Editorial: Project Perspective

Nintendo have a lot to prove after their current generation offering, the Nintendo Wii. The Wii’s retrograde hardware spec ensured that it didn’t even make it onto the same playing field as the PS360, the tech was scarcely an upgrade to the Game Cube, and the online service was a nonentity. Recently it came as no surprise to Michael Pachter that Nintendo announced an announcement set for the forthcoming E3 of their WiiHD, or rather Project Cafe. Project Cafe. Kind of puts you in mind of sipping a latte snug (and smug) in your neckerchief and ironic glasses, doesn’t it? Nonetheless, upon this announcement game ‘journalism’ luminaries crowed the proclamation that Nintendo were making a return to the hardcore gaming market because ZOMG the beastly Project Cafe is to be more powerful than the PS3, a four and a half year old console. Nintendo in typical fashion have been tight lipped as to what’s ‘neath the hood of their dream machine, but their *alleged* close partners have not, and so without further ado let us set about examining some rumoured specifications.

Pictured: the intended audience
I iz gamerz?

Specs

If rumour is to be believed then Nintendo is set to sport a MASSIVE tri-core PowerPC core courtesy of IBM, the same design as utilized by the Xbox 360, and said to be clocked at a similar frequency. That said, it is likely to be a more efficient processor than Microsoft’s CPU, and it is unknown at this point how many software threads it is capable of running (the 360 does two per core).

AMD look set to provide the GPU from their R700 family of processors, a three generation old technology, launched in 2008 and incumbent to the Radeon HD 4xxxx line of hardware. It is unknown which model will form the basis of the GPU, but I’d assume that it would be towards the higher end of the spectrum. Nintendo are said to be including at least 512mb of dedicated graphics memory, handily besting the PS3’s 256mb of graphics memory and the 360’s 512mb of shared system memory. Nintendo look to be the first home-console manufacturer to cross over into 1080p in any meaningful way.

In terms of storage Project Cafe is set to utilize 25gb disks, the format of which is currently unknown, effectively placing it on par with single layer Blu-Ray discs. In terms of storage Project Cafe is said to feature 8gb of flash memory, for all those MASSIVE downloadable games that Nintendo fans are known to enjoy.

Interface

Mercifully Nintendo are said to be launching their system with a proper ‘sticks and buttons’ controller, albeit one with a

Even kitty loves the Wii!
HARDCOREZ KITTY RWARRR!!

mounted six inch LCD touchscreen. This heralds the return of controller-based inventories last seen on the Game Cube, and may indeed portend to the controller being used as a portable gaming device in its own right.

I am actually quite supportive of the use of LCD touchscreens for the purpose of gaming, and the idea of a controller/touchscreen hybrid quite frankly excites me, yet I do not trust Nintendo to be able to deliver on it. Controllers are quite big enough already without adding an additional touchscreen to the mix, and here is Nintendo who have not created a decent controller since the SNES in the early 90’s. I envision a hulking leviathan. That said, a reasonably sleek design is certainly not beyond them, the screen could be situated between both thumbsticks making an acceptable (albeit overlong) game pad, ideally the touchscreen could even be removed and used as a poor man’s iPod, but who knows? Cost will undoubtedly be a factor in limiting Nintendo’s exciting new idea, and even then you can expect the Project Cafe gamepad to redefine what is meant by ‘bloody expensive controller’.

There Is another rumour to the touch screen however, and this one is odd, and a little hard to believe, but allegedly Nintendo is deploying haptic screen technology; meaning that gamers can feel what they are touching. The technology can apparently simulate the texture of surfaces, and would no doubt be capable of of Braille and other such wonders for the vision impaired. Additionally the tactile feedback would solve the problem of having to avert your eyes from the screen in order to rummage in your inventory. Please remember however, that this is the least firm rumour to come out of the Project Cafe news frenzy (translated from a foreign site &c.).

Market Position

But even kitty can be confused by the Wii...
Yes you can haz walkthough!

