microsoft doesn't have the concept of "less is more".
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by revengebomber ( 1080189 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:52PM (#19085523)

    Gameplay is action-reaction. The output you get on your screen is every bit as important as the input you feed into it.
    Only to the point where the graphics are able to show you what's happening. I can create any game on the Quake 1 engine that I could on the Quake 4 engine (theoretically, and not including physics simulation), but creating that game on top of something like Doom or, to stretch the analogy, Super Mario Bros, would likely limit the gameplay possibilities.

    All that's needed to facilitate any gameplay I can shove behind it is basically:
    • A simulation system with true 3D calculations
    • the ability to push enough triangles to show me what's a friend and what's a foe
    • and possibly some lighting effects to highlight things I should be looking at/moving towards

    [bump|parallax|normal]mapping, high-poly enemies and levels, and dynamic lighting add nothing to gameplay (unless you strategically use shadows to show players enemies around corners, but that's rare).
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @01:40PM (#19086673) Journal
    I completely agree. I still play Quake 1 (well, GLQuake) sometimes, and don't really notice the low quality of the visuals. The only thing I notice that makes the game feel old is that I can't duck. The advantage the Wii has over other consoles (with the exception of the PS2, which is still selling well), is that developers already know pretty much what they can do with the graphics, and have to concentrate on the game. With new consoles, they are still experimenting with the graphical capabilities. This advantage won't last forever; eventually the developers will become comfortable with the new generation's capabilities as well.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by twistedsymphony ( 956982 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @01:54PM (#19086961) Homepage
    I enjoy playing games for the same reason I enjoy a book or a movie... it takes me someplace else; away from the daily grind. Sharing that experience with friends is good too.

    If I'm used to good looking graphics no amount of motion control is going to make up for graphics that do more to push me out of the experience then pull me in. Resolution actually has little to do with it. Low res textures, jaggies that cut my eyes and other hallmarks of an underpowered graphics hardware really take me out of the experience. It's the difference between getting lost in a masterpiece painting by Michelangelo and trying to figure out what's going on with the crayon stick figure drawing your kid just handed you.

    Even worse then graphics is the lack of decent surround sound support which I find unforgivable. It really wouldn't have added much if any cost to the system but it would have done much to help enrich the experience. Graphics are just flat images, hardly a replacement for the world we see around us. Surround Sound however is a much closer facsimile of the surrounding world that we hear, even with poor graphics a solid and believable surround sound experience can make up for it and then some. Unfortunately the Wii fails on this front as well.

    I don't "obsess" over graphics but at the same time I see video games as a virtual world... to fully enjoy and appreciate it you need that world to pull you in in the same way a good book or movie would. without a strong connection you're on the outside looking in, the controller is only half of that connection, the other half is the sights and the sounds. The controller is useless without the Graphical feedback and the graphics are soulless without audio to enrich it.
  • Re:DVD? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <> on Friday May 11, 2007 @01:59PM (#19087069) Homepage
    Why not just get an RCA switching box? Those are cheap as hell, and will solve your problem.
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Omestes ( 471991 ) <omestes@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Friday May 11, 2007 @03:57PM (#19089105) Homepage Journal
    If I'm used to good looking graphics no amount of motion control is going to make up for graphics that do more to push me out of the experience then pull me in

    Meh. I'm used to good graphics, being a recovering PC gamer (we have the console kids whipped, still), but I still chose a Wii over the rest of the "next-gen" consoles. I don't expect to have HLII on my Wii, nor would I buy it if it came out since the graphics WOULD pull me out, but games like Warioware and Rayman (or even Twilight Princess) work remarkably well. I'm going to use the Wii for what its good for, fun. I'll keep my hardcore, graphical, fragfests on the PC (and perhaps 360, when they get cheap).

    Use the console for what its good at. If you expect graphical goodness you'll be disappointed, if you don't you'll be fine.

    Posting with a hangover is bad for thoughtful statements on /.
  • Rofl. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dr.Boje ( 1064726 ) on Friday May 11, 2007 @06:08PM (#19091025)

    I get so sick of reading these Wii-bashing articles. The only complaints they ever present are "wahhh graphics" or "wahhh processing power." The moron in this article even complains about Wii not being able to play DVDs. COME ON! Who doesn't have a freakin' DVD player by now? Obviously, people like this haven't sat down and considered why Nintendo is doing so well... I guess they are just too caught up in trying to downplay Nintendo's success. Psssst, idiots. Graphics don't make a game fun.

    God, just reading this first excerpt makes me ill.

    It's a very nice product, but it actually has a relatively specific audience and a fairly specific appeal, frankly, based on one feature, which is the controller itself. And the rest of the product is actually not a great product--no disrespect, but...the video graphics on it aren't very strong; the box itself is kind of underpowered; it doesn't play DVDs; there are a lot of down-line components [that] aren't actually that interesting.

    Soooo... basically he comes out and says it's a nice product for a very SPECIFIC audience? For a system that's supposed to have universal appeal? Mmmmk. Then he contradicts himself by saying the product "is actually not a great product." Mmmmk. And what entails his reasoning? Graphics, processing, and lack of DVD-playing capability... oh, and "a lot of down-line components." Lawl!

    Hey, Robbie! Keep fighting your fight, bro. One day you'll wonder why your market share slowly reduced itself to zero. Until then, enjoy your imaginary high horse.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.