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Developers And Publishers Weigh In On Wii HD Rumors

Discussion in 'ATI' started by parallax-scroll, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. UPDATE: A few more reactions rolled in over the weekend. Check the
    second page of this story to read them.

    ORIGINAL STORY: Yesterday GI broke the news from multiple trusted
    sources that Nintendo will reveal a new HD-capable console by or at E3
    of this year. While new rumors about the system have continued popping
    up around the web, we decided to gather some early thoughts about the
    timing and necessity of this announcement from various industry

    Shane Bettenhausen, Director of Business Development, Ignition

    "I’m eager for this thing to be revealed! In my estimation, Nintendo
    actually needs to announce some details on its next home console at
    this year’s E3 in order to remain competitive in the home console
    race. As exciting as the Wii was a few years back, it’s truly showing
    its age and has become increasingly difficult for third parties to
    find success on the platform of late. The challenge that Nintendo
    faces is to make a console that has more to offer than just the
    valuable ‘Nintendo DNA’ and the incredible first-party support that
    we’ve come to expect. And gimmickry won’t be enough to make this a
    clear leader…I’m hoping that its specs and capabilities will really
    surprise everyone."

    Denis Dyack, President, Silicon Knights:

    "If this is true, I am very excited! With the Wii Nintendo showed
    innovation that resulted in growth for the industry, so I cannot wait
    to see what they have planned next. Of course, a new Nintendo console
    will also result in the next round of Nintendo games, which I look
    forward to playing on day one.”

    Michael Pachter, Managing Director, Wedbush Securities:

    "I have no [previous] knowledge at all, as I get all of my news from
    Game Informer. With that said, I think that the right time for a
    launch was in front of the launches of Kinect and Move, and think that
    Nintendo missed the ‘perfect’ time to launch in 2009. They could have
    launched at $300, and would have been competitive with Kinect and Move
    bundles and may have kept Wii households from upgrading to one of the
    other consoles. In my view, every Kinect and Move bundle sold cost
    Nintendo the opportunity to convert or retain a customer, so 2009 was
    the right time to launch. Once they passed on a 2009 launch, they
    should have pushed to get the Wii 2 out at the same time as Kinect and
    Move (late 2010), to at least compete for the market share captured by
    Microsoft and Sony. Once again, they chose to wait, and recent
    hardware figures show that they missed an opportunity. I think that
    there is still significant interest in a Wii 2, particularly from the
    very large Wii installed base, so it is not ‘too late,’ but it’s also
    not the ‘right time.'"

    Lee Jacobson, Senior Vice President of Licensing and Digital
    Publishing, Atari:

    "Nintendo has always marched to the beat of their own drum and never
    engaged in the same graphical arms race that defined the Xbox 360 and
    PS3. I for one am excited to see what their next move is at E3, as
    Atari has always done very well on Nintendo systems and we know that
    whatever they announce will be high-quality and speak to an audience
    that is uniquely suited for their system."

    John Davison, Vice President of Programming, CBS Interactive/GameSpot:

    "It's been clear that something has been brewing at Nintendo for a
    while, and the timing is absolutely right for them to be making some
    bold steps with a successor to the Wii. Although very successful for
    the past few years, they've been incredibly late to a number of
    parties, and there's a huge opportunity for them to embrace the
    changes that the audience now expects from a modern game experience.
    Beyond motion controls or HD graphics, which are a given, there's a
    lot they could do in terms of digital distribution, cross-device
    connectivity, and social integration to prove they really ‘get it.’ Do
    I think they'll actually do this? Maybe. Judging from the 3DS it's
    clear they're not completely ready to embrace all of the current
    trends, but they seem to be taking baby steps in the right direction."