Nintendo’s Project Cafe finds itself in an odd position, and there’s no two ways about it. If we were to compare Project Cafe to the current generation then the response would be largely positive, Nintendo look set to release a FULL HD gaming machine with a (possibly) interesting controller. Nintendo’s new disc format neatly avoids the Xbox’s bottleneck of disc-space, and the additional amount of GPU RAM capably avoids the PS3’s memory bottleneck, though of course the 8gb of flash memory does render it absolutely useless for online consumers (a good thing since Nintendo’s online services range from nascent to stillborn). Lack of storage is a massive faux pas, very shortsighted, though if it takes off it could be something I get behind, after all such designs are just the thing to eradicate the endless wave of DLC and Online Gates that bedevil us so! I approve? At any rate Nintendo’s online presence will remain strictly in amateur capacity.

Now, on the other hand nintendo’s next console is not competing with the current generation, rather it is ostensibly kicking off the eighth console generation, and to that end it looks a rather lot like the Sega Dreamcast (replete with overengineered controller). The PS4 and Xbox 720 will absolutely bury it in terms of performance, just like the Wii in relation to its current-gen competitors. Nintendo have learned no lessons about their use of outdated hardware, and they have learned no lessons about their threadbare online component, and why would they? They enjoyed a metric fuckton of undeserved success with the Wii. So where does this leave Nintendo? It leaves Nintendo with approximately one and a half years in which to entrench themselves within the hardcore gaming market, else go the casual route again.

The casual route will not work again I think. Motion waggle was casually accessible in a way that gamepads simply are not, not even when featuring touchscreens (and for that matter why the hell doesn’t the 3DS feature proper touchscreens when Nintendo is putting them into their fucking controllers?!). Casuals are happy with their iOS and Android devices, so a six inch touch screen isn’t going to impress them methinks. They will get some casual gamers sure, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wii Fit make a profitable return, but generally speaking the casual gamer is being pulled in too many directions to be Nintendo’s cash cow.

The perfect result!
Project Cafe

That just leaves the hardcore market, and let me say I just do not see this happening. Nintendo have a year and a half to gain marketshare, but the majority of the games which will appear on the system will invariably be slightly prettier looking cross-platform games, and I do not think that a significant selling point to woo PS360 gamers. Once this period is up Sony + Microsoft will flip the switch on their own eighth generation consoles and Project Cafe will be horribly embarrassed by far more capable gaming machines which truly seem to be a full generation beyond the capabilities of Nintendo’s consoles.

Project Cafe’s specs aren’t bad. By my reckoning they would be sufficient to run most modern day PC games in roughly medium-high settings, which is more than I can say for the PS360 with its frequently sub-HD resolutions. That said, I would expect Sony and Microsoft’s next consoles to match the high-end spec of 2011’s PC hardware market, if not go beyond. I do not predict that this will end up in a situation like the current generation where the Wii is mostly incompatible with PS360 software, rather I think it will be much worse for Nintendo. I predict that Project Cafe will be capable of running most PS4/720 software, but only just. Project Cafe will feature games with all their proverbial sliders dialed down to zero, and IMHO it will look much worse than custom software built to a more humble spec. This is the era of multiple-platform game releases and when every single Project Cafe version is substantially compromised it will do nothing to engender respect.

… And that just leaves Nintendo fanboys, the poor wretches who stuck around for the Game Cube, and then got dumped on by the Wii. Are this long suffering demography to be Nintendo’s bread and butter? Well time will tell.

51 comments

  1. Believe it or not, I actually largely agree with this article. Even if the idea is to go hardcore with Project Cafe, and even if PS3’s “10 year plan” is an actuality, we will still likely see reveals of the PS4 around the time that Project Cafe comes out. So that leaves Nintendo in limbo. The Dreamcast simile feels very accurate.

    Even extending it to the fact that the Dreamcast was a good system with some great titles. There was just no place for it. Nintendo likes to pretend that it “isn’t competing” with the other consoles, but that’s a pretty stupid stance to take especially if this is their attempt to “return to the hardcore”. Especially especially if their launch title is just Skyward Sword in HD.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love that game in HD with normal controls, but if the only proper launch title was a last-gen Zelda port two times in a row for Nintendo, it would be flat out insulting.

