Sunday, June 3, 2012

This Is The WiiU's "Hardcore" Controller

The big new shiny thing of the WiiU is it's tablet-controller (now officially christened "The WiiU Gamepad"), which combines a traditional dual-analog button scheme with a touchscreen that can "swap out" the monitor feed if someone else want to use the TV (and probably other stuff, too.)

Beyond that, all we'd heard about the system's interface was that you can bring your old Wii Remotes and peripherals to the party, too... but now we know that's not the only option. To the surprise of... well, few who follow this sort of thing (given how open Nintendo has been about getting 3rd parties back onto the reservation being a primary goal this gen) but to the relief of many - including me - as part of their pre-E3 video tease Nintendo revealed "The WiiU Pro" - which moves the Gamepad's button-layout (sans touchscreen) onto the framework of a more standard controller:

I've gotta say it: I'm glad to see this. I'm a bigger proponent of motion controls than a lot of people in games journalism, but it's true that it's not right for every situation and it's a wise decision on Nintendo's part to make the development of WiiU versions of multiplatform AAA titles as easy as possible on 3rd party developers. Now I'm hoping that the next reveal is "one of these AND the Gamepad are solid with the console."

Having dozens of different controller-types would've been a mistake for the original Wii in terms of confusing consumers, but if the idea now is that WiiU will use this or the Gamepad as it's primary interface with Remotes "from your old Wii" as an option it makes sense.

Now, then... who do I pay to mod one of these into black/gray/beige/red NES colors?

48 comments:

Nixou said...

You know what? It's fucking brilliant: it's basically a Wii "Classic" controller redesigned to look attractive to the "Hardcore" gamers: you know: the imbeciles who bought Skyrim because it looked like and FPS and who refuse to touch a Mario because it's "childish". They're going to sell a device completely useless on it's own merit to tens of millions of suckers who will buy it because it looks does not offend them by being too "different": I love it :D

David (The Pants) said...

Fuck, when was the last time I played a console Nintendo game with a "normal" controller? I'm liking this. I bought a Wii years after it's release (and mainly for SSBB), but I might get a Wii U sooner. I hope I can play current-gen games like Saints Row II if they redistribute them for this console, since I wanna play that game, but not buy a PS3 or XBox 360.

Aiddon said...

that and a few seconds of possible NSMBWii U footage. People think that comments shown in the video hint at a flying squirrel costume and baby Yoshis.

Arturo said...

This was definitely a good idea.

Arturo said...

Hey Bob, I would also like to hear your thoughts further on about the ways Nintendo seems to be planning their online interface. It seems to me that they may just be able to make the online gaming world a little friendlier.

Razmere said...

I dig this. I just hope it comes in colors other than black. I would LOVE a CLASSIC color type. Of either NES or Super NES.

guyinthehat said...

@Nioxu: Funny I didn't buy Skyrim cause it looked like an FPS, I bought it cause I'm a huge fan of the Elder Scrolls series. I don't refuse to touch Mario because I think it's childish, I refuse to touch it because the suits at Nintendo are worse than Hollywood production companies that keep throwing out re-makes, re-boots and re-imaginings.

Also I prefer a basic controller such as this because motion controls are an overrated gimmick whose purpose is best served for arcade style light gun games. I'm not offended things that are different, nor am I offended by motion controls, fact is they suck and break immersion more than a hunk of plastic with buttons.

What I dislike are idiot hipsters who think they're cool for being "different." Which is odd considering Nintendo is the fucking Disney of the video game world and the Wii's biggest appeal has been to kids and stay at home mom's and father's. That's like saying imbeciles don't like the Transformers films cause they were different for having shape shifting robots.

Kris Russell said...

@Nixou:

I'm with guyinthehat, if your quip about the mindset of the hardcore gamer isn't an asinine and condescending insult, then I'm not sure what is.

Of course, Nintendo can try and sell a device to these "tens of millions" of these "suckers", but it's still a question as if they actually do. Lightning rarely strikes the same place twice, I'm not counting on the Wii U having the sure fire success of it's predecessor as you might expect it would have. And it's not like the hardcore game isn't already skeptical about the console, anyway. In fact, most people, who I consider part of the hardcore community, aren't all that convinced about even purchasing a Wii U.

So, good sir, perhaps you should exercise some respect for the hardcore audience, they are all not Borgs.

Aiddon said...

I think about it this way, Nintendo's power only grows when the "hardcore" pisses and moans about them. I fully expect them to kick expectations in the teeth come Tuesday and shut up just about everyone.

guyinthehat said...