    Jeff Green, Director of Editorial and Social Media, PopCap:

    "It's really kind of now or never for Nintendo, isn't it? Announcing
    an HD system now? Welcome to 2009! To the Western hardcore gamers, the
    Wii has been all but forgotten for a long time now. When I look at
    that system sitting there unplayed and unloved at my house for lord
    knows how long now, I'm all but embarrassed, both for it and for
    myself for still having it plugged in. So, yeah, pretty necessary
    timing by Nintendo's part. How it's going to stack up against the PS3
    and Xbox 360 is anyone's guess (I certainly have no clue), but if the
    thing isn't at least on parity with those systems, we can call it DOA
    right now. But, you know, who knows? The 3DS rocks (the machine, not
    the current lineup), and when the Wii launched, that too was a
    fantastically disruptive force in the game industry. So I wouldn't
    count Nintendo out by a long shot. They always manage to rebound
    somehow. I'd say this is the biggest hole they've been in for a while,
    but I do look forward to seeing what they have up their sleeves yet.
    And, honestly, I'll be rooting for them. When they're on top of their
    game, they just make gaming a better, happier place. So call this
    tough love and cautious optimism."

    Tim Gerritsen, Director of Product Development, Irrational Games:

    "Nintendo clearly staked a different market out for themselves with
    the Wii than Sony and Microsoft did with the PS3 and Xbox 360
    respectively. If they are indeed bringing to the table hardware that
    is on par or better than these platforms, we will need to see if they
    are going to focus on games outside the market they committed to with
    the Wii."

    N’Gai Croal, Chief Consultant, Hit Detection:

    "I don’t have global sales numbers in front of me, but my feeling is
    that the Wii is still leading in terms of global hardware sales on an
    annual basis. They were still ahead for 2010. Obviously they’re still
    ahead in overall install base by a significant margin. 2012 seems kind
    of early to me, especially because they haven’t even cut the price to
    $150, though there are rumors that they’re going to cut the price.

    "The way I look at it, the things that have motivated Nintendo to
    release hardware in the past are some kind of breakthrough game or
    controller or a major shift in the market outlook that has required
    them to make a move. Maybe there’s a game that we don’t know about yet
    that we’ll see at E3. There are rumors about what the interface will
    be. Some rumors are saying there will be an HD display worked into the
    controller. That seems like a strange rumor, because if you think
    about an HD display built into a controller, that would either have
    significant cost implications or profitability implications. Coupled
    with the rumors that it will be more powerful than the PS3 and 360 – I
    don’t know if you can hit all that and still be at $250 or even $299.

    "I went back and talked to my friends in the media, and the impression
    I get is that it’s real and Nintendo will make this announcement at
    E3. It’s clear that this is a shift in strategy for them to try to win
    over developers sooner. The only way to keep a secret as they’ve done
    in the past is to just not tell anybody. Once you start telling
    people, you’re counting down to when it’s going to leak. I wonder how
    much that really has to do with PS3 and 360 and how much it has to do
    with what’s happening with iOS and to a lesser extent Android. I don’t
    mean that they’re hoping to get iOS developers to make games for
    whatever their next console is, but there’s so much energy with iOS
    software that they may need to rethink and do it differently from what
    they’ve done in the past. They don’t have the support from third
    parties that 360 or PS3 or iOS or Android does. They may be looking at
    that and thinking that down the line it’ll be a real problem, so maybe
    they can’t wait until the same year or even the year after their
    competitors release new hardware. They need to tackle it now and come
    out early and build momentum with third parties. They’ve already
    attempted to court iOS and Android developers with WiiWare and DSiWare
    – that’s another reason to get new hardware with a new online
    infrastructure up. They need to get a whole system in a state that’s
    much more optimized – whether it’s for big publishers making
    graphically intensive games or smaller developers – and put that into
    Nintendo’s ecosystem before the expected launch of PS3 and 360’s

    Justin Blankenship, Associate Consultant, Hit Detection:

    "For my part, I'm most curious to see how they can both appeal to the
    hardcore and maintain the same broad appeal of the Wii. It's going to
    be a very narrow needle to thread if they want to appeal to both. They
    not only need to make a show of good faith to the hardcore market,
    they have to be able to take the new gamers who bought a Wii along for
    the ride and make it accessible to them.