    The only place where I disagree at all is the hard drive. I would love to get rid of physical media. It’s antiquated and inconvenient to me. The current mix of Blu-Ray/PSN is fine with me, but a step backwards with Project Cafe is a little baffling.

  2. Or, maybe not reveals of the PS4 when Project Cafe comes out, but that 18 month window you described sounds accurate.

  3. The only place where I disagree at all is the hard drive. I would love to get rid of physical media. It’s antiquated and inconvenient to me.

    You, you, and to you. Not everyone in the world has the high-speed internet connexions needed for large game downloads; neither does everyone in the world want to be tied to such a functionality.

    Even in first-world countries, there are plenty of circumstances (Dan and Stephen) where the internet is so unreliable that a large download for a game just isn’t on.

    So no, they are not taking a ‘step backwards’. They are being reasonable and serving the majority of users, not just the minority who have access to high-speed, dependable, un-bandwidth-capped connexions. Don’t forget that your pampered white ass is in the minority with regard to that.

  4. Yes, I’m aware that the change shouldn’t be made today, you don’t have to be a dick.

  5. I also cited the current mix of Blu-Ray/PSN, and it was obviously a matter of preference. I don’t appreciate being painted as an ignorant douche for trying to participate in the conversation.

  6. It’s not a step backwards (nor is it antiquated). You made it evidently clear that you think it is. This isn’t about personal preference, as your arguments about physical media have always been, Ethan. It’s about that what Ethan wants is how everything ought to be, and if it is not, it is a ‘step backward’. And the same objections still prevail, which is why games are made for the masses, and why the PSP Go failed, and why you are still wrong on this topic.

    Antiquated and ‘step backward’ are your words, not mine. You don’t need me to put them in your mouth. Trying to suddenly duck out of what you said, or to paint it as some mere preference, after you have already said that you would “love to get rid of physical media” is going to stretch anyone’s imaginative capabilities.

  7. “I would love to get rid of physical media. It’s antiquated and inconvenient to me. The current mix of Blu-Ray/PSN is fine with me,”

    “to me”
    “with me”

    Yes, that’s my preference. That’s why I’d like a focus on downloadable media. Seriously, I get a harder time than anybody else on this site and I definitely don’t deserve it. I don’t mind being opposed, but I do mind being talked to that way. I’ve had quite enough of it. You could make your legitimate points without making them the way you do.

  8. I think the 8GB of storage is probably for savefiles, settings, and probably caching some data from the game discs. Which isn’t really much of a limitation. The PS3/360’s optical drives are both pretty awful performancewise compared to what’s available now. The PS3 has a 2x Bluray I think? 12x drives are available commercially, so I couldn’t Cafe ending up with less than twice the speed of the PS3’s optical read speed.

    With the newer process technology available to fabricate the CPU for Project Cafe it could end up being a good 50% faster in single-thread performance. The Xenon CPU is an in-order design, doesn’t have particularly large caches, and there were a number of other areas of possible improvement unless I’m recalling this incorrectly.

    Going with AMD GPUs is pretty logical too. AMD has been making much smaller die chips than Nvidia for a while now while being competitive in performance. It might be unrelated, but they announced some new embedded Radeon chips this week. Getting a console on the market with DX11 class GPU would be nice for PC gaming so that developers drop the fucking Ancient DX9 shit already.

    The controller touchscreens really need to have that tactile feedback or they’re just pointless. I haven’t seen the tech that provides it in person (or heard much about it, really), so I’m thinking they’ll probably fuck it up.

    Ultimately, I still don’t see Project Cafe being popular with hardcore gamers. People with PS3s and 360s are all about the generic, brown FPS multiplayer, achievements/trophies, and grouping with friends. The 3DS shows Nintendo can get better than utterly terrible online multiplayer, but they’re nowhere near PSN/XBLA level integration. Maybe with a modern unified shader GPU and robust CPU developers will release the flashiest real HD version of Call of Duty on Project Cafe? If not then a half dozen first party titles aren’t going to woo people.