@Aiddon: I'm actually excited for this console, I like the idea and the fact that, from what I've heard, Nintendo is doing some stuff that could change the face of gaming.

I'm not some "hardcore" -whatever that is- gamer, I'm an avid gamer and enjoy plenty of games on different systems, provided the story is solid and the game doesn't constantly remind me I'm playing a game, which motion controls always do. Does every crowd come with their own groups of elitists with delusions of superiority? We're all gamers regardless of our console or PC preference.

ANImaniac said...

I like the idea but I'm really hoping it get redesigned before release.

I hate the placement of the sticks

Aaron Wrotkowski said...

Like many Nintendo peripherals, I'm expecting a "Third Party Mature Game" to get packaged with the Wii U Pro.

Sabre said...

As some already said, I hope this is a mock up because that looks awkward to use.

Interesting they are keeping the Nintendo layout instead of the Dreamcast/Xbox layout. I think it has to do with patients, but really they should unify the button layouts as swapping between them is a pain. Speaking of, Nintendo should bite the bullet and colour code the face buttons already. It's a much better system imo.

Also, is that mini USB? Hopefully they learned to stop the proprietary connection crap, but I doubt it myself.

I'm wondering why they removed the oct gate from the sticks? I like the gates.

Nixou said...

"I'm with guyinthehat, if your quip about the mindset of the hardcore gamer isn't an asinine and condescending insult, then I'm not sure what is"

It's an asinine and condescending diagnose.
The thing is: it's not the fact that the Most Mighty House of Plumber is selling a "normal" controller: it's the fact that, instead of merely tweaking the already existing classic controller, they deliberately made it look like an xbox controller: a move quite obviously made in order to attenuate the hostility of the Wiiphobic idiots by giving them a sense of familiiarity.
And judging by how much this controller is being praised.defended, I cannot help but notice that it's already working.

Fucking brilliant, I tell you.

Sabre said...

Nixou-

You do remember the classic controller pro was shaped like a PS1 controller?

Chances are it's shaped like an Xbox controller because it's a design that works.

Nixou said...

"You do remember the classic controller pro was shaped like a PS1 controller?"

Yeah: same shit at its core, but not advertised as a dominent feature of the console.

Kris Russell said...

@Nixou:

Funny. When Sony or Microsoft "tweaks" a controller that's similar to Nintendo's, the Big N fanbase deems it thievery and lacking innovation. When it's vice versa, it's suddenly genius? How does that work?

And how does a decision to adopt a striking similar design to the 360's own controller suddenly the Wonka golden ticket to ensure that everybody outside the fanbase is going to convert to the Wii U? There's little denying that Nintendo is doing anything in it's power to try and sell the concept that the Wii U will be just like any other console on the market, and this is a step in the right direction. I think that's what everybody is agreeing on at this point. Still too soon in the game to start counting those chickens.

Oliver said...

It definitely seem that Nintendo is trying to secure a “hard core” demographic for the Wii U. Though they seem to doing this by playing catch up in some respects with Microsoft and Sony. Case in point they have also announced a social and content Network like the PSN and Xbox live.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/06/04/us-nintendo-miiverse-idUKBRE8520FZ20120604

Interestingly they also seem to be trying a steal a march on the others by targeting mobile gaming as well

Nixou said...

"When Sony or Microsoft "tweaks" a controller that's similar to Nintendo's, the Big N fanbase deems it thievery and lacking innovation. When it's vice versa, it's suddenly genius? How does that work?"

Simple: you're just wrongly assuming that I am a brain dead big N fanboy. As far as I am concerned, the most confortable controller is the old dualshock 2 (before they turned two of the shoulder buttons into shitty pseudo triggers).

But what's really brilliant is that, assuming the WiiU-Pad-thing is as light as it is said, this "pro" pad will be completely useless to many suckers who will only need one game-pad (because they either use multiplayer only online or not at all) yet will buy another one simply because its outward appearance is more familiar to them. That's potentially millions if not tens of millions of controllers sold 40-50 bucks to people who do not need them yet will treat their availability as a godsend.

It's already being marketed as a "Oh, look, we care about you" move toward the hardcore crowd: This is beautifully evil.

Anonymous said...

