Ignoring the crappy play on words, Billy Berghammer of the highly reputable Game Informer Magazine has produced a thought-provoking article on his predictions that the Wii will end up on the back-burner while the 360 and PS3 go on to dominate the market. The piece mainly uses historic events and logical analysis to predict why the Wii will flop and shows how the Wii launch is an almost exact repeat of past events.
The article is quite well written, and Mr. Berghammer has quite a detailed knowledge of Nintendo's history and console success (or lack thereof). His main point is the history always repeats itself. Many gamers were just as excited for the N64 and the GC as they are now for the Wii. Nintendo promised new and exciting first and third party titles, just as they are now. And of course, they failed to deliver on many of those promises such as the faulty N64DD and GC Online Adapter, both of which came too little, too late (or not at all). Nintendo's promised releases got delayed and both systems pretty much failed. Bill asks us to look at present times to make a comparison. Things are pretty much the same for the pre-N64 and GC release, with big promises, huge prospects, and a drooling fanboy base, yet in both cases the systems failed and Nintendo did not measure up to their hype. Will the same thing happen to the Wii? After all, history does repeat itself.
Another point Bill makes is the third party support, where history also repeats itself. For both systems, major third party support was promised by Nintendo for both systems. Yet many developers found that people rarely bought third party titles and stuck with first party ones. During the GC era, third party ports were ignored by the majority of developers, and actually third party games never being exclusive to the system. Bill argues the same seems to be happening for the DS, with third party games mainly being sub-par to first party games. He explains this is mainly due to the touch screen, where third parties did not use the unique control scheme and Nintendo primarily taking advantage of it. And as a result, he predicts the same for the Wii, with a major promise of huge third party support, and huge enthusiasm from developers, but the third party games falling out for Nintendo games after third party ones fail to deliver.
Bill also mentions similarities between the mass-praised "easiness to develop" which was present in the GC at the time of its launch, and ties up all his points in a convincing article. Its also a very good history of Nintendo's past two consoles for those interested.
This isn't good on Nintendo's part. Already Nintendo has faltered over one of their promises to release the Wii before the PS3, yet the most recent news post has confirmed the launch two days after PS3. Is this only the beginning of whats to come?
The fanboy inside me is having second thoughts...
Finally, someone who feels as I do.
I'm sorry boys (or girls for whoever might be reading), but his fanboy dropped off the Nintendo bandwagon when I realized what a putrid filthy piece of crud the Nintendo 64 was in comparison to the competition at the time.
Then over the years it has dawned on me that Nintendo has ALWAYS been about the spectacle, they love their gimmicks and they figure it's going to keep them afloat this time. Time after time they have released gimmicky products that fall flat.
The NES Gyromite robot. The 3D-Boy. The Gameboy Camera. The SNES scope-blaster thing. The N64 Pokeman widget-thing. Hell even the N64 was a complete and abject failure in my eyes.
Instead of putting their research and development dollars into making GOOD FUNCTIONAL consoles that will give people the best value for their hard earned dollars they come out with more gimmicks and have relied only on the popularity of their in-house titles (i.e. Zelda, Mario and Metroid) to keep selling more and more titles to the kiddies.
However I have been saying since the Wii was announced (when it was still called by the more marketable name -- Revolution) that this system will be Nintendo's home console swan-song.
Just look at the "Wii" (The worst name for any product in the history of anything), and you'll see more gimmicks. The controllers are the case in point.
Embarrassing I tell you.
My prediction. Nintendo will limp along for another 2 to 3 years with the console market when they decide to drop the home console market. They will strengthen their hold on the portable console market where they are firmly entrenched, and perhaps if they are smart, they will start making some of their AAA titles available for other consoles just like Sega did.
And for the nay-sayers and fanboys, I say this to you. It's not going to be about how successful the Wii is, even if they have the best games on the market. It's all going to come down to the profit margin and the market share. That's all the investors and the Board of Directors care about. If the Wii fails to penetrate the market, or if Nintendo starts to hemorrhage profits, I suspect they'll drop it like a hot potato.
Why am I the only one with "fanboy status" in here? Cant anyone see that many people on this are anti-Nintendo people (such as Mike here). So I express my support for Nintendo and he goes on a rant about they will fail. Doesnt that warrant him some sort of deragotive title?
