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at 7:23PM PST on December 23, 2007.
RE: Wii analysis - Bonus Round
The games you mentioned I have the impression that are generally considered good/solid but didn't blow people out of their minds like say Mass Effect or surprise Assasin's did. One example that comes to mind is God of War 2: got amazing reviews and is considered an awesome game by all, but nobody (afaik) thought to nominate it game of the year. Similar story with Galaxy & Metroid: my point being that there's a lot of buzz and excitement about games that push the envelope in many ways, one of which being technology, giving people things they haven't experienced before, and for Wii even in it's first year it's hard to do that outside of it's controls. I don't think it's just about the graphics, it's about big gameplay possibilities: having streaming worlds with no loadings, believable animations and environments, strong physics systems... these are not things about the graphics as much as they are about gameplay, and even though we might not like it many are constrained by hardware. Wii's strong point is it's interface/control, but that's just one of the many things that form the impression & immersion of gamers. A platform to endure a long time and stay in gamers' hearts and on their lips it has to keep having every year the must play "game of the year"s...
On the topic of HD I make a great difference between HD and hardware processing power. In my understanding HD is just a question of resolution of rendering, but that's not such a big deal: you could render at a huge resolution and bring no extra detail because you have just as many polygons, or you can render quite low res and apply lots of effects and content (afaik big games like halo, cod4... are doing). This second thing is what I believe matters and it's the one that requires stronger hardware and will bring about the Wii 2, not HD in it's meaning of resolution.
The big question is to me how much is Nintendo willing to separate it's hardcore backgrounds from the masses that give it sales. If they are willing to do it they could keep the current Wii targeting it for either everybody or as a 2nd console, but if they want a piece of the hardcore slice they would need to make hardware which is in the same ballpark with competitors: hardware that will get Unreal Engine 3 and Id's Rage so that multiplatforms are developed automatically for it. They could make it without that but while there's a lot of money to be made with casual gaming I was reading this article saying how the industry would be quite stupid to abandon it's cash cow: game enthusiasts who are willing to pay higher prices for great content and who have a higher attach rate because they are constant spenders.
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