Alot of people are running on the assumption though that this will pull peole from other consoles onto the wii u but the question everyone isnt asking is why. Why shold anyone purchase a wii u just because now they are looking for the wider demographic. Now i do own a wii. I saying that I also own a PC and a PS3.Currently its my PC that gets the most gaming (FPS's RTS etc) where as the PS3 gets the third person shooters Like Assasins creed and the wii gets the easy to lurn multiplayer buttonmashers that my friends can easily pick up and play without having to learn the difficult combos or level up accounts oreven have to create heir own mii's. So considering that the wii is a single part to a nutritious breakfast why would we but itif we already own the high processing power houses that are the xbox and the playstation. Personally I only ever thought the wii needed a basic wireless wavebird controller and it wouldve been a perfect litle system but they never delivered. Now they have this controller out trying to win a crowd which will already own extensive game catalogues on previous systems that will be wanting backwards compatibility ontheir future systems. Now if the wii u has the ability to run PS3 and Xbox discs then my argument will become moot.

Anonymous said...

Dude, this is gonna mess with my muscle-memory something fierce. I'm glad Nintendo is going with a traditional controller, it means that for the first time companies will be able to design and produce for all three consoles at the same time. Hopefully we get a generation where what console you own doesn't matter in the long run... sigh, I can dream, right?

Aiddon said...

watch as this console sells millions despite the whining of the "hardcore." It bring me joy to see assholes brought down a notch.

Anonymous said...

*sigh*

RIP Gamecube controller. </3 At least there'll be SOMETHING to play the new super smash bros on, even if it's something I'll have to retrain my hands for. :(

Jannie said...

Nixou:

I wouldn't call it "brilliant" or "evil" but it IS prudent.

Nintendo isn't run by morons, they know, I think, that while they made a huge chunk of money on the casual gaming market those people aren't long-term investments--someone who bought the Wii to play with their Wii Fit is NEVER going to care about actual video games. Most people aren't going to spend hundreds of dollars on something they have no need for, and casuals have literally no need for anything else now that they have their Wii Fit and Wii Sports etc.

And Nintendo knows this.

So, moving forward with that logic, they have made MANY and VERY VOCAL pronouncements that this console will not be the "casual gaming console" this will be the NINTENDO CONSOLE. This will be their harkening back to the days when Nintendo was a major, deeply rooted hardcore gaming company during the N64 and SNES days, and that means the Wii U Pro Controler among other changes.

It's the reason why this console has ample third-party support on day one, why they expressly stated this one has HD graphics, why they're moving into online multiplayer and digital distribution FINALLY, and why they're tacitly admitting "yeah, the tablet thing is a gimmick, this is a real controller" by doing this.

And remember Nintendo and the Japanese gaming industry in general has been hit hard by recent times. Stocks are not looking good at all, Western RPGs have effectively rendered JRPGs extinct outside of Japan, so much so they didn't even bother releasing some of them here, and now Microsoft is coming out with this "universal computer smart glass" thing.

Nintendo realizes, and rightly so, that they need to embrace the ONE group who will never abandon them and who will loyally buy their games: GAMERS.

I'd expect that eventually, after a couple of years into the Wii U's life cycle, the tablet controller will start to be phased out and the Actual Video Game Controller will become the standard pack-in; assuming it's NOT standard with the console at launch alongside the tablet...which, if it is, this process will go even more swiftly.

I'd also expect a rather smooth and uneventful transition. Most of the third-party games have already made tacit statements they do not intend to use the tablet feature on the Wii U controller, which means this will probably be the standard one for most or all of those games. And eventually I'd imagine all of the Wii U's games.

It's not some evil scheme or an attempt by Nintendo to pander to anyone, it's just a sign of their newly readjusted priorities, and a new focus on their dedicated core market. Which, considering the changing times, is only logical.

PadMasher said...

@Jannie

In short, this 360-look-alike controller confirms that Nintendo knows they abandoned us. The Wii really was just a gimmick and they aren't even going to bother to try it twice. I think it's cute that Nintendo fans were bashing the shit out the "HD Twins" just so Nintendo's next console can be the very thing they protested against.

Now, all of the sudden Nintendo are "geniuses" for finally doing what we wanted them to do from the start. I completely agree with your observations though, I feel like this "Hardcore" controller is Nintendo's way of admitting defeat. Not financially of course but, it solidifies the accusations that the Wii wasn't a real console.

Anonymous said...

@Aiddon re: "watch as this console sells millions despite the whining of the "hardcore." It bring me joy to see assholes brought down a notch."

Watch as this McDonald's hamburger sells millions despite the whining of the "people with taste". It brings my joy to see assholes brought down a notch.

Seriously people. Nintendo is not your wife, you do not need to leap blindly to its defense after every internet criticism. And selling tons of video game consoles to people who do not play video games does not mean you have a BRILLIANT NEW WAY TO PLAY GAMES, it just means you cashed in on an easy fad.