    Project Cafe might end up seeing what we see with PC gaming where sure you’ve got this crazy, way-more-powerful hardware than the PS3/360, but it just gets dumbed down ports released that don’t take advantage of it. For every Crysis there’s ten Crysis 2’s.

    In any event I’m still broke and probably won’t get to buy one.

    Unrelated Question: Does the 3DS’s battery life still suck if you’re playing DS games on it?

  9. Yes, so Nintendo is taking a ‘step backwards’ by not catering to Ethos’ preference. Okay. I see. You are right. I stand corrected.

    Nevertheless, it will be terrible news for people who are in school and have shittyterrible internet connexion. Sorry Slab and Deimosion.

    It will also be pretty awful for Australia as a whole. And most of Europe, too, unless you are lucky enough to live smack in the middle of one of the more progressive cities. Sorry, SN.

    Pretty bad news if you happen to live on PEI, with their miserably slow internet. Sorry, Gin.

    Of course, Eastern Europe, Russia, Arabia, Africa, you’re fucked. No games for you. Parts of Asia will be okay, all of Japan. Games for them! Good on you, China and Japan!

    Hmm… your interest in Sino-Japanese gaming is laudable, Ethos. Perhaps we could see about getting you a medal from the Chinese authorities?

    Is this sufficiently more eulogistic? Perhaps I can dig up some articles that say that only people with a high-speed internet connexion should be allowed to play games. Maybe that would help? Tell me: what can I do for you?

  10. @EP: Yes, though not much. Destructoid’s min/max tests included a minimum-setting gameplay with a DS cart, yet it only got nominally better battery life than a 3DS game with the same settings.

    Unless there’s must-play exclusives for the system (I contend there are none yet), better to wait for the inevitable battery redesign.

  11. “You could make your legitimate points without making them the way you do.”

    You are missing the point entirely.
    I’m not trying to win an argument, I’m trying to be treated like a human being. Lay off.

  12. @Ethos: If you dislike the way you are treated, maybe you could try framing a position around something other than narcissistic self-interest?

    The endless “It’s not novel enough to keep up with my own tastes/capabilites, and therefore it is a step backwards and I would prefer it to be done away with,” puts off people more than you suspect. Some of whom actually like–nay, need–those features.

    It’s one thing to jokingly say “everything I don’t like is rubbish!” and quite another to genuinely believe something along those lines. If you want to know why you get guff around here, that’s my bet.

  13. I cannot believe the things you believe about me. I truly cannot. It’s extremely offensive.

    Maybe YOU’RE put off by me because you don’t understand who I am. Maybe I act more stubborn with you because you consistently treat me like trash. If I could stand to look inward, you could do so doubly.

    I love discussion, your points are more than valid, but thinking that my preferences are seeped in narcissistic self-interest is disrespectful and surprising to me. That is never who I have shown myself to be. I’ll try to work on my image around you if you’d like. But that would be if I could believe that you would stop belittling every opinion I have.

    I’ll try to frame my opinions with excessive modesty from now on, I didn’t know you viewed them that way.

  14. Ethan’s point is valid, that physical media is a bit antiquated in today’s day and age. However, for those of us with downright shitty internet connections (damn universities), having physical media as an option is a must, since large downloads take too damn long unless you choose a good time during which to download. The solution, in my opinion, is the one most companies have reached: both options. Allow downloads for those who, like Ethan, don’t want physical media taking up space, but leave the physical option for those who, for whatever reason, will not or cannot switch to a download-only model. It makes more sense to keep both options open, since there are a significant number of people on either side of the issue.

  15. @Ethos: The fact that these self-centred positions are ever your positions, that you do not budge from them, and that you endlessly state them without variation has given me to believe–yes–that they are your actual beliefs.

    In summa, a statement like, “I do not personally use this feature, so therefore this feature is antiquated and should be removed” is something I take to be quite typically “Ethosian” (if I may coin such a term). It is not Lusipurrean (because, after all, a truly Lusipurrean statement is baseless and without support. It’s also not serious. I have taken your statements above to be serious; if they are not so, then I was in error and you have my apology.)