Anyway, Mike, I think you're acting just as bad as the fanboys themselves. I've seen people much like you who go on and on about how Nintendo is going to fail blah blah blah. I'm sick of hearing this.
First of all, Nintendo's done a lot for the industry that WEREN'T gimmicks. I admit the Wiimote is very gimmicky for a selling point. VERY gimmicky. But look at others. Was the rumble feature gimmicky? Are analgo sticks gimmicky? Are shoulder buttons gimmicky? No, of course not. They're staples to modern day gaming, all invented by Nintendo. Before Nintendo was in the market of crap consoles they were actually good. They single-handedly rescued gaming itself from the crash in the 80's.
And even though they release crappy peripherals like the Power Glove and R.O.B the robot and the power scope, at least they TRY. I dont see exactly Sony or Microsoft trying anything new around here, so please shut up and play your games.
Its not just you I'm pointing this at Mike. Its everyone. Nintendo is an easy child to pick on, like that nerdy quiet kid in the corner of the classroom. They're not liked by mny "mature" gamers of the modern era, many have never even tried a Gamecube or N64 due to the kiddy image and based off the fact that they are failing in consoles, many feel they have the right to say Nintendo will get out of the console races.
All I ask is that you and many others stop the Armageddon prophecies for Nintendo. Many people, including me, don't think the N64 was a total failure, because its actually my favorite system over that damn PSX. Many still like Nintendo characters and many still like the Gamecube even though it was a total bomb.
And I love the name Wii. So shut up :-)
And anyway thats not what this article is about. Its predicting that the Wii will not be up to par as everyone expects it to be. You on the other hand seem to think that Nintendo are these underhanded sneaks who sell consoles based of crappy gimmicks, exploited franchises, and kiddy fanbase.
(Edited by Doppelgamer (268), Sep 19, 2006)Re: Are Wii getting some doubts here?
Doppelgamer (268), Sep 19, 2006
I've always been concerned that the Wii might not live up to the hype, but this guy's comments on the DS seem innaccurate. It's been selling wonderfully, and this fall/winter promises to have better games than ever before.
I'm not sure we can entirely count the Power Glove. Wasn't it released by Mattel? Additionally, for a "failure" the N64 produced some great games. (Zelda, Super Smash Bros, etc...) Depends on what sort of failure you mean I suppose. (Financial, etc...)
All I can say is no matter how it turns out Nintendo and the Wii is going to make a great business school case study.
Personally I feel that the touch screen stuff doesn't work as well as I would like, but overall i've had enough fun with the DS to consider it a success. I'll give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt, and i'll buy a Wii. Because like every system before it there is always the Nintendo brand games that are must haves.
You bring up an excellent point, which I tried to allude to in my original comment.
Some people consider a system successful based on it's library of games, but that's not what I mean. If only that were true.
I don't have the numbers, but one only needs to look up the market share to see that Nintendo's N64 didn't have the same success as its direct competitor -- Playstation. (And if you know your console history you'll know the Playstation came about because Nintendo bailed on Sony's CD-ROM peripheral for their SNES, and Sony at that point decided to enter the console market.)
Did Nintendo 64 have good games? Absolutely, but only some. Most games for the 64 sucked as a result of the 64's cartridge limitations.
If all it took was to have a good library of games for a console then Sega's Dreamcast was a raving success with some really amazing titles at launch.
In the end the only thing that counts is profits and market share. Not that I'm an investor mind you... but I'm merely illustrating the reality of the console business.
(Edited by Michael Palomino (152), Sep 19, 2006)Re: Are Wii getting some doubts here?
Michael Palomino (152), Sep 19, 2006
You're right I didn't read the article which you linked, I merely inferred what it was saying based on what you wrote.
Still, I don't understand why Nintendo generates so much passion among its fans. Perhaps that seems like a silly question to ask, after all fans are passionate to begin with, but still, I don't understand why people can't see through Nintendo's nefarious business practices.
People want to criticize Microsoft, blah blah blah - but in the end they put out a pretty good product. For me that product was the Xbox, which for me was an ideal console that did so much right (i.e. graphics, features, games etc...)
Yet what is Nintendo offering you? A "wiimote" that will have you wagging your joystick hands till you develop tennis elbow. How long will that last? It'll last as long as people are buying it or until Nintendo decides to stop supporting it. Then what? You're screwed. The reason you bought the system is no longer there. (Assuming that's your motivation.)