This thing is literally just the Classic Controller Pro for the original Wii, but with the sticks screwed up. This is not some brilliant strategic move, it's a naked cash-grab to re-sell people shit they already own. But because it's Nintendo, it's suddenly wholesome and amazing. You people never cease to amaze me.

The Wii U is Nintendo catching up to where console gaming has been for the last five years. It'll be nice to have a Nintendo machine that's more about games than gimmicks again, let's just hope they don't spend several years desperately trying to convince us that attaching an iPad to their console is some BRILLIANT INNOVATION IN HOW GAMES ARE PLAYED, and get back to basics.

And before someone tries to tell me I'm some dudebro cawadooty Nintendo hater: My extensive NES, SNES, Genesis, PS1, Saturn, PS2, and Gamecube collections disagree with you. I just remember when games were about GAMES, and not stupid waggle gimmicks.

Anonymous said...

Well if the controller is not too small then some people will like it I remember my brother complaining that the GC controller was too small.

The important issue here is if Nintendo can manage to convince third parties to develop games on their system instead of ports.:(

maninahat said...

I'm not too keen. I kind of liked the minimalist approach of the Wii and Nunchuck, as it encouraged innovative yet simple control schemes.

All the wii needed was a more ergonomic shape, designed for extended play time (pointing a tv remote for two hours solid - ugh).

Aiddon said...

Ubisoft showed at least two exclusives in their presser (Rayman Legends and ZombiiU which was formerly Killer Freaks from Outer Space) as well as confirming some other titles. Tomorrow is nothing but Wii U games, so Nintendo must have a LOT to show. Wednesday is for the 3DS

Nixou said...

"Western RPGs have effectively rendered JRPGs extinct outside of Japan,"

That's where I realize that Western Gamers still live in a completely fictional world: among the 50 best selling RPGs this generation: 33 were JRPGs, two of the three biggest licenses in term of sale volume (Dragon Quest and Pokemon) are Nintendo exclusives and 27 of the top 50 RPGs were sold on the DS.

Not only is the JRPG anything but exctinct sales-wise (which is a problem: for instance: why is Squeenix not doing any effort to renew its Final Fantasy franchise? Because it sold 6 million units of string-like corridor extravaganza FF XIII: why making efforts when lackluster games have a bigger commercial success than, say, Mass Effect?) it is about to become -unless the Vita catch up- a niche virtually owned by Nintendo.

***

"This is not some brilliant strategic move, it's a naked cash-grab to re-sell people shit they already own"

You don't get it: this naked cash-grab to re-sell people shit they already own is a brilliant strategic move because it's going to work.

Hypershell said...

The main value of this, as I see it, is the need for traditional controllers in multiplayer games should the console only be able to support streaming to one touch screen (which, in terms of how taxing it would be on the hardware, kinda makes sense as much as we hate to hear it).

For single-player games it is absolutely pointless, but yeah, I do see people using it solely for aesthetic reasons.

Also, Wii's Classic Controller had the image of "cutting corners" in that despite being more or less the "standard" button layout it was lacking the more subtle features such as the button-under-stick shpiel and, on the Pro, analogue triggers. It may not be much but it is one more irritating hiccup for devs looking to standardize control schemes across multiple platforms, something the Classic controller more or less existed specifically to address (well, that and Super NES Virtual Console). Even though it's a minor point, it is nice to know Nintendo is paying attention to detail this time.

Sabre said...

"That's where I realize that Western Gamers still live in a completely fictional world: among the 50 best selling RPGs this generation: 33 were JRPGs"

-and that's where you lose all credibilty and become just another defensive Nintendo fanboy.

The top 50 RPGs, of course it's going to have JRPGs on it because there aren't many RPGs overall. With the exception of pokemon, there are no JRPGs on any top 10 best sellers of this generation lists.

Even if we accept that JRPGs are still selling well, you say yourself, outside of Pokemon and Dragon Quest, JRPGs are cliched crap.

Nixou said...

"With the exception of pokemon, there are no JRPGs on any top 10 best sellers of this generation lists"

First: this is not true: FF13 and DQ9 are also part of the top 10

Second, the Pokemon franchise sold over 67 million units this generation alone: Which is the volume of Skyrim + Oblivion + Fallout 3 + New Vegas + the Mass Effect Trilogy + the Dragon Ages + Fable 2 and 3 + FF XIII and its sequel's combined sales

Pokemon is not merely "in the top 10": it holds four spots in this generation's top five RPGs.

