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Next-Gen Thinking

Filed under: GameCube | Xbox
Posted by Jeremy on June 9, 2004 10:20 AM
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According to an article from GamesIndustry.biz, David Gosen, Nintendo Europe's Managing Director had some strong words for Microsoft regarding the current console cycle: "In every cycle, some manufacturer not profiting from the current cycle is eager to kick-start the next one." He blames MS for pushing up the deadline for new hardware when Nintendo doesn't feel that it's necessary. He seems to suggest that for MS, profitability "is not their key motivation." So what is? Becoming ubiquitous within your home to the point where an Xbox is your central entertainment device.

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Gosen does make some very good points regarding today's gamers and their desire to continue to play good games on the current consoles, "today's gamers are still hungry for today's games." He also doesn't believe that gamers are ready to throw down their hard-earned cash on a new generation of consoles just four years after the launch the of the Xbox and GCN.

Gosen also believes that game developers are focusing on the wrong target audience with their "Mature" games like GTA saying, "Grand Theft Auto, ultimately, is a dead end street...as a businessperson, I don't relish the role of defending our business from charges of gratuitous violence." He goes further and suggests that their is little or no attempt to gain the female or older-than-40 crowd of gamers.

All of this rhetoric is inline with Nintendo's current philosophy on games: Simpler games, not better hardware, is what will make or break the industry. This is evidenced in revolutionary ideas such as the Nintendo DS and the annoucement today of the Nintendo Revolution, Nintendo's next-gen console.

What Gosen may be forgetting, however, is that computer power has grown leaps and bounds in the last 4 years or so and, as I can attest based on any PS2 game I'm playing, the graphics are kinda sucky. Same goes for many of the games on the Xbox and GCN. Is it so wrong for us hard core gamers to want a new maching every 3 years, much less every 5-6 years? I mean, 5-6 years ago I bought a then state-of-the-art PII 350Mhz, 6 gig HDD computer. Now, the thing can barely check email. I expect more.

Ultimately, I don't see hardware and software at odds with each other as does Gosen. Why can't Nintendo put the best graphics they can into games and still make it a simple, easy to understand game?

Somewhere between Microsoft's desire to give us the latest in hardware and Nintendo's desire to revolutionize gaming lies the answer that we're all looking for: A great looking game that is fun to play. How hard is that? Apparently, very.









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