    To contrast with what I actually think: I may dislike things and call them Rubbish. I may think Plants vs. Zombies isn’t fun. But I stop short of seriously saying no one else should be allowed the circumstances to make such a determination.

    Much like Bieber–I hate that little twerp. I think his music is dreadful rubbish. But he has EVERY right to put it out and people have every right to listen to it. I wish they wouldn’t, but I’m not going saying the record labels are wrong, or taking a step backwards, to do so. All tongue-in-cheek jokes aside, other people get entertainment out of Bieber, so as long as he is not facilitating some sort of societal evil (and I genuinely don’t believe he is), let Bieber continue. I’ll just plug my ears and pray for it to end sooner rather than later.

    That said, I fail to see how perceiving your preferences as narcissistic is disrespectful to you. I perceive them as they appear. To do otherwise would be intellectually dishonest and no more than an exercise in self-delusion. I am not remonstrating with you for thinking that I am a dick and an ass. They are your perceptions and you are entitled to them–you ought to have them, and they should be real, not constructed for the acceptance of those around you.

    I do genuinely believe that you are very self-focused at times, much as all human beings can be. And I think that you make off-the-cuff decisions about technology, which you enter into public forums, based on those perceptions. You should expect to get guff when you do that. If you do it a lot, you should expect to get a LOT of guff.

    I’d really like to see some circumspect commentary from you. I know you are capable of it, but it happens rarely enough. The relative lack of that, to me, is far more distressing than anything specific to this single instance–an instance which is limited to a sentence at the end of an otherwise balanced remark, but which is juxtaposed against the whole.

    Just a quick addendum: it isn’t about modesty, it is about being circumspect. I think you have a reasonable appreciation of your talents. My concern is that you do not always remember that not everyone–indeed, not most people–are like you, or privy to the same capabilities, privileges, and circumstances.

  16. @Deimosion: The difference, of course, is that physical media is often a necessity. Downloadable copies are not, unless one is living in space the size of a tea kettle, in which case gaming is the least of one’s concerns.

    I’m all for having both, but if one must be eliminated, it is surely the luxury and not the necessity.

  17. I don’t fault Nintendo for sticking with physical media, if only for the reason SiliconNooB states in the article: Nintendo is terrible with the internet. The Wii is more than enough evidence of this fact. Personally, I don’t mind physical media because it is really not that inconvenient. Discs are hardly large things, certainly they’re a 10th of the overall size of the console meant to play them.

    My concern with Nintendo’s new console does not even extend to the technical specifications of the console itself, which may come as a surprise to some. Yes, it should be technologically more advanced than the Wii, but that does not matter much to me at all. My biggest concern with the new console is the games. Not with how the games look, but with how they play. Are the controls going to be good, or are they going to be wonky, clunky, and useless? Is the game going to have an engaging plot? (Not something that matters to most gamers, to be sure.) Are the games going to at least look okay? Most gamers may want superawesome fast HD quality stuff, but to me, that’s just extra. Nothing wrong with having it, but if all a game does is look nice, well it might as well just be a movie (to me).

    In short, when it comes to me, I don’t give two shits about the next Nintendo console, or the next Microsoft or Sony consoles, for that matter. I only care what games will be playable for those consoles. Besides obvious money issues, it is the quality of the games that will be made for those consoles that will determine my ultimate decisions as to which (if any) of the consoles I will buy.

  18. (And for the record, I would LIKE to see an end to some of these physical media and all of the things taking up my limited space, but that is unfortunately not realistic.)

  19. @SB: Well said. Bad controls, not bad hardware, have been the worst problem that games have faced since the Nintendo 64. Media, visuals, and music aside, it is the controls that are terrible. Waggle has only aggravated the situation, in my opinion.

  20. @SB @Lusi The problem is that there is usually a correlation between hardware and software support. The technically superior consoles get third party support because, hey, nobody wants to develop for a mediocre waggle system. If I gave a damn about hardware, I probably wouldn’t play so many classic GBC games. Software is all that really matters, but unfortunately the Wii has failed there as well.