Had your assertion been true, it would have been a completely meaningless claim considering how much the yellow rat is towering over everyone else.

As I said most western "gamers", who should be an informed crowd, are in fact completely lost in an imaginary world born from their bias: someone told them that Western RPGs were metaphorically beating the crap out of JRPGs, and they accepted this claim without fact-checking it. Then the same pseudo-experts told them that JRPGs were declining because of their cliché storylines and game mechanisms, and it turned out that the "cliched crap" sells way more than experimental and risqué moves in term of gameplay and storytelling.

Jannie said...

If you're right, Nixou, then why was Nintendo so hardset against selling JRPGs like Xenoblade overseas. So set against it in fact it took a massive campaign organized by western gamers to change their minds.

And what's with the quotation marks around "gamer" there, what is THAT supposed to mean? What I'm not a "real gamer" because I don't toady to everything that comes out of Japan? No True Scotsman, what's that?

Also Pokemon may be called an RPG but it isn't. Like at all. It's a...I'm not even sure what it is but I can tell you this, putting that in the same category as Golden Sun or Skyrim or Final Fantasy is just wrong. Which is not to say that Pokemon lacks depth, but the depth comes not from any kind of role playing or characterization (or story, or story arc, etc) but from the battles between the Pokemon which could just as easily be detached from the game proper and still function as a card game or somethin-OH WAIT! No but seriously Pokemon started out as a card game and as a result it has depth IN TERMS OF PLAYING THE GAME not in the way an RPG is supposed to, by design, have depth--i.e., characters, story arc, an actual story of ANY kind, etc.

But that's beyond the point, of course Pokemon sells like crazy it's a BRAND, and people love their brands. The content is irrelevant at this point because it has a built in base of people who would buy it no matter what, like a great many Nintendo titles, and it's marketed towards a younger demographic too. And like it or not, "younger demographic" means "people largely incapable of critical thinking and therefore prone to making decisions without thinking about it much". So yes Pokemon's sales are fucking incredible, but in the long run that's less impressive than, say, Dragon Quest's sales or Fallout 3's sales because those are aimed at a more discerning audience and less focused purely on brand identification as de facto advertising.

This is the same reason why, for example, a Mario game selling is not as impressive as something aimed at older, more discerning groups like Final Fantasy or God of War since the people buying those games are, quite bluntly, not as dumb as little kids. If FF13 sold 67 million units I'd be impressed, but to quote a famous meme, this is a children's card game.

Jannie said...

Which is not to say that the mind-meld like hold that Pokemon has on a generation of gamers is not impressive. It still has to be somewhat good to get off the ground and I'd argue that it's very good as a series...

But "very good" and "worth 67 million copies" is not the same thing. NOTHING is really worth 67 million people buying a game. That's not just "I enjoy this game" that's the first signs of an invasion of hive-minded aliens reproducing through video games.

Or, more realistically and less humorously, that's the result of an extremely widespread, deep rooted branding that has eclipsed the actual content to become a force onto itself. It is entirely possible you could put a completely different game in those boxes and most of the people who bought them wouldn't notice because they're more focused on BUYING it than using it. It's programing, like most branding is.

There is a reason the douchebags from Mad Men get paid so much, in fiction and in the real world, and it's not because they're all starkly handsome Jon Hamm-like hyper-stoic figures. These people are paid to get 67 million people to part with their money (or in this case, their parent's money since, again, we're talking about a children's card game).

Sabre said...

"First: this is not true: FF13 and DQ9 are also part of the top 10"

Not on the lists I saw, but I'll take your word for it.

"Second, the Pokemon franchise sold over 67 million units this generation alone: Which is the volume of Skyrim + Oblivion + Fallout 3 + New Vegas + the Mass Effect Trilogy + the Dragon Ages + Fable 2 and 3 + FF XIII and its sequel's combined sales"

Again, not in what I saw, but again, I'll take your word for it.

"Had your assertion been true, it would have been a completely meaningless claim considering how much the yellow rat is towering over everyone else."

Not really. By judging purly on sales, Call of Duty crushes Pokemon (68 million just on xbox) so by that logic, the pokemon games are meaningless. The only way the sales argument works is if you narrow it down to the point where you push out everything else. It's like saying "Toe nail flavoured ice cream is the most popular ice cream (in the list of ice creams that taste like body parts)". It's a worthless argument.

"As I said most western "gamers", who should be an informed crowd, are in fact completely lost in an imaginary world born from their bias:"

Says the angry nintendo fanboy.