However, I am DONE with Nintendo's antics. I don't have the time, money or inclination to plunk down $250 for another of Nintendo's gimmicks. We've seen it all before.
Face it Matt, Nintendo has already relegated itself to third place. Even Nintendo's President has admitted as much by saying they aren't trying to compete directly with MS and Sony's consoles.
Hey, I'll be the first one to admit. If I'm wrong I'm wrong. Nintendo might be around for the next console war, and I'll be happy to admit that I'm wrong. My prediction is based on the fact that their last two consoles were pretty much failures, even the Gamecube, which I'll admit was a pretty decent system but lacked the features I wanted in a console (digital audio for one).
Just my two cents,
Matt Neuteboom Wrote:
Yep, I also wonder why people call you a Nintendo fanboi :P
I don't know about the Wii, but for me, the history of Nintendo is divided into two distinct periods: before and after the N64.
Before N64, Nintendo was the leading console maker in the world. Even the most ardent "anti-Nintendo" guys cannot deny it. The NES and the SNES were awesome consoles that brought us an enormous amount of great games, beating all the competitors.
And then, the N64 came, a product of two terrible decisions: 1) not to use the CD ROM media, and 2) Concentrate on games for kids. That was the beginning of the end. N64 was a disaster, both technically and creatively. It single-handedly ruined its creators.
The GameCube, although a better console, couldn't save Nintendo's reputation after the damage done by N64. Mainstream gaming went into the hands of Sony.
I think the Wii won't change the current situation, either. Personally, I'm tired of seeing endless incarnations of Mario and Zelda, while there hasn't been a good RPG for a Nintendo console since 1995.
So I am a great fan of Nintendo from NES and SNES era, but sorry, it all changed for me after the N64.
(Edited by Matt Neuteboom (941), Sep 20, 2006)Re: Are Wii getting some doubts here?
Matt Neuteboom (941), Sep 20, 2006
YID YANG Wrote:
An interesting point would also be remember your age when the NES and SNES came out compared to how old you were when the n64 came out. Of course you gravitated to the more adult subject matter of the PS. Sony was brilliant in that they decided not to go for horse power like N64, but for storage and it was a smart move. The games cost less to fab, you could put more stuff on em like video and music and most of the 3D was pre rendeered Also Sony was the first company to embrace more adult subject matter. This was also when what is often called the core gamers starting going to college.
Michael brings up some good points, which I'm sure many of us have considered, if only vaguely, from time to time. Certainly the success from a game standpoint is the most important in a manner of thinking, but in the end financial success allows the console developer's legacy to continue.
YID YANG Wrote:
I agree with the fact that the N64 ruined Nintendo for hardcore gamers; the N64 changed me from a hardcore gamer to a casual gamer. But I'm still a Nintendo fan.
Personally, I find it strange that gamers classify themselves as fans of a certain console manufacturer. Most of my console games are for Playstation and Playstation 2, but that doesn't make me a Sony fan. I'm indifferent to Sony, as I am to Nintendo. If tomorrow they stop making games I like for Sony consoles, I'll switch to Nintendo or any other console that will give me good games without hesitation. I don't quite see the point of being "loyal" to a certain console manufacturer...
(Edited by Doppelgamer (268), Sep 21, 2006)Re: Are Wii getting some doubts here?
Doppelgamer (268), Sep 21, 2006
People like to support companies that produce things that they enjoy. Additionally, Nintendo is typically better at making games than Sony or Microsoft themselves. (MS/Sony usually get others to do it for them.) Voicing support for a company is to hope that someone listens, takes note, and makes or buys more of what you like.
Also, a console designer might have a system or game design philosophy that you agree with, and want to see more of. You support them to influence the market. Still, other than voicing support, and buying the products, I don't see any point in being blindly loyal or fanatical. All the consoles have good games, and it's nice to get a chance to experience them all.
I've tried other systems like the Dreamcast and XBox, and there were no games for those systems that I really enjoyed. I respect Microsoft and Sony, though. I don't hate either company; I just prefer Nintendo. And I don't play many games; therefore, I stick with Nintendo whose games I like more than Sony's or Microsoft's. People who can afford every console available should definitely try each game before they decide if they like it or not. But unfortunately, this seems virtually impossible for the average gamer, so gamers tend to have a favorite company.