First, as an aside, I typed most of this up yesterday. I had links to current news and supporting theories and all sorts of great stuff. A dancing bear act for intermission and stuff. But then, do primarily to your classic sort of ID10T error I loaded a different page in my TypePad tab and *poof* buh-bye post. Grr.
But I can't get it out of my head, so now you get the unsupported crazy internet theorist version. I may or may not be making all this up.
So what am I talking about? Nintendo owning hardcore gaming.
Nintendo's plan isn't explicitly to own hardcore gamers. In my tremendously ignorant and uneducated opinion of the market, the XBox has most of the hardcore gamers, using my definition which mostly consists of things like "plays first person shooters" and "plays against people over the internet" and "plays a lot" and "cares about how good they are" and mean things like "lives with mom" and "has a lot of zits". But mostly those last things are just because I'm crusty and old and can't twitch so good any more.
BUT! UbiSoft recently announced that UbiSoft Montreal, makers of Beyond Good & Evil are going to be making a FPS for the Revolution. For the most part, I like UbiSoft games from all their development teams. There are some caveats (all over Prince of Persia II) but even the games I throw up my hands in disgust over and walk away from are still better than most of what's out there. The bad stuff seems so much worse because the good stuff is just so good.
So, FPS by some of my favorite developers on my favorite platform, with a new control scheme that from the movies and previews of the modified Metroid Prime 2 suits FPS games really really well, yay!
But, because I am a freak and like to imagine ways for Nintendo to rule us all, I think about ways this can change the market. If I had to guess today, right now, I would bet that the PS3 sells the most consoles next generation. I mean, they could put an empty bag of potato chips on the shelf with the name "PS3" on it and they'd ship 50 million units before anyone realised what they were buying. The Xbox 360 is going to to sell at least double what the Xbox did, and the Revolution is going to land somewhere in between, because a small selection of Nintendo freaks will only buy it, and a large selection of people with an XBox and/or a PS3 will buy it, and a currently unknown quantity of people will buy it because they saw it do neat things.
Halo, to veer a little wildly for a second, sells consoles. I don't know how many Xboxes it sold, but it sold a lot and Halo 2 sold even more. Why? Because people like to shoot things, and Halo and Halo 2 make shooting things really fun. The universe is pretty great in it's own right, Bungie has a winner there, but beyond that the game itself is pretty damn fun to play. Chances are, Halo 3 will release right around when the PS3 does, and it could block a whole lot of sales, because Halo sells consoles, and right now it's selling the XBox.
Halo is a great FPS, but it suffers from the same thing that all console FPSes do: Controls. Controls for console FPSes suck. There've been lots of great FPSes, but interacting with them all is painful and unnatural. The PC reigns for FPS control, because the mouse works really well to move the character's head around and frees up the other hand to manipulate the keyboard as necessary.
From the looks of things, the Revolution controller could be the first console controller that doesn't suck for FPSes, and that could be huge. Great FPSes sell consoles. Half Life and Doom sell video cards and entire PCs! I think people who drop $2000 for an extra 10 frames per second would be willing to shell out a couple hundred for a great gaming experience.
So, now you have one of my newer theories: Nintendo's going to get into a lot of houses because it will be cheap and fun and then there will be great FPSes and people will say "holy fuck, this is awesome!" and people will develop more great FPSes and more people will buy it, and then Nintendo will rule us all with benevolence and wifi. Yay!