"Then the same pseudo-experts told them that JRPGs were declining because of their cliché storylines and game mechanisms, and it turned out that the "cliched crap" sells way more than experimental and risqué moves in term of gameplay and storytelling."

Even the japanese think they are stagnant and dying, and they are where they sell the most.
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-03-08-mega-man-creator-laments-tragic-state-of-japanese-games-industry
and
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-03-16-kojima-japanese-developers-lack-global-outlook-technological-skills

Sabre said...

"but in the long run that's less impressive than, say, Dragon Quest's sales or Fallout 3's sales because those are aimed at a more discerning audience and less focused purely on brand identification as de facto advertising."

I think that's a bad example, as both of those games are trading on a nostalgic name. (Fallout was well known among PC gamers). I think Mass Effect or Dragon Age are better example as they are new IPs and still did well compaired to the 'sure thing'.

Joe said...

@Sabre:

Even if we accept that JRPGs are still selling well, you say yourself, outside of Pokemon and Dragon Quest, JRPGs are cliched crap.

Outside of Mass Effect, Fallout and maybe Deus Ex: Human Revolution--the latter two being nostalgia trips for oldschool PC gamers (which also includes the Elder Scrolls series)--Western RPGs of this console generation are also cliched crap.

The Fable franchise makes a half-hearted attempt to put some distance between itself and Tolkien, but every other RPG property is firmly drinking from the Lord of the Rings' well with a flagon borrowed from D&D's cupboard. Dragon Age, Elder Scrolls, The Witcher, Amalur, Dragon's Dogma--every single one has fighter-tanks, squishy wizards, elves, dwarves, some kind of orcs/goblins, dragons and dark lords.

And current-gen first-person/third-person shooters don't really offer any more variety than Western RPGs. They're all trying to be Halo, Gears or COD.

I'm not even a fan of JRPGs, but at least they mix up their settings a bit compared to Western RPGs.

Sabre said...

Joe-

I'd agree and disagree with various points, and as much as I would argue against them, or even argue about how cliches aren't always bad, that's off topic.

The topic is the controller, and Nintendo winning back hardcores. Specifically Nixou's arguments about tricking the 'dumb wiiphobic hardcores'.

JRPGs are failing in the west and not doing as well as they were in Japan, completely outclassed by western games. Gaming in Japan is having a hard time and this is a desperation move by Nintendo to try and win favour with hardcore gamers, but Nixou doesn't want to believe that. He is trying to use rigged sales data to make the situation seem better than it is. It is the one and only pillar of his argument and it's a pretty feeble one.

Eze said...

I think the controller looks nice. As for what it does and doesn't do and in general success, I'm still a Nintendo fan at heart who will buy the Wii U.....and still own a PS3 and play that, too.

That said, let's see where this goes, if anywhere.

Aiddon said...

@Joe

Let's also not forget that the latest thing for Western RPGs to take "inspiration' from is Game of Thrones. It would be unique...had Yasumi Matsuno who made Final Fantasy Tactics and the Ogre Battle Saga not already done that more than a DECADE ago (Ogre Battle actually having been made before A Song of Ice and Fire was even published, oddly enough)

Jannie said...

We're getting a bit off-topic, but the Japanese games industry in general is doing poorly today and we just have to accept this because empirical evidence backs it up. It's not a matter of being a fan of Western games or not, I frankly don't give a shit about patriotism because I'm a (literal) socialist so fuck the West, but the fact remains that the industry HERE is breaking records and the industry THERE is not.

And Nixou can harp on about how people are "wiiphobic" (which is not a thing) and stupid hardcores!" and all that but the fact remains if Nintendo felt there was some real strength in their tablet design they wouldn't even waste the time, money and energy in out and out copypasting the XBox controller the way they are.

Like I said Nintendo isn't stupid, they can see the future isn't in some remote controller you shake like a Polaroid. They can look across the table and see Microsoft and Sony doing some very new, interesting things with interactivity and social gaming and perhaps even dislodging them from the kingship of the handheld market and they want a piece of that. This is why the new Wii U controller is made for ACTUAL games, why most Wii U third party games have all but outright stated they don't use the tablet, why this system is a more expensive HD set up with online capability etc.

I actually think Microsoft was some of the cause of this. This is pure speculation mind you but...

See, Microsoft is coming out with this tablet-smart phone-Xbox connector thing, the Smart Glass. And I don't think they just threw that cloud save malarkey out as a fun little side project. I'd wager it was an experiment to see if their infrastructure can handle the cloud effectively and they're planning on going full-cloud-gaming for their next gen system, using this Smart Glass thing to link it so that your phone, tablet, tv, pc etc are now all ONE big gaming rig and they just broadcast them.

