*Nintendo and the AAA industry!
Written By: Klown
May 30th, 2011 at 5:48pm
Can Nintendo establish themselves as a competitor in the AAA industry again?
Now I grew up with Nintendo, they utterly destroyed competition in the 80s and 90s. In the age of 64 bit gaming, Mario 64, Zelda OoT, Donkey Kong 64, Perfect Dark, and Golden Eye all crushed Sega and Sony games for the most part. You weren't able to throw a stone in the AAA industry without hitting something that Nintendo helped create or owned. This was a golden age for Nintendo. People hung on Shigeru Miyamoto for his next idea or concept.
Fast forward several years to 2011, and Sony and Microsoft own the AAA industry like Nintendo used too, and Nintendo seems to have moved on. This isn't a bad thing really, Nintendo has the ability to pretty much make a rock and still print money. This major Casual move for Nintendo, setting their demographic on their polo shirt wearing image of an American family. The Wii hasn't had a major AAA title that did as good as it did on counterpart systems in probably two years, and even can't keep up with some of the games in the AAA market today.
So do you think Nintendo could make a comeback with their code name Project Cafe? I honestly do. I think with a console that can keep up and even surpass what is on the market today, with a return of a regular style controller, Nintendo could get their foot back in the door of the AAA market. The biggest thing I think Nintendo needs to do is allow and give incentive for third party support. Could you imagine a world where such masterpieces of Gaming Art like Shadow of Colossus and The Legend of Zelda can share the same console, and even be able to look at each other for help?
This is going to be a bit of tangent, so feel free to skip this paragraph if you want to avoid that last train of thought. That last image gave me a really crazy thought, could you imagine of Nintendo let Team ICO make a new Zelda game? Team ICO has fantastic ability to create amazing landscapes and mood. Their interpretation of Hyrule would be amazing to look at, and with a simple overall storyline like Zelda has, they would have a lot of range to be able to make some pretty fun changes to the world. I'll stop this here and put up the "soon to come" label as another article, I'll explore this idea more.
Sorry for that, anyway, back to Project Cafe. I think with a few steps Nintendo could really make a huge leap forward in terms of AAA marketability.
- Open Door Policy: Nintendo has in recent generations been very tight fisted when it comes to third party support. They don't really let a lot of companies work with them in making games for their console, and the ones that have, have been major let downs. Let's look back at the Playstation 2, where I think the pinnacle of Third Party support exists. They had thousands and thousands of games that Sony didn't have any say in, or the slightest motion in the game, and just let companies do their job making games for their hardware. Nintendo on the other hand, doesn't like when companies make to much with their hardware and red lights far to many games.
- Innovations: This may sound weird, as Nintendo is always the King of Innovations in games, but I actually think forcing certain things can limit what a person can make for your system. I love my Wii, I play Twilight Princess on it constantly, as well as Super Mario Galaxy, but that's really it. Normal games don't work so well with the nun chuck system that Wii made. Trying to build say, an action plat former like Assassins Creed, would be very difficult with a nun chuck as you can't control all the functions you need to, from Camera to inventory ease. Now you can always work around this, but I'm always going to be a firm believer in controllers should stay the same for the most part. Two sticks, a couple of shoulder buttons, a d-pad, and 4-6 buttons works great for reducing delay between though and on screen action. Project Cafe has solved this with the controller designs, as they are shaped more like the Wavebird from the GameCube, which is perfect.
- Hardware Ability: Again Project cafe press has stated that it'll be able to keep up with and even surpass the power of the PS3 and Xbox 360, which is great, but I still want to make the point, as it needs to be there for completion sakes. The limiting factor of a game shouldn't be the hardware, it should be all on the developers end. Things like the Cry Engine show us just how beautiful things can look if your hardware can keep up, which in today's age, really should be possible for anything trying to be in the AAA industry. Being able to run in 1080p and keep a 60 frame rate, then you are golden. Wii couldn't do this, but Project Cafe looks like it will and then some.
With those three points achieved, I think Nintendo could really take over the AAA industry again, and with their monolith of Casual gaming ability, they'll pretty much be a force of power on both fronts, showing what you can do when you are open to working with both sides of the gaming circle.
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