    "Also, if the rumors of a machine more powerful than the PS3 and Xbox
    360 are true, cost is going to be a concern. It's no mystery that part
    of the Wii's success was that it was the most affordable of this
    generation's consoles. I'd expect the next consoles from Sony and
    Microsoft to technically outperform the Wii2, so it makes sense that
    if Nintendo wants some hardcore credibility, they'd launch first for
    the next generation of hardware. It's by far the best chance of
    successfully achieving that strategy. With both Microsoft and Sony
    investing players into their brands with persistent profiles attached
    to Achievements and Trophies within online communities, it's an uphill
    climb for Nintendo to get these gamers to switch over in significant

    "Finally, I'm curious about what else this means for games at E3. If
    it's really going to be more powerful than the 360 and PS3, is there
    any reason we can't see GTA5 or Mass Effect 3 on the Wii?"

    Andy McNamara, Editor-In-Chief, Game Informer:

    "Nintendo obviously deserves a lot of credit for motion gaming and for
    introducing gaming to new markets (along with Apple), but the Wii for
    all its ingenuity and great games has aged poorly. The lack of high
    definition graphics enabled Nintendo to offer a price-conscious piece
    of hardware that also kept development costs down at the beginning of
    this console generation. However the market has changed as HDTVs and
    home theaters rapidly spawn in homes across the globe and users demand
    more online and visual punch from their entertainment dollar.

    "The introduction of a new platform that addresses both the visual
    fidelity issue and closes the technology gap between the Wii and other
    current generation hardware is not only key for Nintendo’s success,
    but the health of the industry as a whole as third-party publishers
    and developers can target all the three major home consoles with a
    single product.

    "Rumors of backward compatibility with the current Wii and the use of
    motion controls all seem extremely likely to me, though I personally
    don’t have enough information to confirm these details. However,
    controllers with touchscreens seem extravagant to a usually frugal
    Nintendo technology team (though incorporating Nintendo handhelds into
    the system screams genius to me, specifically for Nintendo). That
    said, Nintendo has a proven track record that it is capable of
    anything after the amazing success of the Wii and introduction of
    motion-based gaming. So anything is possible. However, I think it is
    of the utmost importance that packed in with every HD console shipped
    is a controller capable of playing first-person shooters through
    established and accepted standards, meaning dual analog sticks and a
    large array of buttons (and one that hopefully you don’t have to
    connect to another controller to use wirelessly).

    "We can all hope that when this system is officially unveiled it
    doesn’t mean a major drought for the current Wii games market, but
    Nintendo has done it in the past and history would point to them
    repeating the strategy, including moving key titles like Zelda from
    this generation’s hardware to the next."

    Ru Weerasuriya, Co-Founder, Ready at Dawn Studios:

    "It's been a while that people have been speculating about the release
    of a Nintendo HD platform. I do think that such hardware is definitely
    needed from them at this juncture. But creating new hardware is just a

    "The Wii gave them an opportunity to expand the gaming audience at
    large but for many people I know, it was just a short-lived fad. The
    breadth of games didn't follow. The past has lent credence to the fact
    that the last Nintendo platforms have been tantamount to closed
    systems that have really only been beneficial to Nintendo games.
    Whether they change their approach to third-party publishers, only
    time will tell. As for developers, any studio out there should always
    consider the potential of any new hardware coming out if it provides a
    good platform for the kind of games they make and the type of audience
    they seek.

    "Ultimately, a console and its resulting success or failure will
    always be defined by the games."

    Feargus Urquhart, CEO, Obsidian Entertainment:

    "It’s great to hear about a new Nintendo system being in the works. A
    bunch of my college and post-college years were spent playing on the
    NES and SNES, and so I’ve been a fan of Nintendo for more than twenty
    years now. I also remember when playing Final Fantasy meant playing on
    the NES or even a Gameboy. And I do think it is the right time for
    Nintendo to launch a new system, and we would absolutely support it. I
    stated playing RPGs at a pretty young age on personal computers, and
    I’d love to bring those games to the younger audience Nintendo has
    always been great at making games and systems for.”

    parallax-scroll, Apr 20, 2011
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  2. parallax-scroll

    Hakk Guest


    But the games are shite *even* with more polygons.
    Hakk, Apr 22, 2011
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