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at 2:43AM PST on December 24, 2007.
RE: Wii analysis - Bonus Round
Time will tell.
In terms Wii being able to do just about anything but just not being developed for right I don't think that's possible. I think obviously any platform that you focus for and develop for can be squeezed for every drop of power and if you choose the right art style like you said you can make it into a smooth running game. But that doesn't allow a lot of freedom in art direction and variety: for this reason the ps2 had an abundance of cartoony platformers like Jak&Dexter: with cartoony looks you could get away with more stuff but if companies want to keep gaming fresh for everybody now they have to start to try a bit on believable humans and that's a toughie.
I personally find it hard to imagine the hardcore gamer preferring SSBB over soulcalibur/tekken/virtual fighter/street fighter and despite it's huge sales. These are games I expect to become tournaments and stuff like that...
You are totally right about MS/Sony throwing a lot of money at this, while Nintendo being more profitable... but now comes the question if in a generally fair action-reaction world you'll see a lot of appreciation for those that invest a lot or for well selling casual games & mini game collection. I personally think their investments will pay out in the long term if they're persistent at it. HOWEVER I think Nintendo deserves and will get a huge reward too because it also did something much needed doing: focused some love on all the "other" people... but what I was trying to say is that these other people are not the hardcore gamer. Sure, they'd like to get him in there too (who wouldn't?) but running after two rabbits can result in catching none, but Nintendo is safe imo as I don't really see Nintendo going that hard after the hardcore, more as an afterthought.
About what I said about "mindblowing", "must have" what I'm trying to say is: while you and all the people who have a wii love Galaxy, Metroid and look forward to SSBB I know a number of people, including myself, of the hardcore gamer persuasion who would probably try them out if they got the chance, but aren't "wow"-ed by them. There's nothing that spectacular that we can see about them: on the other hand Bioshock seems like one you just can't miss, while I can't think of one single Wii game that would promise to have in it so many hours of dialogue and character as Mass Effect looks like from a distance.
You mentioned games using Unreal engine: yes, I know there are a few, but they're not officially supported, they're doing tweaks on their own with the engine: there's a solid reason developers aren't supporting Wii with their big engines. And I believe middleware is very important for the development of gaming, and without it much fewer developers will put in the extra work for non-guaranteed results. I think this will lead to a scarcity of hardcore titles, and with the hardcore player being the one who's constantly wanting new content this can be a big problem. On the other hand this is not at all a problem for the Wii because it's target consumer will probably only play a handful of games. I see it treated much more
like a toy
, something people don't expect to be constantly coming back to, unlike the 360/ps3 that I'm assuming people are buying like they are buying a tv: not for a speciffic game, but expecting it to be a device that will open them a number of games. Now at this point you're probably thinking to yourself that I'm a stupid freak who just doesn't get it... which may be true (I don't really care about gameplay mechanics, only content) but if you look at this video you'll see some of the biggest names in the gaming industry, people who are saying they're not really using their Wiis. I see a very clear line between hardcore gamers and high sales numbers/large audiences. In capturing these large audiences Nintendo has distanced itself from the hardcore gamer. The hardcore gamer is the one that is willing to make a big investment in his gaming because he knows it's a big part of his life, and expect content suited for that. If Nintendo had been aiming for that guy they would have released a 500$ console with full VR and mindblowing hardware, but we all know what a tricky path that is, so they choose to go for the much easier to please mass market which just needed a reason to get into gaming. The hardcore gamer I don't see identifying with a Mii, instead I see him wanting to make a very detailed character, from hair & eye color to tatoos and accessories... but I don't see the Wii targeted for that...
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