And I figure Nintendo, being in the industry for a long time, has at least some inkling of this. So they're hoping to move towards a similar set up eventually themselves. Maybe not with the initial Wii U launch but maybe later, or a generation from now with the "Next Box" comes out, and they want to win back the core gaming community to prepare for the inevitable race to the finish over who can get cloud gaming going first.

Again that's pure speculation on my part. At the very least though the pervasive "No seriously guys this thing is hard core...ROCK HARD CORE" campaign for the Wii U implies they intend to focus almost exclusively on providing a wide scope of third party, HD games for the core community and phasing out or at least moving away from casual gaming, outside of the 3DS. They've made no secret that they intend this to be Nintendo's return to the King of Gaming mantle and they clearly feel that the hardcore gaming crowd is their ticket there, or else why even change over from the Wii?


Aiddon, are you accusing George Martin of plagiarism because if you are then that's a serious claim and you'd have to present evidence for it instead of your usual snide, impotent flailing and distant snipes.

Jannie said...

Actually I was just looking at the Nintendo press conference on Spike and Reggie just explained a few minutes ago that the Wii U was going to have some capability, later in the life cycle, similar to the Smart Glass in that it will act as a hub for phones, tablets etc.

So perhaps it's not just speculation. I'd like to imagine Nintendo would let the chance pass them by though, seeing as it would be hard to justify their handheld market if Microsoft manages to make cloud gaming (i.e, playing Xbox games on your tablets or phones) a reality in their next console, which is the logical extension of the Smart Glass concept.

They already said they intend a focus on social interconnectivity and cross-platform accessibility so it's kind of inevitable that Nintendo (and Sony though they're more slow to turn the ship in that respect) would make this next logical step.

I think almost the entire industry can see that cloud gaming is "The Coming Thing", to barrow a phrase from Brisco County Jr., and we're probably going to see Sony rolling out a similar set up to what the Wii U and Xbox is working towards soon, connecting all your devices into a single gestalt gaming system that simply picks up on broadcasts from some distant central hub filled with Alienware computers.

I'm actually really excited about this whole prospect, since the last Nintendo console I found any real use for was the N64 and it seems like the Wii U is shaping up to be a very stable competitor for my Xbox FINALLY. I'm glad to see Nintendo is, if slowly, starting to turn the corner and this may be a huge year for them if they get big third-part games like Black Ops 2. This may be the time when Nintendo finally gets back on top and sheds it's old skin. And not being a console fangirl of any stripe I'd be more than happy to see genuine competition in the industry.

Competition is good for consumers.

Jannie said...

Edit:

"I'd like to imagine Nintendo would NOT let the chance pass them by"

Nixou said...

If you're right, Nixou, then why was Nintendo so hardset against selling JRPGs like Xenoblade overseas

Because Xenoblade is a vanity/prestige project which never had the chance of being more than a niche product: being esthetically too far away from western RPGs, in terms of gameplay too far away from the usual humdrum of JRPGs, and taking during its third act too many risks plotewise, it was just too different to please anyone but the connoisseurs, which the gap between the many stellar reviews and the modest sale numbers shows.

***

"And what's with the quotation marks around "gamer" there"

Well, there was a time, not so long ago, when old grumpy elistists like Bob and cynics like myself were kids, when the terms "gamer" and "hardcore gamer" implied a certain level of passion and erudition about video games. Calling "gamer" the average HD consoles consummer is like calling someone who only go to the theater to watch summer blockbusters a "cinephile".

***

"Also Pokemon may be called an RPG but it isn't."

If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and taste like a duck once it's cooked and in your plate: chances are that you're eating a duck.

***

"No but seriously Pokemon started out as a card game"

Here: the very lack of knowledge I was talking about.
Pokemon started as a pair of game boy games, the trading cards being a succesfull case of merchandising

***

"not [deep] in the way an RPG is supposed to, by design, have depth--i.e., characters, story arc, an actual story of ANY kind"

Don't praise too much the RPG genre for it's deep plot and characterisation: people might start to notice how mediocre most of them are in that regard: even one of the most well-written RPG like Mass Effect took three games to shake of the B movie premise of the Invincible Space Marine (and when it did, it was booed by it's own fanbase)

***

"The content is irrelevant at this point because it has a built in base of people who would buy it no matter what"

If that was the case, the Sonic games would be selling waaaaaay more than they do. Sure: the series renown have somewhat attenuated the damage done by all the failed games, but sales-wise it has been in decline since it hit the 3D ceilling.
Brands are not all powerful: Sony made that mistake when they tried to sell their PS3 for too much, as did Nintendo when they tried to do it with the 3DS

***

"And like it or not, "younger demographic" means "people largely incapable of critical thinking and therefore prone to making decisions without thinking about it much"

Funny: I thought the Tea Party was largely comprised of older people [/sarcasm]

Nintendo targets the younger demographics because young game consummers have more time than adults to play and often parents who buy new games as presents, not because they're stupid.