  21. @Lusi Of course, but in 2011, both physical and downloadable are such viable options that there is no need to remove either.

  22. @Lusipurr There is, however, the other point that I made (that, admittedly, refers probably only to me on this website). To me, it is very important for a game to have an engaging plot. If I wanted to play a mindless puzzle or fighting or shooting game, I’d pick up a copy of an older game, like Pokemon Puzzle Challenge, the first Mortal Kombat, or Asteroids. Those games are very old and do not have plots. It is my opinion that if a company can create a solid game by hiring the best graphic artists, buying the best rendering software, hiring respected composers, etc, then the least they can do is hire a good writer to write something that people will enjoy. Probably not important to most people, but I really would rather not play a game (for the most part) that I wouldn’t be able to sit through as a movie.

  23. @Slab If the game isn’t fun, I don’t want to play it. If I wanted a movie, I’d watch a movie. The game has to be fun to play, first and foremost, or I’m not interested. Plot, visuals, and music are secondary. I would even say characters are more important than the actual storyline, at least for me.

  24. @Deim: My initial point precisely. It is not a ‘step backwards’ to include something that all other successful consoles include, and which many people need.

    @SB: I am endless fascinated by the degree to which story is of importance to people. Largely due to being involved with RPG communities my whole life, I am mostly familiar with plot-centric mentalities. And yet, recently, I have met people like Deimosion and Breaka666 for whom the system, not the plot, is of the greatest import.

    As a result of this, I’ve begun to question my own choices in games, and what I really like about them, and have discovered that far from believing that story is more important than anything else, I’ve probably actually been giving more consideration to system this whole time.

    Your point about resources being spent on good writing should be noted by every video game development house. Unfortunately, it’s a bit harder to put good writing on the back of a box or in a flashy, 30-second-long trailer. Would that brilliant writing were just as easy (and just as much in vocal demand)!

  25. Fair enough.

    Based on your response I feel like I must be misrepresenting myself in Lusipurr.com related ventures. Because, like you say, your opinion is based in observation and I think that actions are a better showcase of beliefs than a declaration of beliefs. Therefore there must be some irrefutable truth to your observations.

    I have always felt that much of the way I present my opinions in comments here and on podcasts is defense against perpetual condescension and an unwillingness to seriously listen to my opinions – hence the need to present them in a “my way or the highway” manner – but perhaps this was only one piece of a loop.

    It is true that I respond emotionally to you and Julian in a drastically quicker and more extreme way than nearly anybody else on the planet, so perhaps that’s worth examining from all sides. Because despite my rash reactions that you see the largest percentage of, I am generally a rational and logical person so I cannot imagine that I’m completely unjust in believing that I’m beat on more than I deserve by people I consider great friends.

    I will genuinely try to look at the way I present my opinions in the future so that they can be presented in the way that I thought was being perceived. Hopefully my fear of being spit on and laughed at for having an opinion that is different, or not taken seriously if I happen to agree will be proven to be a fear that has been largely self-perpetuated.

    Anyway, I hope everybody enjoyed reading this roller coaster.

  26. Now this is not to say, of course, that plot is not important to me. I would say that, for me, plot is…third, behind gameplay and characters in terms of importance. A well-written plot can, in some instances, take me through a game for which I am not otherwise fond. I know I’ll get flak for this, but FFIX is a perfect example. I found the battles to be, well, too slow and kinda boring, but the cast was so likable that I couldn’t help but be sucked in. In most situations, however, if the core game isn’t fun to play, then the plot or the characters just aren’t going to be enough.

    Then again, if every studio actually prioritized good writing, character design, and plot, then maybe I would hold a different view on the matter.

  27. @Ethos: Welcome to Life with Lusi and Ethos!
    (a.k.a. Life with Ethos and Lusi, in Canada)

    I respond very violently to SN as well, probably because he deserves it, and also because I think he must be the most contrary person in the whole world. I think sometimes he just takes a position that is opposite with me for the sheer joy of arguing. If I ever meet him, the first thing I am going to do is plant my boot firmly on his Australian behind. Then we will shake hands and proceed to a tour of the Foster’s Production Line.

