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» Nintendo is a smart company from controller code ...
Apropos to my post yesterday, a nice write up on Nintendo’s strategy on hello, nintendo, with reference to niche marketing. An interview on IGN with Shigeru Miyamoto, reveals that N isn’t really into the idea of a pissing match... [Read More]

» Nintendo is a smart company from controller code ...
Apropos to my post yesterday, a nice write up on Nintendo’s strategy on hello, nintendo, with reference to niche marketing. An interview on IGN with Shigeru Miyamoto, reveals that N isn’t really into the idea of a pissing match... [Read More]

» It gets better … from buttonmashing.com
We’ve talked about the coming Nintendo Revolution and the possibility of downloading the enormous library of NES, SNES, and N64 games that will be downloadable (I wonder if they’ll make Game Boy games available, too. That would make my hea... [Read More]



You're probably right there. I suspect what will eventually happen will be an iTunes type service or something like it (iNintendo?) where you pay so much, and it's downloaded to the flash memory built into the Revoluiton (512 built in. Not too shabby to be honest, and it's expandable)

Now here's the fun part. From what i'm hearing, Nintendo might open the door to wanna-be game makers to have their games going through their service. Plus, this may come with help for starting to program for the various "levels". Even the GameCube/Revolution level (It's stated that it's basically the same programming base, which is good)

So, could I see kids making 8 and 16-bit games, some companies releasing some pretty spectacular small puzzle games, and so on. It would follow the PC casual gaming market, I would suspect. And that could entice a lot of people.

And by creating a climate where creators DO NOT have to charge (there's the option, but they don't), and they can create demo versions and the like and put them over the network. Hell, and the old game companies can put their stuff up as promo as well. (For example, say if Capcom offers Megaman as a free download when they put the rest of the Megaman games up on the network/new Megaman game for the Revolution)

You might even see some freeware projects being created, just for the fame.

But yeah, Nintendo sees the long tail and they are shooting for it.

Phil Boardman

Yeah, more games = more fun.
Most of the "new" games take so long to learn and play. I love the games you don't even need to ask the buttons for.

Theodore Wheeland

Thank you so much for articulating that thought. I've felt similar sentiment, but did not know how to organize my complaints into something constructive. I'm only 18 so I'm definitely not old nor have I followed the "politics" or "internal affairs" of gaming for very long but I used to get a subscription to PC Gaming World and I would follow games in the mainstream print media (ie Newsweek, US News and World Report, Time) and more recently online news sources or blogs.

When I hear the fans, the game developers, and especially the game pundits (ie game writers, editors, journalists) critique the game industry it comes down to, correct me if I'm wrong or have missed some, cost of game development, cost of game software as a product, cost of hardware (both PC and console), lack of innovation, and most importantly, the one that every "interactive entertainment" (the new politically correct lingo) CEO wants to solve, the inablity to bring in a wider audience (ie girly girls, females in general, social butterflys, the elderly, baby boomers.) In my eyes I see two trends that seem to be gaining traction at solving these vexing problems: the long tail previously described and new game interfaces and their corresponding new game models.

I'm now out of high school but as of a few weeks ago, I can recall coming into the school library before 1st period. When I saw every computer occupied with an absorbed student I assumed the zombied-out kids had been up late like myself writing term papers and studying for finals. When I walked over I saw they most were addicting games dot com playing what appeared to be flash based games for free. Some were playing billiards online against one another while others were playing simple MMORPGs while others yet were playing new arcade like games that looked very fun.

I remember the first time I heard of long tail. It was after I had seen Jonathan Harris's WORD COUNT so visually it made sense to me. ( Here's a blog devoted to long tail and here's the Wired Article that coined the term.) I never would have thought of applying longtail to interactive enterainment (i know that term sounds weird but I don't want to exclude my next point with limiting terms like video games)

"It would follow the PC casual gaming market, I would suspect" (Karmakin.) This connecting of the longtail with the console market would be a huge leap forward. Having an active "indie" game developers community connected to an eager-for-something-new consumer base would be brilliant.

The next trend that seems to be bringing innovation into the game space is new game interfaces coupled with their ingenious new game genres. I can remember a while back reading the Emerging Technologies section in Discover Magazine. The article was titled The Anti-Video Game. The article explained The Journey to Wild Divine a video game based on exploiting the possibilities of unconventional interfaces.

Here's an excerpt:

"...Playing Wild Divine involves exploring a lush 3-D world with waterfalls, elaborate gardens, spiritual guides, and a menagerie of grazing llamas and white wolves. The pace is reminiscent of the pioneering game Myst: slow and entirely free of violence. Solving puzzles or passing special tests allows you to enter new areas. A narrative begins to develop, although following the plot generally takes a backseat to exploration.

The real fun comes from those biofeedback sensors. Most important, the tests in the game require you to alter your physical state in a specific fashion—to slow your breathing and heart rate or to push yourself to become more alert. If you succeed in changing your state, you pass the test and can advance. Wild Divine uses the spiritual language of “energy flows” and “heart breath” to describe those changes, but underneath that vocabulary are real physiological events tracked by the sensors. The more you play the game, the easier it becomes to lower the electrical resistance of your fingertips on command. Once you’ve mastered that kind of self-regulation, you can translate it into the real world..."

I aslo have a subscription to WIRED magazine. They have an annual event called NextFest. In the June magazine they ran a pre NextFest section which mentioned some future Agumented Reality (AR) game types, think the middle ground between Virtual Reality (VR) and plain old reality. They also had some simple games that exploited the cheap, near ubiquious (among cell phones anyway) potential of GPS integration into mobile game platforms.

To bring "interactive entertainment" to the masses it will have to be as specialized, diversified, and strangly wacky as the world we live in. It will certainly take more Miyamotos and Will Wrights who risk being gimmicky. I can remember when my older brother first told me about Dance Dance Revolution. He said something like "Ted, ya know this is totally one of those lame gimicks that'll be dead after people realize how ridiculous they are dancing around on this little platic mat thing." Gimmicky to him but amazingly entertaing to others.

Give us cheap. Give us social. Give us mobile. Give us gimmicks. Give us experimental. Give us the long tail. Just don't give us the same ole, same ole.

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