Nixou said...

"Dragon Quest's sales or Fallout 3's sales because those are aimed at a more discerning audience and less focused purely on brand identification as de facto advertising"
"This is the same reason why, for example, a Mario game selling is not as impressive as something aimed at older, more discerning groups like Final Fantasy or God of War since the people buying those games are, quite bluntly, not as dumb as little kids"

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
An "Older more discerning audience"
Adults are creature of habits even more than kids: they'll pay for any mediocrity as long as it appears to be in their confort zone.

And by the way: your counter-examples suck way more than you imagine:

Dragon Quest is a pure product of Advertisement: the first episode was succesful in Japan because Shonen Jump started an enormous promotion campain, and the series was known in the US because Nintendo pretty much gave away free copies.

Fallout 3 did enjoy an ad campain so massive that it actually won awards for its marketing:
http://www.joystiq.com/2009/04/09/fallout-3-dominates-mi6-marketing-awards/

As for God of War, instead of trying to sell itself by advertising its gameplay and level design, or even its aesthetic like DQ and Fallout, it sells itself by advertising the masturbatory fantasy of the invincible warrior who fucks whatever he wants.

And finally Final Fantasy 13 was a shameful, half-finished mess giving us a 30 hours long boring tutorial yet still sold more than the more carefully crafted, longer, more interesting, and sold on a system with a bigger consummer base twelfth episode.

The irony here, is that three out of the four games cited here deserve to be the enormously succesful product they are, but own it more to at best massive advertising, at worst massive advertising which assume that every potential gamer is a 15 years old douchebag, while the fourth one is proof that the "adult" consummer base is most certainly not a discerning one.

*****
*****

«Not really. By judging purly on sales, Call of Duty crushes Pokemon»

Compare what is comparable: RPGs should be compared to other RPGs and not the genre king du jour: be it FPS, Racing Games, Plateformers, or whatever will be the next dominent genre when the FPS fad is over.

You're the one who pretended that JRPGs where not selling well compared to Western RPGs: so now you've been caught trying to win an argument with faked knowledge, you're trying another trick to bluff your way out?

@ Bob: I seriously think that Newt Gingrich is commenting on your blog.

The big problem of JRPGs is not that they are not selling well: they did have trouble to do the transition from a genre mostly found on big screen consoles to a genre at home in handheld devices but this mutation of the market is pretty much done at this point.
The big problem is that the more routine-minded games from this genre are so much more succesful than the experimental ones.

***

"He is trying to use rigged sales data to make the situation seem better than it is"

rigged data?
Please: if you want to masturbate in front of your computer, do it in private.

*****
*****

"had Yasumi Matsuno who made Final Fantasy Tactics and the Ogre Battle Saga not already done that more than a DECADE ago"

Matsuno is the epitome of the game creator too smart for his audience. Sure, he has a loyal fanbase who's willing to make the effort to delve into his complex plots, but I remember how much FF12 was hated by a lot of people who claimed that the game had no plot: instead of doing the small effort to talk to NPCs, let the backstory sink in, and get used to the game's lore, they wanted to be spoonfed via cutscenes and complained when the writer decided to do better than that.

Aiddon said...

uh, Matsuno never actually finished FF12; he left halfway through due to producers constantly breathing down his neck and forcing him to change important things (Basch, for instance, was the original hero and THAT makes sense; Vaan did not have a place in that game). The game in general was a giant, boring clusterfuck and was criticized for good reason. It SHOWED that Matsuno didn't finish it and it's easy to see what parts were slapped and ruined the narrative potential of it. Vagrant Story, Tactics Ogre, and FFT on the other hand were completely fine and that's because he had proper control over them. It's actually kind of amazing how poorly told FF12 was compared to the other Ivalice games

Frederick Lim said...

Why people so addict even Nintendo release a shxt?

That is just a normal controller appeared more than 15 years ago, it is just step backward.