    As I emended above, I don’t think this has anything to do with immodesty on your part. I think you have a very reasonable appreciation of your capabilities–no more or less exaggerated or underrated than most other people. My concern is about the circumspection–the ability to see beyond one’s own situation. However, that you are now made aware of this is a good thing, whatever temporary short-term upset it has caused. We all can stand to improve, and I’m certainly not an exception to that.

    No, seriously. Don’t laugh. There remain yet ways in which I am not perfect. I’m serious!

    All teasing aside, I consider you a friend and I do not dislike you, nor do I set about beating on you for my amusement. Well, at least, not *only* my amusement. Nor did I give you such a drubbing as you think. I made sure to save the lip for a single line at the end of my initial comment. I think, if you go back and read it when you feel more calm, you’ll find I wasn’t being as harsh as you felt I was at the time.

    Though I do not deny that the final line was meant to rile you up. Sometimes, I would like to kick you in the pants, too. Let an old man have his pleasures. ;)

  28. @Deim: I suspect my actual position is closer to yours than to the “Plot is only important thing!” mentality. And of course I don’t think you believe that plot is of no importance. Just like I don’t think that people who claim it is the most important thing really mean that.

    I mean, even if Beyond the Beyond had a world-famous plot, who would play it? And if we substituted a most excellent system, but left its current plot intact, who would play it?

    FFX-2 is tolerable because its plot is tolerable. It has an amazing battle system, and the main storyline isn’t so bad that it is capable of ruining that battle system. But I can conceive of storylines bad enough to do that for me (Beyond the Beyond).

  29. @Lusi I don’t THINK I’ve yet run into a situation where a plot was SO BAD I couldn’t finish a game, at least not in recent memory. I don’t typically notice plots unless they are particularly good, though, so there’s that to consider as well. (And for what it’s worth, I have never played, nor will I ever play Beyond the Beyond; I have heard literally nothing good about it).

    X-2 was so over-the-top and camp that I couldn’t NOT like it. The main overarching plot is at least decent, though it takes a backseat to the camp, pseudo-Charlie’s Angels feel of the game.

  30. And as a first attempt, the way I truly feel about physical media is the following:

    I feel the same way as Deimosion. “I would LIKE to see an end to some of these physical media and all of the things taking up my limited space, but that is unfortunately not realistic.”

    I understand that this is not how I presented my opinion initially, but it is the way I feel.
    Physical media irritates me, but I’m well aware that it’s not realistic at all to get rid of it all together, nor do I wish for that to ever happen.

    The thing I’m concerned about with Project Cafe that I considered “a step backwards” was NOT including a lot of hard drive space so that people who prefer (and are able) to download games or full games will be able to have the option.

    The PSN (and I think XBL as well, actually, I’m not sure), have been showing great examples of this recently. Posting full downloads of complete games that are also available for Blu-Ray/DVD release. Obviously the disc release bothers me in NO way, but having the option to download is wonderful. Nobody has anything taken from them, there are just more options.

    Project Cafe apparently not supporting such options is troubling for me. I do not, in any way, wish for them to get rid of the disc drive nor restrict physical media releases. I understand how saying discs were “antiquated” didn’t really lend itself to this point.

  31. No, in fact, I knew it wasn’t as harsh as I originally read it pretty soon after I reacted to it. But tada, I think I am better for the whole escapade anyway.

  32. On that point I will agree, not allowing for download support in this day and age is antiquated and backwards. PSN (and maybe XBL? I don’t own a 360) definitely made steps in the right direction by releasing games for download as a viable option for obtaining new releases.

  33. In an ideal world where downloads wouldn’t mean the elimination of physical media, I’d love to see downloadable access for everything, even though I’d always avoid using it where possible. If PSN being down has taught me anything, it is that it is really irritating to be dependent upon some remote fileserver that is at the mercy of the internet. I want to play Sonic4, and I cannot do so simply because I cannot download it. If it were available in a store, I would have had it last week. As it stands, it could be months until I can make that purchase. That’s what upsets me most about Downloadable Software: it can mean downloadable-only, even for major titles like Sonic4 and MM9/MM10, all of which I would much rather have on disc.

    @Ethos: I misunderstood, then. The lack of HD space on the Wii is stupidly low. THAT *is* a step backwards. 8G? It might be a stride forward from the Wii, but that only had to serve for a bunch of old ROMs, and even then I ran out of space. I cannot for the life of me figure out why they can’t put at least a 60G flash in there. Why does it have to be flash, anyway? Why not, like the PS3, use traditional hard drives? That would allow people to swap them out with off-the-shelf parts at their own wish. Proprietary hardware is silly (Do you hear me, M$?).

  34. Well that might be the thing. I forget who mentioned it, but somebody suggested that the 8gigs is just for save files, DLC, patches, etc. Perhaps it will support external hard drives for downloadable buffs like me, but it would be strange after the PS3 to not have it included.

    That was another thing I never mentioned in reaction to this post that I agree with. Nintendo scrimps and saves far too much on hardware. They’ll cut out things that would VASTLY improve a system (competent battery life) so that they can make a bundle on every console sold out of the gate. I understand not wanting to lose money on every console, but the figures on the 3DS are discouraging.

    It just points to Nintendo cutting even more things to make Project Cafe not shape up to PS4/Xboxwhatever. Hell, maybe even the PS360 depending on how much they decide to trim.

    It’s all speculation, but your first line summed it up, Julian: “Nintendo have a lot to prove after their current generation offering, the Nintendo Wii.”

  35. @Ethos: A lot of Nintendo’s scrimping seems to be because they are now determined to make money on the sale of every hardware item sold. The result of this: low quality hardware to maximise margin.

  36. Well that’s what I was saying. And I don’t even mind that so much if the margin wasn’t so huge. It has gone too far.

  37. True. I don’t mind them making money. I mind them making BUTTLOADS of money whilst selling terribly unpowered crap with a 3hr battery life.

  38. YAY! PEOPLE HAVE OPINIONS AND FLIPPANCY IS STILL FLIPPANT!! :D

    We’ll see how well Nintendo’s frugality stands them when they don’t have the huge casual base they once had. Their online quality + lack of hdd alone will see them treated as an afterthought by many companies who prioritize online purchases and online multiplayer gaming. On this level it really will not compete with the PS360, let alone the eighth generation consoles.

    -Also, 40 responses?! Wow … Just … Wow … (the things that happen while you sleep).

  39. I think they just stuck all their options to a dartboard and then proceeded to take turns pinning down their final spec …

    At least they’ve always got the fanboys!

  40. Me: Nintendo’s 8GB of system memory is proof positive that they still have absolutely no idea about how to function as an online retailer/gaming service.

  41. Fanboy1: not really they are doing fine so far

    and gaming service… i’d shut up if i were you. the 3DS uses a different online methods which are still bound to its shitty gamespy laws; but is ALOT better then the wii/DS (aka, still friend codes but its minor and not game depended and rarely lag in SSF4 tells me enough )

    also, im sure that with the wii’s hardware you could still make an awesome online game and use friend codes AND that rarely lags unless you go outside of region. it just requires decent programming

  42. Fanboy2: So long as software can launch from SD cards (and not the crap copy trick done on the Wii), I dont think that’ll be a big issue.

    Even smarter, dont ship with a hard drive but allow the user to install one, kind of like the new version of the Xbox 360.

  43. EVEN SMARTER!!! The best part of Nintendo fanboys (I know best having been one myself in the not-too-distant past) is that they actually feel as though they ARE Nintendo. Therefore when fans get ripped off so that Nintendo can make more money. FANS FEEL LIKE THEY WIN!

    It is Stockholm Syndrome.

  44. I’M SO POOR, AND YET I’M SO RICH!!

    I suppose this is how Luis Vasquez feels about SONY!!!

  45. NINTENSONY! POORGRESS!

    Maybe Nintendo should just get back to making Hanafuda cards. It fits their mentality a little better than the technology-progressive world of video games.

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